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Do you think you can do it?

So, another meeting today, with lots to cover and a question to be asked by my good self. And in the weird way that can happen, it escalated in a positive way, so by the end of the conversation I may be giving a talk about it.

It honestly feels like I’m not ‘leaning in’, a phrase that managed to be annoying and empty at the same time. It feels more accurate to say that I’m ‘falling forward’; as if I’m falling into something with no accurate awareness of what I’m doing.

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And in those moments I find myself waiting for reality to insist that it’s wrong, that I’m wrong, and for the comet labelled Reality to hit me in the face…

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Take that, self-belief!

Lord, please grant me the confidence of a mediocre white man.

Night night…

Sweets to the sweet

So what I would like to do tonight is actually not present a verbal/text based blog at all, but instead create a mood or a gesture, some whimsical brief thing that enchants and delights but causes no burden of nostalgia or regret. That’s because I’m tired and out of ideas and so words are hard.

But it’s a blog. Words, see? (poke poke) That’s the point of a blog.

So instead I will ask you to imagine the most perfect apple crumble dessert ever, currently sitting in your oven. Imagine it as the paradigm of desserts. No dessert has ever come close to this, in its pastry, its sweet fruit, its sugared topping. It’s no more than five minutes away from being out of the oven, and it will be put down on a table with all the cream and custard and ice cream you’ll want, and you’ll eat it with those people who you really want to eat it with, whether that is even possible or not.

But for now, it’s still in the oven, and you are standing in the kitchen, where there’s just you and the heat of the oven, and the smell, and the anticipation of the innocent, but real, joy to come.  And that is the moment I give you tonight, and with which I bid you adieu.

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Night night.

A Well Worn Post

See, it’s not just the first day that’s the killer, it’s the tenth day, or the seventy-four day, or the eighty-ninth day. And now we head into the heady heights of the first day of the first semester, ooh, I’m just all alive with excitement.

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It’s hard to keep the plotting going, really what I need to do is to come up with ten really good scenes, and just continue on from there. Mostly what I really want to do is to eat cake and sleep, neither of which I will allow myself right now.

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Right, good night all.

 

 

A ten minute post…

So, last week was extremely busy; each moment of the day was mapped out, and I honestly counted myself lucky to even get lunch when I could. I fell asleep over dinner almost every night and was just hitting the targets each day, nothing more.

However, big guy had other ideas. On Thursday he had a bad cold, with a shocking dickensian cough, so as soon as I could I took him home and let him sleep for the rest of the afternoon. Friday he seemed fine, so after a dose of calpol back in he went. But it’s always a big question. I was due to attend an important event on Friday, and I cancelled so I could pick him up as early as I could. And it didn’t work; he was still ill and we’ve had a weekend making him as well as we can.

The guilt, though.  Should I have brought him Friday, and just got on with it? Attended the event like I’d promised people, and done my best? Or should I have stayed home with him, made sure he was as well as possible rather than bringing him at all when he seemed okay?

And tomorrow, should I stay home with him? Should it be the other half’s job? He doesn’t have a front facing role, he can work from home and it’s fine; but no-one gets to work well when they’re parenting well,  and that’s just the reality of it.

So nothing has been done well; parenting, or work. Perfection is the enemy of the good, but if the good could be just a tad more explicit, that would help out nicely.

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Artist’s impression: your emotional compass may differ. 

Can you see it spinning?

This week is going to be so insanely busy I am honestly wondering how I’m going to get through it. It’s 93% humidity in this kitchen, and I haven’t stopped falling asleep all day. However, all the lunches are made and all emails are answered, and several query emails have gone out to move things along.

So, in short, we have indeed a shot at getting it done, and getting it done well. It will be like Inception in real time, but no doubt it will work out well.

Wish me luck!

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“Weeeeeeeeeeeee!”

This is when time lies.

It is 10.38 pm as I write, and this is when I get my second wind. I want to stay up and entertain myself, to take part in fooleries or foolishness, and ignore my exhaustion. I am exhausted, the kind of exhaustion that can only be removed by sleep, and so I have to go to bed; ideally, I should be there right now.

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Wednesday saw me take on some exercise, and now I hurt all over. I enjoyed it a great deal, but wow must I be out of shape. 25 minutes, and I’m in agony? I really don’t know what fitness is…

I was so tired this morning I couldn’t even write at 5am, I went back to bed.

Okay, now I’m exhausted. Night night all.

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A six minute story.

A six minute blog.

