Not Quite Perfect Blog Tour - Guest Post by Annie Lyons


Sometimes having it all isn’t enough…

Emma has everything she’s ever wanted. Her boyfriend’s just proposed and her career has finally taken off. And so what if her latest client just happens to be downright gorgeous? She’s getting married. Isn’t she?

Rachel’s married with 2.4 children (well, actually, 3) and life is all about trying to leave the house in a non-stained top. Once it was about skinny cappuccinos, cocktails and dynamic ad agency meetings. She wants her old life back, but can it ever be the same?

A sparkling, funny tale of two sisters and how often you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

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My not quite perfect writing space 

In many ways the place where I write at the moment echoes the title of my first book in that it is distinctly not quite perfect (as a modern author I like to be on-message at all times). It is a little cramped for a start, which possibly explains why I have a niggling back pain at the end of every day. I am nestled in one corner of the kitchen on an expensive chair (that’s Ikea-expensive, not handmade by Scandinavian osteopaths-expensive) which I cram under a cheap and rather insubstantial computer desk. It’s a bit like spreading caviar on a Ryvita. I have room for a coffee mug (vital) and a tiny notebook. I keep knocking the notebook onto the floor along with the clothes airer which hangs on the radiator to my left. It’s a bit annoying but I’m not complaining. I love my job. 

My laptop sits on two German dictionaries and a Reader’s Digest Wordfinder. This is a lame attempt to be ergonomic and keep back pain at bay, which is ridiculous because the only way to really keep back pain at bay is to not sit at a desk all day. Ho hum. Pass the Ibuprofen. Under my desk is my Concise Oxford Dictionary which I smugly use when I’m being a proper writer, shunning the internet for an actual book. Often I can’t find the word I need and have to search the internet instead. 

Also under the desk sits the printer doing its best to work despite being under a persistent coating of dust. Sometimes I wave a duster at it and then spend the rest of day sneezing. There are piles of vital papers by the printer; edited manuscripts, interesting articles I need to read, ideas for new books scribbled in lots of different notebooks. Ideally it needs to be taken in hand, sorted, filed and shown who’s boss. It’s a hodgepodge but I don’t mind because it means that I get to use the word, ‘hodgepodge’ regularly, which I think we all agree is a boon. Behind all the papers, standing tall and like a core to my writing world sits Stephen King’s book, ‘On Writing’. If you’re a writer and you’ve never read this, buy it at once. If you’re not a writer and you’ve never read this, buy it at once. You won’t regret it.

Here I sit, whilst the washing machine thrums companionably, its constant activity encouraging me to type words onto a page. When it hits the spin cycle, my word count reaches its peak. Really I should have my desk in a launderette. I could probably turn out a book a week.

This is my space and it’s lovely, it really is. I glimpse the garden from where I sit and hear the birds or a wailing siren in the distance (nature meets urban reality; a very grounded inspiration). However, I am hoping that this haven might be improved ever so slightly and to this end I have a plan, my friends.

We are moving house in the next month or so and in the bun-fight that is children choosing their bedrooms I have been given permission to have my own office. The excitement I feel at this news is heady. My own space! Just for writing! I can have a proper desk! A bookcase! A chair to sit in and read! My back will no longer hurt because I will have space; stretchy space. I will be able to fling out my arms and spin around in the manner of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. So I thought I’d share with you (don’t tell anyone else) the blank canvas.

You will observe that it is currently painted in shades of ‘I am a boy. This is my room. Get out or I’ll shoot you with my catapult’ blue and green (which I believe are available from Homebase) and there are Buzz Lightyear stickers on the wall. This delights me no end as Buzz Lightyear is something of a muse for me. The moment when he realises that he can’t actually fly is as moving as anything I’ve ever read. So Buzz gets to stay and I shall adorn the walls with salient quotes, pictures of my favourite authors and so forth. Hang it, I might even do a mood board. And Stephen King will have a proper shelf to sit on alongside the OED. I will have filing and boxes and know where everything is. I shall be organised and amazing. It’s going to be perfect.

I’ll let you know how it goes and post a picture or two when it’s done. However if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry. It’s a work in progress. And if you learn on the grapevine that I’m actually sitting downstairs at the dining room table, staring out at the garden, one ear on the washing machine’s spin cycle, please don’t judge me. Life is not quite perfect after all.

Annie Lyons is the best-selling author of Not Quite Perfect (now available in paperback) and Not Quite PerfectChristmas (A Short Story). Her new novel Dear Lizzie is published by Carina and is available as an eBook. 


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