Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Summer holiday

Well that was unexpected. I found myself with three weeks off. More than that, actually. About twenty-seven days. I knew it was coming up, but I knew I was trying to find work to bridge the gap and keep me in money. So how did that work out?

In short: a complete failure.

Work visa: still processing, so no way to get around that by working on the sly. Also? Privates never materialised like the parents promised. No word from Immigration re: my transfer of sponsor, and whether I can actually start with my new employer on (technically) 1st September or not. If not? Bam! There goes my rent.

Tax ‘settlement’: my old boss, being as annoying as she possibly can using parts of irrelevant law to back her up, is making my change of taxable employer a fucking nightmare. Still not fixed.

Submitted a short story to a website for paid publication: returned as ‘too similar to a lot of material we’ve already purchased’. I’m fine with that, it’s a reasonable response, so I don’t mind - until the next eight days of flash fiction delivered to the world via their inboxes is eight different authors’ takes on what could have been the same apocalypse. (Just by the by, mine was nothing to do with an apocalypse.)

Rejection letter by latest agent for my first novel, taking the total to six rejections: A very nice letter though - very nice indeed. I like these people. Pity they couldn’t place my work. I’m beginning to think sci-fi is a rude word in publishing these days (and yes, I only send it to agents who specifically say they want sci-fi. I’m not that much of a muppet).

But hey, it’s not all been doom and gloom, despite the fact that I’m going to struggle to pay the rent next month and eat at the same time. I’ve seen a shitload of movies, including my fourth viewing of The Avengers, so that made up for a helluva lot. Metropolis, Singin’ in the Rain, Lockout (three times), Total Recall (2012 - good!), The Pourne Legacy --sorry, the Bourne Legacy, The Dark Knight Rises, Scott Pilgrim, the entire first season of Longmire, and entire first season of The Finder, and successfully got my flatmate addicted to Franklin & Bash, which means we can watch an episode a day until we run out. (But then, the fact that they’ve not been renewed for a season three means, one, I officially hate TNT as a network for choosing Falling Skies over Franklin & Bash, and, two, we’re down to only twenty episodes in all the worlds. Bastards.)

I’ve written a short story to answer a challenge from someone on tumblr, and then started a new one just yesterday, as an answer to a challenge-cum-story-prompt, from someone who thinks I’ve missed an important fandom. Thanks to The Avengers’ deleted scenes, I know have enough to go on, so I can get to work. You can’t write someone’s personality when they deliberately didn’t have one for most of the twelve minutes and forty-four seconds they were actually on screen.

It looks like I’ve kept a little busy, then. But that’s a lie. I’ve had approximately ten days, non-consecutive, of wondering if it’s worth getting out of bed. There have been more than five days, here and there, where I’ve had to force myself to have a shower and actually join the grown-up world by not slouching round in pyjamas for the week. Everything I’ve read has shown me how I should never bother writing anything again, until suddenly everything I read makes me say out loud: ‘I could write better than that - on a hangover. You know what? I think I already have.’ And then I do some writing. I did spend two days planning and making a mock-up of a city, so that when I get round to writing book six it’ll already be there in the back of my head, and all the details will already have been sorted. So there’s that.

I think there have been about four whisky bottles in the recycle bin in three weeks. That’s not too bad, right? Four litres (whatever that is in real money) in three weeks? Whatever.

That’s about it. I’m actually writing this because I’m trying to work out where the last twenty-two days have gone. Typical that I get nearly a month off and can’t afford to go anywhere - I could have slept on my wee sister’s floor for a few weeks in Blighty. I could have gone to Macau and stayed in one of them really peaceful villa things, overlooking the resort’s pool, writing or reading or just getting a tan for a change. Ah well.

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