#MadeItMonday: A Book, A Book! I Made A Book!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Pretty much the only thing I’ve made this week apart from school resources and stuff is the internal pretties for Where Shadows Rise – which, okay, this feels a little like cheating in terms of ‘making’ something, but on the other hand, VERY PRETTY AND EXCITING!

If you want to read the first chapter, you can find it right here 🙂 Yay! Pretty book!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Diagnosing Vitamin Deficiencies Through Your Tears!

So this is really cool! Scientists are developing ways to diagnose vitamin deficiencies through your tears! They are especially focused on children, for whom vitamin deficiencies can have a significant negative impact on their growth and development. Also of interest is a way to test quickly, simply, and easily long before physical symptoms manifest, because if you can catch the deficiency when it’s still moderate and before physical symptoms have occurred, obviously you can get better health outcomes for the patients.

Anyway, totally random, but it’s Friday, my brain is melting a little from being back in full-time work, and I thought it was super cool :o)

Practising In Public, Or, I Have A Book Coming Out in May :3

Years ago, I read an article that prompted somewhat of an epiphany. This is not, in and of itself, a noteworthy event, as this is something that happens with rather astounding regularity in my life. I guess when you read a lot, and when you read widely, this kind of thing is also just called ‘Learning More Stuff’. Yay learning! Yay stuff!

But anyway, this particular article (which I’m sure I linked to at the time but can’t for the life of me find on the blog at present*) was about a distinguishing factor between writing and a lot of other art-forms: namely that in many art-forms, practising in public is not only permissible, it’s actively encouraged. Painting pictures? You don’t have to be a painterly genius for the school to let you exhibit your work. Learning an instrument? Recitals are generally actively required, whether you sound like you’re strangling a cat with tomato sauce or not. Writing? …Yeah, probably just better put that notebook down and not show anyone your writing until you’re *good*, okay, honey? There’s a lovely sane writer person. *pat pat*.

The article, and subsequently I, took umbrage with this notion. Why NOT practise in public? Look at The Martian, for example. It’s arguable but also pretty intuitively obvious that the book only ever became as great as it did because the author took a risk and practised in public, garnering assistance and feedback along the way that made the book what it was.

Look. I don’t want to get too hung up on this idea; I just wanted to note that you know what, writers? Sometimes it’s okay for us to share stuff with The Reading Public that we know has flaws.*****

Segue. In 2010, I wrote a book. It was a book-of-the-heart, the first book I wrote straight through without blood, sweat or tears, and it was magical, and elating, and glorious. It was a book, actually, for my sister, not because the plot mirrors her life or anything (and even less so now than in that first draft) but because, at the time, it felt important that I could give her the gift of happy escapism for a while–and it dovetailed nicely with a fragment of an idea I’d had rolling around in my head for a while.

Segue. It’s 2017. This book has gone through about 7 drafts, at least 4 of those with relatively major changes, though it’s not like it was ever gutted and torn up for parts like some of my other novels. The resultant story is still largely the same shape as the original, just better. More book shaped, less like a whimsical object from my head.

Segue. It’s still 2017, and I have an emotional collapse on Twitter at a bunch of my writing friends. The Twinny One immediately gets onto Skype; she understands what the problem is in a way that’s hard for me to articulate on Twitter, and also in a way that’s hard to articulate on Twitter, she knows the solution. It’s the goalpost, she says.

See, seven years is Quite A Long Time to work on a book, really. Especially when your goal is to make some kind of living out of this. And over those years, numerous times, people have told me (kindly, for my own sanity’s sake) to put Sanctuary down, to shelve it, to walk away.

I don’t walk away from books. I’m terminally incapable. So being told to abandon this one is heart-wrenching, and I’m scared I’ll never finish it, and I’m scared I’ll be forced by time or people or circumstance to abandon it, and secretly I’m just plain old scared that I’ll never be good enough to edit a book to The End. Editing, y’all, is HARD, HARD WORK. Taking this story, this image, this idea that you have in your head and translating it into something that not only makes sense but is just as compelling for others as it is for you? HARD.

But for the first time, Liana puts it in words that seep into my head. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer in those seven years, though it’s also that, and I most certainly have, in leaps and glorious bounds (though some days I still stumble and crawl). It’s not, as I heard this to mean, that I could do better, that I could write better than this, that I need to be constantly revisiting Sanctuary to update it with the new skills I’ve learned.

