bric-a-brac, basically

I’m writing a blog post, which is how you all know I’m procrastinating. We’ve got this massive whiteboard propped against the fake fireplace (the furnishing skills of myself and CM are such that our home permanently looks like a long-con grifter HQ crossed with a bric-a-brac stall. This morning I woke to find that the Giant Toy Hedgehog that we use as a pillow for long car journeys had been propped on a shelf in our room between a rarely-used Gothic chess set, and my TBR book stack and necklace stand that I made by warping a cooling tray. It was staring at me. I nearly had a heart attack, and our room looks more like a storage box than ever…)…


The whiteboard. I write To Do lists on it, in big letters, so I can feel crap about my lack of achievement all weekend. I sulk at it while I play Juice Jam and watch Gilmore Girls or old films that I definitely loved once upon a time, but now can’t even finish (ahemTheNotebookahem). It’s opposite me right now, and I’m telling myself that even though I didn’t include ‘write a blog entry’ on the list, I definitely meant to, so this is fine.

The stuff I’m procrastinating on includes: a random drawing challenge that I decided to take part in and am flagging at. House cleaning, of course. Reading stuff for people that I have promised to read and give feedback on (alas, this is like-for-like deal reading, rather than getting paid for it). Updating my other blog – the music one. There’s a lot of practical things that need doing, but I don’t half fill my time with some pointless rubbish.

Fun reading to do includes ghost stories. I’m taking part in a Halloween event next week, wherein I shall be donning my best Crone costume (probably) and sitting in a dimly lit corner of a pub (might not be dimly lit or a corner, but anyway) and telling ghost stories old and new to people who will have already taken part in a ghost walk, a spooky gig and eaten lovely food, so should be ripe for getting the shivers. I have a fair idea of which stories I want to do, but I’m just making sure.

I love ghost stories. So much. As part of the drawing thing (Inktober) I have even very recently branched into doing (terrible, because I can’t actually draw) teeny nonsensical wannabe-creepy comics.


Other stuff includes writing, of course. The New Thing, which even has a catchy working title – which never happens, had the magical twang moment this week. That’s the point where the characters suddenly come so completely to life in a few sentences that I know I have to finish writing them even if this new story takes five years.

The Old Thing – the one that won an award – has been sent out to agents and now I brace myself for several weeks and hope someone likes it. I deliberately timed the sending for post-Frankfurt Book Fair, because it would remove all possibility of an immediate response. I didn’t take into account Philip Pullman releasing his new book in the same week, which I think adds a few more days to that buffer – which was a terrible idea, by the way, and has done nothing to stop near-obsessive checking of my email in case someone got bored at 2am and decided to read through some submissions and respond in the middle of the night.

I’ve done a couple of guitar-and-singing gigs which were fun because when I did them I was at the point of near-collapse from work stress and I didn’t have the energy to worry about performing. Unexpected silver lining there. I am finishing up a FODMAP elimination diet in the next couple of weeks, at which point I should know which food triggers stomach problems and also know which foods I love so much that I’m going to eat them anyway, consequences be damned. Tell you what, though, when you are on that sort of restriction, it really draws your attention to how much total rubbish is sold in supermarkets. Literally, there are more aisles for crisps sweets and chocolates than there are for fruit and veg.

I have booked escape-time at the beginning of December, and am in London for a few days at the end of this month (until the morning of Halloween, when I head back home to do GHOST STUFF).

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