I can’t describe my joy at hearing rain hit the roof this evening.

Mostly I can’t describe it because I’m working on a job application and trying to pour my heart and soul into it. I don’t know why I’m spending so much time on it, because it will probably just get dumped like 95% of the applications I send out (or 95% of the ones I receive). One must have hope though.

I will return here when there’s more time.


Final Stretch

Oof. I came home from work early so that I could keep working on my assignment.

Just realised I’ve been writing for 10 hours.

Aaaand… I’m still not done. I’m close. I’d better be, since it’s due tomorrow. There is one large chunk of this assignment still left to do. And that bit is a revision of an earlier bit. I’m feeling more confident about this assignment in general, as I think I’m starting to get a better feel for what the lecturer is looking for. However, the marking schedule looks tricky, and I think I’m still easily 30 marks off the pace.

I don’t have 10 hours to spare tomorrow. I will be home after 5pm, and I absolutely must get it submitted before midnight.

But sleep is calling. Gentle, soft, embracing sleep.

We shall see what tomorrow holds…

Chewing Cardboard

The heavy rain has been washing in all day, so I’m quite glad that I had homework to do. If I’d had plans for the garden, they would never have happened in this weather.

However, I actually made some surprisingly good progress on my course assignment (despite all my procrastination) and am almost hopeful that I’ll be able to hand this one in on time this week. Unlike the last one. Of course, it all depends on how much paid work I have thrown at me this week, and whether I can come home every night with enough energy to get some more writing done.

Tonight is a bad example. I’m struggling to hold my eyes open. My writing is bland and as dull as cardboard… after a whole day of writing stuff that’s as dull as cardboard. And reading texts that are worse. God forgive anyone who writes a business textbook which isn’t full of mind-melting jargon.

I’ve certainly read my fair share of dense and difficult texts before. On my first time through I did an Arts degree, for heaven’s sake! I’ve read Foucault and Proust. Nobody understands Proust. He’s the king of reading and re-reading a sentence four times over, and then staring at it blankly for a minute until the sense finally starts to reveal itself. But at least those guys knew how to write. It strikes me that business textbooks are written by people who really don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re on about, so they just invent acronyms and cram them all together with a few verbs in between.

… “The CV of the EVA is calculated by withdrawing the BCWP against the ACWS.” …

This is meant to teach me something? Oh go fuck yourself.

Out of the Darkness

The cats may know that daylight savings started tonight. I fell asleep on the couch (as usual) and they woke me up with persistent smooching and claws at 4:30am… only now it’s 5:30am, so virtually breakfast time. How could they know this? Now they have settled to just lying all over me and pinning me down so that I can’t get up without disturbing them. Just in case I try to sneak away, I guess.

It’s still very dark outside. It will take a while to become re-accustomed to leaving for work in the dark.

It took quite a while to write that last post, but overall the rest of my weekend will be very dull. It’s raining. I have another course assignment to do. I’ll be tied to the computer for a few days (and probably tired and grumpy and stressed, just like last time).

So of course, I’ve been procrastinating by enjoying The Guardian’s collection of stories about vaginas. I’ve added my sketch to the Wall of Vulvas (won’t tell you which one is mine). My sex-nerdery doesn’t come out much on this blog, but I do love reading stories like these, if only because they are so basic that I can grumble “What do you mean people can’t identify a labia majora? They should be able to label the anterior fornix, or the Skenes glands, or the perimetrium. Jeesh!” And, as many others under the have pointed out, women don’t pee out of their vagina… unless you have a tear after giving birth, in which case you need surgery. I do dearly love teaching people about how all their bits work, and am constantly amazed by how little most people know. It’s like not understanding what your stomach does. So sad.

One day I’ll have to go back to having a job where I get teach people about their genitals. So sad.


Nearly There

Am I nearly there?

I’m going to keep telling myself that I’m nearly there.

Despite going back to work today, I’m now up to over 5000 words in my assignment. I’ve created 15 tables, graphs and supporting pictures. I’ve put together a ginormous Gantt diagram. I’ve finished the two largest sections of the task, which just leaves me with the Project Proposal to do. Probably 2000-2500 words left to go. Due on Thursday… And I have a 12-hour shift at work tomorrow, juggling two conferences and set-up for a gala dinner.


I can’t even pull and all-nighter tomorrow because I have a long shift on Thursday as well.

But at least our barman also came back to work today – armed with a medical certificate and a Band Aid on his finger. It was pretty much the least injured he could possibly look. After all the blood on Sunday night, I am very relieved.

But this is also wasting good assignment/work/sleeping time. I’ll be so happy when Thursday has come and gone and there is no more I can do on this damn assignment.

Of course, the next one is due in September…


The Russian Novel

After adding 4000 words to my course assignment today (which I’m quite proud of), I finally remembered that I have a blog and there’s still more writing to do. Oof.

