Today I switched off. I took a day’s holiday. Unfortunately I had the children at home with me, so my timing wasn’t great.
I hope that, by sometimes leaving the children to fend for themselves, they will learn self-reliance, and come to appreciate the times I am present, and the days we do go on fun trips to the Farm or the Zoo.
Okay, who am I kidding? That’s just an excuse. I didn’t feel like being Mummy today. I wanted to curl up with my book (Emotional Geology – fab), listen to the cricket (nail-biting), stay out of the sun (too hot for me) and speak to no one (bliss).
I’m already feeling the effects of hubbie being at home this week. I don’t do well if I can’t have a few hours without responsibility for anyone but me. Even though hubbie is a grown man, I still have to take care of him when he’s in a ten-mile radius. I can’t help it!
Anyway, the kids coped. They got fed, watched too many movies, made butterfly eggy toast for tea. They were finally allowed out into the sun at 4.35pm, they got to swim at grandma’s and fell asleep at bedtime, instead of an hour later as it has been recently. Not a bad day.
Best of all, I designed my free promo bookmark!
I’m getting quite excited about releasing Baby Blues officially. I should probably be drumming up a blog tour or guest posts, but I still struggle with book marketing. I can just about manage the occasional tweet or KDP free promo. But I come from a direct/offline marketing background. As a result I’m much happier with printed marketing (I used to control a million pound budget to produce junk mail!). Hence the bookmarks, I suppose.
Unfortunately paper marketing isn’t likely to sell digital books. For example, I can’t leave the bookmarks in my local bookshop or library, when the book isn’t available there (although I could donate a few paper copies of the book I guess). I like print marketing; digital printing is amazing. To design something like this bookmark on my home computer, knowing I could hold it in my hand in a week, is great.
(I learnt my marketing trade in the time of four-colour plate printing, when digital print was in its infancy. I remember being dazzled by an agency showing us a personalised mail pack featuring that day’s newspaper. Incredible then, commonplace now).
Above all, I’m afraid I get seduced by pretty things. I enjoy the design process and I love having a finished, tangible, product. I’m a Luddite at heart! Time to go brush up on selling for self-published authors and forget my marketing past!
Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog:
Yellow light poured in through tall windows, dragging Claire’s eyes to admire the blue sky, just visible between the curtains. After the overcast skies of the previous day, the sun promised a new start. Resisting the urge to pull the duvet over her head, Claire pushed it back and swung herself round to sit upright. Her skull ached. Thoughts had tumbled and jumbled for what seemed like the better part of the night. Replays of the day, questioning her actions, planning for the future.
I didn’t even have a drink. I wouldn’t mind feeling this dreadful if I had.
Listening closely, Claire decided the room was empty. She used the bed frame to lever upright, and peered round at the other bunks. One contained the suspicion of a slumbering figure under the covers, so Claire tiptoed out to find the bathroom. A beautiful National Trust property it might be, but Ilam Hall wasn’t over-blessed with en-suite facilities. It no longer bothered Claire, as long as she remembered to take her key. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d had to loiter outside her room waiting for someone to come back.
Refreshed after her shower, Claire contemplated her long drive south. It seemed a tragic waste of a beautiful day, even with the excitement of what lay at the other end.
Excitement isn’t quite the word I’d choose, actually. Abject terror is probably nearer the mark.
Claire couldn’t remember her last job interview. The position at AJC had come through a headhunter and had been agreed over coffee.
While she drove, Claire’s thoughts chattered away in her mind as if she was eavesdropping at a party. Little snatches of sense rose to the surface before sinking beneath the general hubbub.
What is Carl going to do? He looked terrified. What about that odd phone call when he gave me the week off?
She’d thought it was because he was worried about a tribunal, but if that were the case, her resignation would have been a relief. He didn’t look relieved. Am I crazy, to quit before the interview?
No matter how she played it in her mind, the sudden impulse that took her to Manchester, with a resignation letter in hand, made no sense. But then so little of the last three months did. The important bits, the memories that made her smile, were about people, not things. You couldn’t fathom people, they fought categorization.
As she stopped for lunch and a Starbucks, Claire’s thoughts turned to Kim. It was opening night for Kim’s play, the day after her interview. She had her tickets already – she had agreed with Ruth that Sky could come, despite the late finish. Claire wasn’t sure of her plan, but if Kim wouldn’t talk to her maybe she’d relent for Sky. Even though they weren’t the type of friends who talked often, Kim’s silence nagged like a festering wound. Pushing aside the pain, Claire tried to concentrate on thinking through possible interview questions – and answers – for the morning.
At last the satnav announced her arrival at Salisbury. Claire looked at the villa, set amidst beautiful grounds, and felt a stab of fear. This is a mistake. I’ve only seen a quarter of all the hostels. So many amazing places yet to visit. She thought about Ruth, and the hostel manager from Gradbach, each eager for her next instalment.
Why do I want to get a proper job? Back to rules and schedules. Commuting and deliverables and staff depending on me.
She reminded herself she hadn’t got the job yet.
What if I don’t get it. Do I go cap in hand back to Carl? Carry on with the assignment out of my own pocket. And, what? Write a book. I guess there’s always New Zealand.
Slamming the car door, Claire tried to leave the noisy thought party behind and concentrate on the task in hand. Researching for her interview. Let me get the job first, and then decide what to do for the best.