So there once was an old woman who didn’t live in a shoe, what kind of affordable housing is that no she had a normal house and garden that could do with more work but hell she was busy don’t judge her and she managed to come up with a salary of sorts to keep the wolf from the door and she found she was hungry for more from her life more than could be sated with occasional trips to the library and the far side of the shopping centre so one day she decided to follow a man off the bus, no real reason, she just liked the look of the back of his head and he got off at a park and walked across it and she followed him across the park with a bored fascination wondering where her wondering about him would lead her and she followed him out the other side of the park, into the light and the streets again and she saw that he was alone still and she saw her face watching his face while he waited for the Luas and she found that instead of following him, he lead her to her own face, a face too bored and that had seen nothing even when it had see everything and she let him get on the Luas without her and she went to get a coffee some skinny cappuccino nothing too heavy while she tried to think about her life, because she needed to change things, needed things to change, but lets not get too crazy here, a hundred calories a pop otherwise, have to think of the small things, what was she saying? Something about change?

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Wanna cookie?

So I make peanut butter cookies to ‘enjoy’.

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The enjoyment element is pretty much non-corporal, in that I have to imagine enjoying them. They’re dry and crumbly and …. yeah. Anyway, I have a little square of baking paper underneath, and I think I should put a positive message on each one as we go through the week. Here’s what I have so far.

“Yup, it’s a cookie.”

“Rush of blood to the head? Not because of these bad boys.”

“You alive with pleasure now? …How about now?”

 “I’m as surprised as you are we got to this point.”

“The plastic would have tasted better.”

“Nothing skinny looks as bad as this tastes.”

 

I can do this. I can DO this. Keep on keeping on.

Back to Square One

So, Friday was a difficult day, and such days do happen. Still, I was left grateful I was me by the end of it. I was waiting in the petrol station, waiting for the woman in front of me to finish putting fuel into her car. When I noticed her face turning to a look of horror, as she stared at the petrol pump in her hand. I gave her a look of ‘are you alright?’, only to have her mouth the words ‘Wrong petrol’ to me: petrol in a diesel car. Oh god the poor thing. I have a diesel car too, and I have a huge fear of doing the exact same thing. And if you do put petrol in a diesel car, and turn on the engine, you will never be able to use the car again. The only thing you can do is call the tow truck, have your fuel tank completely siphoned off, and hope for the best. I gave her some chocolates to keep her company while she waited, and headed on home. There, it was the other half’s birthday, and the wonderful Fiona of Tasty Treats (see here) had done some fantastic biscuits. And we went on to dinner in Dundrum and I ate very well. But I did break my diet.

Saturday saw me still exhausted, and very much eager for my own company. I do think writing or any personal creative endeavour can do that to a person’s mind, they need time by themselves to reflect and recuperate. I went to bed early, avoided all mention of social media, and slept.

Sunday saw me rereading a marvellous anthology I have, The Assassin’s Cloak. It is an anthology of diaries, presented chronologically, so one can look up, say, the 5th of May, and see all manner of entries for that date. It means you can see the concerns of Pepys in London during the reign of Charles the II, or the illness of Souter in 1903, the passage of the war in the 1940s across the world, the rebelliousness of the 1970s, and the newspaper concerns of Derek Jarman in the 1980s. Literature solves almost everything, I find.  To connect with other minds from the comfort of your own home, on a rainy Sunday, seems to be really such a pleasure.

And what I learned rereading that book, was that no one has any certainty about life. Everyone, from generals to princes to teenage girls hiding from Nazis, is unclear about the future, unsure about their own skills, and only able to see the way in hindsight. There is no clear cut way, no shortcut, no certainty to life. That is very much the human condition. And that has never changed.

Right. I have to away to bed. School starts again tomorrow. Wish us all luck.

A Breakthrough

So, being as busy as I am, it is always difficult to find the time to do the things that are solely for me. That means that if they are to be done, sacrifices have to be made.

So I write at 5am.

I get up in the dark Monday to Friday and sit at the computer, and write. After about two years of editing I have finished a novel, and am at the moment starting to turn my attention to a second novel. I say starting, because since I finished the current editing process for the first one, I’ve found it quite difficult to get going on the second one. I had a reduced time, for one thing, as I had to be out of the house earlier during the summer.  So lots of early starts, but not much to show for it.

But today, something clicked. Maybe the light is changing towards Autumn and I’m entering a ‘Return To School’ mindset. But today I sat down at the desk and plotted the first half out, no gaps or delays. The alarm to start the rest of the day went off at 6.30 am (what, me humble brag?), and I was honestly surprised, the time had gone so fast.

Of course, I’m exhausted. An analogy is as if you flap your arms fast enough, you’ll fly. But you’ll be tired for the rest of the day. And you’ll miss that sensation until you get back to it.

Right. Time for bed. Night night.

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Weeeeeeee!