It occurs to me that all this writing has made me a little strange, and Rob was giggling today as I talked to Eva while she kept trying to interrupt my work. It was after midday and she was convinced it was time for Second Breakfast. Second Breakfast being the meal that follows First Breakfast and her required morning excursion outside to go toity. Second Breakfast requires that she howls and howls and follows us around, which would be more annoying if she didn’t still have the big-eyed face of a kitten. So she’s adorable but still kind of annoying. And she won’t. Shut. Up.

Here’s a sample of our conversation:


“That’s a very sad story, Eva. You should write that down.”


“It could be another great Russian novel. So depressing.”


“Yes, I know. It snows a lot. And the kind tailor has been wrongly imprisoned for murdering his con-man brother.”


“Even though the brother is really still alive and just ran off to Minsk to escape his gambling debts.”


“Oh really? The aristocratic lady is also having a tragic affair with the gamekeeper?”


“And then she had a miscarriage? And went mad and killed herself? That’s terrible.”


“And her husband had the gamekeeper charged with theft, but then he met the tailor in prison.”


“And together they plot their escape to try and get revenge.”


“And they kill the dead lady’s maid by accidentally setting fire to her husband’s house. And this leaves the husband ruined.”


“But they’ll never really get back what they’ve lost, because the tailor’s wife has already remarried and the aristocratic lady is still dead.”


“So they both get hanged. And it’s still snowing.”


“Yes. Tragic.”





The Quiet Emptiness of Joy

Six months in and I’ve hit a wall. Mentally, at least.

The first three months of this blog were basically moaning about my work hours and being really tired all the time. The second three has seen a lot more happening with the house and section (and a lot less work) but still no clear direction for my writing. In the past I’ve had a bigger readership who’ve given me feedback about what they like to read. These days I am largely talking to myself.

Which makes this a diary. “Today the weather was cold, blah blah blah…” Only vaguely interesting even if you know the person you’re reading about.

However, when I recall the highlights of my previous year-long blogs, it strikes me that what made them most interesting was tragedy. The last time I sat down to record my thoughts for a whole year, I was going through a painful redundancy process as part of the GFC. I’m sure a lot of other people were going through exactly the same thing that year, so they read it. Seven years prior to that, when I did another year-long slog, my cat died. Possibly less interesting to most people, but the one big thing I remember from that year and one which tainted my entire catalogue of writing. I spent much of that year writing about grief.

So. Grief. I’d say that both years ended up being all about grief. Losing something you love and having to learn all over again how to deal with it. One thing about grief is that it makes writing a little easier, if only because there is so much I just need to get out of my brain.

At the moment – happy and (so far) not grieving for any big loss this year – my brain is blissfully empty. I’m starting to think that this is what happens when you crawl out of depression and find joy: your brain empties. In so many ways, it’s a relief. Yet at the same time…

Continue reading The Quiet Emptiness of Joy

Paradise City

Now we’re getting to the really grown up bits. This isn’t the stuff that kids should be reading.

There were some scenes that I wrote while listening to particular pieces of music. I felt that they set the right mood for me. And some of them, like the next scene, are no intertwined so deeply into that music that I can’t hear the song without being brought right back to that imaginary moment.

Since everyone reads at a different speed, I can’t guarantee that the reading will match the listening… but one day, when we make Imaginary Movie, I’ll be able to better dictate the pace.

Yes, there is an Imaginary Movie…

Anyway, this is Paradise City. Kids go no further.



Continue reading Paradise City

Morality Play

Next bit…

I’ve now reached the point where (despite still enjoying reading my manuscript again after all this time) I’m seriously thinking of taking out a big red pen.

That’s surely simply an effect of time. The bits whose creation I once reveled in now don’t seem quite as important, and if they don’t move the story along they need to go. What was Nabokov’s line? “I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction.” That seems like a good place to aspire to. It’s not my job to save the world. It’s just my job to birth this one story in the most realistic way.

And real life is never truly didactic.

… Is that an oxymoron?  My God, perhaps I am.



“It was completely improper,” Father Toma fumed.

Max held his forehead and tried to ignore the threatening migraine. “So what exactly did she say that was so out of line?”

Continue reading Morality Play

Fire. Heh heh.

The first cloudless night we’ve had in a very long time, so of course it’s turned bitingly and instantly cold. If we don’t get a frost overnight I’ll be very surprised.

There was enough nip in the air that I stopped and bought firewood on my way home. Then proceeded to stoke a fire so hot that I had to strip off to my undies and melt into the couch. That’s the problem with a fire in a small house. It’s either too much or nothing at all. Imaginary House is definitely getting a heat transfer system to keep the lounge cooler and the bedrooms warmer.

However, now that the fire is out and we’re in the wee smalls again, I’m thinking that I might resume my book posts (which nobody is reading) with something a bit tougher, harsher, more likely to leave a bad taste.

Chapter 17…


“Don’t do it…” Kara whispered with a warning tone, her foot tucked up casually on the edge of the seat and one sinuous arm threaded through the other. “Jeez. She’s gonna do it…”

Continue reading Fire. Heh heh.