This is not the post you were supposed to be getting this weekend. I had the whole thing planned – but I left important pictures on the wrong computer (YES I have dropbox. YES I have an external hard drive. NO I didn’t have the wherewithal to move the pictures before the weekend. It’s been a long week, all right, and excitement about meeting up with a couple of favourite people on Friday evening trumped the organising of computer files).
I’m looking forward to writing it for my own amusement, if not yours. My sense of humour can be, er, not that humorous. I horrified some poor woman in the park this week when she admired my dog and started asking about sleds and mushing and stuff, and I made a flippant comment about how, no, actually, we don’t do that stuff; we’re just feeding her up until she’s big enough to make a decent fur coat. Lead. Balloon.
So this is an off-the-cuff bit of writing into which I have put no consideration or real effort. I bet it shows. Sorry. I’m slightly high on not being tired. Friday night was a joy of over-eating and good conversation (or not good. It sort of depends on your standards, but I think plumbing in the context of hemispheres and 24-storey hotels, and the aesthetic qualities of the Bristol Stool Chart are great topics). But from Saturday morning I hid my phone and have been avoiding being sociable for the weekend.
Every year I forget that around this time in January, my ability to deal with people in person – anybody, even CM – nosedives spectacularly. It’s the extended winter thing, I think. And lowered energy levels, thanks (paradoxically) to quite a lot of food. And also I haven’t been exercising as much as I should be – hello, half marathon that I’m going to end up walking. This morning I went and ‘ran’ (I’m using that loosely) through the mud with dog one. It was fun, but I’m out of shape.
Also I’m making life a bit more difficult for myself by looking up stuff I want to do but am not yet at a stage to be doing. You know like when you look up houses to buy even though you have a lot of debt and no job? The equivalent of that, but with words and exercise and the knowledge that I don’t have the energy or time to do all the things. So maybe I should be being a little bit happier about the fact that I’m doing some of the things. It’s so exhausting trying to be all perky about things, constantly. I’d like someone else to do that for a while, and let me bitch about the things that aren’t actually that bad as though they’re really bad, instead of people pointing out how much worse they or someone else in the world have it. I know, I know. Life is technically good, but when it doesn’t feel good, I’d quite like to cry and have a tantrum without having to qualify whether those things are worth crying and having tantrums about.
Anyway, back to being Pollyanna. I got a run in – that’s good. I’m getting writing down and submissions out – that’s good. The rejections have started rolling in and – and trust me, I know this sounds odd – that’s also good, because it means I’m getting things written. I know I need to keep practising, and I have a tough enough skin at this age that I shrug, keep writing and send off the next thing. I’d like to get one story and one poem published this year, and I’ll count that as a win and be a very happy bunny indeed. Also, because I am immensely self-assured and confident, I’m pretty sure that I’ll manage that.
Ha. I wish I were that self-assured and arrogant. I’m not – I just haven’t been crushed by the weight of red rows on my spreadsheet yet, or by a very honest critique of anything I’ve written. Keep an eye out for a future entry where that happens. The tears will seep through the screen.
I also wish I were that self-assured and arrogant because I’ve bought a ticket to the next WordFactory short story salon. I’m not totally sure what to expect (except great writing, of course). I announced on twitter that I was going and got a reply straight back from one of the organisers saying ‘Great! Come and say hi!’ Not quite as a dreadful a prospect as it used to be – I’m better at talking to strangers than I ever used to be. Again, practise, though I’ll happily let a chattier friend do all the work if I can. I’m not going with a friend, though, I’m going by myself, so wish me luck.
As I’m unpublished-and-unprizewinning-since-about-1999 I feel slightly fraudulent going at all, but I want to meet people and hear discussions. Although actually doing that feels as though I’m making a sort of mild past time into a bigger deal than it actually is. But I don’t have a writing circle in London, and isolation doesn’t suit me, even when I’m in full on grouchy bint mode, as I have been all week and still am today. And enthusiasm is infectious – and – and – does anyone else worry about doing social activities around their hobbies as much as this? Remember how I tried and failed to go to tri-club training meets? I’m not that socially inept, I think, just a bit lazy. Anyone else have that problem?