Monthly Archives: December 2014

Another Year Over

Currently listening to: Maroon 5, Songs about Jane Time for Addison’s Big Fat Review of the Year. Let’s just gloss over the three months of inactivity. It’s not like I’ve been lying dormant for all that time. Here’s a quick run-down of stuff I’ve been doing:

  • Following on from the Battlefields trip I went on over the summer, I got to direct a performance of Private Peaceful with the kids at work and they moved pretty much everyone to tears. They were genuinely so mature and clued up and they did a fantastic job.
  • I failed NaNoWriMo spectacularly.
  • I’ve been researching sewing projects
  • Lining up to do costume design for Alice in Wonderland at Easter
  • And of course I’ve been reading

I’m lucky enough at the moment to be test reading Rich Ford’s latest Steelhaven book, Lord of Ashes. In preparation, I re-read the first two (Herald of the Storm and The Shattered Crown) and am pretty sucked in to the world. I was sat at the station during a three hour delay (damn you, Kings Cross!!) reading The Shattered Crown and actually reacting out loud to things. Quietly, mark you, for I am British and a seasoned traveller, but still out loud. This of course gives me a massive run-up for Lord of Ashes so while the book I’m currently reading is still settling in for the big set-pieces, really we’re already in the final third. So I’m enjoying that. Thanks, Rich! Cheque’s in the post.

Also I’ve been abusing my audiobook privileges and listening to Discworld. And I started re-listening to Ready Player One again again the other day. I like it because Wil Wheaton is a very soothing narrator and I can listen through the words and concentrate on sewing stuff and drawing without worrying about missing anything because I’ve heard the story so many times before. Last week I got the chance to give books to my nephew for Christmas. He got Stick Man and Zog, both Julia Donaldson, and he loves them. Various family members who were silly enough to sit down in his presence have had both books thrust upon their laps repeatedly. He’s at the age of ONE STORY A MILLION TIMES OVER IS NOT ENOUGH so for the entire journey home on the train (and in the station – damn you, Kings Cross!!) I found myself thinking in rhyme.

For Christmas I got only three books. I know. I almost cried. One was a recipe book (thanks, mum!) but the other was a translation of an early Bestiary. I know what you’re thinking: awesome! And it is! It’s got lots of footnotes which is good and the translation is done by T H White (the guy that wrote The Sword in the Stone) and he’s quite funny. The most interesting thing about the bestiary is that pretty much every animal provides an example of either a) how to live in a more Godly and Christian way, or b) an aspect of Christ himself. Religion and real life were so very intertwined. Did you know that Jesus is like a lion, panther, tiger, pelican… and the Holy Trinity can be represented by doves in a tree? It’s all fascinating. The last was a lovely shoebox surprise from J and his wife all the way from America. Republic of Thieves!! Not opened it yet but I promise to follow the instructions you put in the card, J!

Through October I was lucky enough to go to the wedding of two friends, meaning that I also got to unexpectedly meet my god-daughter for the first time. I spent a lot of time that week getting deep into emotional stuff and visiting the people I love the most in the world, which was an amazing time. I built some connections that I hope will last a lifetime.

November was such a tiring month. I know I have previously posted about making time for stuff that you really want to do and if you don’t make the time clearly you’re not that bothered. I think NaNoWrimo is becoming one of those for me. This is the second year in a row that I have failed to get to 50k, but I’m not letting it get me down. I did accidentally write a really creepy story in November as an aside, when I was meant to be doing my word count. Oops! But on the other hand, more stories await.

At the moment, I’m listening to fellow Team Squirrel associate from NaNoWriMo 2012 talking to himself as he does some programming. It’s nice to see Bryan this side of the Atlantic, and in my living room eating me out of house and home. Time for a kitkat and a cup of tea as I ponder the next batch of sketching for Sewing 2015. I did quite well yesterday at marking out a design on fabric but I still have some more to do before I can start threading needles. I feel like I say this for every project I do, but if I can pull this off, it’ll be the greatest thing I’ve ever done. And then there’ll be something else. Even if I’m not writing as much as I should, or as much as I used to, it’s good to know that the creativity is leaking out somewhere. I don’t think there’ll ever be a time where I’m not creating something. I hope not. I like my brain bubbling away. And I like that more often than not it’s thinking about making beautiful things (and beautiful things for other people).

So here’s my New Year’s Resolution for 2015: keep plugging away. There will be some testing times ahead and for now I’m alone to face them. This year has been an emotional minefield and while I have just sort of deliberately cut myself off from the best thing in my life, I have done it for a weirdly cognitive dissonant reason. It was very selfish and in the interests of my own sanity, but it was also for the benefit of the other person because we were torturing each other, and who needs that? So while I’m facing the midnight bells in a very sad mood, it’s a sort of zen sadness, because I believe that 2015 will be a better year and that the trust I have in the person I’ve cast off from will be upheld. I am keeping the faith, albeit in a box. Happy New Year everyone. Scribbly scribble!

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