BONUS/FATHER’S WEEKEND

Oh, you poor fathers who only get a single day πŸ™‚

Like every other event at The Batthome, we seem to stretch Father’s Day over all the available time, which is why it’s taken the whole weekend so far.

Yesterday saw a trip to the museum (to satisfy my inner and outer geeks); lunch under the sun; time to continue work on my Doctor Who story during the evening (with much begging from the boys to read it when it’s done); the best Doctor Who episode so far; and Luscious’ wonderful home made soup for dinner.

Then this morning I was forcibly made to sleep in while a Full English breakfast was prepared, consisting of bacon, sausages, hash browns, cheese-covered tomatoes, eggs, beans, and croissants. Then I was presented with cards from everybody and a copy of Eric Sykes’ autobiography If I Don’t Write It, Nobody Else Will, which I was allowed to read whilst lying in a bubble bath.

Now Luscious has taken the littlies to the gym, and the Triffboys have gone off with their Dad to celebrate his Father’s Day, so I’ve got more time to write, plus there’s a roast dinner in the offing later on, followed by Prehistoric Park (It’s an utterly ludicrous show, but a lot of fun) and The Proposition.

Loving it πŸ™‚

HOW TO DRAW A BATH AND QUOTE OF THE DAY

I was born in a cold part of a cold country, so I like my weather cold and my baths hot.

There’s a secret and highly specialised way to draw the perfect hot bath, but seeing as it’s only us, I’ll let you know how it’s done:

Don’t fill the bath all at once. Pour in about six inches or so, as hot as you can stand it. Get in. Once your body has adjusted to the heat, fill up some more. Again, give yourself a minute or so to adjust, then pour in some more. And so on. Four rotations should be enough, with a minute or so to adjust in between. Do it properly, and the only cold water you use will be in the first pouring. The rest will be pure hot tap.

There are few things more satisfying in life than putting your hand in to pull the plug out after more than an hour of soaking, and twitching at the heat. Having steam come off the water as it drains is proof you’ve done it right.

Half an hour or so after getting in this morning, Luscious despatched the kids across to the park to play and brought a chair into the bathroom to join me in reading. Before I could warn her she sat down and plonked her feet into the bath, prompting today’s quote of the day:

Jeez! I’ve stewed apples in colder water than that!

I’m not fat. I’m melting…

Song of the moment: Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield

WHO’S YER DADDY?

Who made out like a bandit on Father’s Day?

The 8-disc Hornlower Box set, the personalised momento Aiden hand-made for me at his after-school care (and which has been added to the cool-prezzie parade on top of my computer desk), the hardback Philip K. Dick biography, the bar of Toblerone so big I could use it to club kittens to death (not that I would, mind, but a man can dream….), and a bunch of flowers from the littlies.

I did all right πŸ™‚

Spent the afternoon today at a family picnic in my brother’s backyard, laughing and playing with my Dad & Stepmum, my brother’s family, and our brood. For some bizarre reason, Luscious decided I should be waited on hand and foot. I, being of noble bearing and committed to the realisation of Luscious’ hopes and dreams, acquiesced πŸ™‚

The kids were brilliant: funny, well-behaved, engaging, and just so much fun to be with. Cassie’s breakdancing demonstration will be the source of giggles for a long time, as will the sight of my brother dribbling a soccer ball with Aiden & Blake literally hanging from his back: someone must have told them the game was played above the shoulders, otherwise the headlocks will need to be explained…

Now we’ve dropped the Triffkids back at their Dad’s house, the Battbabies are in bed, the house is quiet and the world has been safely locked outside. Time for a video, a cuddle, some time spent quietly reading with my beautiful wife beside me, and I can call this day perfect and complete.

Sometimes this whole blended family thang works to perfection.

Song of the moment: Infected The The

HOW COOL ARE MY KIDS?

I had a surprise Father’s Day yesterday. I say surprise because we have Luscious’ kids this weekend, and it had been organised that they see their father today for Father’s Day, while we caught up with my family. Well: I had a workshop to run at the writer’s centre yesterday, and before I went Lyn and the kids made me breakfast, (pancakes with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar on top) and the the kids pulled out presents they’d been shopping for, and gave them to me! A leather bound writing journal and They Might Be Giants’ latest album The Spine are now my proudest posessions πŸ™‚

I was flabbergasted, and more than a little teary and touched- not only wasn’t I expecting anything (the kids have their own biological father, after all), but the fact they went out with their Mum and made sure to find gifts they knew I would absolutely love was just brilliant. I floated the rest of the day, and am still smiling about it now.

HELLBOY AND ZIM

It’s been a boysie weekend this weekend: Friday night we went to see Hellboy at the cinema (Big, dumb fun, and I’m such a fan of the comic books that I happily overlooked the many weaknesses in the film), and last night, while Cassie and Luscious went to see Jersey Girl in order to wash the testosterone out of their eyes, the boys and I stayed at home with crisps in hand and watched the newly-released Invader Zim DVD.

Doom doom doom doom doomie doomie dooommm….

COMPENSATION

The date for the trial over Sharon’s death draws nearer: a pre-trial conference is only a few weeks away now, and I spent Friday afternoon in conference with my lawyer. It’s been a hard few days, with tension before the meeting and after due to the nature of the proceedings: the doctor who killed Sharon and the Health Department have delayed, prevaricated, and basically done their all to make this a painful and traumatic experience, and I’ll be glad to cast their vile shadows from my life.

MY WRITING WEEK

A productive week at the KSP. Apart from yesterday’s writing workshop, I ploughed through a significant portion of the novel and am now almost 50 000 words in. I’m aiming for somewhere between 80 and 90 000 words first draft, as I’m sure to be adding words in rather than cutting them out in future drafts, so to be well and truly past halfway is great. I had planned to reach 50 000 words by the end of the residency, so to do it a week early feels like a real achievement. Oh, and I’ve completed my 5th short story, to boot πŸ™‚

A real highlight was an engagement at Helena College, a couple of miles down the road from the centre, where I spoke to some creative writing students and ran some writing exercises past them. I spent over an hour with the kids and was delighted at their talent and fearlesness as writers. They even presented me with some gifts at the end- a thank you card, a copy of their yearbook, an Helena College keyring and a matching pen which is my new writing pen!

So, to totals…

Monday 30th August

Novel Words For Day: 2277
Total Words For Day: 2277
Novel Words at KSP: 27 847
KSP Cumulative Total: 36 637
Novel Cumulative Total: 37 936

Tuesday 31st August

Novel Words For Day: 3019
Total Words For Day: 3961
Novel Words At KSP: 30 866
KSP Cumulative Total: 40 598
Novel Cumulative Total: 40 955

Wednesday 1st September

Novel Words For Day: 2642
Word Total For Day: 3221
Novel Words at KSP: 33 508
KSP Cumulative Total: 43 819
Novel Cumulative Total: 43 597

Thursday 2nd September

Novel Words For Day: 2929
Word Total For Day: 4020
Novel Words at KSP: 36 437
KSP Cumulative Total: 47 839
Novel Cumulative Total: 46 526

Friday 3rd September

Novel Words For Day: 2907
Word Total For Day: 4201
Novel Words at KSP: 39 344
KSP Cumulative Total: 52 040
Novel Cumulative Total: 49 433

And the short stories, which are all first drafts at the moment:

Blake The God (Humourous SF) 2533 words
Pater Familas (Horror Flash Story) 810 words
Untitled Piece as Yet (SF) 2056 words
Murderworld (SF) 3960 words
Untitled Piece as Yet (Horror) 3015 words