It’s the opposite. It’s not that I’ve changed as a writer so much as that I keep moving the goalpost. Of course the book will never be DONE if I keep applying new criteria to it; no book I ever write will be done if I work like that.

There are still some flaws in this book. I know they’re there, but fixing them would mean gutting the book and starting over, and I don’t have it in me to do that yet. Maybe one day I would, but I’m faced with a choice: I can let the book go, or I can hold onto it for another seven years, picking and prodding and angsting and hoping to someday get it ‘right’. I need to let it go. But letting go doesn’t have to mean shelving it. It can also just mean at last, finally, calling it done.

Practising in public, you see.

So here it is: my glorious piece of imperfection, a tiny part of my soul carved into words and made flesh of its own. I’m calling it done, I’m writing The End, and I’m turning it over to you, my wonderful, wonderful reader. I hope you’ll love it. But if you don’t, that’s okay; I’m practising in public, and I’ve done what I needed to do. Finally, I’m letting this glorious beast go.

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂
(print and ebook)
(yay)
(isn’t the cover *astounding*?)


The fairies have a secret they’re just dying to protect…

Emma knows breaking the rules can get you into trouble; it nearly got her sister killed. That’s why Emma’s stuck in backwater Nowra, Australia, under temporary witness protection with no friends—and no life.

So when Emma has to break the rules to retrieve the runaway family dog, she decides the fairy she sees is clearly a guilt-induced hallucination. Problem is, hallucinations don’t usually send you invites to Fairyland—and shadows don’t usually chase you home.

It would be easy to ignore the invite.
It would be sensible to avoid the shadows.

But when Emma’s only new friend is snatched by the shadows in the middle of the night, Emma knows she has a decision to make: stick to the rules and leave her friend and dog to die, or risk her own life to save them.

CHAPTER ONE

THE DOORBELL RANG. That doesn’t sound exciting in and of itself, but let me assure you: it was the most heart-pounding thing to happen all week. It was my birthday, I was home alone, and because of the stupid witness protection business, I’d been stuck in the house all summer. I hadn’t even been allowed out to see friends, because we’d arrived in town at the end of last year with only three school weeks to go—so I didn’t have any friends.

Well. I had friends, but they were back in Melbourne, and I wasn’t allowed to contact them for fear someone would track down our new location. Lucky me.

Anyway, it was my birthday, I was alone because Mum and Dad had gone to do something regarding birthday surprises and Anna had inexplicably chosen to go with them, and the doorbell had just rung. I stared at the closed door, heart pounding, while our chocolate Labrador, Veve, tried to chew it down. Was I going to open it?

Of course I was going to open it. The chances of it being a mobster were slim to none; for starters, a mobster wouldn’t have rung the bell.

 

A teal book cover with light exploding from the centre of it. Shadowed butterflies fly out and up from the light, and the title, Where Shadows Rise, overlays the image in a serif font with decorative curly elements. It's pretty. Very, very pretty.
Where Shadows Rise
Sanctuary Book 1
Coming May 24, 2017
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | and more 🙂

 

* Granted it is 10pm on Sunday night and I just spent 10.5 hours of my day marking things and my brain is leaking somehow out my ears and it’s goo, all goo, everything is goooooooo.**

** The number of times I mistyped ‘good’ for ‘goo’ just then is shameful. And probably indicative of my Tired. And possibly indicative of my subconscious’s determination to be optimistic? Sure, let’s run with that.***

*** Better than running with scissors.****

**** Imma get back to the main article in a second, I SWEAR. Any second now. Aaaaaany second…….

***** Of course, just as the right to voice your opinion does not include the right to be taken seriously, so too practising in public does not shield you from having substandard work received as such. I don’t advise this course of action unless you have a thick skin, or aim to develop one.

I’m (so not) A Morning Person

I am really, really, REALLY not a morning person. My tutor group/roll call/whatever you call it when you just get together for 15 mins to make announcements and mark the roll at the beginning of the school day students when I first started teaching knew that it was their job to watch me wake up in the mornings: tutor group was 8:50 – 9:10, and as the clock ticked over to 9, BING, all of a sudden I became human and functional. Ask me tough questions before 9am, and you’ll get puzzled confusion 9/10. I’m better at mornings now that two young kids have deprived me of sleep for collectively seven years of my life, but yeah, still not a morning person. Not at all. Not even kind of sort of remotely. Early mornings fill me with either rage or tears or both.

