End of year madness

Colleagues recently have been speculating on the effectiveness of trying to write/revise/whatever at this time of year where there is so much competition for the daily hours. One says that in the absence of deadlines, it’s not very productive time and should be used to read. Another has produced a manuscript and is pleased with the outcome. Me, I’m somewhere in between.

I didn’t have a deadline but did have some requested revision to do. Although the editor won’t get to the changes until mid Jan, it was a good exercise to do the revisions while the conversation with the editor was still fresh. And there’s been some tweaking on a couple of pb manuscripts. But other writing work? Not happening.

It may be the season, but it may also be the builders and painters, who although commissioned in September-ish are still here. The builder is just gone, but the painter is in and out, fitting in all the ‘urgent’ jobs. His phone rings almost non stop while he’s here and he was astounded yesterday when someone wanted to know if he could fit them in before Christmas… We’ve been playing chess with the furniture for months. Empty this room, fill this one, now empty this one too. Move this lot from one end of the hall to the other, put the bed in the loungeroom. Now the painter has gone off to another urgent job and we’re in limbo. Will he get back? Should we start to put furniture back and empty the next room?

Ahhh, what does it matter? Each member of this family (self included) has demonstrated an uncanny ability to ‘not see’ clutter and mess, so no doubt we’ll move through this too. Not so sure about our friends who are coming to tea on Saturday…their house always looks spotless (think hand-written ms with leaking ink pen versus single-sided, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font ms…)

Sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. Think we’ll invite the friends to enter via the back gate and feed them barbecue…that way they won’t even see the mess.