I usually have several current to-do lists, some more sensible than others. So for instance if I wrote a list just for today, it would be incomprehensible to anyone except me, and might even baffle some readers altogether. ‘Finish Xmas cards’ is quite obvious, ‘Establish extent of Xmas shopping’ slightly less so, and ‘Find out if cat is trying to kill us all’ probably much less easy to understand. The last of these, by the way, is on my mental list – I haven’t yet become eccentric enough to write it all down, thus providing evidence of flakiness for current and future generations – because I’ve suddenly noticed someone or something has been digging a large hole at the far side of a large conifer which looms over the conservatory. The cat is chief suspect as I’ve noticed him digging holes round the tree before. Whenever I mention this to anyone they always comment that cats don’t dig, but my observations do tend to contradict this. Because strong winds are forecast I am slightly worried that this digging activity has destabilised the tree to such an extent that it will be blown on to the conservatory, where in fact I’m writing this very blog post.
Another entry on today’s to-do list would probably be something like ‘Get bottle-holder for pantomime’. This is actually one of the most sensible things I’ve had to get for the pantomime so far. I came home on Wednesday evening with a bag containing toy binoculars, two pairs of stripy socks (which don’t seem to be needed after all), a flask and a water-bottle, and I went out on Thursday with all these plus a bag of plastic frogs, a small panda toy which I had forgotten to take out of the bag after it was rejected the last time and some ribbon that was intended for lettering on the inside of a cummerbund (don’t ask) but which I actually used as a temporary holder for the water flask. I’ve also been involved in a complex email debate about whether to use custard pie mix from a can or not, but fortunately this was resolved when we couldn’t source the cans anywhere – I suspect this has been caused by health and safety issues, which makes our decision to try shaving foam instead particularly ridiculous.
My writing to-do list, seen above against a tasteful background of cat food containers, is a lot more sensible, relatively speaking. I try to make a new one every month because events move quickly in the world of e-publishing, and I don’t want to get left behind. Well, actually it isn’t because of that but because I keep changing my mind all the time about what to do next, as well as procrastinating relentlessly about things I don’t want to do at all, such as making a list of the chapters in my NaNoWriMo novel with a view to re-arranging them in a better order. Though maybe it isn’t quite that I don’t want to do that at all, but that part of my brain keeps telling me to do more research on the Scottish National Exhibition at Saughton Park in 1908 because it has a lot of really exciting new ideas about things to write. Then there’s the fact that by this time of year it’s a struggle just to survive until the Christmas break, never mind doing anything demanding in the evenings.