Last year, I had co-curricular duties at school from 7:30-8:30am every Wednesday. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how stupendously horrifying this situation was for me 😀 And to top it off, this was my co-curricular partner*:

* Who, let it be said, was a Really Nice Person, so I’ll forgive them 😉 😀

Let me know in the comments – are you an early bird or a night owl, and how do you cope with being made to do the opposite??

Why Artists MUST Be Paid

Writers deserve to be paid. Artists deserve to be paid.

The reason is this: If you don’t pay people to make art, only those who can afford to will make it. Only those who have sufficient income to allow them leisure time, time spent not actively pursuing ways to ensure the survival of their family, will make art. Which is fine, until you realise that it’s playing into the very trap we modernly denounce history for: it’s privileging privilege. The reason we don’t know a whole lot about the lower classes of a lot of historical societies, not first hand at any rate, is not because these people weren’t educated/literate and thus able to write down accounts of their lives. That’s part of it, sure, but written literature is only one of a handful of ways of learning about a people.

Art is another. And art, historically speaking, was almost exclusively made by those in a position privileged enough to allow them the time to make it. No, these artists were certainly not always upper class; but when they were not, they usually operated under some sort of patronage system. The rich may not have physically, mentally made the art, but they sure as heck paid for it and dictated what was to be made. There are good reasons why Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Richard III, and others are they way they are, and every one of those reasons is political. He was paid by the rich to entertain them; you don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, not if you want to keep having a face. (Ha ha).

So. This is why we must pay our artists, and pay them well enough to live: that people from all walks of life may make their art. All walks, not just the privileged.

And if you can’t see why that is important, well… Eh, that’s a whole other post.

The Most Intense Marriage Proposal Ever o.O

As if not most intense marriage proposal ever. I am actually speechlessly in awe of how much effort this guy put in to arrange the whole thing. Like, whooooooooooa. #impressed. Clickety-click on the image to make it biggier B-)

(Source: My mum sent this to me on Pinterest originally, but I also found it at 9Gag here.)

Congratulations! You made it to the bottom! You win the prize of leaving a comment to let us know the weirdest/wildest/craziest/most intense marriage proposal you’ve heard of in real life! 😀 (But seriously, please leave a comment at let me know! ;))

Sing Oh For The Want Of A Phone

You wouldn’t read about it. (Unless, of course, you are here now reading this text, in which case, SURPRISE! You are about to read about it!) You know how my wallet has been missing for a Significant Period Of Time? Well. WELL.

Episode nine-hundred-million in Amy Does All The Things: This Time, A Baby Shower Cake. This baby shower cake, in fact, if you are interested in pictures (and if you’re not, you might want to blink for a moment, ‘cause Imma post one here anyway HA).

Front shot of cake, a single-tier 23cm round cake covered in fondant (with sharp corners!), sprayed gold, with a glittery gold dream catcher centered on the front side of the cake (it extends above the edge of the cake by about a centimetre); three sprays of purpley-blue wisteria are arranged around the bottom of the cake at the front on the white platter; they are filled out with three baby pink daisies, three white daisies, some white daisy buds, a few wisteria leaves, and a gold glittery feather or leaf made to match the dreamcatcher.

This instalment of Doing All The Things involved finishing work, heading home to collect the fam + one extraordinary Canadian, packing All The Things into the car (because Cake, and trust me, when I say All The Things and there is Cake involved, I pretty much actually do mean ALL the things, forbearing only that proverbial kitchen sink), and driving 2.5 hours to my mother’s house. This is because I am a super sane individual who would never agree to make a cake for someone interstate during term time that they wanted ready for collection at 730am on Saturday morning.

AH HA HA HA HA.*

Oh yeah, SANE, that’s totally me.

Ahem.

ANYWAY, I’d also had a particularly emotional day at work, and packing All The Things was busy and intense because I was rushing because I really, really wanted to get to Mum’s asap so I didn’t have to stay up ucod***** to finish the derned cake. Lodged somewhere in the back of my consciousness was the fact that my phone was running flat, and I needed to grab my charger so that once we finally arrived at Mum’s, I could put set phone on to charge.

I grabbed the charger. We arrived at Mum’s. We hastily made beds for the small people (well, person; the larger of the small people is big enough for a non-small-person bed) and put them to bed, and lo, I dug into the cake. (Literally; I had to level the thing off first and foremost, har.)

And then there was this super lovely moment where husband revealed the good news he’d alluded to when he’d collected me from school: He’d Found My Wallet.

Rejoice!

Celebrate!

Sing oh for a wallet in its place!

