I keep a couple of blogs, albeit very badly. I’m not the type of person who feels the need to yell about what I’m doing to anyone and everyone. Facebook irritates the crap out of me, because do I really need to know that you’re shopping/having coffee/eating breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY? It’s useful for keeping in touch with distant family and friends, and I found the MA group that was set up an absolute lifeline at times. But honestly, I don’t really want you to invite me to play Farmville or that cooking one, thanks. I am more than capable of finding plenty of other ways to waste my time.
I like Twitter, for its brevity if nothing else. If it really does go up to 10k characters a tweet, I may just abandon ship there too.
But between this blog, which I created to keep track of my writing and (hopefully) publishing news, and my other one, which appears to be mainly food/crafts, I’ve noticed that there’s not a great deal of me there. Not much about my day to day life or kids or work or family stuff. They’re mentioned, but not every detail. Even on my public forums, it appears that I’m a fairly private kind of soul.
Filed under Life, Rambles
Anyone who actually knows me in real life will also know that my life is insanely busy. Like, off the scale most of the time. I run a small business with my partner, doing all his accounts as well as physically working in both shops. We have four children, ranging from 8 up to 15 years old. Two dogs. Seven chickens. A bloody big house. I’m also doing my MA. The goblins have various extra-curricular activities, including orchestra and Cubs and shooting. I have a whole bunch of hobbies which I get far too little time to indulge, however spring is approaching and gardening is one of my favourite ones, so I have an (almost useable) polytunnel as well as half dozen raised vegetable beds.
So, yeah, kind of busy.
It seems that life has decided to throw another curve ball into the mix though. After a gentle, if thorough, scolding by J’s grandma – who turned 100 last year – he suggested we think about getting married. I agreed, Grandma thought it was a wonderful idea and then someone left the handbrake off on this batshit crazy idea at the top of a hill and suddenly J has booked the church for August 15th.
That’s this year. 2015. Like, six and half months away.
Excuse me whilst I step into the next room and hyperventilate for a while.
First and foremost, however, if any of you dear readers follow me on Facebook, do not, for the love of everything that is holy, mention this on there. I only really use it to talk to my MA classmates and post photographs of the goblins for my father in Canada. My mother, however, is on there a dozen times a day, and I haven’t told her yet. Because I obviously have some kind of death wish. But I can’t tell her until I know my dad can make it over from Canada, because if he can’t, I’m cancelling it.
That and she would want to organise me to within an inch of my life, and as much as I love my mother, I don’t take well to being organised. (As several of you will attest.)
So yeah, wedding.
Yesterday was assignment day. We were required to hand in both our Drama piece and our Portfolio. There was the most enormous amount of grumbling about these, for a whole host of reasons.
Primarily, lack of communication meant that no one was really 100% sure about content, word count, layout or presentation for either of them. I won’t go into numbers or specifics, because it would probably bore the pants of anyone who isn’t part of the course, and those that are already know ALL about it, but needless to say, we weren’t particularly impressed with the way these assignments were presented.
Secondly – two big assignments due on one day? I know my portfolio ran to approx 100,000 words (half of which I put on a USB because omg, waste of paper in this digital age).
However, they’re done. It also seems some of us had huge fun with our plays, once they were wrangled into the correct size/shape, and as mine is short, I’m going to post it up in the pages section.
I make things. It’s what I do.
I’ve been chewing stuff over in my head a lot over the past few weeks – I’ve been super busy but work doesn’t occupy my brain fully, so there’s always a corner which continues to whirr away whilst the rest of me freewheels through accounts and taking orders and dealing with the day-to-day minutiae of running a business.
Part of the reason I’ve been so off kilter is because the only thing I’ve been making recently is a bloody mess. My house looks like a typhoon just went through it, and not the interesting jet-powered sort either. But I’ve not written or done any of the other things I do when I need to make.
Today, I had to wait around in the house for some chap to come and fix my washing machine which had chewed up and then regurgitated the solid concrete block that’s used as a counterbalance for the spin cycle. Gritty grey dust everywhere. I couldn’t focus enough to write, but I did cook. I made two batches of soup – curried parsnip and a general vegetable to use up some of the veg that the local gamekeeper drops off for us every other week – and mince pies and a pumpkin pie, and I roasted a half shoulder of lamb for dinner. My kitchen smells FABULOUS. It sounds so simple, but the last few weeks have been so batshit crazy that I’ve not really cooked anything properly since I made Christmas puddings the day after we came back from Holland.
