Rambling onward

[originally an e-mail to the GemmellFantasy list – I really should stop using them as a shoulder]

Yes, yes, if I annoy you, time to press the delete button. [Which is what that reference is about]

Some people are challenged by the success of others (‘ha! I can do that. ha! I can do better than that’). Others are daunted by it (‘oh my! I’ll never be that good’).

Does this have something to do with how competitive we are? Why are people more or less competitive? Are you more competitive if you grew up as part of a large family or with siblings of a similar age? Are you less competitive as an only child, or with much older/younger siblings?

Is competitiveness something you learn or something you inherit? [I know, I know, too much in that one question].

But competitiveness isn’t the only bit. Take writing. You could look at all the excellent books and take it as a challenge, and give it a go yourself. You could just love writing and be unaffected by the books around you. You could look at all the excellent work and think, jeeze, I’ll never be that good, so why should I even try. i.e. some people don’t feel the need to compete, while others do, but decide they will fail in advance [self-fulfilment?]

You might have spotted a theme here, with a previous rambling about writing or not writing. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided that there are a number of reasons why people might not pick up the pen an give it a go, and a number of reasons why I don’t or haven’t.

Am I looking at it too hard? Should I just accept that since I haven’t tried, it must be something I don’t want to try, or should I wonder about why I haven’t yet tried, and ignoring that, just get on with giving it a go?

I’d like to ask anyone still reading, who has written anything of a reasonable length, did you sit down and try writing, or did you have the spark of an idea and end up writing it out? Did you sit and idly speculate on what you would write about?

I’ve tried that – it feels false. I was lying last night in bed, awake, wondering what I could write about if I started writing. Thinking up scenarios and then dumping them, sometimes comparing them to already written works, sometimes because they felt contrived or false. Is the falseness a result of the method, does good writing only come from a spark of inspiration?

Is it actually possible to sit and think about an idea for a book and then just sit down and get on with it – oh it might be terrible, I’m sure the first few times it will be – but is it possible?

I’m not sure. I’ve certainly been thinking about it. I’ve also had to weigh in other factors, like being scared of success, and being comfortable in failure, which always play a part in stuff.

When I rambled last, I said seize the now, but I’m wondering, can you sit and contemplate stuff and then seize the result, or do you really have to wait for a spark to ignite before you can grab it with both hands?

House pain

… and I think I’ll take the digital camera, some photo’s of the outside of the house might help if we can find some on-line house selling places.

Sort of a problem – we’ve got the house signed up with estate agents, which means we have to forward any potential buyers on to them for them to handle things.


I think when we visit the house I’ll turn the water off at the mains and then run the tank dry. I wish I could empty the central heating system as well, but a check on the web suggests that is more complicated and probably not something I can do quickly.

Should reduce the number of leaks we could get, and at least if we do get a leak, it’ll only have a finite amount of water to dump into the house, after which it should run dry.

I wish I’d thought of this two months ago – but two months ago I wasn’t thinking about anything.

House agony

Well, either today or tomorrow I’m going to have the face reality. I do own a house. It is mine. I do need to take care of it.

It’s probably already got frozen pipes. I just hope they haven’t burst, don’t burst, won’t burst. Are pipes covered by buildings insurance? What about the walls and the like? I’m not bothered about the decoration, we’re selling after all, but would be nice to know I can get the walls fixed.

I bet they don’t pay out if you’re not in residence [sigh]

That’s the biggest problem – worrying about everything in advance, fearing the worst, the stress building to the point where, some people, like me, react by hiding from it rather than facing it. I know other people face up to these things, get them sorted, soldier on, but some can’t. Some folk, like me, just end up putting these issues aside to sort out later, and then the worry and the stress mounts.

[deep sigh]

I usually land on my feet, life has been like that for a long time, I’m spoiled by it I guess, but this time, I just feel like I’m falling, and my feet are pointing skyward ……..

Should talk more

… and of course the really annoying thing is that even by just writing that last entry, I feel more positive. I wish I talked these things out with Grete more. I wish I talked more generally.

Dat House

What I don’t understand is how I can have buried my head in the sand for so long over the house. What the hell was I thinking? Is it really any surprise that I’m feeling so stressed now over the whole thing?

I have this image of a snow plough, built with a large flat plate on the front, happily driving forwards through the snow, not caring that it’s all just building up in front of the plough and not actually being moved aside. Eventually, it’s going to be an issue.

We’re struggling with money, we’re both suffering one form of depression or another, we just need to get it sorted.

I know I have to go to the house tomorrow, to collect the mail, but I also know that it’s going to lead to spending more money, where from? Where am I going to get that money? Why didn’t I sort this out earlier, when it might not have been so bad. I know that doesn’t help, what if’s don’t help especially when they are negative.

Just concentrate on moving forwards, sort out whatever bits can be sorted out, don’t worry about anything else because there’s nothing I can do other than try my best.

Easy to say, not easy to do.

I know I can do it, I used to do it all the time, just do what needed to be done, just get sorted what needed to be sorted. But I’ve always been lazy, letting other people sort stuff for me, houses at Uni and again afterwards. Even arranging my own mortgage was almost surreal.

Time to forget that, time to just sort things out. Whatever it takes.

Peas Pudding

Today I made my own peas pudding for the first ever time. Not quite as nice as my mum’s, well, let’s be honest, no where near as nice, but still edible and not bad for a first go.

It’s my second go at making the soup she makes as well, and this one looks much nicer than the last – next time should be even better.