Tuesday, 16 October 2012

'There's nothing sadder than a neglected blog...'

So, the summer is over. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and, you know, harvests and first frosts and new stationery and Michaelmas Term is upon us... which means I need to Get Down To Work. I don't know about you, but I think of autumn as the beginning of the year (for which I blame eighteen years of formal education) and October as the beginning of autumn (for which I blame 8-week university terms). So in my book (no, not an actual book, although more of actual books later) it is perfectly fine to take two and a half months off over the summer. No, really.

Rationalisation? What do you mean, rationalisation?

No, but seriously... Then again, I realise it does get monotonous when I start every post with apologies for not blogging enough, so I will stop. Suffice it to say that someone - in a completely different context - did say, 'Ah yes, there's nothing sadder than a neglected blog, is there?' to which I could only shake my head dumbly and inwardly wince.*

The other thing is, I had so much to blog about! All of which has been either forgotten or gently overlaid with other concerns. Here, for your interest, is a quick (and non-exhaustive) list:

- Fifty Shades of Grey. Notably the underlying assumptions of same, i.e. that consensual sex-play with a riding-crop is Terrible and Shocking, whereas a controlling partner who won't let you drive your own car or meet male friends and who calls a doctor to give you a hormone injection because you've forgotten your pill is absolutely fine because he loves you. I am sure other people have pointed this out already, and more lucidly, which is partly why the blog never got written. Plus, a friend of mine insisted that the third book was really feminist (no, really!) and redeemed the gender politics of the first two, and that if I wanted to blog about it, it was only fair to read all three. Which I couldn't bring myself to, so that scuppered that.

- Rereading things from your childhood, especially things that scared the shit out of you. A few months ago I was suddenly reminded of a story I'd read when I was about eight, about which I could remember nothing except that it was bloody terrifying and about a Christmas pudding. So I googled 'children's story christmas pudding' and found it - result! - and it was quite a weird experience, because of course when I reread the story it turned out to be quite creepy, but with nowhere near the haunting, nebulously horrible quality I remembered. It's funny how revisiting somewhere in your mental landscape can be like going back to a place - it felt so much smaller this time round...**

- The brilliance of google. Same story as previous one...

- She Stoops To Conquer, which was the most recent play I did. There was no intellectual content to this post but I did have a wig and a costume with paniers, and being the sort of person who gets excited about that I was going to share it. (Ah, actors. It's basically all about dressing up. And being loved.***)

- The Giant Rat of Sumatra. Well, someone should.

- Progress on my adult book. Basically I finished the edits and my agent has started sending it out. As blogs go, this one would have been quite brief, because until you hear back from publishers there is really nothing to say. Although I can tell you that the rejections from the first round of submissions (apparently in adult publishing you can have lots of rounds because there are more publishing houses than in children's publishing, which is great because it means that, figuratively speaking, I haven't been knocked out yet. Although I might be at the bottom of my group. It all depends on Wales and Outer Mongo-- oh. No, wait. Sorry, I'm getting confused with the World Cup) were pleasantly contradictory. ("I wasn't entirely convinced by the Edwardian voice." "It's just too authentically Edwardian." Etc., etc.)

- Basic writing angst. Don't know why I'd bother, really, it's not as if you haven't heard it before. :)

- An update on my New Year's Resolutions. The fun ones are going well. The other ones are... well, still in the realms of possibility. Most of them.

Anyway. There might have been more potential posts, but they obviously got sucked under by the bog of daily life, to the extent that I have no idea what they were. I just didn't want you to feel that I wasn't thinking about blogging, because I was. Really. So there.

And in other news, I have just started a new book. (I am excited. It is going well.) When it's a bit more established, I shall tell you more about it. Promise. :)

Watch this space...

* Obviously there are in fact lots of things sadder than neglected blogs, like forgotten cups of tea and snails that get trodden on and people dismantling the NHS... But it was meant as a rhetorical flourish. Presumably.

** The story was 'A Christmas Pudding Improves With Keeping', by Philippa Pearce.

*** As is the rest of life, really.