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Monday, 17 August 2015

The Week Ahead: Corrections and Short Stories

If I went into detail about why I'm despairing at the moment it'd take a while and nothing else would get done. Suffice to say, just when I thought things couldn't get worse, they suddenly did. The last year of my life has been a lesson in this so I'm not sure why I'm so surprised. Alas, tolerance levels are eroded beyond recognition. If there's one thing going right in a life perhaps the rest can be accepted as necessary balance but that's not the case. However, I apparently have to carry on so...

I've got a month before my thesis corrections are due and, really, I wanted them finished two weeks ago. I've planned all the edits and I'm halfway through implementing them now. All I need to do after that is write two brief appendices and get them checked over. Then the thesis is done and... Well, it's done. Full stop after that one.

My other task for this week is to work on some of the short story drafts I've neglected. Three need a complete rewrite, though I've been putting it off because the novel drafts seemed more important. I want to rewrite them this week for editing at Wakefield Jelly next week. In theory, let's see how that goes.

Next week I'm cat-sitting for my sister. During that quiet time away I'm going to focus on the fourth draft of 'Max'. I've already had a read through of the third draft and I know what needs to be done. A couple of major fixes and thousands of minor ones. I want to make a dent in that.

Little steps...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Book Review: The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman

The Accidental Mother tells the story of Sophie Mills, a successful party-planner in a prestigious company. She's surprised to one day receive a visit from her social worker who says she's been named as guardian to her old friend's two young children. Sophie finds her life turned upside down by the arrival of Bella and Izzy and makes it her mission to track down their errant father before she loses her shot at promotion and everything she's worked for.

This book has been languishing on my shelf for quite a few years, mainly because it's a little lighter than the novels I generally go for and I've been submerged in seriousness for quite some time now. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, the first half in particular. Sophie's attitude towards the children is your typical fish-out-of-water scenario and it works wonderfully. She's a high-powered, commitment-phobic workaholic and the disruption the girls cause to her well-ordered life is acute and amusingly depicted. The inevitable thaw towards the children, also, is well-handled and it's good to see Sophie going through all those things parents do - for instance, idly wondering why the three year-old is screaming her head off now instead of rushing to help like a woman possessed.

The novel started to lose me a little in the second half with the introduction of Louis, the girls' father. Although, again, I suppose this facet of the plot was inevitable, I didn't really like it and it drew me out of the book somewhat. However, for the most part I enjoyed this novel and I laughed out loud at certain lines.

This book was read as part of the 'New Author' reading challenge, details here.