Like this blog post, I've not been entirely focused on writing lately. The week off that I promised myself has happened, although my happy little image of myself laughing with the children, decorating the front room and generally cavorting through meadows full of flowers wasn't a hundred percent accurate. To be fair, hindsight is usually much more precise than prediction, though, isn't it?
I have sanded some skirting boards. I have taken the children on a particularly horrific bike ride to the park. (Horrific not because of any accident, but because of the world-class whinging that accompanied it - the children's whinging, that is, not mine). I have braved IKEA on a bank holiday Monday. I have nibbled at an Easter egg, and wolfed a Creme Egg or two (and refused to look in the mirror).
There is a joy in taking a deliberate week off writing. I have been reading, and flicking through writing magazines, and my fingers are itching to be back on the keyboard. My mind will, I am sure, be more fertile for the break, and I feel like a better mother than I would have if I had tried to squeeze writing time into the hectic fortnight off.
We still have my birthday to celebrate (we're going to Bolsover Castle, the setting for the short story which is due next month, so I will be making the most of that!) and a sponsored walk, swimming lessons and visiting friends, relatives and babies, so I can't see myself getting much more writing done next week, beyond planning and watching the world.
But tonight I have done something impressive: finally, I have published my Grandad's autobiography. He wrote it for me, and it took me ages to type it up. Since then I have added footnotes, scanned photos to include, and scoured the internet for extra information to go in the footnotes. It was meant to be a Christmas gift for my sisters and parents three years ago, then two years ago, then last year....and tonight I went onto Lulu.com and published it. Copies will soon be diving through my letter box. (Will I be able to hang onto them till next Christmas, or will I give them away now?) I'm so excited about crossing this off my to-do list. I'm so glad that I've finally done what I wanted for Grandad. It's not perfectly formatted, and the cover option were quite limited, I found - though adequate for this project - but it was surprisingly simple to do. I'm technologically challenged at the best of times, and I didn't get frustrated or fed up once (although I got a little confused by the adding of ftp to the mix, which in the end I didn't use). (I don't know what ftp is. Something to help files upload quicker, apparently. Fairly Tricky Programme, maybe?)
If self-publishing is your thing, Lulu is definitely worth looking at, though if you want the finished product to look the part, I'm sure it's worth getting some professional formatting and designing help, too. Well, that's one thing achieved this week, anyway! Now for those IKEA cupboards...