Great plans last night to have a seriously productive writing day today……turns out both my husband and son are off work so will be home in my small apartment for much of the day….however this also means I wont be woken up at 5.30am when my son gets up for work and spends half an hour going from bathroom to kitchen to bedroom etc…so every cloud I think.
5.30am phone goes off with a message from my cousin.”I believe your U.K. cousin is coming on Thursday”…..
5.45 am cat decides she wants to go out because she is now awake
10am I drag myself out of the bed to set up a zoom call with a theatre maker for 3pm to discuss a script application, notice the same bastard cat is now fast asleep on the end of my bed, resist urge to drop kick it off the balcony.
When looking for script to discuss on zoom call, I find a short script I wrote a couple of years ago about the statues of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Phil Lynnot and Molly Malone who come alive at night and have a meeting in Dublin to discuss the theft of Molly Malone's barrow (she is a famous fish monger)….now I am confused as to which script to discuss and feel a bit like a dithering idiot.
11am, check post, proof copy of debut poetry collection STILL not arrived, after telling everyone it would be launched in October then November, I think it will now be January…..decide to launch it on 8th march 2020 which is International Women’s day….the first year anniversary of my performance in The London Irish Center before the world literally fell to shit the day after. Note to self, listen when publisher tells you it takes time….
12.17 have shower in an effort to look more like a serious writer than a bag lady in afternoons call….
Son decides to put rashers (bacon) on so I am totally distracted by the lovely smell in between wondering will I submit a proposal for a series of poems about clothes (have a prized winning one called Whose Coat which was a prize winner in this years International Strokestown Poetry Competition,
https://youtu.be/UD0ImFX15G4 and like the theme) or should I stop fannying about and continue to rewrite novel or it will never be submission ready.
Note; writing space is laptop on kitchen table which now has to be cleared for above mentioned rashers…..I am currently moving house and the new (to us) house has no wifi and half a kitchen and is 30 miles away so much of my life is in black bags and I have no chance of a pair of matching socks.
About 3 months ago I had developed a lovely routine of meditations, writing time, physical exercise and sorting sale of house out. That too has fallen to shit. However I find that sometimes I have more writing success in the middle of chaos than in lovely rhythmic days. Wonder about submitting a short story to a competition about A thanksgiving turkey and Norman Rockwell.
I dream of having a writers desk made of hand carved oak that looks out over a meadow and has a green reading lamp and a fountain pen.
Son asks at table “whose the lucky duck that gets to drive me to my welding exam tonight?”…I keep my head down. Hubby (predictably) agrees to drive and wait in the middle of an industrial estate in the middle of no where. Since the lockdown closed all the pubs and coffee shops I have been avoiding this drive which I used to enjoy because it was an excuse to sit somewhere with my notebooks. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty. Not one little bit.
Aunt (83) fell yesterday and lots of jiggery pokery re daughters in England and if they could travel under current restrictions, she lives on her own, etc etc etc. Lots of phone calls, whatsapps messages. My daughter rings for a chat, then a call from pal who is trying to sell her house and is now living in an empty shell with her stuff in storage rings and my heart breaks for her. Meanwhile message comes in from theatre director/playwright to send her over my application so far and she will have a look at it before we talk, haven't even started.
Lads fecked off and sink full of dishes, try to visualize vase of flowers where pots and pans are. Messaged director whilst on phone and now have to apologize cos message sounded shirty.
Note to self, turn fucking phone whatsapp arse book and twatter off if you expect to get any writing done!!!
Decide to leave thinking about application till I talk on zoom…house in a chokker as we are currently staying between two which I am aware of is a first world problem but….I am feeling all of my vintage today as a result.
Now I am thinking who am I to be thinking I am a playwright..literally 5 mins before the zoom call…..
4pm, just off zoom call, love the idea for the script, got LOADS of brilliant advice, direction, ideas so delighted with myself now! Lots to do with application but in the middle of a pandemic its great to have a project (s) that are not disease related!
Have to go to Lidls now to do the grocery shopping, when I die I am coming back as Barbara Cartland!!!!
7pm house fed, just finished a lot of “stuff” calls and son gone to do his welding exam…I feel the need for some wine….but I’ll wait.
7.18 call with another poet who is hilarious always cheers me up. She has just attended a drama series of workshops with the theatre director I spoke with earlier and had a blast, it is indeed a small world! Lots of ideas/poems/chats/exchange etc.
7.45 dishes still in sink. Emailed solicitor to find out where I will be sticking my Christmas tree up.
8.10 setting out writing plan for tomorrow…..arse like a breadboard from sitting.
8.45 read some poems sent by a colleague in New Hampshire, always love reading new works and particularly from someone I only got to know because of Covid, 3000 miles away and yet when we talk on zoom it is like we were reared in the same place.
9;m Son just home, exam went ok’ish, hanging up writing boots now, done for the night.
Will wash dishes when I get back from a walk. I swear. But its bucketing down so no walk for me.
Today my writing space was mostly the kitchen table. And it was fine.
Anne McDonald is an award winning writer, spoken word poet and performer who has had poetry, short stories and non fiction published in Ireland and the UK.
She has performed in theaters in Dublin and London as part of a stand up group of women and is a regular reader on open mic nights in Ireland, the US and the UK.
Anne has had poetry published extensively in journals and online publications and has worked as a librettist for the Performance Arts Labs summer school supported by the London Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Her first collection of poetry Crow’s Books is due for publication in January 2021. https://creativelythinkingweb.wordpress.com/