My Saturday was, supposedly, spent doing a final draft of a novel I ‘finished’ (ie last picked up) two years ago. It’s got some good stuff in it, but it’s not great. Still, I figured, it’s worth one last run through the machinery, if for nothing more than I hoped it would get me back on the writing horse.
Anyways, about one third exists in electronic form on my laptop, whilst the remaining two-thirds are a printout from a long-lost e-copy.
So, I copy the laptop files onto a cd, and decide I’ll retype the missing parts onto the home PC (I know: more typing than writing, but the action is forcing me to read it, and analyse it - which is how I’m happy stating that it’s got some good stuff in it, but it’s not great) .
After an hour and a half, the disc, which I had inserted into the dvd drive on the home pc eploded. No, I mean EXPLODED!
I open the drawer, and am showered with bits of silver foil and glass (or plastic; whatever the fuck those sodding things are made of). I’ve probably got asbestosis now. Or Silver lung (which sounds like something the Cybermen would give you. Hmmm, there’s an idea. What’s Mr Moffat’s email addy again?)
It gets worse: There’s clearly still a shitload of fragmented cd in the machine.
So I switch the thing of immediately, panic, unplug it, panic some more, then contact my IT Support guy Lottie), who says “Switch it off immediately and unplug it,” which, since I’d already done this, made me feel technologically savvy. I’m sooo the P.C. man!
This coming weekend, we hope to be able to open the thing up, replace the dvd drive, and hoover out the bits without - it’s desperately hoped - having destroyed the hard drive itself.
The good news - I found Sunday - is that I had saved the work to an external hard drive seconds before the explosion, so I still have a redraft to finish off, as well as the new book to start , and a few competitions to go for.
Which sort of brings me to the point of this ramble: It’s almost the end of January. I deliberately didn’t make any new years resolutions ‘cos I hate the whole “Do it through January and then let it drop by the wayside” mentality that that engenders. But I did say that I wanted to set some goals - professional, personal, domestic - and try my damndest to make them work; and so far, I’ve sort of done some stuff, but with not much of a plan or a conscious objective.
Time, this week, then, to fix that: D is already signing us up for a 5k a 10k and, as of minutes before bed last night, a half-marathon (to a disco beat, apparently). Which gives me something to train towards; which gives me, in other words, some personal fitness goals to work towards (I also want ARMS for the summer; which makes me sound slightly thalidomidy, but you know what I mean).
The writing is scary, cos I could just continue to tinker with the not-too-good-but-has-some-good-bits book above indefinitely, but it’s time to start entering competitions, putting stuff out there, focussing.
The house needs some work. It’s not falling apart, but there’s the matter of the en-suite shower, the carpets which could do with either replacement or, at the least, steam cleaning, paining and decorating some, if not all of the rooms, and clearing out the garage for once and for all. All (or at least all that require expenditure of a monetary nature), sort of, on hold until I see what my salary numbers are like in a fortnight or so. I don’t expect a payrise - in fact, it’ll, all-in, probably be a cut, but there’s a lump sum year-end payment (we don’t use the B word any more in banking - it tends to get the media frothing and there’s nothing more distressing than a frothy media), due in February, so once that’s in we can start to budget for the big ticket items.
There’s some debt - most notably our mortgage - which I think could seriously benefit from renegotiation - interest charges are right down to the lowest levels in history; so why are we still paying 2006 interest rates?
And there’s work, where my boss (who has just been announced as a departure from the, um, department into the Crème de la Crème talent program) advised me that my objectives this year would be all set by myself (Excuse me: Isn’t part of the job of management to provide me with some guidance? Not, I guess, if you’re the Crème de la Crème). The goal at work, I guess, is really to keep the job whilst not getting too stressed about anything, continuing to work from home when it suits, and ensuring I finish on time every night. But see: None of those are the sort of goals I want to write down and hand in to management, so I’m gonna need all those creative writerly skills to whip up some frothy bullshit that sounds a little more, how can I put this, professional?