Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Slightly Less Frazzled of Godalming Day Three

Not quite so much rushing around today, as there’s no Student Care Services stall to worry about, thank goodness. Mind you, I think it went very well, and everyone seems to be very enthused about it and the big presentation it was linked with. I’m hoping we’ll be able to do the same again next year, but I imagine it depends on budgets. As ever.

So this morning, I’ve been sorting the talks out for next week – as even though the big first week is over then, we still have individual talks to do. Thankfully, I’m not doing them though – I’m just arranging the dates and equipment. I don’t have to appear in public, thank the Lord. That would be enough to terrify all the unsuspecting students away.

Ooh, and the Chaplaincy have just received a bundle of very arty posters which are quite charming and we all love them. There’s a whole variety and they go by titles such as “Stillness” and “Listening”, which are very soothing indeed. Though we are rather amused by the ones called “Overwhelmed” and “Agonised Pleading”. In the middle of Freshers’ Week, we already know what that feels like. Maybe we’ll stick to the soothing options and hide the rest. Probably a good plan. On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that “Overwhelmed” might well be my word and my poster – I am strangely drawn to it, Carruthers. In fact, I’m so taken by the whole idea that here’s the site where you can admire them for yourself. I think they’re great.

At lunchtime, I managed to have my first lunch hour of the week (hurrah!) so walked round the campus and looked at the new art exhibition. At the moment they’re showing paintings by Mike Francis, who’s very photographic in his style. I enjoyed them, particularly the marvellous Beachcombers, where the sky and sea are huge and such a calming colour. Just what I needed. I also admired the ducks. Who, incidentally, seem to be performing a series of duck tricks today. This morning they were all lined up along the grass in perfect formation like a receiving line as I walked to the office, so who knows what they’ll get up to this afternoon while the Freshers’ Fayre is on. Which I’m glad I’m not doing anything for this year, as I don’t think I could summon up the energy. The last two days have wiped away any abilities I ever had (doesn’t take much, does it …) – in fact yesterday I was so spaced out with it all, I had trouble forming words and when Carol asked me where I was off to next in my wild rush, I couldn’t actually get the sentence out to explain it to her. I knew what it should be but couldn’t push it past my teeth. The curse of the family stammer, you know – when I’m excited or stressed or simply exhausted, the ability to speak disappears entirely or simple words become great mountains to conquer and I have to resort to saying something entirely different, or just silence, dammit. Though maybe that’s a good thing for the rest of the world indeed …

Here’s a poem about it:

A sentence is a mountain,
its crags and sharp pebbles
catch my tongue,
twist it to silence.

The thing I want to say
is not the thing
I can say.

I hold the words
in my mouth
but their shapes are out of joint,

Best swallow the thought away,
learn not to speak at all.

And all the time, I’m feeling so darn tired anyway that I can barely move, let alone speak.

Tonight, I shall pop into see Gladys in the certain knowledge that if she doesn’t make much sense, then heck neither will I. We’re a perfect match. And I have the delights of It Takes Two and Lost in Austen to look forward to. I will have to video Who Do You Think You Are and save it for another time. I’m also now at c 39,600 words of Hallsfoot’s Battle so only 400 words to go to reach my September target. Lordy, but I am indeed an obsessive crazed writer. A fact you already knew, I’m sure. At the moment, I’m having trouble working out what the heck the snow-raven is doing and how much he knows, though the scene with Simon and Annyeke, and possibly Johan later, is shaping up nicely. So far. I really must get back to Ralph and the mind-executioner at some stage as well – they’ve been waiting a while and I can’t have them getting bored. Who knows what they’ll do then.

Ooh, and it looks like some kind person has bought a copy of Maloney’s Law at as my rating has suddenly shot up and the stats tell me that 73% of people viewing my book there actually bought it, rather than 70%. Well gosh. Whoever you are, Kind Person, thank you a million times – and I hope you enjoy the story. If you do, please tell 10 of your friends; if you don’t, please tell me and I’ll try to improve for next time …

Amount of time The Gifting has been out with no response: 4 months and 4 days
Number of Pink Champagne and Apple Juice copies sold since June 2006: 131
Expected sales of a self-published book in the first year: 200. Sigh …
Average review rating of all my available books: 4 to 5 stars (out of 5)

Today’s nice things:

1. A quieter day
2. Chaplaincy posters
3. Art
4. Ducks
5. Poetry
6. Selling a copy of Maloney’s Law.
7. TV.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website

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