. . . Or nearly all juggle around a little.
I’ve been saying for most of the last five and a quarter years that I must cut back on the amount of time I spend on the blog but . . . this time I mean it. I have to mean it.
I have needed to cut back because I live over the time-line of 24-hour-day plausibility because I’m like that* and ‘time’ is a ridiculous human construct anyway. I’m not going to let some frelling mechanical instrument that goes tick tock** tell me what I can and can’t do. But . . .
The avalanche began when PEG II crashed and burned nearly a year and a half ago. And SHADOWS, bless its pointed little head, rolled in to give me something to DO and also something to tell my agent, my editor, and get PAID FOR when I also told them the bad news about having to put off PEG II till I could face the fact that frelling PEGASUS is a trilogy and PEG II is not the end. Originally SHADOWS was going to be short and . . . er . . . well, I get interested in the story I’m telling, you know? And I start thinking, oh, hey, well, if that, then that, and pretty soon . . . this is nothing on George R R Martin or Robin Hobbs, but SHADOWS weighs in at about 105,000 words which to a slow writer like me is plenty.
And then, last winter, there was that tiny fracas at my bell tower, which resulted in my quitting the tower that is a minute’s pedestrian sprint down the street from the cottage and joining one that is a half-hour-plus commute in Wolfgang . . . and half-hour-plus does not include lurid adventures in quest of parking, or pelting across town (and back) from wherever I finally manage to leave Wolfgang. And around the same time that I switched towers my one evening a week handbell group underwent meiosis and became two groups and two evenings. I said at the time I wasn’t going to be able to do two evenings a week regularly. But week by week I’m not very good at saying no.
Last summer I found myself agreeing to a bull terrier puppy.
This autumn I took possession of said bull terrier puppy***. I also started voice lessons again when Nadia came back from maternity leave.† And because this was not enough I rejoined the Muddlehamptons. Well, my goal always has been to sing in a choir, and I’d been putting off figuring out what to do instead of the Muddles, and here I am, Muddling again, and rather mysteriously coping with the twelve-hour practises, the freezing cold church and the No Loo. One more thing I think I haven’t told you is that while the first shock of hearing myself recorded was just how DIABOLICALLY AWFUL I was . . . the second shock was that there is actually more voice there to do something with than I had any awareness of. I knew I had become louder, but . . . well. That noise I’m now making almost is a singing voice, if I could get it under some kind of control.
And, this autumn, I found God, or he/she/it/they found me. God takes a lot of time. There’s all that praying business, and (ugh) facing yourself, and, since I’ve popped out in the Christian spectrum, there’s the Bible to read, and the 1,000,000,000,000 commentaries on the Bible, and the gazillion and twenty-six books about trying to live as a Christian, and there’s the note-taking you’ll inevitably do, and the conversations (both live and by email) with friends who have been doing this longer than you have, and the lists of more books to read and (not least) the sitting staring into infinite space and thinking ‘eep’ and . . .
And there’s going to church. St Radegund is right around the corner of course, and I do go there occasionally, but it’s not a church I’m much drawn to. Nooooo, I have to be drawn to monks, who are another half-hour-plus commute†††, and Aloysius’ church is only a minute or two nearer, and then there’s the abbey–I mean Forza, not the monks–which is miles in the opposite direction. I bought a bit of flex that is supposed to make Pooka read aloud to me when plugged into Wolfgang’s speakers for all this car time, supposing I figure out how to use it . . . but it’s still time.
And neither last nor least . . . there are hundreds of uncompleted auction orders waiting my attention. AAAAAAAAAUGH.‡ Those nights I can’t sleep? One of the things that keeps me awake is the knowledge of all those piles of books and order slips next door in my office. I really did get started on them when I sent the more-or-less finished SHADOWS in—bleh, whenever it was, whenever I announced it here—but I almost immediately had to go back to work on the things both Merrilee and my editor brought up. None of this has been major, but it all . . . takes time. And I’ve got to have these LAST editorial/authorial twiddles in by the tenth of this month, and then there will be copyediting, and . . .
And my poor neglected garden. . . .
I’m not closing the blog down. And I will still write long rambling days-in-the-life posts. But not as many of them, not as often.
And I’ll tell you more about my ideas for the Future of the Blog . . . tomorrow.
* * *
* I sometimes feel, especially when it’s being inconvenient, like a PUPPY WHO FEELS NEGLECTED BECAUSE IT’S BEEN AT LEAST FIFTEEN MINUTES SINCE ANYONE EITHER FED HER OR PLAYED WITH HER, that the ME is Just One More Thing on the frelling list. Except those times when I think it’s probably saving my life. No, you can’t do that too, it says. Sit down. Have a little rest. Do it now.
** Well, I still have frelling mechanical instruments that go tick tock.
*** To the continuing consternation of hellhounds. We’ve had her THREE MONTHS, you guys! Get used to it! Said hellterror puppy, just by the way, is up to needing almost half an hour of hurtling a day . . . and there is as yet no indication of a likelihood of survival of any attempt at triune hurtling.
†† I’ve now knitted two, count ’em, two, baby bibs and furthermore have given them to people with babies. As opposed to burying them in the bottom of some stash bag or other, as happened to all those Secret Projects last year. I don’t guarantee that either recipient has used them, or anyway has used them more than once when they unravelled instantly on contact with an actual baby, but Raphael did send me an awfully cute photo of his baby wearing hers and it does seem to be functioning. Nadia received the second one, right before our Christmas break, not because I meant to give it to her then but because I kept forgetting to give it to her at all.
††† Although I have yet to have a parking problem, if this wet weather continues I will need a ferry.
‡ Both Blogmom and I get queries about what’s happened to the money. The money is still sitting there in its account. It will eventually go to one of the bell funds run by the national bell-ringers’ council, but I am NOT DOING ANYTHING WITH IT till I’ve actually fulfilled my obligations.
Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.