It felt really good.
So now I’m sat here with a ball of yarn and I’m working on a blanket which I’ve been meaning to make forever. I’ve had the dozen bright balls of rainbow coloured softness in a bag for a while, and it’s incredibly soothing to have something to do with my hands whilst I read. I open something on my laptop/iPad/Kindle and I can sit and read and knit/crochet, occupying both hands and brain and I feel like I’m not wasting my time by sitting idle. Currently I’m reading through Windmills - I used the opening chapter in the symposium and it went a lot better than I thought. Maybe I should have stuck around for a little more peer feedback, but I just wanted to hide in the corner and cough some more. One day I might stop being such an introvert.
So yeah, I’m making stuff. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make sense if I work at it hard enough.
Tomorrow I have to read this piece in front of my peers – assuming I decide on which one I actually want to read (spoiler: NONE OF THEM). That little crack at the end of my last post about not being able to do it because of losing my voice is actually perilously close to being true, however.
Still, these are my options:
1. The first 1100 words of the were/vamp/human cracky thing I started writing which has since become 32k+ and isn’t quite so cracky after all. (Even if the werewolves end up fighting a dinosaur. No, seriously.) I’ve also added another 1500 words from the middle, which deals with the death of an old man. Cheerful pre-Christmas reading, obviously.
2. A section set in Vienna from a 55k romance-gone-wrong, in which a one night stand on a ferry to Holland ends up getting my protagonist kidnapped by a psychopath and dragged lengthwise across the entire continent to Croatia. The moral of this story, kids, is never take good looking strangers with French accents back to your cabin.
3. Ridiculous trope laden werewolf romance, written for Nano 2012. Ugh, such stupidity. Why am I even looking at it? I like the wolf though – he has a dry sense of humour one doesn’t expect from a werewolf.
4. Another piece of Kaihopara, where Anna arrives in New I’land with Jared and the captain of the airship, Hrafn. This whole new world is seen through Anna’s eyes.
5. Something I wrote for my eldest daughter, who was getting a little fed up with all the boring vampire stuff out there. I said, what about vampire pirates and she went YAY! So I did this. #sorrynotsorry
And now it’s nearly 1am and I’m still sat here wondering what the bloody hell I’m going to read tomorrow.
Gods, I hate Christmas sometimes.
Now I’ve got a bloody cough and cold. I NEVER GET SICK. Ugh.
So yeah, my blog posts are obviously reflecting my current intelligent state. Word count since last week = 0. In fact, I’m pretty sure the whole of December has so far been a write off (and the irony of that phrase isn’t lost on me either).
Listening to Sally Nicholls talk yesterday made me at once intensely jealous and somewhat relieved – she gets to spend all day writing if she wishes (in amongst school visits) and yet she only has a 500 word per day goal, and feels satisfied if she hits 1000 words a day. I would dearly love the chance to spend all day writing, or even a whole afternoon. I’m just going to have to carve out a corner for myself if I don’t want to lose the rest of my marbles completely.
I’m also going to admit to being a touch apprehensive about next week. I know it’s only my tutor group and it may only be twenty minutes but I have to stand up in front of everyone and talk. Not just talk, but read something I’ve written. I don’t think anyone could have devised a worse method of torture for me if they’d tried.
I write because I’m a grumpy, socially-awkward introvert and, for the vast majority of time, I don’t have to interact with other human beings when I’m scribbling/typing away. Don’t get me wrong – I love people. I love watching people. I love recording snippets of their conversations, of their lives, noting appearances and mannerisms and the delightful variety of idiosyncrasies that the human race exhibits. I’m just not particularly skilled at talking to them. Or presenting myself in such a manner that I come across as interesting and engaging, rather than just an adjective away from putting my foot in my mouth. Keeping a lid on the eccentric crazy which inhabits a corner of my brain is also difficult.
Oh, hey, what if this cold doesn’t go away and I lose my voice?
I’ve recently realised I have too many blogs and don’t actually use any of them.
Thanks to that bleeding heart bug, I’m having to reset all of my passwords. I have a book reading blog, a day to day blog, a fandom one, this writing one, and god knows what else is out there that I’ve forgotten about. So, in the interest of expediency and transparency (and also to save my poor beleaguered brain), I shall condense everything onto this blog.
Also, it’s linked to my website and if I’m paying for hosting, I may as well use the version I’m paying for, right?