I have rather a modest list of things I want to achieve during this week off work. It’s only a mental list, I hasten to add, because I haven’t got round to writing any of it down yet. I’m afraid this in itself sets the tone for the week. Now I’ve found even the modest ambitions that make up the list may already have been swept away in a new flurry of writing.
(image: sunken garden at Horniman Museum, London)
I did make a start on drafting ‘Pitkirtly XI’ in my lucky notebook one day last week, but I decided the 29th of February would be an auspicious date to start a Word file for it, not least because I woke up in the middle of the night one night at the weekend and decided I had started in the wrong place. This doesn’t happen very often, but it also happened in the case of ‘Crime in the Community’, the first novel in the series, and for much the same reason, i.e. the first chapter was too boring.
Anyway, I think it was a good idea to transfer my work to the computer at this point, because it has encouraged me to write every morning at roughly the same time instead of just grabbing the notebook and jotting something down whenever I feel like it. That more or less worked for a shorter thing (‘Mysterious Pitkirtly’) but a longer mystery novel needs to be a bit more logical and less random. But not too much so.
My mental to-do list, in case anyone s curious, consists of things like this: take excess rubbish to tip (the Council now calls these places recycling centres, perhaps hoping if they put up enough official signs that will make it true); tidy up junk mail mountain in conservatory; select a knitting project and make a start on it; get blood test on Friday; go to theatre on Saturday; obsessively watch Facebook for any news of my son who has just left for Atlanta; water the plants, especially the pot of crocuses by front door (a Christmas present from a family member); change water in cat’s dish (usually son’s task); open door to let other cat in and out as required. Try not to check work email. Avoid agreeing to do anything for anyone.
You can see why I take refuge in writing!