Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hills / Fielding / Bursitis / Work

A short poem


The hills you know were made slowly
Pushed up or carved out over centuries
For the day you buy a bicycle.

Things I tell the Internet but might feel weird bringing up in general conversation #1

The Art of FieldingMy review of Chad Harbach's novel, The Art of Fielding, is in this weeks Listener.

This is my second paid book review. I enjoyed it slightly more than last time, but it's a time consuming way to make less than a hundred dollars after tax (read a 500 page novel then spend a day trying to say something substantial and useful in 400 words). I guess there's the free book thing, too.

My respect for good book critics continues to grow.

(I have an evolving fantasy of not writing any fiction in 2013 - or at least not working on a novel - and devoting myself to writing longform journalism. Just for shits and giggles. I'll snap out of it soon, I think).

Things I'd whinge about if you met me in person #1

I am suffering from bursitis at the mo. Specifically, olecranon bursitis, or 'student's elbow'. It's kinda hard to take a photo of my own elbow that does the freaky, deformed, bulbous, bruised thing justice, but here goes:

It was a lot worse yesterday: the size and hardness of a golf ball, which made bending the thing nearly impossible. It hurts a bit, but less than you might think.

I first munted by elbow while living in Edinburgh four years ago. Since then I've had about three recurrances, either from a substantial knock or too much leaning on my desk at work.

Is it just me, or does it feel weird to be talking about my elbow online?

Things I tell the Internet but might feel weird bringing up in general conversation #2

To the relief of my desk-averse elbow, I'm off tomorrow to North Otago/South Canterbury for a four day research mission. It'll be a mix of museum trawling, beach combing and hill climbing.

Not quite as adventurous as the events in THE NOVEL (thankfully), but should be fun. Here's the route I may or may not stick to:

Photos to follow.

Something I'd whinge about if you met me in person and share online

I’ve gone up from two days a week at the Ministry of Education to three days. The logic behind the move went something like this:

• I’ve got up a head of steam on THE NOVEL (correction: I had up a head of steam, then got married)
• my (revised) deadline is not till July/August
• my team at work has just lost two people and they need all hands on deck
• $$$ I would earn more money $$$
• one of my working days could be a Friday, meaning I’d get to socialise more with colleagues (also: my brother/flatmate has Friday’s off making it easier to be distracted at home on Fridays).

All solid reasons. I especially like the one with the $-signs. I also hoped that by increasing the scarcity of my writing time, I’d make better use of it.

It’s still too early to say, but today I had a Gawd, what have I done? moment at work. It seems the holidays are finally over and there are a dozen things that need to be done pronto. Doesn’t help that the last few weeks have been slow going with THE NOVEL.

There is no perfect day job/writing mix and I’m sure I’ll get comfortable with my 3/2 mix at some stage.

Another short poem

Out of doors

It’s so late the weather has disappeared.
The trees have regained their good posture.
Where has Wellington gone I wonder?


Vanda Symon said...

Ow! - on the bursitis front. Hope the road trip was fun - they have some fab museums and damn interesting places through that area of the country. We try and have a big day trip up that way each year - so much to see and do. said...
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