Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page

My Life in Music: 1975

1975 was the year I became an Abba fan. When they exploded onto the music scene by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’ in 1974, Abba took over the pop scene in the UK. Every birthday party I went to in 1975 seemed to be playing Abba records, and by the time of my sixth birthday, in October 1975, I was a firm fan.

I don’t remember my birthday party that year. I know I went into hospital a few days later, to have my tonsils out, because the day I went home was Hallowe’en. We’d been making decorations for a Hallowe’en party in the children’s ward during my stay, and I was a bit miffed that I missed the party because I had to go home.

I seem to remember a lot of birthday parties that year, and the year after, perhaps because I was now in school and inviting lots of classmates to your birthday party was the thing to do. It seems appropriate, then, to include a photograph of myself ready to go to a birthday party. This may be early 1976 rather than 1975, to be honest. The clue is the fact I am missing my bottom two teeth in this picture. These were the first two to fall out. Was I five or six when I started to lose baby teeth? I can’t remember. But by the time of my 1976 school picture, which must have been taken at the end of the year, all my adult teeth had grown in. You’ll get that one in the next post.

1976 birthday party

Sara circa 1975: Short frocks, skinny legs and missing teeth…

What I do remember, however – but possibly only because the photograph is captioned in my photo album – is that the birthday party I was going to was for a classmate called Angela. No, I don’t remember what was in the gift-wrapped box. It was over 40 years ago, after all.

My loyalty to Abba remains unwavering, after all this time. I still love Abba and always have, even through the 1990s when it was decidedly uncool to admit to liking Abba. Until, of course, the musical ‘Mamma Mia’ appeared. Ever since then it’s been acceptable to be an Abba fan.

The early songs of Abba still remind me of those childhood birthday parties. We sat on the floor and played Pass the Parcel, or jumped around to music and then had to be very still when it stopped (Musical Statues). We ate jelly and ice cream, and chunks of cheese, tinned pineapple and pickled onions, on cocktail sticks stuck into a potato wrapped in tin foil. We were a bunch of over-excited five and six-year-olds buzzing on sugar from too much birthday cake. Those birthday parties must have been hard on our poor parents.

One of Abba’s biggest hits in 1975 was ‘Mamma Mia’, and it is my choice of song for 1975, presented with the official music video. I remember watching this one on ‘Top of the Pops’. Who can forget those classic Abba poses?



Year in Review: 2017

(Cross-published on the WriteClub blog)

Well here we are at the start of 2018. This is a time to make resolutions to change things in the forthcoming year, and review how things went in the last one.

This time last year, I resolved to have two finished WIPs by the end of 2017. Well, I got halfway there. I finished the latest horror novel in mid-December. The novel is called OUTPOST H311 and it will be published by KGHH Publishing some time this year. Stay tuned for more info on this.

The other WIP – the fourth Shara Summers novel – remains unfinished. I am at present trying to make up my mind whether to continue with this series. The third novel is still without a publication date. Although it was accepted by MuseItUp Publishing some 18 months ago, health and personal issues affecting both my editor and my publisher there have delayed publishing schedules.

I enjoy writing the Shara series, and the few reviews that I’ve received for the first two books in the series have been positive, but they really aren’t selling, and I’m finding this very discouraging. What’s the point of writing books that no one seems interested in reading?

Since I finished OUTPOST H311 I’ve taken a bit of break from writing while I think about what to work on next. I have got a couple of vague ideas, but nothing concrete yet.

This year, I resolve to have at least one WIP finished by the end of the year. I just haven’t made up my mind which one yet.

Happy New Year one and all, and hope 2018 brings success and happiness.