Friday, 14 February 2014


Serves me right for being smug. I might have been able to write through grief, but it turns out it's much harder while providing hospitality for family who've come to stay for a week, and when there are funerals to finalise arrangements for, and to attend. It's not been the most productive week.

There was one night I stayed up, trying to hit my first mini-target of getting my storyline plotted out. It was one am when I made it to bed, with work the next day. At three am the baby woke with a temperature and refused to go back to sleep, screaming her way merrily towards six am, when the alarms went off and the other children got up, grumbling about the baby.

(My eight year old wants to know if the baby could live next door, instead.)

Some days it's hard to scrape together the energy, motivation and brains to write - especially simultaneously. I'm not sure anything could have made this week any more productive. But tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Writing against the odds

Last year's personal disasters seemed to bleed my creativity. It was a slog to finish projects when I felt weighed down with sadness. Setting deadlines, keeping promises to myself, staying determined - these were the things that kept me 'on task', as we'd say at school.

I was hoping that 2014 would be a better year, but so far it's not living up to much. There have been minor hassles keeping me from my laptop. I decorated a wall in a hideous shade that makes me flinch every time I pass it, so that's top of my fix-it list for tomorrow. My car has had a run of playing up, and an expensive stay at the garage hasn't cured it. Tonight, the handbrake cable snapped, too. The mechanics are going to be wondering if I've got a crush on one of them, I'm there so often. I'm struggling to transfer our tv, broadband and phone package into my name, and phoning up about it eats into my time and -more importantly, perhaps - into my calm, so that I'm not fit to write afterwards. Unless you count sharp complaint letters to anonymous recipients.  I've had plumbing debacles that you really don't want to hear about - raw sewage isn't really the best topic to dwell on. Last week my 92 year old grandma passed away. I was privileged to be holding her hand and treated myself to the luxury of a day of pure escapism afterwards, lost in chick-lit, which helped. Five days later, my husband's 91 year old Nan died. She might not be biologically mine, but she's been in my life for 16 years and I'm sad, too.

It's all a bit much. No time for writing at all...except there has been. I made myself stick post-its of scenes all over the dining table one afternoon, and knocked them into a reasonable plot. There were a few holes, which I have then been cogitating on. It's proved to be a good distraction when my mind has been going overtime on less pleasant things. It's occupied my brain in the shower, and on the walk to school and back. There are still a few unanswered questions, but I'm getting there, and I've got a slow burn of excitement going on.

Making time has made me feel better in the midst of a bad week. Like therapy, but more fun!