Another busy week has just ended and with it several things such as Little C.’s school year and my driving lessons. It’s the end of a (short) era and the beginning of another. I like moments like this.
Green light ahead
After eight refreshment driving lessons I have been cleared to operate a passenger vehicle among other operators of passenger vehicles. I sort of had a mini exam last week, with Little C. in the car for realism. Actually, both Big C. and I had to go out and she had to go with someone much as she insists she is old enough to stay at home on her own and – gasp – go to the grocery shop on her own.
I’m taking the family for a celebratory ride around town later today (when everyone else is at malls and pubs, so there’s minimum traffic. I mean, I can drive but still prefer fewer cars around while I get used to our car.)
Little C. did it again yesterday. We went to the neighbourhood grocery shop for potatoes and ice cream with me walking about thirty feet behind her so it would appear she was going shopping on her own. And when the journey ended successfully, she asked to be allowed to go shopping really alone.
It turned out I’m not ready for this. I don’t think the state is, either, because I believe the law states she needs to be under parent supervision until she hits 12. I’m not going to argue with the law there. I’m also not going to think about a couple of years from now when she will want to go other places alone as well. Parenting is hell.
The fastest draft
I finished an 80,500-word draft for a story about a basilisk and a vampire this week. It’s my sixth novel, if we’re talking works that have seen completed first drafts. This means I’ve written 45,000-90,000 words six times. It gets worse, too, because this basilisk/vampire story wants to be a series.
I mean, they set up a detective agency and she just found out she has a father who’s a retired cop and his great-great-great-grandson is an eccentric accountant and there’s an investment banker with an attitude who needs a job, and the story is just writing itself, for the sake of all that’s good and pure, so who am I to not commit it to a Word document?
First, however, for reasons of discipline, I will be editing my ghost story, which is also my first organised attempt at humour. Humour, it turns out, is hard work but I don’t generally mind hard work as long as it doesn’t involve the participation of many other people in confined spaces so that will be all right. Then I’m off to the races again with Fang in Fang Ltd. It would be fun to see how many books they will squeeze out of me.
The neverending school year
The pandemic has made a lot of things weird and the organisation of the school year down here is one of them. Third graders did their finals a week ago but they are back to school next week and, for those those who want it, until June 23. I got chills when I first read about that June 23 thing because I have plans, you see. And these plans involve courgettes, planted 200 km from C’s school. Courgettes – as well as dahlias – need to be watered regularly and I cannot do it from 200 km away.
The relief I felt when I realised school after May 31 was optional beggars description. My dear courgettes, here I come and no confused school can stop me, I told myself. And then I realised I was thinking exactly like my father when he moved permanently to the country house after my mum’s death.
You couldn’t keep him in the city for more than a few days in the summer because he had plants that needed watering. So, basically, I’m turning into my father only I’m 42 and dad was 70 when he reached the bonkers stage in gardening, when nothing else matters. I’m actively trying to ignore this fact right now.
An epic but motivational fail
This was supposed to be a caramel cake. It does have a cake part and it does have caramel but the caramel but it was definitely not supposed to look like this. Moral: when the recipe says “Turn over while still hot”, turn the cake over while it’s still hot.
Book-peddling corner (because books won’t sell/download themselves much as I’d like them to): if you’re in the mood for some dragons and vampires, or mysterious vanishing planes, try The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog) or Sky High (which you can read for free on this blog or on Kobo. I always appreciate feedback). For those in the mood for scary stories, here’s a complete list of my published shorter fiction.