Thursday, January 11, 2007

Counselling, play and writing terrors

Bloody hell, a lie-in today. Or almost, as Lord H's alarm went off at 6.30am but I lazed around till 7. Never let anyone tell you that being born in the country is a good thing for future life - you'll never think 8am is too early to get up again. Where I was born, by 6.30am you were washed, dressed, breakfasted and ready to take the 15 minute walk to the nearest bus-stop for school. Idyllic, not ...

Attempted to blast a hole through my urgent shopping needs before going to Counselling this morning, but it seems that the Law of Diminishing Shopping Returns has once again kicked in; now I've found a shampoo I like and actually want to buy, the powers that be have taken it off the shelves. Ye gods, how many times is this going to happen? Focus Groups must lie in wait, checking my purchasing routine and smiling to themselves, knowing they're going to be able to make my life a misery later (does xxx product work? ooh, no, we've not seen anyone buy it, m'lud ... and so on).

The session with Kunu (counsellor) was quite relaxed today. We seemed to deal with my inner child quite quickly and move on. We also touched briefly on last week's rejection misery and the angst of moving (or attempting to) in the publishing world before looking at my understanding of my ten-year life cycle and how I move on from each period.

I think we've decided that ages 0-13 were the Childhood Years; ages 13-18 were the Teenage Years; ages 18-29 were the University & Meeting Lord H Years; ages 30-39 were the Early Married Years; and now I'm in the What the Heck Do I Do Now? Years. The current set being more challenging as there are no apparent rules or structure, as I've done the School-University-Marriage thing, and I'm not having children (thank God!), so now there's a big blank space between me and the Grim Reaper, with no apparent key life points to face. Hmm. Never say Kunu doesn't cut to the chase.

We then decided that as I'd done all the structure stuff, it might be okay to look at finding a balance between my obsessive approach to achieving as much as possible in as short a time frame as possible, and actually seeing life as something to enjoy rather than circumnavigate. So it may yet be that the 40s become my Enjoyment Years. Who knows? Greater miracles have happened ... So this week's counselling homework is to do more stuff I enjoy. Which probably fits in with things my inner child liked doing, and certainly fits in with my 2007 resolutions, so there might be hope for me yet.

This afternoon, I've made a start on doing biographies for my characters in "Pink Champagne and Apple Juice" for the Sue Haywood project ( and I now have a skeleton outline for all my major people. Hurrah! Yeah, yeah, I know that as a novelist, I'm supposed to have this stuff at my fingertips and I am letting the side down by doing it after the novel has been published. But sod the rules anyway. Who needs 'em? And I do have to say at this point that I did once have the bios - in online note form - but a computer crash in the distant past wiped them out and I never retrieved them as I'd nearly finished writing the book at that point. That's my excuse anyway, and I 'm sticking to it. On the other hand, I am at heart a fly-by-night, seat-of-my-pants writer, and I enjoy the terror of not knowing what my characters are like till the finger hits the keyboard. Or even what the buggers are going to do. Hell, if I'm surprised at what they get up to, I can probably guarantee you will be too ...

Tonight, after a lovely, lovely nap late this afternoon, I'm going to do sod all. It's my favourite hobby, and (as above) I'm entitled to do more of it. Roll on wave after wave of crap TV. Heaven. I might read a little more of my Mslexia Magazine, which arrived today. If I feel strong enough. Is it just me, or does the sight of Mslexia on the hall table fill everyone else with guilt and horror? I know it's a mag I'm supposed to like and get inspiration from. But on the whole it simply makes me feel inadequate as (a) a woman, and (b) a woman writer. (Which of course brings me back to the fact that I never do really feel either male or female - I'm just Anne, and somewhere in between, wishing I had a unisex name like Chris or Les or Alex - Yeah, I'm up for that! ...). Anyway, some of the stuff in Mslexia is so literary and worthy that it makes my eyes spin. It's exhausting, m' dears. I think I'm going to start up a new magazine called "Crap Writer and Proud of It" - any takers out there? No literary submissions considered.

Ooh, and I feel hungry for the first time in days. Hurrah!

Today's nice things:

1. Counselling
2. Napping
3. Feeling hungry - hell, I must be getting better!

Anne Brooke


Nik Perring said...

Just thought I'd say a quick howdy!

Good to hear you're hungry. Get eating, Missy!


Anne Brooke said...

I have, Nik - have been a real pig tonight!!