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Loads of words, compensating for lack of words

Sunday 21 November 2010

write or be written offClicking Random Post a few times (under Blog Info), I am shocked how often I have bemoaned not keeping Travel Hopefully as busy as I intended. And how far back the trend goes. It seems I know myself less well than I thought, one of the drawbacks of reading old diary/blog entries. Once I found a warm and favourable first impression of someone I’d later come to believe I had hated on sight.


Regulars to the Travel Hopefully Blog (you know who you are) will have noticed its lapse into dormancy over the past half-year. It is time to apologise for and explain this, and to formalise it. To tidy it up.


When the choice is between kicking a poem into shape for submission and polishing a blogpost, I’m afraid the poem has to win. I’ve submitted to two or three places and am chuffed to say Quill & Parchment will publish one in their December issue.

More stamina-intensive writing is on hold.


Some of you know I am ‘on disability’. In the last 12-18 months I have tried various means of contributing some amount of income to the household, and have ruled out one possibility after another (tutoring from home, eBaying, writing for Suite101). It’s good to find out, and to know that I am not after all lazily accepting the comfy status quo. I did think I might be.

In February we finally got in touch with Social Services to arrange some help around the house. I don’t feel the would ‘disabled’ fits me, but on the other hand I can’t Have A Life without support and everyone’s entitled to have a life. I’m about halfway to having the help they say I’m entitled to. (No one exclaim it’s been nine months already; I knew to expect that.)

The effect of my conditions is that I have on average 1½ functional hours where a healthy person has a full working day. Dealing with SS has, like the baby cuckoo, ousted my writing. Of course that means I’m also dealing with the withdrawal symptoms (when not writing regularly I sleep badly, for example), but I’m good at enduring. I can last, as long as I believe it’s not for ever.

Although some days I do wonder if, when the endurance is over, there’ll be any of my lifetime left.

It’s making me much better at prioritising. SS and parenting fight for top place on my list. The sanity factors, writing and socialising (including the blog), have to come second. It is temporary.


I promised certain blogposts, and I promised myself more than I recklessly mentioned to you. A fuller account of Prof Hyland’s thinking was one. I hate that I haven’t kept to my very broadly sketched-in schedule. But these plans are not cancelled, only postponed.

There’s plenty of correspondence I haven’t got back to. I probably undertook to reply to your newsy email during this year. If so, sorry … it will be next year.


Image by Vicki's Nature via Flickr

Naturally, traffic to the Travel Hopefully Blog has dwindled. It’s silly to put the work n to produce blogposts in dribs and drabs, for without the behind-the-scenes ‘continuity’ work, too few people will see them. In other words it’s silly to limp along when it’s inevitable I’ll be left behind anyway.

Therefore I am officially putting this, and its sister the Travel Hopefully Slog, into stasis. When I inject this carefully-stored liquid procured by distilling the blood of spiderbots, they will spring into life, never fear. Meanwhile if you hold a mirror to their lips, you may see condensation: the blogroll slowly growing, a sidebar stretching, turning and settling down again. No more than that.


I expect I’ll manage to remind you to have a look at Quill & Parchment when the relevant (to me) issue is out. Otherwise, I’m wishing you a Happy New Year. See you in (the early part, I hope, of) 2011!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday 13 January 2011 6.57 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve subscribed (believe it or not I only figured out about all that this past summer) and now I won’t miss news like this again. I’m sorry you’ve been going through all this, but thrilled for you about your Q and P publication. Is it out yet?

    • Friday 14 January 2011 2.44 pm

      Well … it is published, but under the wrong name, and I’m in correspondence at the moment hoping to get them to change it. 😐 So when/if that’s sorted, I’ll let you know! Great to say hi here again. 🙂

    • Monday 24 January 2011 5.32 pm

      The name problem has been sorted, so I can point you to last month’s issue of Quill & Parchment – which will become accessible to non-subscribers in July 2011. AND I have another in Q&P next month!

      I’m off to put this news in a blogpost all of its own. 🙂

  2. Thursday 25 November 2010 10.18 pm

    I’m sorry, Mand, to hear that life continues to be tough; but THRILLED at your publication success with Q and P – as you should be, too. With all good – if early – festive wishes,


    • Thursday 2 December 2010 3.38 pm

      If I return the festive wishes this early, it ensures they get there before 2011! Thank you. 🙂

  3. Sunday 21 November 2010 10.01 pm

    wanted to say good luck with all your old/ new endeavors. have a great night.

    • Monday 22 November 2010 2.08 pm

      Many thanx! 🙂

  4. Sunday 21 November 2010 2.48 pm

    Sorry, ‘your’ not ‘you’re’.

    • Monday 22 November 2010 2.08 pm


  5. Sunday 21 November 2010 2.47 pm

    I can sympathise. I had what used to be called ‘a nervous breakdown’ about four years ago and unlike previous bouts of depression this one really knocked me for six and I was on meds for three years plus seeing a shrink. Long story short I’m much better now: off the pills and shrink-free but I haven’t bounced back to where I was before. I have less time when I can work and am nowhere near as efficient as I used to be. My wife too suffers from debilitating conditions and hasn’t done a scrap of creative writing in years. At least I can still write which I’m grateful for. So, not that I imagined you thought you were, you’re not alone. Everyone has something dragging them down and the bottom line should always be if it takes more out of you to do something than you get back (in whatever ways) then don’t do it. I find blogging a chore and a huge consumer of time and I do sometimes wonder what I’m getting out of it. If nothing else it’s improved my writing and that can’t be bad. So, don’t worry – in response to your last post – I’ll keep you’re RSS feed open ad infinitum.

    • Monday 22 November 2010 2.07 pm

      Thanx, Jim. Yes, the discipline of blogging has many benefits, some more subtle than others. For me contact with the Outside World is a major one, but I also see it as building my public’ – at least that was the idea when I began – on the principle of nurturing an online readership three years before you have any writing to sell. Eh up. If at first you don’t succeed, lower your sights, etc etc mumble mumble …

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