A Profound Look Back at the Week: December 7-13

It has been another week of vaccine and lockdown news, as well as lockdown and vaccine news, and I don’t even want to start on Where the Economy is Going (Any economy. Anywhere) so I won’t. Let’s talk about something more profound.

Cloning help needed

This past week has been the first in a while when I’ve had the spare mental capacity to actually start working on a book project. It’s my first humour book, a ghost story but funny, hopefully, and I had been looking forward to editing the first draft and turning it into a second draft. Apparently, this was too good to be true.

Last night, as I sat and sipped my beer in front of the fire I saw a character from The Lamiastriga, who’s also the protagonist of the disease book I started writing earlier this year but gave up when reality outperformed fiction. This character, Kaj, a businessman-slash-dragon, was standing in the middle of a Sofia street yelling at the female protagonist, a lamia, “You cannot stay here. We must go.” As he yelled, what with him being a dragon, the cars parked by the curb started blowing up, seriously impressing the narrator of the story, a retired psychiatric nurse. Now, if this is not the blurb of the century, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, my point is that once I saw — and heard — Kaj I couldn’t unsee and unhear him, no matter how hard I tried. If I’m being perfectly honest I stopped writing this book because I got a little bored with it even if it had all the makings of a pretty original zombie story. Now I’m no longer bored and I want to plot and outline and write. But I also want to edit the hell out of my ghost story. Rock, meet hard place and vice versa. Nice to see you, guys, again.

I imagine I’ll have to make space for editing in the afternoon, after I finish work, so I can write in the morning, before I start work. How this will turn out remains a mystery — I’ve never tried it before. But I see no other way to do both books without cloning myself and I really, really, really want to do both books. Which means the matter is basically settled and I’m just whining here as a sort of a humblebrag because look at me, I can think of not one but two pandemic-unrelated things.

Holiday baking season

I wrote about the joys of regular baking season, i.e. winter, earlier and this is a special case of it: the baking ahead of the Christmas holidays. In the last few years I went to town baking at this time of the year because I had the annual Christmas charity fundraisers at kindergarten and school to look forward to and knew that what I bake will be eaten. I also made Christmas biscuits for the kids in C.’s class and for the teachers. In short, I had copious audience for my work.

This year, as we all know, is different. I could still make tonnes of biscuits and we could eat them all year long but I still have a few lemon cookies from last year (no, I haven’t thrown them away. I will have to, but I’m still gathering the courage because they are still good to eat even if they are a bit hard), so that’s not really the option I look forward to.

I have lucky friends who have families who eat everything they bake. To say that I’m jealous of them would be wrong. To say that I’m jealous, depressed, sad, and frustrated by their luck would be more accurate. But, of course, since we have to take the good with the bad in life I’m making just one kind of biscuits and a Christmas stollen and I may well make a panettone at a later point because I’ve never made panettone before and I really want to, and even if the two C.’s don’t eat it I have neighbours to share it with, so that’s that.

An early present for the New Year

I decided to self-publish Sky High and offer it for free, so if you’re interested, you can download it here. The reason I went the indie way with this book is that first, it’s a novella and I don’t have the patience to try and sell a fantasy novella that I can’t place firmly in any sub-genre, and second, I really don’t have the patience. I’ll still publish it here in instalments but I wanted to see it in book form, so there it is. I will appreciate any feedback you would be willing to give me about it.

P.S. I made coconut biscuits, too. They’re delicious.


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