In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Friday, 20 November 2015

One of Those Faces

 Caz is here in Yeovil now. We moved yesterday, which meant hiring a van and driving to Barnstaple, loading it, driving back here and then unloading. And I already have tendonitis in one shoulder. I didn't whimper much (honest).

 Anyway, the good news is that Caz likes the flat. We've made a start on sorting out the boxes, but can't do a whole lot because we're too short on furniture until Sunday, when a whole load is due to be delivered. The next week or so will be busy, even out of work. But at least the endless travelling to Barnstaple and back is over. Caz and I are together at our home, and things will be easier now.

 We're less than three months from the birth of our daughter. Izzy kicks so hard now that we can see it, and she's started to react to certain things. She loves it when her Mummy's in the bath, she loves Billy Joel, and she goes stone bonkers when she hears her Daddy's voice. This sorta distracts me from writing... well, it distracts me from everything, to be honest. Every time she wriggles and kicks in excitement I have to go over and croon to her, I can't help myself. I take ages to write a paragraph, and when I read it back I keep expecting to find that every ninth word is baby.

 Perhaps I should switch to writing soppy romances. Only not really.

 I'm trying to focus through all of this, I really am. But other stuff keeps butting in too. I've found a new pool team to play for here in Yeovil, and have already been asked to be Vice-Captain, which means I help run the team, liaise with the pub and league, and so on. It's not much work, in fairness, but I've only been in this town for 5 minutes, never played a competitive match, and am already helping run a team. I must have one of those faces. They do say, if you want something done, give it to someone who's already busy.

 The pool season starts in February, which also includes the Captain's Cup, which as VC I will be in. And it's when Izzy is due to take her bow. Then I'm going to be busy.

 So I'd best get the submissions to Angry Robot done as soon as possible. Come the end of winter I'm not going to have time for anything. Life takes us to some unexpected places. Me, a father, and a fairly well-liked man too, it seems. Who'd have thought it?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

No Sense At All

 I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year, which feels a bit strange. I've only done it for the past two Novembers, but already it's become a habit, and it's weird to see people chatting about it on Fb and in the forums and not be part of that. I'd like to do it again. NaNo instils good writing habits, such as just getting on with the story and not bothering about rewrites or passages which clunk a bit. You can fix those things on the edit. Just make time to write and then do so, cheerfully leaving everything else to one side.

 But I moved house last Thursday and my new flat is a mess. My wife will be joining me here in two weeks so there's a lot to do and not a huge amount of time. So, not doing NaNo. Ho hum.

 Our new home is in Yeovil, where my job is. I've been with Barnardo's for two months now and am still learning new things all the time, tricks and knacks for getting the work done faster or better. In a charity shop you always have to run very fast just to stay still, like Alice in Through the Looking Glass. We don't have volunteers yet either - the shop is still new - so all of that falls on myself and my one staff member, Teresa. It's hard work, and in this new town I hardly know anyone, which puts a dampener on evenings out.

 Tough world...

 So guess what? I stay in and write. And a good thing too, because Angry Robot publishers have an open submissions period in December and January, during which any writer can submit any novel in the genres of "SF, F, and WTF?" as  Angry Robot puts it. I'm planning to put in The Bonesmile, also Black Lord of Eagles, and perhaps The Death of Ghosts as well. The first is ready to go, the second needs work, and the third... I'm not sure. Need to ponder it awhile.

 But not too long, because 2015 has been good to me. I have a wife and a child on the way, two things about which I had lost hope. In fact everything I've done this year seems to have worked. So this old cynic finds himself, rather to his surprise, feeling a tad superstitious. I'd like to get my submissions in during December, while it's still 2015, because next year might not be so kind. Utter tosh of course, complete nonsense with not a shred of reason or sense behind it... but I'm still going to do it that way.

 Suppose I'm a bit of a hypocrite, really.