Thursday, 15 March 2012

Beating the deadline

We've officially beaten the deadline at work, and some things I was fretting over worked out just fine. I guess over-fretting is better than under-fretting in any case. I'm just getting ready for my four-day weekend around my partner's birthday, which should see some relaxing and some catching up.

Right now, I'm using the quiet time at work to proof-read (again) the complete Dark Soul collection for the print edition. I'm 2/3 through my print-out, and there's enough I want to change (repetions, mostly, and a minuscule amount of "flab", or empty sentences) to make the extra pass worthwhile. Ideally, I'll finish that particular project today or maybe early tomorrow.

In house news (and you wouldn't believe how much thought and energy went into house-related things recently) I've decided to hire a lanscaper (landscape architect? What are they called in the UK?) to draft a concept for the garden. Nobody ever had a concept for that garden, and what concept somebody might have had was never followed through - there are abandoned plants in the back, overgrown by now, that were never taken out of their plastic pots, so nobody ever bothered to actually put them in the ground...

So I'm sucking it up and decide to treat the total re-vamp of the garden as a necessary re-vamp of the biggest room in the house. I've seen some samples of plans on the website, and while all that looks really outrageously expensive, it also looks like I want it. After visiting a friend's house over the weekend (and sitting in her garden), I really want a place outside to work and have guests.

So, the same brain that puts together stories is now mostly concerned with what kind of plants I want in the garden and whether to rip out the large white rose tree... bush ... forest - or cut it back and try to save it. For the most part, I've settled on more camellias, a bonsai display area (meaning I need to acquire some outdoor bonsais), and a hazelnut bush/tree. I also have a concept for a sandstone patio in my head, but whether I can afford the kind I want remains to be seen. And then big planting pots with herbs and maybe a raised bed or two (fresh potatoes taste awesome, after all). So, the older I get, the more I turn into the archetypical Taurus - happy mostly when surrounded by pretty and expensive things and both arms up to elbows in soil or with lots of plants around me. (Speaking of which, I need to get one for the office.) Also, Spring makes me restless - stuff is growing and flowering already, and the sense is very much of "now or never" or "now or next year", and I'm impatient.

On the writing front, it's quiet. I'm in editing mode, and I hope to switch over to research mode over the weekend. I got the second part of a DVD documentary on my setting, so that'll need watching and should put me back in the mood to write my WWII novel. The good news is that I've already researched so much that basically nothing in the first part of the documentary comes as a surprise.

And of course, I have a few novels to fix and a pile of developmental edits and there's the Riptide submissions inbox, which needs some love and attention.

The long weekend is perfectly timed.

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