I woke today with an itch to scratch. A writing itch, which is a good sign. This week has found me mostly in recovery mode, curtains closed in the House of No Seasons and the world locked out of my peripheral vision. It’s also found me sleeping like a child for the first time in 4 years which is a pretty awesome place to be. My body is relishing the 8 hours plus sleep per night after existing on 5-6 (if lucky) for so long.
Yesterday I packed up my work clothes into storage, and looked at my wardrobe, and just…smiled. It’s full of jeans & tees, sure, and as ever there is an abundance of cardigans. But no corporate uniform anymore. Lots of gothic goodness that I can now wear on a daily basis without contravening some arbitrary staff rulebook.
Scratching that word itch (image: Dave McKean)
This week has done exactly what I needed it to do – cleared the decks to allow me to focus and plan today what I want to achieve next. Firstly I am going to paint my nails fire engine red in a futile attempt to stop me biting them. Then I am going to apply them to the keyboard to rework the opening paragraph of my short story Sister Vampire for critical submission in June, followed by a spell working to finish the first draft of Poison Prince by the end of June. It’s currently at 32k words and needs to be 80 – 90k by this stage. Given that I used to write 35k fund reports in 9 working days, this IS achievable and kind of my own mini NaNoWriMo moment.
July is dedicated to developing the concepts & characters for The Language of Flowers, the working title for book no 3. I have a heap of research to complete, involving ectoplasm, Victorian funeral rites, saying it with flowers and my local version of Bedlam. Fun times! At the end I trot off to Moniack Mhor with Arvon where hopefully these vague concepts will begin to form a more coherent picture and draft.
But first there’s this wardrobe reworking to complete, and a bit of fun to be had with the lovely Sophisticated Noir’s Red & Black challenge next week. When I first read the concept I was a bit ‘hmmm…’, thinking I had no red in my wardrobe. However, I’d completely forgotten 2 perfect frocks and the whole concept has made me look far more creatively at my existing wardrobe contents and what I can do with them.
Enough for now, time to go scratch that itch!
Must do a proper post re: leaving work, etc…but life is a little busy right now. Friday entailed hangover recovery mode / manic panic house cleaning mode as my family arrived for the weekend to spend some time with our older relatives who haven’t been well. Very sweet night out; again hangover engaged yesterday. The unhealthy living continues apace. Today we are off to sit in the woods, followed by a funeral of a dear friend’s mum tomorrow and a 2 day wake (yup, MORE beer and food – my liver is turning into pate). The pic was taken on Saturday night, my Aunty reckons I looked very prim in m Victorian blouse!
Him Underfoot, plus oneself looking ‘prim’!
So my new life officially begins on Thursday, when Him Underfoot returns to work. Will be looking at restructuring some of the blog for practical reasons, plus moving it over to Breakingtheangel.com, a domain purchased some time ago but never activated. Planning a large wardrobe sort out and have realised that my Hell Bunny / Spin Doctor frock lust must be contained now I have zero income.
After one last frock, possibly, maybe…?!
So, I leave work on Thursday. World Goth Day, which seems appropriate. Corp goth outfit primed, though admittedly I can barely walk in my Banned pencil skirt which appears pleasing to Him Underfoot!
Legs aren’t mine!
As the day approaches I can feel the stress beginning to lift from my body. Yes, I’m still living an unhealthy life, yes I have no idea what I’m doing – all I can say is that this feels like the right decision at the right time. It’s the strangest thing, having my own future for once in my hands. After 21 years of employed work I can just step back, breathe and focus on doing what I want for at least 6 months. It feels unreal. It feels like dawn breaking through the night sky.
I’ve been looking at fragments of short stories that I’ve drafted and not yet developed, and it’s like there’s this yearning in them to break away. My lost souls are my own, fragmented, scared – ghosts even. I want to give them voice, spend some time letting them go. Finding out where I’m supposed to go.
To my rational mind this sounds like wishy washy clap trap. To my exhausted body and soul it sounds like an approximation of heaven.
Thursday can’t come soon enough.
I cannot lie. I am writing this with my laptop balanced on my ever growing mid-section that is finally succumbing to the sag of middle age / serious regular overindulgence in cheesecake, chocolate, bacon and red wine. Stress makes some people stop eating (Him Underfoot notably) – me, I turn to the nearest biscuit barrel. Suffice to say that as I end a week’s break from work and full scale mass imbibing missions, I have gained half a stone and a muffin top over a 3 week period.
There is only myself to blame, and the likelihood is that this will continue for the rest of the month for various reasons. It’s making me miserable, grumpy, and unhappy in my own skin. It’s also beginning to render a wardrobe of nice clothes unwearable. For the first time in my life I have a gut. I’ve always been blessed with a flat stomach for no effort – balancing out my generous ass and stumpy legs. Him Underfoot tells me that I’m fine – but actually I’m not. Thirty units of alcohol a week is not fine – and more than double my usual weekly consumption.
I’m too weary and too sad to go into the many reasons why this has happened and why it’s going to continue a little longer. I’m out of control of many things, and I hate it. Hell, I’m sitting here waiting for the phone to ring right now with a swollen over stuffed belly. Waiting to hear if my relative who is having major cancer surgery this afternoon is ok. Worrying about my mother’s determination to descend into depression driven jealous mania. Wondering if I am really going to barf (bring out the vomitorium…) or if it’s just wind.
There are times when I just can’t stand myself. It’ll pass, hopefully along with the belly mound (and it’s a good reason to get back into the pool and swim away the stress). Gah! Let’s just go bury my head in a mound of pillows and play solitaire on endless repeat, like the loops in my head. 😦