Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dribs and drabs

My poor blog. I neglect it shamefully. It’s been so long since I last wrote that there are practically weeds growing between the words. I promise myself I’ll write more often, I really will, every week. And then life happens instead and I forget to write it down because I’m too busy doing it.

So, a quick summing up of the last four months. (FOUR months, how on earth has this year flown past so quickly? The last time I looked it was February.)

I got into university – I mentioned that last time. It’s an interesting experience. As I’m studying (very) long distance, it mostly just feels like me sitting on the sofa reading a text book all by myself. I’m having fun with it though.I’d forgotten what a hoot literary theory and criticism can be. (And that statement explains in a nutshell why I had no social life at school.)

I’ve just finished my first assignment. It was on The Tempest, one of my least favourite plays in all the world. Miranda is just so bland. It’s not her fault, it’s Prospero’s, but still. I wrote a (fairly appalling) essay on narrative, language and power in which I got to use the phrase “Ferdinand wants to colonise Miranda”. Which I was quite proud of. I just hope I pass.

The next one’s on the literary canon and they gave us Tolkien as one of our options. I’m looking at race, social class and gender in The Lord of the Rings and am currently wading through the seemingly unending mire of criticism on Tolkien in general. The most bizarre thing I’ve found so far was a snippet on a blog suggesting The Hobbit as an anarchist anti-state manifesto. Fun!

In addition to waffling on about other people’s writing, I managed to finish off my own. Yes, I actually finished my novel! So far I’ve done diddly squat with it but an old school friend turned freelance editor is taking a look and I’ll start sending it out at some point in the next few months in the vague hope of finding an agent. I’m going to get the kids to start beating me with thorny sticks, in the hopes that it may help me develop the thick skin I’ll need to deal with the sea of rejection letters that will no doubt follow. It’s either that or figure out how to grow some kind of chitinous exoskeleton.

Anyway, I finished it. I am a finisher. Hurrah for me and so forth. It’s called Isabel and the Witch’s Cat and as self-deprecating as I tend to be, I am secretly rather proud of it. It’s an ugly lumpy baby but it’s mine.

In other personally momentous news, we’re selling our house. Any time not consumed by university or writing or parenting has been gobbled up by the need to keep the house in a state of near obsessive cleanliness. (I say that, looking around at the bomb site my progeny have managed to create in a few short hours this morning.) Where we go next is a bit of a leap of faith but Australia is most likely. Which is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

The other enormous thing that has happened is that my grandfather passed away last month. Just over a month ago in fact. I don’t really want to talk about it or him here because he was a deeply private man and it seems somehow disrespectful. But I will say that grieving from afar is a very strange business. I keep forgetting he’s gone, maybe because I wasn’t able to attend the funeral. And then I look up and see his memorial card on the mantelpiece and and think, “oh. Right.”

There’s not really a great deal more to say. Most of the rest of the last four months is made up of the general flotsam and jetsam of life. Running around after the kids, the funny little things they say or do, most of which gets lost because I forget, as I said earlier, to write things down. Every so often I kick myself because I find I’ve forgotten some little thing that it would have been nice to have a record of and which they will never remember. I keep meaning to write more down. But then the next thing happens and the next and I look up and it’s four months later and here we are. Four months of running around and doing things boiled down to a few bare bullet points.





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