…If only the story ended here. But it doesn’t, and because you are a Well-Trained Reader and because I have used Adequate Amounts of Foreshadowing, y’all know exactly what my next words are going to be (squee, mind-reading!):

I can’t. find. my phone.

As of writing this my phone has now been missing for five days and I have to say, it’s gigantically more of a pain in the bee-hind than losing my wallet ever was. I HAVE NO PHONE. This leads to tremendously awkward situations like realising I have a scheduling clash****** and having to pull a call out ON FACEBOOK to ask for babysitting assistance.

Or like my husband being called to say the baby need collecting from daycare because: Sick, only I’m the one with the car but also did I mention no phone, and him having to send me emails about this and me being three steps away from class (I lie: I was actually IN the classroom when I read said email, though to be fair the students weren’t yet, nor had the final bell gone. PHEW.).

BLAH.

PHONELESSNESS.

WHAT EVEN IS THIS.

And we don’t even have a landline, so I am all like HEY I NEED TO CALL— and then I’m like BUT WAIT NO I CAN’T.

So you know. Doing All The Things, new subtitle: Perpetually Hunting For My Stuff. Or you know. Just, My Life: Losing All The Things. Or at the moment: Do All The Things (Except All Those Things That Require A Phone).

THIS IS SERIOUSLY CRAMPING MY STYLE, Y’ALL.

MY STYLE.

CRAMPING.

Oy.

Also, vey.

And if you have spare positive thoughts you could send towards my phone, I’d definitely appreciate them <3

* To be fair, I did practise being assertive and informed them that the cake could only be collected at 11:30am, because I did require SOME sleep after all.**

** “Some” in this case means about 5.5 hours; I finished up at 2am for the night***, showered, went to bed, and groggily arose 15 minutes after my alarm went off, at 8:30am.

*** This is one of those TOO TIRED TO OPERATE DO NOT DRIVE HEAVY MACHINERY moments, because I literally could have gone to bed 1.5 hours earlier but I broke the first batch of ganache**** and didn’t make quite enough the second time >.<

**** By which I mean, I was stupid enough to assume that even though white chocolate ganache is a finicky little bastard to work with, because I had been successful once before I would thus be successful again, at late notice, running short of sleep. Spoiler: I was not successful.

***** Until Crack Of Dawn (TM)

****** Wait, no, realising I had a scheduling clash was caused by my own stupidity, not by losing my phone. Though if losing my phone was caused also by said stupidity we can extrapolate that possibly this splitting hairs. Woo, extrapolation! *\o/* <— (a pompom-waving person, in case that needed clarification)

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#MadeItMonday: Baby Pretties

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Pretty baby things this week, because brain = dead and – confession – I haven’t actually really made anything this week. I mean okay I probably cooked food and made lesson plans and STUFF, but you’re getting baby things. Because I figured you’d prefer that to a powerpoint on how to use quotations, which, while an INCREDIBLY AMAZING RESOURCE, is probably not so interesting to the vast majority of the population.*

So. Pretty baby mat. Rawr.

baby mat drawn up into a sack with dark denim on the outside, a baby pink cotton fabric on the inside, and baby pink twisted rayon cord drawing it all together. baby play mat laid out on floor with edge flipped over to show underside and upper side at once. Upper is baby pink cotton fabric with a classic Winnie-the-Pooh print. Under is dark denim. Pink twisted rayon cord edges the denim. A toy sack (which lies flat as a baby mat) made from dark denim on the outside, a baby pink cotton fabric on the inside, and with a draw-cord of twisted rayon cord in blossom pink.

* If you’re part of the minority who would actually really be *interested* in a powerpoint on the subtleties of quotations and how to use them to prove your point, feel free to shoot me an email through the contact form in the menu, or leave a comment here, or contact me on social media etc etc etc and I’ll share it with you 😉 <3 

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

So, About Those Priorities

Trying so, so hard to make this wonderful quote from the inestimable Maggie Stiefvater my mantra this year. I’ve noted before that getting enough sleep is the key to managing my stress levels, anxiety, and also healthy eating. Some days I’m better at it than others. When we have company, I SUCK at it, because although I do actually passionately adore sleeping (because DREEEEEAMS, y’all, DREEEEEEEEEAMS!!!), people are also INCREDIBLY SHINY and VERY, VERY STICKY, just like this lounge I’m presently sitting on which is super sticky because I should get up and go to bed but it seems like someone has superglued me here oh wait that’s just the remnants of the kids’ breakfast okay never mind move along nothing to see here. O:)

SLEEP. I should get some, you should get some, and we all should be happy and sleep together.

