Okay, I didn’t join a literal circus, but it has felt that way. I have been MIA on my blog for the last few months with good reason. Last year, I was chosen as a Cricket World Cup volunteer and got a snazzy colourful uniform (as you can see from the pic above). I figured this little project wouldn’t be too much work, right?
Don’t know what the Cricket World Cup is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone (Hey, only a BILLION people watch). It’s a once-every-four-years cricket tournament with the top 14 cricketing countries. It was being hosted between New Zealand and Australia, which also ended up as the teams in the final match. I got to work at Eden Park stadium, and witnessed two of the biggest matches – NZ v Australia, and NZ v South Africa. As a huge cricket fan, I got to see some of the world’s greatest players, and New Zealand has been gripped with cricket fever for February and March. I never even looked at my desk, or my books, in all that time. Imagine yourself, surrounded by your heroes, and other people who love them, and then think… would you be busy working, or busy living it up? I got asked out on more dates at those games than I have been in my whole life, didn’t see that coming.
Plus alas, is that a good reason for ignoring my readers? It was not the only life-changing thing going on. Rolling into town was the juggernaut which is the Volvo Ocean Race. If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably become an accidental expert on the subject. I was chosen to work as one of the teachers for the Volvo school programme, showing children all about boats and the activities surrounding this round-the-world adventure. Once the schools had gone, I was charged with a massively fun job of guarding the boats and sailors from the public each day. Boring? HELL NO. It was amazing. I talked boats all day while out in the sunshine, getting invites to go sailing, touring boats that thousands wished they could look inside, was at the forefront of all the prep-work the yachts needed, danced all night, sipped drinks in VIP lounges…. this was work. Old friends, new friends, free stuff, and that odd, powerful, feeling you get from having an all-access pass dangling around your neck, making judgments as to who is fit to go near the gazillion-million dollar yachts. Back to my desk to write? Hardly, it was all day in the blazing sunshine, and three weeks just flew by before the boats left for Itajaí (that’s in Brazil).
Every little kid has dreams, plenty of them. As a child, all I wanted was to travel the world with the Volvo Ocean Race. I have been involved several times, and this time, and being able to work as port crew for the stopover was an unexpected delight. It has changed my life in a number of ways, which I don’t need to bore anyone with here. Here is a little video about one of the boat here in Auckland. (At 2-ish mins, I caught one of the balls, a fun souvenir. Is it cheating when you’re on the dock with the sailors?)
Also, a look at what it’s like to sail around the world (the school kids love this one)
What’s the point here, Caroline? The point is, I have been highly disinterested in writing since about Christmas. I lost my focus, I lost interest in the finishing and preparing Death in the Valencian Dust for sale. So I took time away from writing, with the intention of never bothering to write another word ever again. I have also worked in the sports arena. Sailing is what I live for, as hungry to achieve my dreams as I was as a kid. For all the work I’ve done in these last few months, I have received so much back in reply. When it all died down, about a week and a half ago, I had suddenly found hidden desires to finish my book. Not only will Death in the Valencian Dust be ready come May 8, so will its companion, the Secrets of Spain trilogy all together in one (HUGE) book. Editing, cover art, promos – I’ve been onto everything and, what’s more, I’m proud of what I’ve produced.
So, all I had to do was have nothing to do with writing or Spain, and I’ve found the energy and drive to finish a trilogy about Spain. Who knew? And yes, my next book is already underway, and the cover art is already back from the artist, I’ll share that really soon!
(Just don’t ask me about Luna Rossa withdrawing from the America’s Cup in Bermuda. I’m still gutted about that life change)