In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Donkey Work

 I've finally got the job I've been aiming for. Over the past 3 months I've had paid work and also volunteered for a charity, Cancer Research UK, as I've been doing for more than two years. I've learned enough now that I could manage a shop, which is the eventual goal, but for now I've been offered a job supporting managers at various stores. I'll learn a lot, and soon enough should be in a position to move forward again.

 Just as importantly, it means I don't need any longer to hold 2 jobs - the paid work, at 30 hours a week or so, and the volunteer work 2 days a week as well. Frankly that's bloody exhausting and is best left to mules. And this, of course, means I'll have more time [and energy, sheesh] to write.

 Got to get our priorities right, eh?

 You know, this year a lot has happened. Working 2 jobs, preparing for my wedding next month, getting set to move house... things just keep piling up. There's hardly been time to breathe, let alone sleep. Certainly not much time to write. I've managed, more or less, but my output is way down on where it usually is, and I miss it.

 So... by the time I'm settled in the new job I'll also have moved (1st August) and got married (26th August)). That ought to clear enough time for me to get back to the books properly again. My wife-to-be Caz is excellent at giving me space to write, when a lot of partners would resent the time it takes away. I'll be able to do it, and I can't wait.

 Especially because my current project is going great guns. It's slow, as I said before, but when I do have time to write the words are just falling onto the page. I'll tell you about it another time. It's terribly exciting.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Knock on the Noggin

 At work on Tuesday I hit my head on a shelf, pretty hard. I was stunned but more or less OK, except that over the next 2 hours I started to feel dizzy and began to forget how to pronounce words. I asked a customer if she wanted the "wittery" weight (don't ask), then the "glirry" one, and finally a colleague stepped in and told the woman I meant "glittery". At this point I decided to go home and lie down for a bit.

 Funny thing, the brain. The next day I was still mangling words, or forgetting names I'd used not long before... but lordy, I wrote a lot. I managed more than a chapter, nearly 3000 words. I've reread it today, expecting errors and clunky phrases to be honest, but it's OK. Not bad at all.

 Ergo, I conclude that I write well and fluently after a good knock on the noggin. I do not want anyone to get ideas about that.

But the brain is weird. One mild concussion might do nothing but give you nausea and a dreadful headache . The next might clear away some cobwebs, break down subconscious barriers, and let you think thoughts that have been skulking about for a while but not really made themselves known. Of course it still gives you a blinding headache and all the rest, so it's not worth it (don't try this at home, kids!). I find it interesting though, because for a writer there's a constant churning of story ideas below the conscious level. I can't remember the number of times when I've shot upright in a cinema, or a pub, or watching TV, and said "Eureka!" as the solution to a knotty plot issue has suddenly sprung fully-formed into my mind.

 So I think I freed up some ideas, somehow. I'm no psychologist, and I don't understand the intricacies of the brain... but you know, nobody does. We're forced back to the same shrug of our shoulders; the brain is just weird.

 At least, I'm pretty sure mine is.