Alright, if you’re following me on Twitter (either on my personal account @Addison_Crow or currently on @WritersRotation) you’ll know that last night I was subject to local customs (like they’re a contagion). Even though it was raining, a crowd of locals and tourists gathered in the car park opposite my flat to listen to local musicians and watch the Highland dancers. They perform every Thursday night in the summer, and the pipe band practices every Thursday (which amounts to the same) the rest of the time. I was surprised by the range in ages, even though I shouldn’t have been. I said before, when I went to the ceilidh, that there were young people there. Well, there were teens outside in the rain last night, and a lot of them didn’t even look forced to be there. Parents, grandparents, tourist families, random lonely huddlers; all were out in droves to see SCOTLAND in capital letters.
It’s part of the reason I love living here, and in the Highlands particularly. There’s a sweetness about the place, a lack of shame at dorky cultural heritage, and though the kids were dressed like gangsta rappers for the most part, they still clapped along to the traditional music with gusto. I would have been out there with them, but I spent Wednesday and yesterday doing the final clean on the old flat. My ex had gone, the place was empty, and despite claiming to have cleaned, the ex’s efforts were minimal. My hands are still recovering from all the cleaning products, dunking in hot water, hard scrubbing, and grime. So I was feeling pretty skanky. Lowlights: cleaning the hairballs from the washing machine (my ex was pretty much Chewbacca in terms of body hair) and cleaning the damn oven.
Still, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods on a Thursday night, see if you can spot me frowning out of the window because a fecking pipe band is playing when I want to watch something/listen to something. Blooming natives.
Right, well, it’s been a busy week at the Crow’s Nest. I’m trying to do the Scott Lynch Locke Lamora readalong in preparation for Republic of Thieves this October, I have been trying to get more sewing done, I’ve been faffing about…
Ugh, faffing about. I think it’s my love of faffing about that will stop me being a proper, published, successful author. I can’t keep focused and motivated if I’m left to my own devices. I need structure. I’d have to go to an office with other writers, and write like it was a job, with people glaring at me meaningfully when I faffed about for too long. I have four different stories on the go, with two more in my head. I refer you to Hyperbole And A Half “This Is Why I’ll Never Be An Adult” which pretty much explains how it works. I’m coasting towards thirty and I can’t keep myself motivated if no one’s looking. Fook’s sake.
In a way I don’t mind. I mean, I do have a full-time job (and a career path if I want it) that I enjoy when I’m not crippled with fear that someone will find out that I’m actually quite lazy. It pays reasonably well, compared to a lot of jobs people who graduated with me now have. I have enough to be getting on with, and I could always do sewing-related things as a side project if I wanted to. I can do NaNoWriMo, and write little stories, and add to my drafts when I feel like it. One day I might show them to people. I don’t NEED to publish. I can be on the periphery. I can do reviews for other people, and talk to authors on Twitter, and blog about books. I can live with authors and not be screamingly jealous.
Except… I’m good. I think. People tell me I’m good, though I know that’s no guarantee. I mean, strangers who aren’t my family or close friends like what I write. Slightly more reliable. And based on some of the weird tripe I’ve read and seen published over the years, I’d be a shoe-in! After an age of heart-breaking rejection, obviously. I know it’s all hard graft and apprenticeships. Scott Lynch told me so, though I knew that already (I blogged about it back there somewhere *waves hand in vague direction of the past*). I’m not kidding myself in that regard. Apart from when I second-guess myself and wonder if my work is only being read by idiots.
Seriously though, am I the only one who goes to bookshops, browses the Fantasy and/or Sci Fi section and is amazed by the weird stuff that gets scooped up and published? It gives me hope, but it also fills me with dread. Being an author has always been my dream (apart from being a librarian) and I really really really want it to come true.
Right, I tell you what. Double post day. I’ll post a short piece I wrote for a competition. I seem to have had more views recently, so please comment, you lurkers, and give me your thoughts. The prompt was that the protagonist was being threatened or attacked by thirty assailants. Whether they survived was up to us. There you are then. I’ll post that first so it comes up below this post, in order to make more sense. Or something.