In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Teeny Twinge

 Caz and I have found a flat in Northam, near Bideford. It's modernised but the building is old, with thick walls and a well, of all things, in the garden. Covered, of course, with decking on top too. And a built-in barbecue unit in the garden wall. I'm really hoping for a good summer, spent eating charred chicken and sausages.

 The beach at Westward Ho! is about a mile away. So is the beach at Northam Burrows, and Appledore harbour is close as well. Sometime this summer we'll be sitting in the little waves with Izzy, helping her stand as the water laps round her feet. Isn't that sweet?

 Both Caz and I have what we might charitably call fractured families. The situations are similar but different, and hopelessly complicated besides. They've led us to the same point, a determination that whatever else may happen, our daughter will always know she was loved and that we will fight for her. We'll make mistakes - what parent doesn't? But they will not be the same mistakes that we suffered, which in honesty were whoppers. If our relationship goes wrong we'll work at it, and we'll make sure Izzy is protected from any hurt. That was vital to us in any relationship, even before we met. For Caz and I, getting married was only partly an act of love, it was also an act of trust.

 Heh, I'm a new father, and suddenly I run at the mouth about emotional things. Funny that.

 Perhaps this new emotional openness is why I'm getting jumpy about Angry Robot. The open submission period ended two months ago, and AR has been contacting contributors with rejections ever since. But they haven't contacted me. I submitted three pieces, one of them within days of the window opening, so it should have been reviewed early, in theory. And there's been no word. No rejection email.

 I can't help feeling a teeny twinge of hope about that. I know the lack of contact proves nothing, it gives no guarantees. But still... a teeny twinge. I have been so lucky these past two years that mere high odds seem a piffling thing. Perhaps the run of good fortune will extend to one more lucky break.


Friday, 11 March 2016

All Change

 All change for the Blakes. Again.

 Caz has to return to Barnstaple to work after her Maternity Leave is over. That's not til August, but if we renew our tenancy it must be for 6 months, which takes us to the end of October, so we're not going to. We're leaving in April instead - yes, another house move... sigh. I already have a new job as Assistant Manager in the Sue Ryder shop, for 2 or 3 days a week, which means I can look after Izzy while Caz is at work.

 It also means I handed my notice in to Barnardo's yesterday. It's a shame, because I've made a good job of that shop. I've taken it from scratch, a new outlet, to the point where it ranks 4th or 5th in the South West area, is deluged in donations and is turning over a fair amount of money too. And I did that in 6 months. Other new shops have had to close on some days, or have needed help from elsewhere. Mine hasn't. I'm proud of that.

 In theory this means I'll have more time to write. In practice there's a bloody great flaw with that. The flaw is 54 centimetres long, cries a lot and is called Isabella Lucia, or in the common tongue, 'Grizzabella Grumblebot'. I expect to spend a lot of time cuddling her, soothing her cares, or else taking her out in the stroller. To the beach, or the park, when summer comes. By July she'll be ready for ice cream...

 For no reason at all, here's a photo

 So anyway, writing. One thing I look forward to is resuming my activity with the Barnstaple writers' group on the first Saturday of each month. I enjoy those meetings, there are a lot of good authors and good people there, and it's nice to mix and talk. With any luck I'll be able to join them in May. And who knows, by then I might have some writing to share. It's a case of fifty words here and ninety there at the moment, just crawling along and not much more. I've always been mopre focused than that. But the best man at my wedding spoke of how my priorities had changed since meeting Caz, and since the Grumblebot arrived, well...

 And I'm not complaining at all.