I apologise if you got half of this post in your email inbox already – I had an error and it accidentally published without warning.
March! I actually had no memory of what happened that month, at all, so it took a trip to my Facebook timeline to remember. And now I know.
This mugshot might be from February – the file got moved through various folders and now has all sorts of “accessed” and “modified” dates (but was apparently created in May despite having been modified in February so I think they’re all wrong). It’s approximately March, and I think my cheekbone game is strong here, so just go with it.
We’ll start with writing. I was working on Forget My Wings, sending it to Charley in chunks, but at the time it didn’t have a name. While writing I built a Spotify playlist to go with it, where the lack of a title made things complicated – but I improvised. The tone of the music basically summed up the novel, too; at the end of the month, I’m pretty sure Charley wasn’t speaking to me. Like I said yesterday, revenge.
All in all in the month I wrote 76k, which was slightly less than February (79k) but quite a lot more than January (53k). As well as the majority of Forget My Wings, that total included ten poems, two of which make it onto my shortlist of ‘favourite poems I’ve written this year’.
On my blog, not a lot was happening, with a pathetic total of four posts. However, they included a letter to Javert, and a definitive argument for whether kindles are better than paperbacks, which I’m sure will change the publishing world forever if anybody reads it. I also introduced ‘Insecure Writer Bingo’, because I was working on a first draft and that’s always stressful.
Mostly, I was distracted watching Being Human, which ended in March. With that particular show I have to say I was incredibly late to the party. On the Monday before it was due to end (episodes were aired on Sundays), I started watching series five, the final series. I watched it in the week and finished the show with everyone else. While I had very little idea of anybody’s backstory, I still enjoyed it, and I’ve just seen series one, too. Note that this is the UK original version of the show, not the US remake. :)
Later in the month, I watched BBC’s “Jekyll”, which is a fantastic adaptation in a style very similar to Sherlock – it’s put in the modern era and the story is fully modernised, despite its origins in Victorian literature. Unsurprisingly, it’s also written by Steven Moffat, and features a guest appearance from Mark Gatiss with long hair. There was only one series, though there totally could have been another one, and I raced through it in a couple of days. It was a little frightening at times, but it was great.
Not much happened on my vlog, either; I talked about Being Human, because I was kind of obsessed, but that was pretty much it.
March is, of course, the month when World Book Day is celebrated, and I went as Eponine from Les Miserables. In this photo you can see that it’s totally possible to do archery in a corset and also that I rock the barefooted look.
I have a lot of archery photos from March. It was a month where I was doing pretty well and going as often as I could and looking over them makes me sad that I can’t do archery at the moment (more on that in the relevant month’s post).
March also had some inclement weather for us in England, with inconvenient snow that wasn’t deep enough to cause justified disruption, yet still managed to throw the whole country and transport system into chaos. I went to a Maggie Stiefvater signing up in London and found myself waiting on an icy train station (with no shelter or warmth or toilets) for over an hour as multiple trains were cancelled without any announcements. By the time I arrived, my fingers were blue and I was pretty sure I’d never feel my toes again.
The best thing about this photo is that when I first met Maggie Stiefvater, in 2011 at Foyles, I was wearing the same hoodie. I haven’t grown or updated my wardrobe at all.
She said to me, “Do you wear that a lot, or is it personal?” Both, Maggie. Both.
Going up to London to meet people seemed to be a theme – I met up with an internet friend in Waterstone’s (not the one pictured above; a different one) and guess what, they weren’t an axe-murderer. Hooray! People can probably stop telling me not to talk to strangers online.
I finished the month with an epic reorganisation of my room that included filing a lot of papers, something I wouldn’t normally mention except that it seems to have taken me several days and been pretty hard work, so I want to celebrate that achievement of March!me.
I must have been very focused on the first draft of Forget My Wings – first drafts always take it out of me, so that does make sense – because I wrote only four blog posts, made four videos, and read four books. It’s a pity March isn’t the fourth month, or I would’ve said the numbers worked well.
My relative lack of reading was largely due to how long it took me to finish Catch-22 – it wasn’t that I didn’t like it, just that I was reading it at a time when I was struggling to make sense of anything, and having a generally fairly unproductive existence, so it took me about two weeks. I also wasn’t hugely keen on Birdsong, so that took me a while.
It’s easy to see, now, that March wasn’t an easy month; from Facebook it seems again that I spent quite a lot of time napping when I should have been being productive, and reading was a chore rather than something particularly enjoyable, but I did throw myself into my writing and I also left my house a bit and went places, so I get some points for being a semi-functional human being, and no month is going to be quite as productive as the last…
Tomorrow I’ll talk about April, which was a pretty eventful month and involved travel, but in the meantime, how was your March? Do you remember it? I certainly didn’t remember mine until I looked back.