An unplanned hiatus

23Oct08

I couldn’t tell you where the last ten days have gone. They have zipped past in a blur of mad working – on my writing, on critting, on some serious textile-ing and in a haze of illness.

On the writing front, I’ve been working on Holly’s course, and have got three absolute barnstormers of ideas on the go, all playing to the stuff that gives me shivers. I am *so* excited about them, I can’t wait to write them. Two are sure-fire short stories, but one of them is expanding into an epic monster, a multi-faceted four-way fight with an ambiguous figure as the fulcrum between the opposing factions – I think, at this stage, it will be my next novel. It feels great, and comes as a huge relief: I haven’t written any fiction since March this year – partly the demands of life, partly a hectic ‘work’ schedule and partly because I’ve been entrenched in edit mode. Everything has been about reviewing, rebuilding and getting some submissions out on the tracks . . . and working crits for the  crit groups I participate in over on FM, a vital piece of brain-training when it comes to re-working my own stories. So although I’ve been feeling productive, I haven’t produced anything new for a while. So it is just fantastic to have ideas zinging in my mind, and to be so excited about writing again. I’ve been missing that feeling.

On the good news, I had an article accepted over at Seven magazine – it is such a thrill to see my writing in a real, proper magazine. It gives me renewed faith in myself and my writing, at a time of year when everything traditionally turns black and I start to give myself some serious schtick for being a failure and a loser. Further up-factors are coming my way, too, because I’ve got a second article placed with them which I have high hopes will be used/published, fingers crossed. I’m hoping that once I get back into the routine after our little half-term holiday next week I’ll start to catch up on some of my drafts and get some more non-fiction out of the door, but with new and improved sticking power because I’ve got something on my c.v. at last!!

I’ve been slogging away trying to get some sample pieces done for my visit down to Otterton Mill, and hopefully a spot in the gallery . . . I’ve made some good progress in pulling together a few bits and pieces, but I’m hung up now on a big piece of embroidery on a woven/patch shopping bag that’s taking time, but is easily one of the best pieces I’ve ever done – I’m really pleased with both design (it’s inspired by a section of a Chintz pattern – I have *the* most gorgeous V&A Chintz pattern book) and execution – I’m playing with stem stitch for some of it, and am really pleased with how it’s coming out. That’s the one thing that I might not get finished in time, which is stressing me out a bit, because I need to finish the embroidery before I can attach the lining . . . eeeeep! Still, there’s time . . .  I just need to not panic!!!!

Progress has not been helped by an evil bug that has gone through the family. It’s like having migraine in a virus form . . . severe headache, nausea, exhaustion, visual disturbances, and now topped off with an irritating sniffle. Rumpus is the only one not to have had it yet . . . poor Minni Babalou hurled all over me and the floor last week just as I was about to head out for parent’s evening up at the school (I think it might have been a conspiracy to stop me leaving!), then I had it the following day (unsurprisingly), then Honey came down with it on Sunday, and now T.O.M has had to be given a lift home from work as he was too sick to cycle. Needless to say, his version is MUCH WORSE than anyone else’s and he is totally incapacitated. BAH! I ought to be better at sympathy, but looking pathetic and martyred and retiring theatrically to my sick-bed wasn’t an option for me so I find it difficult to tolerate in anyone else. I must work on my soft skills . . . .

Anyway, it seems finally to be on its way out of my system, so I’m feeling much more back on top of the workload and starting to relish life again. I am so glad that this illness seems just to be a blip, as I was so down and incapable of anything beyond survival tasks (i.e. urgent and essential business only, no niceties, no frills, no pleasures) that I got worried that I’d been hit on the blindside by the depression. I am so determined not to have it this year, but it worries me that determination may not be sufficient. I went to the doctors a couple of weeks ago to get myself referred back again to the shrink who sorted my Aspergers, but I’ve heard nothing . . . I must follow that up to make sure I get the intervention I need, having turned down the drugs.

In the meantime, onwards and sideways!

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3 Responses to “An unplanned hiatus”

  1. Congrats on the acceptance! You’re doing well lately, with your textile art in demand too. It’s good to get positive feedback, isn’t it?

  2. Thanks! It’s all very positive just now, especially as the Otterton Mill gallery has agreed to take my work! Yay!


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