wrOof, it’s been a sticky week. I am tired and I want a drink. I think I may buy a bottle of something on my way home. Ooh, Dent, drinking alone; you sad little (little, figuratively speaking at least) woman…
Work is getting busier, and we are now one person down in the office for the foreseeable future, which means that everything is getting done a bit on the hasty side, a bit on the hassled side, without due care and frequently without being thought-through, monitored, or logged properly. Nothing has happened yet that could be called a major cock-up, but once or twice Roxana and I have caught something literally as it was toppling into deep cock-up territory. It’s depressing; like a local councillor waiting for a fatal crash to take place before he can get a speed limit imposed, we have to wait for a customer-service disaster of some sort before we can go back to our management and say “This is what happens when two people try to do three people’s workload…”
The laptop had hiccoughs again last night. I had to leave it purring quietly to itself all evening to run its battery down, and hope it will be okay again tonight, running off mains power. I’m really enjoying writing at the moment and was madly frustrated at having to spend the evening sewing instead. Although that is also constructive and creative, I wanted to be writing. On the sewing front, I’m altering a dress that is embarrassingly tight across the bos (wearing it currently I am bustin’out all over like June). On the writing front, I’m progressing with ‘Fortitude’, onto chapter two with ‘Café Tano’, and continuing to type and up and revise ‘Ramundi’s Sisters’. Running three writing projects concurrently seems to be working; though of course I may step back at some point and say “Oh my gods, they’re all crap!” On the gardening front, I’ve planted masses of cuttings and seeds, and my first two little tomato plants have come up, as well as a lot of California poppies, sunflowers and other tough easy annuals.
Revising ‘Ramundi’s Sisters’ is probably the oddest job of the three writing projects I'm on at present. After all, revising is an odd business to begin with. I try to write as near as possible to what I want in the first place, but some tweaking is unavoidable. I’ve found I've done it in three stages, in the past. First revision is light, partly just fact-checking, and comes when I type up from longhand manuscript onto the machine. Second one is done as I re-read the typing to check for the multitude of errors that will now have been introduced because I am such a hopeless typist. Then revision three is the one where one has to think “This bit is purple prose, it’s no good pretending it isn’t; aargh…” – and this is the really tough one. As ‘Ramundi’s Sisters’ was written well over fifteen years ago it is almost like revisiting my past self, and a lot of this third kind of revision is occurring right at the start, in the basic typing-up phase. It makes me very aware of how much one really does learn about writing just by endless practice. I’ve written a lot of words since 1993, and many of 1993’s words look purpler now than they did then by several shades.
I had lots of thoughts and ideas I wanted to write about on here but I just don’t seem to have the time to formulate my thoughts calmly in the rushed twenty minutes after work that I cold-bloodedly allow myself to do my own stuff on a work computer. Maybe next week…
Although work is hairy at present, the Gardens are beautiful. It’s a real pleasure to have an excuse to step outside, even just for five minutes to go over to the post room. The weather has been mild and sunny all week; the air is full of birdsong and the clean linen scent of apple blossom and the heady, lemon-wine scent of lilacs. Bluebells are coming out everywhere and the big Cornus florida x nutalli hybrids are covered in great white flowers like saucers. I may be tired and hassled, but I am still very lucky – because I could be equally as tired and hassled, but stuck in a giant concrete and steel and glass office block in the middle of the square mile, with an hour’s commute home jammed on the Tube instead of a peaceful twenty-minute cycle ride in the fresh air.
I'm going home. Have a good weekend, world. Do something creative, and have a good weekend.