2. I've been asked to teach a novel class or two this year. 3rd year students. Looking forward to it because teaching is fun, and phew, because it takes some financial pressure off.
3. Rethinking my PhD. I got knocked back, did I tell you? Turns out no one wanted to supervise a digital novel. Le sigh. I can't say I blame them, I'm not sure I am brave enough to write one. Anyway, so I am oscillating between shopping around for braver souls, and creating a whole new proposal, which is bringing up all these other issues about PhDs generally. What are they for anyway? To contribute something to the academic landscape? Or to showcase your skills? Or for personal development? (I suspect I'd get a different answer from everyone). But I don't really know how to answer the question for myself. The reason I proposed the digital novel was because it was an opportunity to get funding for a novel that would otherwise possibly have no other income stream, but would offer something up in a new and developing field, and would potentially help my publisher wrap their heads around how the pitfalls and possibilities of publishing digital narratives.
4. Applying for a job (gulp). It's a part time lecturer position in literary studies, but they emphasise Creative Writing in the ad. While I'm not wildly overqualified, I do actually meet all the requirements and I actually think I'd be great at it and that I would love it. It interests me that I want so much to apply for it. I love the idea of a clearly delineated worklife for a while. I love writing and being a writer, but sometimes I hate it too. Perhaps I shouldn't be allowed to peruse job sites when I have writer's block. But it's only a part time position, so I'd still have time to write in theory
5. Getting Una settled into a new creche. After the recent post we found out that there was a place available at the next door's ex-creche (Tommy finished up last year). We rang up, secured Una a place and went to take a look. It's a bit of a drive and it will take some logistical planning to get her there and home, but it's a STUNNING centre, a really beautiful space, with a good staff and a very settled feeling. Una is in the kinder room, with a qualified carer and a kinder teacher, so I think it will be a stimulating environment for her. We've got one day and we're going to talk about a second day, for her sake and for my sake. I've gone from having 2 days a week to work to 3, maybe 4. It hasn't quite relieved the pressure in my chest, but it's a start. I think I'll feel better once we're into the rhythm of our days - the school year begun for all of us. (Since starting this post I've had another visit at Una's creche and we've definitely got a second day - yay). This centre basically fell into our laps, but I don't think I could have chosen a better one for her.
6. We went to see Bolt - it was Una's first cinema experience, and the first time we'd taken Fred for about a year. They both stayed till the end (bonus) and no toilet visits (*gobsmack*). The movie was actually a bit of a miss, though both the girls enjoyed the characters and were reasonably entertained. Neither of them grasped the Truman show type concept that Bolt was a television star who believed he was really the super-hero character he played. Which means pretty much for them, there was no meaningful narrative whatsoever. We had a lot of confused questions and equally confused explanations as I tried to convey real and pretend to them in the context of movies and television. Which is funny-strange, because they have no problem with metafiction in picture books, they have a sophisticated notion of the layers of storytelling. Martin and I were both mildly entertained by Bolt, but I felt that there was a layer of story missing, and it was quite slow in the middle. I'm thinking of taking them to Desepereaux before school goes back. It was exciting being at the movies, Martin and I don't go very often. I have heard mixed reports about the movie but I am a huge admirer of Kate DiCamillo, who wrote the book on which the movie is based.
7. And I've been reading and researching Thumbelina and related fairytales, as well as dollhouse and mouse fairytales and stories, particularly Beatrix Potter's Two Bad Mice, which is mine and Fred's favourite story, especially the line: "Then there was no end to the rage and disappointment of Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca" which is the best example I know of telling rather than showing for maximum impact. This is for the fairytale in Only Ever Always. Apart from that I have writer's block thank you very much, and no I don't want to talk about it.
8. And finally Martin and I have been