Oh it must be Spring. I’m busy!
I like to be busy, but not as much as the average … person? Person in the UK? Person of my generation? ‘Busy’ doesn’t take long to develop into ‘stressed,’ and ‘stressed’ has developed into psychosis – only twice, and a long time ago now, but… I don’t have the option to push myself like other people.
What has been particularly wonderful about this year, as opposed to other Springs, when I was busy with the kids, or busy with work, or busy writing things no one was interested in, is that this year I’m busy with paid, creative work. Sometimes. Other paid work has to fit around the writing, not the other way round.
Meanwhile, the children have to fit around creativity AND paid work, and are no doubt feeling very hard done by!
I spent some years of my adulthood listening to Radio 4.
This did not last long.
We bounced around for a while, but I’ve settled on Boogie in the Morning, on Forth One. This is why:
- Arlene is not marketed as a travel news bimbo. She’s given an equal amount of airtime,
- Boogie is polite to her and doesn’t treat her as ‘less than’ because she is a woman,
- the quiz happens before we have to leave for school,
- I used to listen in the basement of the City Chambers in Edinburgh. Now I listen in my kitchen in the East Lothian Countryside,
- they actually go on a booze cruise with their biggest fans every year,
- there is a cute kid telling a joke every day,
- the banter is pure quality, and
- if it’s a snow day, they let us know!
The fairies have moved in. In fact you could almost say they’ve taken over.
There haven’t been any sightings, as far as I know, but the evidence is clear. If you pay attention at ankle level, you’ll quickly find that they’ve installed doors all over town. Nobody noticed the building work – I suppose that, except for cats, small dogs and very small humans, we were all too focused above the shoulders to notice.
The papers, and even the telly I think, say that one family is responsible, and that they’ve been working in plain sight. But I don’t believe it. Two small children and two busy parents just wouldn’t have the manpower. No, there must be hordes of them, working overnight. Gateposts, tree stumps, postboxes, park benches and walls, all claimed as tiny living quarters.
I wonder why they’ve come?
My favourite bit of parenting is when the kids are getting along. I am delighted to report that, at the time of writing, and for the last week or so, they have been best pals!
Of course this means no one ever goes to sleep…
‘Carry on time’ is the perfect compromise between ‘your parents need some child-free time in the evenings’ and ‘but we’re not tiiiiiiiired.’ Sometimes it ends in tears (or punches), but it’s only when they’re really quiet I have to go and see what they’re up to.
It is a pleasure, getting to know these little people, watching them getting to know each other. It is even more pleasurable doing this from the sofa, watching Netflix with the cat. It’s not just the convenience, though, honest! Without my input, their relationship has the chance to grow.
There is no news about my second novel.
Here is the news about my second novel.
I was very fortunate to meet a lovely agent who read the whole thing, and she really liked it. This was beyond exciting! She had loads of great feedback too, including ‘what’ it is (a comedy) and what the main themes are (parenting insecurity, female rivalry, the pressure felt by, and put on, children).
I re-wrote the draft with all her comments and observations. This is draft 15, but it’s very similar to drafts 7 and 8, (except draft 7 was in the present tense, of course).
Then I did that thing I always do when I’m nearing the end of a redraft. I slow right down because I’m afraid to finish. But I did finish. It’s 10k words longer and it’s back on submission. Wish me luck!