w02: 6th-12th January

Woke too early Monday from a bad dream about shopping crowds. Morning pages and fiction pages went fine, bus and work went well, errands in the city were successful but scattered my brain, and then when I was nearly home and buying milk a woman looked at my boots and said, “Oh, you’re so lucky to work with horses!”

Just in case she was being for real, I smiled happily and said “Yes, I am very lucky!”

One of my errands was to look for a new phone, because I was having power management problems. Now I have a second-hand Pixel phone for the price of ten hours’ wages.

I put a laundry load in the machine and found 5p in the drum. Truly weird, as I don’t think I’ve used cash since before we got the new dryer. Perhaps it’s a portal to someone else’s?

I cleaned my boots after supper, too, just in case there’s other folk out there who can’t tell clay soil from manure.

Tuesday woke early again and wrote journal and ‘the story about a head injury’ before I needed to get dressed to accept our grocery delivery. Listening to the Mass Effect soundtracks in Spotify – game music is so good for my energy even when I never played the game itself. The Big Spoon reckons he can visualise every map and boss fight that goes with each track, which sounds exhausting. My morning alarms really should have been the first thing I ‘moved across’ to the new phone. I’m carrying the new one and the old one is over there on the table beeping that it’s time to put stuff in my bag ready to go out.

At work I looked at the list of Things To Do in the garden in January, bearing in mind that that was printed before the climate emergency and therefore assumes the ground is frozen. It suggested taking currant cuttings this month, and we agreed we didn’t see a single currant on the old bushes this year so it was worth a try. Stuck them in next to the gooseberries, because we may as well keep all the thorns in one corner. Got home, got trapped under the puppy, napped. Reset the nap counter on the kitchen chalkboard.

✍️ Wednesday morning I typed up the last of the story called Owl, saved it from Google docs to epub format, uploaded that to Kindle Direct Publishing, told it to charge £2 (£1.16 for me) but also ‘enroll’ it in Select which means it’s on the Unlimited library (free to read, 26p for me), and waited. Four Stories Not About Fruit went live in less than twelve hours, back in April. Morning at work on the ride-on mower successfully took my mind off writerly worries. We made a queue of indoor tasks for the rest of the week because the weather’s meant to turn. I read Clarkesworld on the sofa instead of napping, and by 4pm the book was live and I could borrow it on Kindle Unlimited. (This isn’t just vanity, I had to check it on the actual Kindle, to look for formatting weirdness.)

📖 three stories not about birds (hooksforeverything Book 2) (Kindle)

Found 2p in the street while out with the puppy. She saw me pick it up but not what it was, so spent the next few minutes of the walk looking at my jacket pocket and licking her lips.

✍️ Thursday morning’s journalling was slow and writing was stalled, I outlined and reread the first draft but didn’t get any rewritten sentences down. This is my first time rewriting rather than editing a document, but I know it will come out better and I believe I can do it. A useful morning at work: a mouse and a printer both functioned fine after a clean with a toothbrush and a lint-free cloth, I found the missing part of the blood pressure monitor, and I fussed both cats precisely as much as they wanted to be fussed.

✍️ Thursday’s words arrived eventually. It would have been some joke to fall behind on the second day.

Friday morning at work the drizzle gave way to sun but we’d already decided it was an indoor day so I mended a pair of trousers and set up the south-facing spare room for starting seeds for another year.

✍️ Friday night I told myself that it would be ok to write fiction first and morning pages second on Saturday morning, so naturally on Saturday morning when it’s time to start getting dressed for the bus I’ve written one page of Lark and no pages of journalling because I’ve spent half an hour in Tumblr instead of doing either. I’m cross with myself but okay, now I’ve learned.

Saturday night I think I’ve figured out what’s been wrong: I’m out of balance. I’ve been telling myself I ought to be writing too much of every day, and I haven’t crocheted or stretched on the mat or been up to the allotment plot for over a week. I haven’t read a novel, either, although I’ve read a few short stories. I know how to fix this. I’ll be okay.

📖 Mona in Three Acts (Kindle)