My mother (right) and Colette, an old friend visiting from England.
This is just a quick update to thank everyone for their comments and emails after my last post. I’m still not feeling that well at the moment and so haven’t felt up to replying properly yet; I’m over the effects of the infusion now but it also made my migraines a lot worse and they’re taking a while to get back to normal. I am starting to feel more like myself again now though and just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and messages; I really appreciated them and I’ll be answering properly over the next few days.
I’ve had time to think about what happened more fully now and looking back, I still can’t believe how little I was actually told about the infusion before the procedure or how my concerns were never listened to. I expected a lot more, particularly from the Prince of Wales. I’m thinking about changing specialists once I’ve looked at my options or at least getting a second opinion about what to do next… my next appointment isn’t until late October, so at least I’ll have had time to have fully recovered by then and to think about what to do.
In any case I thought I’d post a couple of quick updates as well as I haven’t posted in a while. First, I’m back writing again now… well, sort of. I’ve written a few pages so far and I’m still just easing my way back into it but I’m happy what I’ve written so far. I’ve got a little further with my novel and just started writing a new poem which should be finished in the next week or so as well. Might have a short story done soon too.
As far as the novel goes, I’m about 80% of the way through the rough draft now. I’m at the point where I’m starting to bring all the threads together and thinking about any changes I’ll need to make before starting on the main draft. I’ve run into a few problems with the pacing but on the whole it’s coming together quite well and I’m still hoping to have the main draft finished by the end of the year if it all goes smoothly… I don’t want to rush writing it either though so that’s more of a guide than a deadline at this stage. I’m still calling it The Forgotten Kingdom at the moment as well.
The other writing-related thing I wanted to mention is that I’ve decided to make a few changes to this blog. For the last year or so I’ve found it difficult finding the time and energy to update the blog as frequently as I used to, particularly while trying to write my novel at the same time. I think it’s important I start to post again more regularly though as my novel progresses so I’m going to start treating it more like a monthly newspaper column. My plan is to post more of an editorial each month which I can take my time writing and I’ll post some other short posts once or twice a week as well (photos, videos, poetry, etc). My aim is to turn the blog into more of a hub for all of my creative projects and hopefully it will make it feel fresher as well. I’ve been blogging for almost six years now so it’s probably time I gave it a bit of a reboot anyway. I’ve given the site a makeover too, so let me know what you think.
Away from writing it’s been a reasonably busy few weeks as well. Our lease is up now and we’re getting closer to having to move, so I’ve been trying to clear out some of my old junk before we move… old books, clothes, boxes, board games – it’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate without really noticing it. We also had a look at some places around Gosford and Woy Woy last week; it was pouring with rain so it probably wasn’t the best day to go, particularly by train, but we did get a reasonable idea of what the areas are like. The rents seem more affordable and you get more for your money but I must admit, I still feel sad about leaving Sydney… I’ve spent most of my life here and it just feels like home. But the cost of living is just ridiculous now and I know a lot of people are finding themselves in the same position, either needing to downsize or move. We’ll probably be moving sometime in the next month or two and I’m looking to get my own place as well once we’ve settled in – hopefully a small cabin or house. It’d be nice to have a house again. And maybe a vegetable garden. I’ve always wanted to cook and grow my own vegetables.
An old family friend visited us recently as well. Colette’s on holiday from England at the moment and we’ve only seen her twice in almost twenty years, so it was great catching up again, looking at some of her photos… her children were two of my closest friends when we lived in England in the early 90s and it was funny seeing pictures of them now, all grown up – not how I imagined them at all. It was a nice day but it was just a pity she couldn’t have stayed a little longer – a few hours go by so quickly after twenty years.
I also bought a new computer last week which I’m still getting used to. It’s one of the 13” MacBook Pros and I mainly bought it as I wanted Scrivener for my novel but also as I’ve had a few problems with my old desktop, particularly the large screen with my migraines, and I generally prefer laptops anyway. My first computer was a Mac and so far I’m enjoying the switch back, except for a few quirks (like the weird caps lock key that won’t turn off when I press it; seriously, is it meant to do that?!). Trust me to get a Mac on the same day Steve Jobs stepped down though. I never was very good with timing…
Apart from that I haven’t been up to much else. I started Tony Blair’s memoir this week which is interesting, particularly given the recent events in Libya. I also just finished The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I’d actually never read before… I enjoyed it but I think I’d probably built it up a bit too much in my head over the years to get the most out of it unfortunately. I also just bought Lev Grossman’s sequel to The Magicians, The Magician King, which I’m really looking forward to. Hope it’s as good as the first one.
I’ve also been listening to Stevie Nicks’ new album recently, which is excellent… beautiful, haunting songs and it’s easily my favourite album of the year so far. Secret Love has been stuck in my head all week so I thought I’d post it as well.
Anyway thank you again to everyone for their messages; I really appreciated them. Things are slowly getting back to normal – I’m just happy to be writing again. 😉