I’m almost finished reading over my printed WiP – let joy be unconfined! I have about another 100 pages to go. I’m amazed I’d forgotten how checking for errors can suck all the joy out of reading – but I’ve definitely been reminded of that over the last while. I would’ve been finished it ages ago except for a pesky sink-hole which developed in my energy levels over the past few days, but hopefully I’ll get through it today. My brain feels like it’s just slowly shutting down, as though it’s being strangled. It feels weird. I’ve sort of lost track, at this stage, what ‘draft’ I’m on – I suppose it’s the fourth. Is it? Who knows.
As difficult as this process is, I have to admit that it’s been worthwhile. I’ve already spotted at least two huge errors, and realised that there are several things I thought worked well, until I sat down and read them through. I’ve saved myself a lot of embarrassment, if nothing else. It’s interesting, though, that something I love to do so much (i.e. write) can also cause me so much grief. I guess that’s what the old-timers like to refer to as ‘hard work’, maybe – in that case, I’m glad that I’m in the habit of getting up early and getting to the writing with the same discipline I’d bring to a job, or else I’d never get finished. I’m also really grateful for the deadline. It can’t come quick enough, in my opinion. That’s a strange way to think about a deadline, perhaps, but so it goes.
Since it’s now December, am I allowed to use the ‘Christmas’ word without causing anyone to have an attack of the vapours? It’s not really too early to drop the C-word into conversation once the twelfth month begins, surely. I’d be grateful if anyone had any ‘how to organise your life in the run-up to Christmas’ tips, though – I haven’t bought so much as a sheet of wrapping paper yet, let alone a present for anyone. Has anyone else noticed that as your loved ones get older, it’s harder to buy presents for them? Babies are happy with anything so long as it’s shiny, noisy or droppable/bouncy (as well as safe, of course), and older kids are generally happy with goo, or stuff that glows in the dark, or whatever’s fashionable this week. After a certain age, money in a card does the job. But when it comes to parents, siblings, families-in-law… what to do?
I’m also doing my first Christmas as Mistress of my Own Home this year (yes, it does deserve all those Capital Letters) – it sounded like such a good idea back in August, but now, as it starts to loom, I’m beginning to question my own wisdom. Cleaning, cooking, organising, decorating… Gah. The way I feel right now, I’d rather climb Everest in high heels, backwards. Thankfully, my husband is a sensible, organised and helpful fella, so I’m onto a winner with him. I want to have all my drafting and re-writing done before the big day, so that I can actually have a holiday at Christmas, and feel not at all guilty for taking a few days’ rest. If one can rest when one is writing a book, that is – one’s brain tends to kick one awake at all hours of the night, and one hasn’t the pleasure of watching television without one’s subconscious chattering away about ‘the book’ in the back of one’s mind, driving one insane. With any luck, I can still my inner voice this Christmas with alcohol. That’s my plan, at least.
I hope you all had wonderful weekends, and that your endeavours this week will be smooth and trouble-free. But seriously, though, if anyone has any house-wifely tips for the festive season, or any drafting hints, please feel free to let me know. I’m sort of making things up as I go along, here. That can’t be a good life-policy, can it?