Uh, um, or not. I mean, like we should all sleep at the same time. Or, like, in times appropriate to our particular time zone. Or, look, you know what? Just go to bed already, okay? I don’t care what time it is, just go… sleep.

Sleep is important. You should probably get some.

<3

Do All The Things: The Post Office Incident

Through no specific purpose or conscious design, one of my life mottoes seems to have become DO ALL THE THINGS (and probably do them Now, and definitely do them Well). There’s a reason I recount an incident in the introduction of the forthcoming Darkness & Good anthology whereby the Twinny One, Liana Brooks, tweeted that if you agree to a ‘small and simple’ Amy Laurens plan, you need to realise that you’ve just agreed to a ten-year magnus opus complete with references and footnotes.*

However. Being that I am not actually Superwoman (yet), trying to Do All The Things (Now + Well) comes with inherent perils and pitfalls. Mostly because, in order to actually attempt to DO all the things, my time/life/sleeping/eating/oxygenation is rigorously scheduled and ordered, because I MUST USE EVERY MINUTE WELL.

And yes. I have spontaneity scheduled as well.**

One of the most evident pitfalls, then, is that when every minute is booked out, Things That Go Wrong can often have a bigger snowball effect than they ought (which, yes, means that sometimes I overreact way more than I ought. Sorry ‘bout that *cringe*). Sometimes this leaves me feeling grumpy and put out that the universe is not magically aligning to enable my quest for superheroism; but other times it really just gets to the point of absurdity and there’s nothing you can do but laugh.

I’ve lost my wallet. This, in and of itself, is not an entirely unexpected thing. For someone whose time is so rigorously plotted, you’d think that a) I’d be prone to encouraging anything that would increase my efficiency (spoiler: I am) and that b) this would include having set places to leave things like wallets so they didn’t inconveniently disappear at regular (scarily regular) intervals. AH HA HA. You’re so cute.

Look, I have to have SOMETHING that prevents sheer hubris, okay? Misplacing keys, wallets, hairbrushes and sanity are this something, as well as my persistent inability to stop trying to kill myself with sugar and my inability to put myself to bed on time. I am secretly five. Whatcha gonna do about it.

Okay, so, wait. I have points here. My wallet is lost. Usually this is not a terribly stressful thing, because I know inherently that it is Around The House Somewhere, and lo, it usually is, and this turns out Fine. However. It’s actually been nearly four weeks (probably five or six by the time I post this) since I last saw my wallet, and it’s becoming moderately inconvenient. I can only say ‘moderately’ because of this marvellous and terrifyingly-possibly-maybe-insecure invention called my phone, which has a bank app on it and the ability to connect with things through NFC***, where ‘things’ in this instance means ‘payment machines that accept paywave’. Paywave on my phone, LIFE SAVER.

Except.

So there’s this post office just down from school, right? The people who run it are lovely, and I taught their child once upon a time, and said child was lovely and so the lovely people with the lovely child think *I* am lovely,**** and so visiting there is an experience of mutual loveliness. Also I run a not-a-small-business-it’s-just-a-hobby-I-swear with my husband sewing baby stuff, like dribble bibs and burp cloths and portable play mats and scrap bunnies. Pretty, and something I can create that doesn’t a) involve a computer screen and b) won’t be destroyed within a matter of hours, unlike, say, cake. (Though cake is pretty awesome still, let’s face it.)

So. Sew? So. Post office. Baby goods that need posting. A missing wallet. My time scheduled to the minute. Lovely post office people. A phone I can make payments on. Probably we can see where this is going, if we pretend my life is a novel, but I don’t generally actually go around pretending my life is a novel, so I didn’t see the inevitable conflict. Also, I’d experienced this IDENTICAL set-up numerous times before and everything had been fine.

Wait, that’s how jokes work, isn’t it? Round 1: all good. Round 2: all good. Round 3: HA HA YOU JUST SET YOURSELF ON FIRE.

*sigh* I knew my life was a joke.

In this instance, ‘setting myself on fire’ involved having a parcel that needed to go out urgently because the not-a-client-it’s-a-hobby had paid extra for express post, and a phone that randomly, for no apparent reason, chose that moment to stop allowing me to use it to pay for things.

Scan phone. Screen: Processing. Me: Nonchalant about the big green circle with the tick that’ll come up in just a second to show I’ve paid.

Just a second. Any moment now.

Okay wait just let me try that again, no one saw the big red circle with the cross, we’re good.

