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Friday, 7 February 2014

Busy, Busy

Apologies for the lack of activity on here this week. 'Hectic' pretty much covers it, and not really the kind of hectic that makes for engaging blog posts. Haven't finished any books, haven't watched any classic films - actually the only things I've really watched are odd episodes of Coronation Street while I eat. The most frustrating thing of all was that this week most things I'd been working towards fell apart. Deadlines were shifted: great, you say, but not when I've worked myself into a really bad state already to get something fit for that deadline. Plans were altered, giving me a weekend to myself but, honestly, I'm just annoyed that people keep moving the damn goalposts. I like to know where I am and this week has offered anything but that.

On Monday my father took a day off work so we could take my grandmother to the bank - why is it when you're 90, institutions like banks insist on dragging you in to request a simple chequebook because you can't use the phone and they don't seem to be able to deal with a power of attorney form? As ever, my grandmother lingered at the counter to tell everyone I was her daughter. Really, if it looks like that is the case I want to sue my genes; no offence, Gran.

The rest of Monday was thesis grind. Tuesday was also thesis grind with a little interlude for the gym to stop me breaking my computer. Then, having got to midnight, I switched into writing mode to work on a script extract I'd decided I needed to rewrite before I submitted it (and I needed to submit it fast). On Wednesday I got the news that my supervisor meeting had been cancelled so there no need to me to zombify myself over the last few days. Instead of rushing to complete the chapter as I'd intended, I did an afternoon of biography work, my effort to make sure that the groundwork of my thesis is solid and that I haven't got any Wilkie Collins information wrong. Then my evening was spent finishing up the play extract, getting it polished for submission and packaging it up. Another night when I said hello to 2am.

Thursday was a day of contrasts. In spite of my supervisor meeting being cancelled, I had to travel to university to return a book someone had requested. If that sounds like I'm a little bitter...well, I was. If I'd known my meeting was cancelled earlier I might have arranged my whole week so my head wasn't buzzing constantly. However, Thursday was lightened by a short spell looking after my twin nieces (who are five this month, unbelievably). Watching Matilda with one little girl who was trying to make herself vomit by swirling around and another one who wanted to tell me everything that was happening before it happened, and as though I'd never seen it in my life, was rather delightful. When I got back I decided to take a final run at that thesis chapter and, around 1am, the draft was finished. The fact that it's of an epic length doesn't really bother me at the moment. I'm taking a short hiatus.

The unexpected freeing up of my weekend, coupled with my determination to get that work done last night, has given me a rare opportunity - a weekend where three straight days can be devoted to writing. I'm switching projects again, though merely because I'm submitting an extract of one novel in a few weeks and I need the rest to be of a decent standard in the near future. It's not me flitting around aimlessly from project to project (the thing I've vowed against this year) but a necessary alteration in path. Unfortunately, as 'Liz' takes priority, 'Lauren' will have to shrink back into the woodwork for a while. Frustrating, since we were getting somewhere.

Still, a weekend of writing with some fantastic films as rewards? Not shabby. I'm thinking of a Cary Grant double-bill: Monkey Business with Ginger Rogers and Bringing Up Baby with Katharine Hepburn. You don't get much funnier than that.

And that, dear readers, is what I've been up to this week.

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