Category Archives: The pen is mightier

Good and not so good news.

This will be long. Just warning you.

1. Good news

1.1 I got the electronic version and the typescript of the book off to the editor. No response yet, but no news is good news.
1.2 Genius Brat went off to stay with his little friend and friend’s mum in Devon, and then they all went off to Centre Parcs (but not before Genius Brat had been picked up by an 11 year old girl in the park, which had been duly discouraged).
1.3 This meant The Grouch and I could go off for five clean days in Brighton, after I had led worship on the Sunday (which stopped us going for a whole week as soon as Genius Brat had gone).
1.4 All of us had a good time on our respective holidays.
1.5 Best news of all: we arrived back to find an email telling us Genius Brat has been awarded a place in the autistic spectrum unit at a mainstream school, which we had asked for. This is really a miracle, as they were only creating two 6th form places in the unit and there were already at least two other kids interested.
1.6 We had a very busy but good weekend: me at a book launch on Sat, with the couple from the US who founded our congregation (sadly not ‘funded our congregation’ as I typed first…!). Sunday, a church lunch, also with this couple, then a lovely service, then a question and answer session with aforementioned couple, who are very important to our church’s history. Then a party to celebrate 40 years of one very special lady’s history with the Mennonite Centre and the church. And lots of people from the church’s past attending one or more of these events.

1.7 I’m on Premier Radio on Friday morning, and speaking at Christian Resources Exhibition on 11th May, both about my depression book (Crying for the Light), of which I have discovered the publishers still have 500 copies so it’s still worth plugging it.

1.8 We have another busy weekend ahead, with a church awayday on Saturday and a civil partnership celebration on Sunday.

2. Not such good news

2.1 We weren’t sure till the last minute whether the special lady could come out of hospital to attend the party, as she is dying of cancer. The good news is that she was able to come and take part fully, and that we were able to sit round her and share memories of her, and tell her nice things about herself while she was still with us.
2.2 She has moved to a hospice today, and we don’t think we’ll have her for much longer. And her husband and 20 year old daughter, both much beloved of our church, both died of cancer within the last 8 years. As you can guess, our party with her was very emotionally moving.
2.3 Much less importantly, I weighed myself after coming back from Brighton, and I weigh as much as I did when 9 months pregnant. Time to engage in some Lenten discipline, methinks.

Almost there..

So today I revised Chapter 10, did a little tweaking on chapters 8 and 9, and wrote an intro which is much shorter and snappier than the original intro. Then I wrote a note on my attempt to use inclusive language. All I have to do now is one more whizz through for typos, missing bits and style errors, then print out a paper copy, change the electronic version into a Word file my editor can read, and send both off flying through the postal service and the ether* respectively, to meet their fate. All of which I will do tomorrow between seeing the osteopath and seeing the therapist.

After today’s efforts were finished and I’d had lunch, I went out for a walk and completely unexpectedly, at the end of my road, met someone I used to be, or thought I was, in love with. And discovered that I am not in love with him any more, and possibly never was. Which for some inexplicable reason made me feel very sad.

*All right, I did watch the second part of Everything and Nothing with Jim Al-Khalili last night, and I do know the ether doesn’t really exist. It’s a metaphor, OK…!

The parable of…

… the Bluetooth adapter. Which my son spent quite some time looking for this afternoon, disturbing my attempt to complete revising chapter 8 and get to my belated coffee break (I got up late). For behold, the Bluetooth adapter was very small, and in my son’s room there are many things… And lo, he found it, and we both rejoiced, and then I finished editing chapter 8 and took a long coffee break. And then I edited chapter 9, and tomorrow I will edit chapter 10 (or possibly delete it entirely) and write an intro, so that I can send off the book to meet the deadline of Thursday. It’s almost time to say, Rejoice with me!

Final stages

The big news of the last couple of weeks is that I decided I had finished Chapter Ten as far as it is possible to finish it at the mo, and have declared the first draft of the book DONE! I am now stuck into revising it all for sending in next week. Had a good bash at Chapter Three today, and decided some of it belonged elsewhere, but that there was a whole new section I wanted to write. This is all very encouraging and rewarding, but I worked so intensely on it this morning that I have done virtually nothing useful this afternoon except go for a walk and have a nap. Remaining hours were used up listening to the Beatles and playing patience games on the computer. Redeem the time….!

The joy of writing

Rejoice with me, for I have re-started work on my book! And I am pleased with what I have written (around a thousand words of Chapter 7). If I remembered how satisfying writing can be, would I get round to it more often?

OK, so I pretty much wasted the rest of the day. But at least I’ve made a start… Looking forward to doing more tomorrow.

Chapters

I can’t believe I am nearly at the end of chapter five! More than half way through (my outline has nine chapters though it may turn out to be a little more or a little less). Of course it’s all crap, and half of what I’ve written really belongs in different chapters, but at least I’ll have a first draft to tinker with.

I do really think a lot of it is crap. Or at least not up to my normal standard of writing. Added to which, my new word processing software has done weird things to the text, probably because I haven’t really understood templates and formats yet. That’ll have to come later. What – me a technophobe? Er… yes…

Lost

Have made some progress with the book this week, but mostly restoring the thousand or so words I think I lost from what I wrote for Chapter Three last week. And today I just had to give up and go back to bed, and when I got up, to go swimming to make myself feel better. It worked – sort of.

PS Still haven’t remembered the third thing I saw on my trip to town last week. Well, it can’t have been all that interesting…

Flamboyant

Today on the bus back from the sleep clinic appointment, I spied a large and flamboyant young woman who used to go to my son’s school. As well as being – shall we say, voluptuous – she has always dressed very eccentrically, in bold colours and with large and multiple hair accessories: big bows, big bobbly hair ties, and today even a miniature hat which I think is called a fascinator. Actually when I saw her at the school I had always assumed she had some learning difficulty which caused her to dress oddly.

Today, however, she was in the company of not only her mother (who is not flamboyant at all), but a distinctly hot boyfriend of Asian origin. They were snogging so enthusiastically on the seat in front of me that I didn’t have the guts to say, ‘Hello, you used to be at [name of school], didn’t you?’ Instead I just reflected that people do get the most unexpected partners, and that one should never judge by appearance. My mother comes out sometimes with a German proverb meaning ‘every pot finds a lid’. Which is patently untrue, or there wouldn’t be so many people (including myself for years) who are unwillingly single. But the scene before me did make me think of that saying. I just hope he’s being good to her – she can’t be more than 19 and I would hate to think of her getting exploited.

Meanwhile the book, which I restarted writing two days ago, is going swimmingly. I’m now more than halfway through chapter 3 (of 10-12, I hope) and really starting to enjoy the process of writing. I’ve rediscovered something I had forgotten: that writing makes me happy. At least it does when it’s going well…