#EyesOpen – A photo post – Combined with New Year’s Day and ‘The Death House’ by Sarah Pinborough

Thursday, January 1st 2015

New Year’s Day.

A time for moving on, for looking forward, for setting all those goals we might just make in the next twelve months but most likely will forget within the coming weeks and months.

I’m as guilty as anyone of setting resolutions or foolhardy goals each year but rarely broadcast them as I’m certain to fall on my arse and leave the ammunition right here for others to say ‘But you said you’d……’ etc.

But I will throw them down here at that risk.

In 2015 my plans are loosely as follows;

To see more of the people that mean the most to me – family and friends, even if that might only be snatched days and moments when I can, it’ll be an improvement on what I’ve failed to do much of in the past year.

To write more. I’ve signed up to the #100kwordsin100days challenge on FaceBook, so am using that and their spreadsheet as a running record of anything I consider my ‘writing’, which would be fiction and longer pieces (not necessarily blog posts such as this one, although I may fall back on that one to make the words up in the days to come 🙂

By the close of the year, I’d like to have a crime novel, a YA title and a collection of author interviews all unleashed as ebooks and, if I can get to it, also send out initial query letters and opening chapters to agents for other works.

I aim to blog a bit more often – not in a massive book reviewing return, as I feel there are many others who do a far better and more prolific job of that than I would ever achieve.

Last year I took part in a charity walk for the British Heart Foundation which is something I found incredibly rewarding and got this fat arse losing a fair bit of weight and feeling the best I have in years. Sadly that slipped after the event, but having now invested in a treadmill and starting to walk more again (aiming for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day) I’m planning to sign up to at least one (or possibly a couple) charity walk this year.

Therapy –  whilst writing has, for the most part, given me a much needed outlet from my day job, I’m finding more and more that I need to do other things too. So, I’m hoping to find some time each day for a bit of my old love, art and design, with sketching, painting and some photography throughout the year to help keep me sane.

And all of that rambling brings me round, rather untidily to the fact that today I finished my first read of 2015 and led to today’s photo post too.

The Death House by Sarah Pinborough is published by Gollancz (Orion) on 26th February.

UnknownToby’s life was perfectly normal… until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test.

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House: an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts.


It’s that final line in the quote above that really sums up this superb book for me.

Can it really be just coincidence that today, when I’ve finished reading the novel, highlighted a line within it ‘What we have to do is live every minute. Make it all count’, chose to photograph the scene below on a walk this afternoon, and have just listened to ‘Life’s what you make it’ by TalkTalk?

Sarah Pinborough has created a beautiful world within a place of fear and horror with The Death House. A moving and life-affirming tale which will stay with me for a long time to come. Last year her ‘The Language of Dying’ showed how good she is at this sort of thing, and here she is again to hammer home that point with what makes the perfect companion to that book and one that will appeal across genres and readerships. A perfect start to my 2015 reading.IMG_0481

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