Friday, 4 October 2013

Blast this cold

For more than a week, I’ve been fighting a bad cold. It’s so annoying how something so simple and trivial can cause so much annoyance. I guess it will clear up, eventually, but right now, the end is definitely not in sight. The weather’s miserable too which in a way is good as then I can’t be tempted outside.
I’m loving having Louis here. He really is an absolute darling. Of course, I end up with bruises on my bruises – he has no idea how heavy he is – but that’s a small price to pay.
I have the feeling that I need to spend time clearing the decks. I’m finding it hard. I had an email from Swanwick Writers Summer School saying my courses had attracted excellent feedback and they’d like me to teach the main short story course next year. I’d said on the feedback form that I didn’t want to  teach in 2014 so that I could enjoy the School as a delegate rather than teacher. The email said they appreciated that, but would I reconsider. The old me would have given in and said yes. I said no. Not only that but I sent a two page reply detailing all the things I feel they need to fix. I love Swanwick.  Very much. But. They don’t pay tutors enough and because times are hard, they’re cutting back – less well known speakers and so on. I think this is a BAD idea. People expect writing holidays to be expensive . They also expect to get their money’s worth. Anyway, I got a long reply saying that all my points were being considered and offering more money. I’m still going to say no. I’ve taught at NAWG for the past three years. When I go there, I get the weekend free plus expenses and a decent fee. Now if Swanwick could match that…
Thanks to this cold, I’m merely treading water workwise. Basically all I’ve done is tweak a few stories that Woman’s Weekly rejected so that I could send them elsewhere and kept on top of Writers Bureau work. I’ve started sorting out the details of the workshop I’m running in Long Eaton on the 12th of this month. It’s going to be about various ways of finding ideas for stories, plus some pointers on how to make a story ‘work.’ My plan is to do the exercises too, on the day. My mojo WILL come back soon. I just have to keep tempting it to come out and play.
I see my homeopath again on Monday. I’m supposed to have been keeping an eye on my progress but that’s not easy when you’re think with cold. So how do I feel at the moment? Goodish. Frustrated, because I want to get back to writing GOOD (i.e. saleable) stories and because I have very little energy at the moment.  

I’m also feeling cautiously optimistic. I’m going to Wentworth with NAWG in November for a retreat with a few workshops thrown in (see for details),  Christmas is sorted (I’m off to Scarborough – hurray!), plus Strictly’s on. I love that show. Even more, I love Strictly Takes two with Zoe Ball. I record it every day so that I can watch it at my leisure. If you don’t like Strictly, I feel sorry for you. It’s not about learning to dance, it’s about learning to let go, have fun, express yourself. The changes it brings about in people (Matt Dawson springs to mind) are amazing.
Next year at the moment is a blank slate. Apart from a couple of workshop bookings, I have no plans whatsoever. That is both a scary thought and an exciting one. With no dogs to board, no part time job to do, I’ll be able to do what I want for once. I just hope I can take advantage of that.  
The photo shows one of my orchids. 

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