Friday, 27 February 2009

Another distraction!

This week I was going to write something worthy about what makes a good short story. However, events overtook me and yesterday I took delivery of my mother's old piano. I was so excited. It's been over four years since she died and I've wanted to move the piano here since then, but haven't quite got round to it due to practical and emotional reasons. This year I decided it was time. I've been itching to play the piano again for years now. I had lessons as a teenager and reached the dizzy heights of achieving The London College of Music Grade 5 in theory and practical. I'm horribly out of practice now, though.

Anyway, after a few phone calls and a very efficient removal company (GP Removals) in Leamington Spa, I saw Mum's beloved piano being taken off the back of the removal van. It was an emotional moment. And exciting! I watched nervously as the removal men negotiated the tricky turn in our extension, upending the piano to get it into 'the music room' (sounds very grand, but it isn't!). Finally it was in place and I couldn't wait for them to leave so that I could play.

I unpacked a large box of Mum's sheet music and found some of the pieces I used to play. The only one I could remember well was Beethoven's Fur Elise. I struggled through it, but I did enjoy playing it. I was surprised to find that the piano wasn't terribly out of tune, but later in the day once the central heating had got going, a few notes were sticking and not sounding. I hope the piano tuner (or someone) can sort it out.

Now I'm contemplating refresher lessons. Yes, I'm that enthused. The writing? Oh, that can wait!!

Friday, 20 February 2009

So Behind With Everything!

I must be the last person in blogland to upload their snow pictures. These were taken two weeks ago now, but we had trouble making the files small enough to upload. And I couldn't let the heaviest snowfall in 20 years go by without pictures for posterity.

The snow was disruptive and my routine went to pot. This was mainly because the children's schools were closed for 2-3 days. Last week I was desperately trying to get Issue 2 of The Yellow Room ready for the typesetter, but didn't quite manage it. I knew this week would be a write-off, as it's half term week and I have to make Matthew and Megan my priority. And what a busy week it's been!

On Monday Megan and I met friends at The Adventure Zone while Matthew stayed at home to revise (he has three GCSE papers to sit on March 6th in Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Tuesday Matthew had his annual eye test and we spent ages choosing new spectacle frames, then mooched around town for a while. On Tuesday afternoon I caught up with the ironing while Matthew did yet more revision and Megan played. We had friends over for lunch on Wednesday. I spent the morning cleaning and baking a tricky chocolate cake, which didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped. It was edible.. just! Yesterday we drove over to Lincolnshire to visit my recently bereaved auntie. We had a lovely lunch and a walk around a lake with her dog. It was a beautiful day for it, and we saw snowdrops, catkins and pussy-willow. The drive home wasn't so great in that it was raining, my wipers need replacing, I ran over a pheasant, chose the worst possible route and got lost in Market Harborough. Today Matthew has a friend over and so does Megan, then tomorrow I have to take Megan to a birthday party and pick up Matthew's new glasses. It's all go!

This year is disappearing before my eyes so rapidly. I can feel my targets slipping away already! I hope next week I can focus on what I want to achieve in the coming months and finish off Issue 2 of The Yellow Room. I'm still working my way through a huge pile of submissions, hoping that you writers out there can be patient for a little while longer!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

And then it snows...

I was just about getting back to normal after a difficult couple of weeks, then the snow came. Matthew's school is closed today (I can't understand why when the weather isn't half as bad as it was yesterday), so things aren't quite as peaceful here as they should be! I haven't got any transport today (the handbrake on Nige's car froze, so he's had to borrow mine), so there's no excuse not to sit at the PC and work!

Still, I'm plodding on with proofreading the stories for Issue 2 of The Yellow Room Magazine. It was trickier choosing the stories for this issue, as I had so many about mothers! I hadn't realised when accepting the stories in the first instance that I had so many on a similar theme.

I have another large batch of submissions to read, which I'm slowly getting round to. Please be patient if you've sent off a story and not heard anything.

As for my own writing, oh dear! I haven't written anything for over a week. I'm so cross with myself, as I was going great guns at the beginning of January. I've promised myself that I'll devote this week to The Yellow Room, then I'll crack on with those short stories.