Saturday, October 02, 2004

Darker days ahead

Word count: 24,106 (God, that’s terrible. But I have been working hard this week on other things)

After six years as a bottle blonde, I have gone back to my roots. Well, if anything, darker than my roots. It’s a long story, but I got a bit tired with the trips to the hairdresser (though mine, Sarah, is great fun and has enough stories every time for me to write an entire novel around) and also the little Mallen streak of grey that has been appearing on my right temple, so on Friday afternoon I went ‘OK, let’s go brunette.’

Haven’t seen my boyfriend and as he’s only ever known me as a blonde, I am slightly curious/nervous. In a good light, I kind of look like Louise Brooks with longer hair. In a bad light, it’s more like Morticia from the Addams' Family, only with a fringe. Mind you, I used to look like Dougal the dog from the Magic Roundabout after having my hair done, so it’s all relative.

It’s also a good excuse to buy new make-up! Red lippy is much better with brunette hair.

Did I have more fun as a blonde? Hmmm, yes, maybe, though actually hitting my 30s might have helped more than the highlights. And the awful tidemark wasn’t much fun. Am trying to rebrand myself as sexy, confident grown-up with the new look. Rather than scary woman.

Have gone off into a little reverie about the Mallen Streak. Amazing that Catherine Cookson managed to define a whole hair phenomenon. I wonder if I will ever manage that with any of my books. Unlikely, I would have thought, although in my new novel there’s a whole sequence where the heroine finds a grey pube. Perhaps this might be known as the Harrison Streak? Oh God.

Reading: have just finished Jenny Colgan’s Do you remember the first time? which is my favourite of hers. Great fun and very thought-provoking as well in a, would I do the same again if I was a 16-year-old with all the worldly knowledge of a 32-year-old?

Um, almost certainly not.

In writing terms, it’s not been an awfully productive week. Have mainly been recovering from work as this week marked the end of our busiest period. But everyone at the BBC is really nervy about what happens with Charter Review – almost certainly shedloads of job losses. I’ve been through all this before, but it still feels very uncomfortable.

On the plus side, had a lovely chat with my editor about new synopsis and also a great email from my new American editor at NAL about their plans for the book - they're bringing forward publication to July 05 which is exciting.

Right, as soon as the rainy deluge is over, will be off to Richmond. Main task for the weekend: I have to write my acknowledgements…

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