Aaaaany minute now.

Yup. Uh huh. Lookit me pay for things on my phone!

*sigh*

Spoiler: the phone did not pay for things.

Additional spoiler: the lovely people, because they are lovely, took the parcel anyway and assured me they would post it, but that I needed to come back tomorrow with cash.

CASH???????????? I am paying for things with my PHONE, and you want CASH??? This is the financial equivalent of asking a hyperdrive space pilot who hops back and forth between here and Alpha Centuri in less time than it takes to blink if she could maybe just bring the 1950s Toyota next time. CASH?! What even IS this thing of which you speak???

True confession: I once had to pay for $2.19 of groceries on card, because I didn’t have the cash.

Additional true confession: For several years that was a good story, until I paid for 39c on my phone at a grocery store two weeks ago.

BUT. Lovely post office people were doing me a HUGE favour here, and I was pretty epically embarrassed to be taking such advantage of their apparent good will, so cash it was, and tomorrow it was, because good heavenly frogs if not being able to pay on the day was embarrassing, not paying for a week was exponentially more so.

…Do we remember that bit about my time? And scheduling? What do we think, lovely reader? Did Amy have time in her schedule AT ALL the following day to get to the post office before it closed? Anything? Even half a thirty-second minute?

AH HA HA HA HA of course not.

And because ‘Think Things Through’ is not actually an item on my to-do list, did Amy remember to do this? Spoiler: No. No she did not. Instead, she realised AFTER she arrived at work that morning that a) the money was due, b) the husband had not magically acted as an intermissiary between Amy and the ATM, and c) there was no time to rectify either of these situations.

Spoiler: This story has a happy ending.

Additional spoiler: It involves my sister.

See, due to the aforementioned Lack Of Time, I’d already arranged for my sister to pick my son up from school, because it was Swimming Day and also Meetings After School Day and, my super powers being as yet disappointingly underdeveloped, I was not able to attend meeting, collect son, and then be on time for swimming. (As it turns out I’m not so good at just ‘collect son, be on time for swimming’, let alone adding in the first, HAR.)

So I called sister. PLEASE, PLEASE DEAREST OF ALL DEAR SISTERS, I probably began.

What do you want? she probably replied suspiciously.

I explained my predicament, promised I would immediately transfer her the money required, and she, because she is awesome, said that she would make it happen.

Apparently ‘making it happen’ involved making her husband do it (thanks, husband-of-sister!), which, I can only imagine the experience from the postal workers’ end: Hi, I’m a random guy who is not the husband of that disorganised-but-apparently-lovely woman you know, but here’s her money, because I’m here to SETTLE HER ACCOUNT.

(I don’t know what that’s in capitals. It just felt ominous.)

I’d like to pretend that this post has a sensible, thematic resolution, but—No, wait. I’d like to pretend that this post has a sensible, thematic resolution. There. Okay? Good.

Possibly we could thematise that Amy should not be allowed out of doors on her own. Maybe that if you want to schedule your life to the minute, not losing Important Goods like wallets should be a priority. Maybe that Having Friends And Family To Rely On Is Necessary When You Are Trying To Go Insane. Possibly that it’s not actually POSSIBLE to Do All The Things. Definitely that When Things Explode In Your Face, You Should Turn Them Into A Blog Post Instead Of Crying About Them.

Look, life’s crazy, okay? And if, like me, you’re trying to do too much, it’s just about insanity. Things are going to break. YOU are probably going to break. But you know what? That’s okay. Because really, we’re all just broken weirdos desperately trying to pretend the spandex is a superhero costume. It’s all good.

And when all else fails, laugh.******

 

 

* I like footnotes.*****

** I really wish I was joking. Alack. (Also, a lack. Of time, common sense, humility, you know. WHEE. SEE ME BE SUPERWOMAN, RAWR!!)

*** NFC. Not for consumption? Not for couples? Network for coupling, in the strictly technological sense? Nice friendly chickens. This seems most plausible. I’m calling it my Nice Friendly Chickens from now on. As in: Oh, I need to make a payment? No worries, let me just turn the Nice Friendly Chickens on on my phone!

**** I am lovely, of course, but the funny thing about people is that the more lovely they are, the more lovely they tend to assume you are. Yay humanity, etc.

***** Rather a lot. More so in this post than usual.

****** Though probably not at a funeral. That would be moderately insensitive.*******

******* Unless of course the speaker made a joke. Then it would probably be insensitive not to laugh.