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…!
We had a parents’ inclusion group meeting last night, in the pub where the Kinks used to play. My minutes may have been somewhat affected by alcohol (champage, provided on her business by the group’s chair) and the difficulty of hearing anyone against the general pub chatter. It was however a pleasant occasion, with nibbles as well as drink to toast the departure of The Demon Headmaster.
I had hoped to report that I was no longer secretary of the group, having declared when I took it on that I would not do it beyond July. However in the absence of any volunteer to take over, we agreed that minute-taking and typing up would rotate round the group, and that I would continue to draw up agendas and send meeting reminders. Given the amount of flattery the group gave me to persuade me to stay on, I just had to cave in.
So today I was typing minutes again, but also, much to my own surprise, managed to get together three fairly presentable, if old, poems to send to the poetry competition which had miraculously extended its deadline so I could still enter. I also discovered that although it feels as if I haven’t written any poetry at all in the last five to seven years, there has in fact been no year in which I didn’t write at least one. Which is better than nothing. Nothing however to match 2003 when I wrote 35 – but then I was in love. Now I’m not.
Something strange is happening to me. Having spent my entire life having unrequited crushes on one man or another, for the last few years (not sure how long) I have suddenly discovered I’m not in love with anyone. I think this is probably good (and I’m sure my husband appreciates it). But I also haven’t written a single completed poem in that time. Could the two be connected? Do I have to carry a hopeless torch for someone in order to write poetry? (Or is the dearth of poetry from me a gift to the world?)
Actually, I haven’t really written any poetry since I won first prize in the Barnet Open poetry comp four years ago. This could also be connected – now I’ve won a first, I’ve stopped trying. Or it could be that the prose and poetry workshop I went to for a while has completely killed my poetic inspiration (it certainly didn’t help it).
To return to the torch-carrying subject, it does sometimes feel as though I am having an unrequited relationship with God. But not always.