Today I finally bit the bullet and opened my proofread manuscript. I’ve been putting it off, not because I’m scared of the contents, but because it’s been hot and editing gives me a headache. And I know there are around 3400 revisions to review.
By the end of the day, I managed to get through 35 pages out of 230 (and cleared 630 revisions). I can barely see straight! Laptop blindness.
Unfortunately I still have days of work left and only 7 nursery days before I lose them completely. My daughter finishes nursery in 3 weeks.
Once my daughter starts school full time in October (she’s only part time in Sept), the longest time I’ll have child-free at home on any given day will be around 5 hours, give or take school run traffic. And then only for 1 or 2 days a week during term time. I’m about to really and truly appreciate how spoiled I’ve been with my two 8 hour days to spend on writing (and walking the dog, household chores and all that other stuff).
As is always the case, I am already wishing I’d worked harder, appreciated my time more, over the last four years. The truth is some days I’m so tired I manage less than two hours’ work in an 8 hour day. Anyway, it is what it is. I will adjust.
Maybe hubbie will get another job soon and we’ll be able to afford for little man to do an extra day at nursery. In another year my daughter will be able to stay to after school club and I’ll be able to stretch the day. In two years they’ll both be at school, not that I want to wish that time away.
(Actually, I wish I could relive the first four years of their lives with the knowledge I have now and a bit more sleep!)
Maybe once they’re both at school, I’ll get so much sleep I’ll manage five productive hours and the words will fly from my fingers (as will the pigs across the sky!)
In the meantime I’m trying to juggle keeping up with Claire and getting Baby Blues ready for release. I really want it out by end of August, for obvious reasons (September-December are going to be HECTIC), but it’s looking unlikely. In the meantime I’m having fun looking over my old photo albums of New Zealand and hoping not too much has changed in ten years (apart from Magic Bus Tours being taken over by Kiwi Experience! Oops)
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:
“You wanna book on the Magic Bus? Not a good idea. Best go with Kiwi.”
Claire wondered if the lad behind the desk ever spoke in full sentences. She picked through his words and frowned as they eventually made sense. “I heard the Kiwi Experience wasn’t as good as the Magic Bus.”
The man shrugged, as if the relative merits of the two tour services mattered little to him. “Same thing. Or will be. They’ve bought them out. It’ll all be green bus from July, so you might as well start now.”
“I won’t be here in July. I’m only here for a few weeks.” Claire felt the panic rise again. She couldn’t remember much of what Mitch had told her, but something made her not want to travel with the Kiwi Experience. Wasn’t he a driver for Magic, though? Maybe he knew his job was at risk and that’s why he didn’t like the green buses?
Resisting the urge to dash back to her room, Claire looked the man in the eye and said, “I think I’d really rather go with the Magic Bus. It was recommended to me.” She didn’t add that the endorsement came from a random stranger in a bar who happened to work for the company.
With another shrug, the man tapped away at his computer. “Have it your way. Are you doing just North Island or South as well?”
“How far will I get in two or three weeks?”
“How far do you want to get?”
“I want to see everything. I don’t know; I only arrived yesterday. Or was it the day before?” Claire wanted to kick out at the desk. Am I being unreasonable? Is it me? Surely she wasn’t the only person to turn up without knowing why she was there?
“Why don’t I give you some brochures, so you can choose your pass?” He gathered up a selection of paper leaflets and passed them to Claire. She noticed that they were all green. Then he looked over her shoulder and made eye contact with the next person in the queue.
Claire turned round and saw five people waiting behind her at the desk. She scuttled past and almost ran back to her room.
Opening the door like a member of the bomb squad, Claire nearly wept with relief to find the room empty. She flung herself on the bed and pounded the pillow. It felt stupid to have a tantrum but she was too tired to cope with the feelings swirling out of control inside her body. Her emotions choked her too tightly to even allow tears to break through. She lay, face down, and waited for the surge to subside.
Eventually, conscious that her roommates might return at any moment, Claire sat up and looked at the leaflets in her hand. As suspected, they were all for the Kiwi Experience.
“Oh, what the hell,” Claire said aloud. “What does it matter which bus takes me around the damn country. I flew all this way for nothing; I may as well see some stuff while I’m here.”
She flicked through the leaflets, smiling at the names of the various tour options. Fush ‘N’ Chups, Buzzy Bee, Super Funky. As far as she could tell, they all went to the same places, although some were considerably more expensive than others. In the end she decided it might be easier to browse the website.
After twenty minutes of brain-numbing analysis, Claire decided to sign up for the Whole Kit & Caboodle pass. After the cost of her flight, what did a few extra hundred dollars matter? She could always tell Carl she’d changed her mind, and accept his lucrative counter-offer once she got back to the UK.
Not wanting to allow any time to talk herself out of the decision, Claire marched back to reception to book her ticket. A different person now manned the visitor desk and Claire smiled gratefully at the young woman. The pass was ordered in moments and Claire felt the chilly sensation of passing the point of no return.
“You leave in the morning for Paihia in the Bay Of Islands. It’s going to be cold – only about 18C – so you might want to take your winter woollies.”
Claire laughed, and realised it was the first time she’d done so in days. “I’m from the UK. We would consider 18 degrees to be barbeque weather.”
The woman grinned and handed her a pack of information. “Hope you’re also good at early starts. Bus leaves at 6.30am.”
“That’s fine, I’m still on UK time. Thanks.” Claire smiled at the woman and headed back to her room to pack and to try and convince her body it was bed time.
Let the adventure begin.