Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Losing track of time

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I seem to be engaged in a vain attempt to catch my own shadow.

February 8th was my last writing Wednesday (more on the 15th later) and turned into a sorting out day. The short story I was working on led me to look inside some old files and folders on my laptop. I found the first vague thoughts and notes for my bottom drawer book. They were over ten years old and have gone in the bin. Never more can I be reminded of the awfulness of my prose. There were some starts to short stories of which I have no memory, or further interest, so they too have been ditched.

Once I’d tidied it up, I tried to clone my hard drive, but my destination disk was full. I tried to synch my ipod, but a new software download was available – did I want it? I clicked yes and an hour later my ipod was restored to factory settings. All I’d wanted to do was add my latest music so I have something new to listen to during insomnia nights.

Attempts to get the short story to gel failed and so I ended up reading. I read through Sue Healy’s blog – catching up on all of her January posts. I read though a couple of BBC scripts available from (Death in Paradise and Sherlock). Having watched both episodes I could see the pictures, but it’s a form of writing I can’t get on with. The correct, inoffensive adjective to describe what I feel as I read screenplays has yet to come to mind.

After that, I returned to the Diary of a Psychic Narrowboat – the blog of our boating life from day one and not updated since November. I’d been stuck on how to get a very wordy, convoluted-without-actually-saying-very-much, diary entry, into something readable. And now I have. Hopefully, having got over that hillock, I’ll carry on at more regular intervals, but I doubt it.

And then we come to Wednesday 15th February, which was not a writing one. Instead, hubby and I went to visit his mum before he jetted off to Las Vegas with mine. Yes, hubby is spending four days in the sun (it’s 18°C and sunny there compared to the heavy rain and wind I’ve experienced all day) hopefully stopping my mother gamble away all her savings. She didn’t ask if I wanted to go with her, but she didn’t ask hubby if he wanted to look after Dad either.

While they are away I am supposed to be editing. This is an opportunity to move on with the second draft of my book. Instead, I have driven back and forth between my parents’ house and the boat. I have painted hubby’s solar air heater three times (see a future blog for photos and an explanation of that). I have chopped and sawn wood. I have moved things around in my parents’ (over full of rubbish they won’t throw away for some reason) loft in preparation for PV solar panel installation in a week’s time. I have shopped, run Dad about, cooked, washed clothes, looked at my lists of ever growing jobs and wondered how I’m going to get half of them done.

Today, however, I did edit. Having returned to the boat to paint another coat of undercoat on the solar heater, I sat down this afternoon and started to edit Chapter 4. Thankfully, as I scribbled on my paper copy last May, “I like this chapter,” I still do. The words have stayed largely the same, but the sentences within paragraphs have been reordered to improve flow and reduce repetition. This evening, once I’d finished, I emailed hubby the good news: ‘It’s fine. I am working.’ Everything I need to continue is laid out on my parents’ dining table and I’m setting the alarm to go off early. Tomorrow morning I’ll have the next chapter halfway done before Dad comes down for breakfast.

As if!


Written by Sarah Ann

February 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm

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