I’ve been struck down with flu for the last few days, hence no post on Friday – although that was partly because I’d been forcibly parted from my laptop, which seems to also be the only way to stop me working! I’ve managed to get some of my TBR list a few pages on, and otherwise have spent my weekend on a sofa. I’m approaching normal again though, so we’re all still crowin’ here.
Have some pretty pics from a cold morning walk across the watermeadows last week.
He’s still with me, but it’s a scar that’s healed, knitted, faded; only occasionally do the strings tug and the ache returns.
I’ve told the story enough times now, part and parcel of my background spiel. I’ve met enough new people that I’ve had to explain why I pause before some thoughts, searching for the best way to say something. Why I flinch when someone tells me that they love me. Why I tell the DIY disaster stories with a laugh and a memory that never fails to make me smile. Why I run my fingers gently across the wire of the railway bridge and pause to watch the train come roaring past, even if I’m chattering happily. Why I pause for a moment, if someone’s got that half-shadowed look in their eyes and that edge to their smile, and remind them that I’m there if they need to talk.
It won’t always work. I know that: he taught me that. That slice of the scar won’t ever fade.
But all I can do is remind someone else that I’m here, I’m listening – and I understand.
This is specifically personal reading! My TBR is ridiculous and keeps getting added to, and I want to make time for reading. I’m not going to set myself aims as they don’t really work, but I want to keep bearing it in mind when I have free time.
Ok, this is staying in! I need to get bloody on with writing…
Finish Greensky Book 10.
Rewrite No Man’s Land, and work on finishing No Man’s Dawn and the rest of the series
And write anything that catches my fancy! I need to remember that anything is good, and that writing something silly is still writing…
I’ve started making more things, and been really enjoying it! I’m slowly working my way back through my cookbook and adding new memories to older recipes; while it does still hurt to make pizza dough or smartie cookies or banana bread, I’m overlaying new memories.
But I do also have some specific aims:
Japanese cooking; I want to learn how to make red bean buns and char sui; experiment more with soups and noodles, and learn more of the puddings and cakes.
Winter food: I’ve been introducing Otter to the joys of pearl barley, stews, dumplings and risotto, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is to just look in the cupboard, go “ehhhh…that works” and throw things in! It’s definitely the season for it too. In the summer, this is my go-to for salads, so it should be able to continue all year.
I am going to get these damn macarons working! I’m a bit of an, uh, experimental baker…in that various people have despaired over my quantity instructions (“about that much”), and nearly fainted in shock when they watch me bake something from memory (“eh, it’ll be fine”). But macarons have been defeating me every time, because they need to be precise. So – at some point, I’m going to clear the kitchen for an entire afternoon and focus. They will be perfect.
4. Work on friendships
I feel like I’ve neglected people a little over the past year; I’ve had so much going on…but then that’s a weasel too, as I’ve met so many new people and formed new friendships and moved house (twice) and settled into my job and ARGH! But, that said, I do want to make an effort with both old and new friendships. I need to make more of an effort to be sociable and actively do things, especially as I’m feeling ok at the moment and therefore have both energy and spoons to be able to socialise.
I want to go adventuring. I want to travel; Japan, Amsterdam, Norway, Vietnam, New Zealand, Ireland. I want to learn to bake more cakes, cook more meals. I want to read things that make me think, listen to music that someone else loves; discover new pathways, find new memories, see everything through different eyes. I want to dance and sing and bake. I want to explore and grow. And it’s going to be awesome.
Well, when I started 2018, I had a bunch of aims – mostly for 2018 to be less shit than 2017 was. I wanted to have a better year, finish some old writing (mostly my Dresden files and possibly Madcap Library, with a side order of No Man‘s) and start something new, improve me (aka. get out of the house more), and read more.
Well, I sort of turned my life upside-down in April when Rebellion offered me a job, and since then this year really can be summed up as “What the hell happened?!” – in a really good way, but seriously…what the fuck?!
I have a new job working alongside amazing people – I get to read varied, complex and interesting fiction on a daily basis, alongside doing admin, organising, talking to a whole bunch of interesting people, formatting, and generally loving everything I get to do. I have a new relationship with someone that I adore, and who thinks I’m splendid (their words!); I have two frickin’ annoying and absolutely adorable cats, and two equally frickin’ annoying and adorable housemates (mostly joking about the annoying bit – love you, guys); I have a bunch of fabulous and wonderful friends who make every day better; I live in a beautiful city; I get to walk to work through a stunning landscape that makes me dream; and I have a life around me that is astonishingly and unexpectedly wonderful every single day.
I do still miss everything; I miss Ryan and the pub and my cat, and the relationships I walked away from. I miss being able to do random DIY, challenge myself with projects, laugh at old jokes. I miss the memories and the experiences and the comfort.
But I feel like the last few years have paid off – they were worth every lesson and every struggle. I am ridiculously, wonderfully lucky, and I am so, so grateful to everyone and everything around me that has made this year amazing.
So, how did I do with my aims?
1. For 2018 To Not Be As Shit As 2017 Was
Yup. Blasted through that one!
2. Something Old
Hmm, this one’s a bit more variable.
I did get the Dresden Files writing up, and I’m so happy with that! It’s still scary, but I love it. I’m just getting the last bits of the final story up, and then it’s all there.
Madcap Library is still in formatting, and it’s simply fallen to the bottom of the pile.
Greensky…don’t ask. (Yes, I STILL need to finish Book 10!)
No Man’s is all ongoing, as is Shadows.
3. Something New
No, but…I think I might be excused on this front! I’m still doing bits and drabbles, so at least there’s still something there.
4. Improve Me
I think kicking Depression’s ass, along with whacking a whole bunch of weasels, definitely counts as improvement! I’m walking every day, drinking more water and less caffeine, and generally feeling better about myself. In terms of other improvements – I got my SFEP membership and I’m still doing my formatting (plus I’ve been learning so much at work), and I’m slightly accidentally revising a whole bunch of history knowledge thanks to wandering round various museums with friends (Ashmolean FTW!)
As for “Don’t Be A Hermit” – well. Yes. I think between working at Rebellion (my boss commented with some astonishment that I seem to know more of the staff in six months than he’s met in 12 years…whoops!), conventions, friends of friends and general havoc, I definitely haven’t been a hermit.
5. Read More
Um. Yeah. This definitely hasn’t been a problem.
That said, most of my reading has been for work, and I am missing doing personal and freelance reading – so actually, this may stay on the list!
So, overall, it’s been a ridiculous and wonderful and amazing year. It’s been hard, yes, but I’ve coped and learned and battled and I can do this.