Just what is going on?

Perhaps it’s the two cups of coffee I consumed today, or maybe there’s
another reason, but my head feels full, and in the way that some
bloggers come to rely on publishing thoughts as a method of purging or
cleansing themselves, here I go…

We’re just wrapping up a phase of business planning, budgeting and
implemention of some new programmes of work, and in a few weeks time, we’ll actually be working with writers again – glory be. I also get to kick off my grand sounding careers coaching so that I learn to (in my
coach’s words) ‘demonstrate my excellence’. If that’s a success, it’ll
be just short of a miracle.

Since that ManBooker fun last autumn, I’ve been committing to all
sorts of challenges. I’ve already failed the 100 day challenge
(because I’m a compulsive spender), and am making little progress on
the Man Booker winners challenge (though am confident I’ll do it, even
if I leave Possession until last), but seem to be on track with my
green aspirations (sitting here with my dressing gown on over my clothes).

I’ve a few small writing projects on the go. I’m trying to write an
article about my motivation to read the ManBooker longlist last year,
which will hopefully be featured on LeftLion’s website. I’ve been corresponding with James, the books editor for LL, about the feat, and he has referred to me in his own blog as a literature sadist! I often confuse sadism and masochism (despite the sexual economies module I took at university, which Alex likes to bring up to embarrass me), but I sincerely hope I haven’t inadvertently caused anyone else any pain
through my compulsive reading! Still, the question about whether this
kind of intense reading is a pleasure or a pain is a very relevant
I’ve also been revisiting the first two Jon McGregor books – If Nobody
Speaks of Remarkable Things
and So Many Ways to Begin – as I prepare to receive my review copy of his third novel, Even the Dogs. I’m planning on writing an article about the three books, again for LeftLion, and elsewhere if it’s good enough, which offers a creative view of the intellectual and literary space created by the three books and that might be more stimulating than an interview with the author, in which he’s asked whether he writes with a pen, pencil, quill or keyboard (Jon discusses his feelings about this sort of interview on
his website, which is just delightful). The article is also an unashamed great big sell, because if you haven’t read Jon’s novels, you really should. He’s a shining star on a moonless night. Even the Dogs is available from Monday 1st February 2010. Both of Jon’s previous books have been longlisted for the Booker prize, so get your mitts on this one early.

If that isn’t enough, I’m ploughing through my first Open University
course, Bon départ, and blogging about my experience of being an OU
newbie for Platform. Thankfully, my lovely friend from Lyon is
humouring me by providing a bit of French conversation (well, okay,
I’m sort of just listening and looking confused at the moment). I’ve
fallen a little behind with my progress through the course material,
so have some intense weeks ahead of my next assessment in March.

Finally, to make sure my body can take the strain of this engorged
brain I’m developing (and yes, because age has finally caught up with
me) I’m following an exercise regime on EA active on the Wii.
Shockingly, I’m quite enjoying doing something physical, but perhaps
that’s obvious given the amount of time I normally spend sitting
around reading or staring at a computer screen! I have now officially
transfered from being a skinny girl constantly told ‘it won’t last’ by
other women, to being a woman who will inevitably cluck at young waifs and tell them to ‘enjoy it while they can’ – the it being
extraordinarily prolific cake consumption habits as I once enjoyed.

I think that’s all. To enjoy the link-love, check out this post on my blog 🙂


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