Of course I’ve always known that coffee possessed magical powers. But this morning I was reminded of that very forcefully, firstly when I hobbled around for two hours this morning, unable to do anything or even think very much, until after I had that vital second cup of coffee, and secondly as I stared into the very nearly empty coffee jar trying to estimate whether I’d be able to get one more cup out of it or whether another supermarket trip was on the cards. After the second cup, I began to do some of the numerous things on my list – not the physical ones so much, as I can’t do these until after the second dose of paracetamol, but the computer-based tasks such as uploading a new version of an ebook and updating my sales stats.
Crouching elephant, hidden tiger – or the other way round
It’s been a funny weekend. My son is taking part in (yet) another 48 hour film weekend so he has been in and out of the house at odd times. This morning, for instance, the first sign he had been in at all during the night / early morning was that one of the cats (the one depicted here, in fact) was sitting on the back doorstep waiting to come in, which is unusual in the morning as we don’t let him out in the dark, much to his chagrin. The other sign was that the second packet of jelly-beans had vanished from the kitchen. I don’t actually keep track of our supply of jelly-beans or any other kind of beans for that matter, but I remembered seeing that the first packet had gone yesterday and the second one was still there then. You can’t fool a mystery writer!
I’ve slipped without really noticing it into that pre-NaNoWriMo phase where almost everything seems like a waste of time and yet you can’t get started on anything meaningful until the beginning of November. I’ve been trying to get through this by researching everything I can think of that could be useful when I start writing. Of course I know perfectly well that when that happens I won’t need to know any of the things I’ve researched, but instead I will spend what should be valuable writing time googling ‘movies shown in Berlin in 1954’ or ‘train connections in Brussels’ or ‘clothes shops in Cambridge in the 1950s’. It’s no use going off and googling these now by the way, because they probably aren’t going to be of any relevance once they’ve crossed my mind.
Another of these in-between times tasks is tidying things up. Not the house, I hasten to add – not until the second lot of paracetamol kicks in, anyway – but my existing publications and planning notebooks. In theory I should also create some new paperback versions at this point, but that always takes longer than I imagine it will, and I don’t want anything else to spill into November.