Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away (for some of you) and very, very near (for the rest), there lived a not-so-young woman. The woman lived a life of relative ease, having a job that she mostly liked; a roof over her head (sometimes, when the rain doesn’t cause it to cave in [true story]); story-based ambitions that meant she spent a lot of time making stuff up in her head; didn’t have to deal with princes, having met a far more appealing woodsman; and had two wolves who doubled handily as hot-water bottles, thus keeping the heating bill down.
In recent days the kingdom was blessed with sunshine and heat, the likes of which had not been seen for months, so the woman spent her Saturday reading, walking one wolf, and writing about selkies and sirens. She attended a writing class at her local library which had her pondering the very question of ‘what is being a woman, anyway?’, rereading Kipling’s vitriolic The Female of the Species, and watching TV. It was a pleasant day.
On the Sunday, another fine day, the woman rose very early and took her bike out on empty roads, to green pastures, and reacquainted herself with cycling. The sudden urge to do this when more often she is wary of cycling on this particular kingdom’s roads might have had something to do with bravado brought on by having face a couple of other fears recently, but also had quite a lot to do with having a triathlon to do in 11 weeks and needing to get some cycling in. When she returned home, she broke fast and took the other wolf for a meandering run/walk that was the sunniest, muddiest walk ever, so much so that after seven miles they stopped at a handily placed inn for sustenance and learnt that sometimes it works out cheaper to buy a pint than cranberry juice.
Back at home, her long-suffering partner was working very hard on spring cleaning, so she helped, eventually becoming obsessed with getting the oven clean. After three applications of super-corrosive, wear-two-pairs-of-gloves Mr Muscle failed to do the job, she called on her great wisdom and used sandpaper on the burnt bits. (I wish I were joking about this, but I’m not. It worked like a charm.) She also planted daffodils and whatnot. It was a most productive afternoon.
Basically she wore herself out and collapsed on the sofa for the final part of the day, and, when faced with the ritual of writing something even semi-interesting in her already-quite-boring blog, failed to think of a thing. So she decided not to bother, and went to sleep instead.On the third day, traditionally the important one, it occurred to her to write about the Hemingway App (an app which analyses your writing for adverbs and complications, so you can write more like Hemingway: New Yorker article here) and Spritz, an app that allows/teaches a person to speed read so you can ‘finish a novel in 90 minutes’, both of which had been brought to her attention several times in the past week. She had thoughts of writing a slightly annoyed post concerning the homogenisation of writing, and the fact that reading is more-often-than-not a leisure activity and so the stress brought on by trying to keep up with a fast-word app, wherein you blink and miss things and do not have time to consider good prose and can’t easily go back to check a point, goes against everything that is the enjoyment of reading, and so may it have much success for study, but certainly not for reading. She is most aware that this entire paragraph might have benefited from being run through the Hemingway App.
But the woman’s tiredness, combined with a horrible, clinging, coff-and-cold, and a general weariness with outrage in general which is making her think a break from twitter and facebook is probably in order, meant she never wrote the post. Instead, she did her day’s work, went home, wrote a poor-excuse of a blog entry, and then went out for a pub dinner with her handsome, coffee-addicted woodsman. And they all lived happily evening after.