Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

  • Mood:

Catch up post -- partly sad

This is a quick summary of what I've been doing recently.

I've felt a bit stuck somehow, not just the WIP, but life in general, and yet actually everything trundles on as usual and I have been doing useful and interesting things. So I think the feeling of stuckness is in me, not a real thing at all. Going out for the walk yesterday helped. I need to do more exercise, despite the grotty weather.

Looking back to last year, I feel that I was more active, more productive, yet that might not really be the case. (OK, I definitely was more active. I have put on 5lbs and still not managed to lose it.) Last spring, in my memory, I had the house well on the way to being decluttered (that has backslid somewhat and all my good habits gone by the board). The novel was progressing well. (Yep, just checked the graph. Steady progress through April and a nice upward jump in May.)

Er... So that rather indicates that my feeling of stuckness isn't imaginery after all. Must. Do. Better.

This weekend I didn't do all that much, other than rewrite a short story from a different viewpoint with a view to putting it through Critters. Rejoining Critters is one of the Useful Things I have done recently, which reminds me that I need to do a crit.

On the other hand, last weekend I did get rid of a tree which was leaning dangerously towards our neighbour's garage. Not personally, it was quite a big tree. I hired two men with ladders and ropes and chainsaws to do it. They also removed some branches from the big ash where they were tangling with the incoming phone wires. As we have no fireplace, they removed the trunk and big branches but made wood chippings out of the small stuff. So last Monday evening I frantically bagged up 30 bags full of chippings and hauling them into the garage for use as mulch on the flowerbeds that don't exist yet at the bottom of the garden.

I also finally completed and posted the application for the MPhil course in fiction writing at University of Glamorgan. This is done part-time and by distance learning. I can't remember whether I've mentioned it here before (possibly I have). I know I talked about the one at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I considered and almost applied for last year, but which I eventually decided against. This one looks just right. The focus is on writing, not on studying literature, which I really don't want as it is Not Helpful to me and my writing method. By this I mean studying literature in a theoretical way rather than reading books to see how other writers have done stuff.

During the week I discovered why our nearest garage had been closed on the previous Wednesday when I had gone to buy diesel, thus meaning I had to go to the other garage. It was because they were at the bedside of their 22 year-old son who had been in a coma since an accident. That was the day that the life-support machine was turned off. I didn't really know the lad, but he sometimes helped out in his dad's garage and always seemed nice. He was a member of the local rugby team and very well liked. He died in the most stupid accident jumping from the promenade at Aberystwyth. He and a bunch of mates had gone there for a night out. I'm sure that considerable amounts of alcohol would have been consumed. Presumably some larking and showing off followed. The particularly sad thing is that he did the jump safely twice, then did something different the third time and fell and hit his head on the stone wall. He never regained consciousness.

It was very difficult going in to buy diesel this week because I felt I couldn't just not say anything, yet anything I did say was bound to be meaningless. Also I have an embarrassing tendency to cry at sad things or when other people are upset, a kind of empathy, I suppose. Anyway, I did go in and I said a few words and the poor father still looks devastated. A parent just doesn't expect to outlive a child; it seems so cruel when they do.

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