Posts Tagged ‘work’

Last week, I sent a big set of proofs back to the publisher and breathed a sigh of relief. The job was done and I had a whole week with no work booked in. I started thinking of all the things I would be able to do. And then, not two hours after the proofs had gone to the post office, the phone rang. Would I do a big web edit, starting next week?

I hate turning down work, especially big, well paid jobs. So, I’m working. I know, I know, I should be glad of the work, glad of the money in the run up to Christmas, all that. But I am still mourning my week ‘off’.

So, here’s what I’d rather be doing.

1. Sorting out the boxes of stuff in the store-room that are causing me guilt and heartsink, and which I suspect contain a few things I’ve been looking for.
2. Having some serious guilt-free knitting time.
3. Moving my office into the outbuilding so I have space to work properly.
4. Taking really long walks with the camera and the dog, rather than the quick ‘down the lane and back’ gallops.
5. Attacking the paperwork mountain in the kitchen.
6. Experimenting with some new wheat-free cake recipes.
7. Clearing the horror that is my flower bed.
8. Reading one of the proper ‘literary’ novels on the pile rather than the froth I read when I’ve been working all day.
9. Reading one of those novels in bed, in the afternoon, while the children are at nursery.
10. Making Christmas shopping lists. I love making lists, I love giving presents. Present lists are the very best.

Ah well. Another time.

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As it happens, those probably are two of my favourite things.

I’ve been flat out recently, not just with editing work, although there’s been a fair bit of that. I have also been writing. I may have been rather critical, in conversation with one of my editors, of the quality of the writing in some of the books I’ve been editing. And so the editor in question may have challenged me to put my money where my mouth is. Which is how, gentle reader, I come to be writing a teenybopper book about a young actor-fellow of whom I had never heard before a fortnight ago. Sadly, he is not a particularly interesting young man, but this cannot come across in the book. I am not given to exclamation marks and breathless fangirling, so I have demanded a pseudonym for this particular ‘literary’ endeavour. No, I’m not telling you the name of the subject. Nor my pen-name.

But my subconscious is clearly determined that should I be extinguished in a freak tractor incident, this dubious prose is not to be the only writing I’ve ever done. So for the first time in more than fifteen years, I am writing fiction. To be precise, a novel. I have done more than 8,000 words and they are still flooding out. Most peculiar – I never saw this one coming. So, with one thing and another I have been tied to my desk all day, and then into the night. I haven’t had much time for fun and games and have been feeling quite growly. So as an exercise, I wrote a list of my favourite things. Julie Andrews eat your heart out.

Stretching out in bed after a long day (clean sheets a bonus).
Home made cake.
The view down our valley from our kitchen door.
My little girl’s giggle.
My little boy’s chuckle.
Big squeezy hugs from someone who loves me.
A good cup of tea just when a cup of tea is needed.
Walking over crisp autumn leaves.
The smell of tomato plants.
Elegant use of the semi-colon.
Laundry that’s been dried on the line.
Proper, old fashioned, scented roses.
Curling up by the fire on a cold evening, with something nice to drink, a purring cat and a snoring dog.
Really good ice cream.
The first time I untwirl a new lipstick.
A long chat on the phone with a friend I haven’t seen for ages.
Eating food I’ve grown myself.
A good book.
Really, really fabulous shoes.
Champagne in bed.
Singing along to the radio.
Wrapping presents on Christmas Eve while listening to Carols from Kings on Radio 4.
Actually, Radio 4.
Being out on a clear night and looking at the stars.
Wearing pretty knickers.
Having a ridiculous and impractical crush, even if you’re a grown up, married mother of two.
Eating a curry so hot it makes my nose run.
Smelling a perfume that reminds me of someone, something, somewhere or some time.
Dancing. Especially on my own in the kitchen.

What are yours?

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