Well, dear Finders, I thought it was high time for a howdy do. I hope you’ve all been happy and healthy and tearing up this thing called life. It’s been a while since I’ve written, which seems a tad ironic to me as lately it seems I’ve done nothing but write. In between being laid up with some pesky health issues, watching the entire library of shows on Netflix, and nagging poor Rusty almost to death, I’ve been click-clacking away on my trusty laptop.

Here’s the news: For those who have ragged on me for a second book, today is your lucky day. Instead of writing about myself, mostly because my life is in the running for the most tedious yawnfest in history, I decided to give fiction a go. So, I sat down and banged out about 81,000 words, also known as a novel. The initial draft of the manuscript is finished and sent off to a few elite readers for the first round of criticism.

The first review is in and it’s a doozy. “I loved, loved, loved it. It’s wonderful. I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t put it down. Thank you for writing it.” Not bad, right? Well, hold your horses. Given that it’s a book about a young woman and her sister who happens to be a psychiatrist, and that the review came from my sister, I’d say the bias is about as big as Donald Trump’s racist, woman-hating, full of shit, scary as hell arse. Still.

At any rate, there’s a long road to travel between a draft manuscript and a book that you can wrap as a Christmas gift for 50 of your closest friends (see what I did there?). I have to edit again based on reader feedback. I have to begin the arduous process of finding an agent. I have to eat and drink and wail through the repeated rejections. Then maybe, just maybe, open a bottle of champagne if some sucker decides to take a chance of the greatest piece of literature ever written. I had a marvellous time writing it and I hope someone out there gets a chance to read it someday.

At the very least I know you crowd will always find a few kind words of encouragement for me. And this is very important to me because now that a night with Sam Shepard is out of the question (RIP, beautiful man), having a published novel with my name on it has just rocketed to number one on my bucket list. A drunken dusk to dawn prowl on the town with Justin Trudeau is a close second, which is actually far more likely to happen than the new number one.

So, wish me luck as I venture into the muck of trying to become a novelist. Although… an obscure book gathering dust on the back shelf at Chapters or body shots and gender based policy debates with JT. Hmm, tricky, very tricky.