After fourteen years during which he has never once forgotten my birthday – I forgot his.
He took me out to lunch yesterday. When I offered to chip in, he said, “Oh, this is on Auntie – she put a note in my card.” Somewhere at the back of my head I noted that he cocked an eye at me pointedly as he said this, but even then I didn’t make the connection.
On the way back, he said, “So I take it that you really have forgotten my birthday?”
This was when I clapped my hands over my face and put my head on my knees. Luckily, he was driving.
My excuse is that, like most writers, my life is made up of bits. It’s constantly stop, start, swop, switch – and presently I’m stopping, starting, swopping and switching more than ever.
I’m currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at De Montfort University. For one to two days a week, I get up at 5-30, drive there, and get home about 8pm. I have to keep appointments in order and updated, keep up with paperwork and answer all the numerous e-mails.
|Vikings did NOT have horned helmets!|
I’m my own secretary, answering emails from other schools who want me to visit, updating my calendar, discussing plans with the school, working out charges, travel plans etc.
At the same time, I’m Admin on the Do Authors Dream of Electric Books? blog, and we’ve just sent out a press release – so more emails and blog updating.
Then I’m publishing my own e-books. I’m trying to get ten e-books on sale, which means hours of scanning, editing and proof-reading: then adding labels to Amazon.com and co.uk
I even write, occasionally. I’m struggling with the third Sterkarm book. It isn’t easy to find time for it. Just as I’m getting to a crux, there’ll be a knock on the door as another student arrives, or the phone rings.
The book isn’t easy to write either. It is, as Davy would say, ‘a heid-nipper’. I feel like I’ve been fighting the Sterkarms hand-to-hand for months – and they never fight fair.
On top of all this, because I don’t have a wife, I have to make sure I have a clean outfit for University and schools, I have to shop, cook, wash-up – keep accounts, send out invoices, bank…
I’ve run out of head-space. It’s so crammed in there that something had to fall out of my ears – and unfortunately, it was Davy’s birthday.
He’d like to have some friends over this weekend. At my place. He’d like me to cook. I groaned, I protested – but I forgot his birthday.
So agenda for the next few days: frenzied cleaning of house’s more public areas. Choosing of menu. Straight from Viking Age and primary school to supermarket. Cooking. While not forgetting anything needed for school and University the following week.