I never seem to have the time to do updates any more, so seeing as I appear to have a quiet Sunday with no visits, no ironing to do (seriously, man, I washed and ironed the entire collection of clothes in this house yesterday), no LRP events, no writing to do (other than the stuff I want to do as opposed to that which I need to do) – not to mention the fact that I now have a PC that isn’t broken – I thought I’d do some sort of update-thing.
Our recent long weekend trip to Ireland to see Aaron, Katie and Special Agent Pastry Cock feels like it was a long time ago now, even though it’s only two weeks. It was, needless to say, awesome. It was good fun, very relaxing – because A & K are like the Ireland versions of us and have very much the same attitude to visitors that we do. It was a damn good laugh playing Munchkin on Saturday night with Katie’s brothers in on the deal – sibling rivalry a go-go. Very funny stuff. I swear even Aaron cracked a smile at least once. Much as I hate to destroy his hardcore image.
Oh, the things I could add… but won’t.
Came home to go back to work, which continues to be soul-draining and unhappy. It’s most peculiar, because even though I actually enjoy the work itself, other people and their tendency to laxity within the NHS is frustrating beyond words. So work is ticking over. No pay rises as per H.M. Government for the next however-long-it-is, but you know. It was inevitable that a Chancellor would eventually have to start taking tough stands on this country’s abysmal finances. Grin and bear it time.
Jamie’s secondary school still isn’t sorted out. This is an area into which I won’t go into any great detail, suffice only to say that Durham County Council’s inordinate incompetence is almost comical. Or at least, it would be comical if it didn’t focus so heavily on my son’s educational future. Still, at least we know for sure that we’ve got him into one of the two schools we wanted to – far better than the local cattle pen, where the highest qualification you can expect to come out with appears to be a GCSE in Benefit Fraud.
That may be a tad unfair. Observational, though.
So work, computer death, Jamie’s school situation… the idea of moving house – all of these things have been frustrating and difficult to deal with. Fortunately, there are things that are a whole lot better and which mean that I still walk around with a smile on my face. Let’s start with World of Warcraft.
I’m still a relatively newcomer to the game, although I’ve owned it for ages. I would create a toon, bimble about a bit, flail like a lost puppy and then get bored. Now, though, I belong to a roleplaying guild. It goes without saying that the actually roleplaying element of this is superior by far to the actual playing of the game itself, but my Blood Elf Paladin is now at the dizzying heights of level 70. I have had a lot of fun with these guys. My character even got to lead a mission the other night, something which had me ultra-excited both in and out of character. The people in the guild themselves are all dead nice and the OOC chatter has me giggling. It’s also infinitely preferable to LRP because:-
1) it’s inside. None of this rain/wind/snow/sun/sleet/hail/mud/wasp/mosquito nonsense;
2) it’s much easier to stay IC when you are behind a keyboard; and
3) it’s brilliant for writing practise.
This list is not exhaustive.
So that’s been good. Writing has also been very good: I currently have a few things in with my editor, which I’m waiting for him to come back to me about. Had a few really good words with Aaron whilst over there as well and am starting to feel more comfortable about sticking with my own personal style rather than the inadequate need to emulate the other authors. For the first time in a long time, I feel confident about my writing. I can do this thing. I have a novel pitch in with Christian at the moment and I’m hoping it gets the green light. The challenges implicit in writing a 100,000 word novel are exciting and scary in reasonably equal measure, but the pros far, far outweigh the cons.
Also on the subject of writing, the weirdest of things happened to me the other day. Out of a fit of boredom, I put ‘Primary Instinct Sarah Cawkwell’ into google.co.uk. The first thing it pulls back is a Warhammer 40k fan page in Russia, where there’s my little Primary Instinct extract… with a bunch of comments in Cyrillic. It was so, so strange. Not because I couldn’t understand a word that was there (although running it through an online Cyrillic-English translator did give me the gist, and quite a few laughs), but because there were a bunch of people talking about me.
This is how it is, of course. I’m not bloody stupid. I know that once things hit the reader base, there’ll be comments, hopefully some good ones but undoubtedly negative ones as well. The impact of this – like the concept of writing a novel – is both scary and thrilling.
But still. Cyrillic, yo.
Right, I’m feeling a bit under the weather, so am going to curl up on the chair and re-watch the new Battlestar Galactica. I’d forgotten how mighty fine that series actually was.
I’m outta here.
Here is something strange to keep you going until my next outstanding entry.