Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Through Christmas and beyond

I wonder if I'm the only parent in the UK who had to wake her children up at 06:30 to open their presents? I was far too excited to wait, and after the eldest had an abortive attempt at waking us at 04:00, they all decided to stay asleep. Weird.

The Christmas dinner was a wonder; my cake turned out fabulously; there was an obligatory Boxing Day argument with my eldest sister; the children have piles of loot they can't possible appreciate (not like when I was a girl, many millennia ago) and the worst disaster was that I decided to try to heat the plates by putting them on the short dish-washer cycle, but had misjudged how long the short dishwasher cycle was.   Worse things happen, and it didn't spoil anything, though it may be the first time I've stood around saying, 'Dinner'll be ready when the dishwasher's done. I'm sure it'll only be another minute or two', while hungry family stare at me as if they think I'm strange.

Before I can knuckle back down to any work I want to, there's a lot of clutter and toys to be found homes for, and a lot  of fun still to be had with my family.  I've been thinking of what I had hoped to achieve this year, and finding that I may not have hit all my targets, but that I've still had a more productive writing year than ever before.  I've certainly been much more focussed on being a Writer (capital and all), and although the coming year might throw a few obstacles in the way of that aim, I'm determined to keep at it.  It's that art of writing in shrunken, discrete time slots which I'm not very good at, but that I'm sure I can get better at with practice. It's so exciting to think of all that I have still to learn, and how much I might be able to close the gap between those elusive, perfect ideas and the bodged prose that ends up on the computer screen.  How lovely to know: My book isn't the finished article, and nor am I.  I have a hunch this journey might last a lifetime.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hands full and sluggish brained

It's all going so horribly wrong, and isn't going to get any better right now, as the children broke up from school today.  The pregnancy is beginning to weigh me down, in every sense of the expression, and every spare moment when I could be writing (even for half an hour) I find I've gone into a stupor or fallen asleep - usually on the sofa.  If only I could be writing while I was asleep...

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Writing Magazine arrived a few days ago in our house.  I left it in its cellophane wrapper, as I was so busy and was trying not to be distracted, but I settled down to enjoy it yesterday. 

There's an article about writing for women, with a list of agents actively seeking books for women.  The excitement bubbled, and my fingers itched.  I wanted my book complete, ready to send to one of those agents....or perhaps all of them.  An impulsive little voice whispered that the first few chapters have had a lot of work; maybe I should send them off....

But it's too soon.  I know I mustn't polish forever, but it would be a waste of my time and an agent's to send off a half-scrambled manuscript. It's spurred me on to get wriggling with the end of my draft though.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Multi-tasking mother with guilt on the side...

I think there are only about fifty or sixty pages more to rewrite...I had an hour this morning, and then hit a problem when it was time to pick the two year old up from playgroup, as my memory stick claimed it was full....I was eventually able to save my work, after a scary half hour with the computer frozen. I keep hearing about ways of saving online, which seems appealing, but I will have to find out a bit more. 

When I'd recovered from the shock of nearly losing an hour's work, I pottered, and fetched the children from school through sleet and snow, then told myself I'd do another half hour.  By the time I actually stopped, the dinner was overdone, and the children were eating an hour later than usual - oops.  Writing is the thief of my time...it makes me a neglectful mother.  I'm glad I've had that time, especially since it's been tricky to get it in the last couple of weeks, but it's crucial as a mother to be professional and organised about when I can write, and when I need to focus on the home or paid work. Meanwhile, I'm always going to feel guilty about the things I'm not getting done, and that might be all my writing for this week, as I have two extra afternoons to do in work (nativity plays) as well as an evening performance, and the four year old's fifth birthday party to prepare for...bring on the baking!