Tuesday, 23 June 2015

In which I finally see my name in print

Not on my own blog, not in the school magazine I just so happened to be editor of at the time, but in a proper, professionally-produced magazine edited by somebody I have no connection with whatsoever.  My first-and-so-far-only story has been published!

Isn't that a thing of beauty?
For those wanting a copy of their own, it's available in electronic form (and later in a printed version) from Shoreline of Infinity in Issue 1.  I've been reading some of the other stories in this first issue and it looks like I'm in some pretty good company.  Plus there are illustrations, and the one that accompanies my story is absolutely spot on, a beautiful rendition of a pivotal moment in the story.  I couldn't be happier with it.

I'm celebrating this evening with a wee dram of Highland Park whisky, and keeping my fingers crossed that more of my stories will find homes soon.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

In which I attempt to replace a bad habit with a good one

Much like the excellent Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half, I have been known to struggle with being a grown-up.  I'm pretty good at going to work every day and getting stuff done while I'm there.  I can (mostly) manage to pay my bills on time and Daughter is generally clothed and well-fed.  But I fall down every time when it comes to cleaning *all* the things.

I have never acquired the habit of being tidy.  As a teenager, the best way to enter my room was to take a flying leap from the doorway onto the bed.  When my parents' house was burgled they had to assure the police that my room always looked like that and had not, in fact, been ransacked.  Nothing's really changed since then, except that I no longer have even the mild risk of coming home to find my mother tidying my stuff (it didn't happen often, but it was always disastrous when it did).

So every so often I get seized by the urge to not live in a pigsty any more.  I go into a frenzy and clean the entire house (or at least as much as I can before the mood passes).  Sometimes I even drag Husband and Daughter into the whole thing and force them to help out too.  By the end, you could almost believe that the house is inhabited by adults.

Trouble is, once I'm done I'm worn out, and in no mood to tidy any more.  So it doesn't take long before the kipple starts to creep back in, and before you know it it's back to how it was.  Only this time there's the added bonus that I'm now irritated because damn it, I *just* tidied everywhere and now look at it.

Thus, new plan: no more tidying on such a grand scale.  No more cleaning *all* the things.  In its place, half an hour of tidying every day.  Half an hour of picking crap up off the floor is hardly going to dent my schedule, but I think it would make a difference to the house.  And maybe it won't wear me out so much, so will actually be sustainable.  It might not be, given that it's far easier to acquire bad habits than good ones, but we'll see how it goes.

The tidy people among you are probably thinking, "Well, of course that's what you should be doing.  It's hardly rocket science to say that if you want to keep things tidy you should tidy every day."  And you're right.  It's not rocket science.  But it'll be a major shift in how I do things, so how about just wishing me luck instead?