Tuesday, April 08, 2008

new day, new book (and an apology)

Current work: admin day
Listening to: Kathryn Williams (and I’m going to see her tonight!!)
Reading: Anne McAllister, One-Night Love Child (enjoyed this hugely – Flynn was an irresistible hero, and so was his son. Sara was an excellent heroine: strong enough to match Flynn. Good dialogue, and a dog my own children would have adored…)

Apologies. I’ve been a bad mum, a bad blogger (didn’t even warn you of the hiatus - sorry) and generally a difficult-to-live-with person. Mainly because my book was due in yesterday, and as of last Thursday I still had 30k to go (note to self – next time, do NOT blithely say you can write a book when you have school holidays, a family wedding and a few personal commitments). It was all in my head, I knew where it was going, I’d been frustrated in not being able to sit down and write without constant interruptions… and something had to give. So I let the kids watch film and play on the Wii all day Friday, so I could work, and left DH in charge all day on Saturday and Sunday. And yesterday, I was even worse: son was back to school, Madam’s school had a teacher training day, so I bought the DVD of Enchanted and did a deal with her – she could watch the film and eat popcorn, and I could write while she watched, and would play with her when the film ended provided I had no interruptions. (And it worked.)

So. The book went off to my editor last night with a warning that it’s a weepie and a half. And now I have some serious making-up to do to my poor, suffering family.

Actually, they thought it was brilliant when I was being Neglectful Mum. Now they’re getting Naggy Mum back: have you cleaned your teeth, why is your shirt inside-out, where is your lunchbox, sit at the table to eat because we have ants and I don’t want food all over the floor to attract them in, have you done your homework, have you done your homework, have you done your homework (that has to be repeated a lot for son), please tidy your room because I can’t vacuum if I can’t see the floor, five more minutes and you’ve had your quota on the Wii today… etc.)

I should add – I don’t normally write at quite that pace because it’s not sustainable (MUCH better to do 2k a day every day than, ahem, write a book in ten days when the kids are on holiday). But circumstances this year have severely crunched my time and emotional energy, and I had to be a bit tough and give my job absolute priority for a while.

Yes, I could’ve left it or begged yet another extension. But if I don’t work, I don’t get paid… And there’s my mental health to think of. I see myself as an underachiever, and missing deadlines make that a lot worse – and no, I don’t judge other people by my benchmark, just me. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a complete slacker who’s two books behind where she should be at the moment. So. It had to be done to stop me getting very, very stressed.

Anyway. The book is done. I have a chat due with my ed to finalise details of the books I had intended to start in January (cough). And I can switch back to nonfiction this week (I have another book due... also late, and also most of the material is in my head but I need two library days).

Today is going to be a reasonably quiet day:
  • print out book for lovely agent
  • meanwhile tidy office
  • parcel up everything I promised to post to people which I haven’t done yet (sorry, I had to prioritise, and I had a screaming deadline)
  • school run x2 and Madam’s swimming lesson
  • write blog to celebrate my dear friend Liz Fielding's wonderful achievement (50 books! ... and I'm her shelfmate this month)
  • write blog for PHS about a certain film (hmm, need to watch it first, will do that later this week)
  • think about doing accounts (actually no, that’s the end of this month – I have another deadline now and need to focus on that from tomorrow)
  • switch to dictation for nonfiction to give fingers a break after mammoth writing binge this weekend
  • guitar lesson (did not do homework but will do better from this week on)
  • ring piano teacher to set up lessons again
  • go to see Kathryn Williams at the Arts Centre tonight (yippee)
  • get some exercise (a weekend of not moving from my desk has put on 2lbs, sigh – but I did do nearly 17k steps yesterday...)


Michelle Styles said...

Hooray on getting your book done!!!
Fingers crossed that your editor loves it.

My lot have just gone on Spring break...

Diane said...

Hey, you got there. Well done. And good luck with the next one too.

Melissa Marsh said...

The kids won't suffer any ill effects from watching movies, etc., for a few days. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

Congrats on getting that book done!

Liz Fielding said...

Congratulations, Kate! You haven't got the odd 25,000 words to spare have you? :)

Jan Jones said...

Do you know, I think my eyes have gone wrong. I could have sworn that somewhere in this blogpost I read that Kate sees herself as an underachiever.

Must make an appointment with the optician.

Anne McAllister said...

Do I get to arm wrestle Liz for your extra 25,000 words? Because I really really really need it. I'd take 30,000 if you had 'em because then I'd be 5 up on the next book!

Thanks for loving Flynn and Liam and Sara. So glad you did. And yes, O'Mally, too. He's real even if the people aren't!

Kate Hardy said...

Michelle - thanks, my fingers are crossed too :o) Enjoy the spring hols.

Diane - thanks.

Melissa - thanks for making me feel less guilty!

Liz - sadly not, am in zombie mode right now...

Jan - I know, I know. I've been told about it. But I do.

Anne - nope, you don't get to arm-wrestle me because I am a zombie and they'd be 30k of mumble mumble mumble... :o)