1. Betty’s Bay is good for the soul. This is the loft where I sit with my laptop and read blog-posts when I’m not gazing out at the view instead.
2. The sunsets aren’t bad either. This is just from my phone, so you can imagine how much better it is in reality.
3. You shouldn’t trim your bushy eyebrows with nail-clippers unless you’re trying for that slightly moth-eaten look.
4. Old cars need to be serviced once a year. Writing a reminder in November that I should “check for last service and schedule new one” didn’t help me in February when the car konked in.
5. Small-town mechanics can basically name their price. The expression “having you over a barrel” springs to mind.
6. If I want to get some writing done, I should be stricter about blocking off time and not getting distracted. I started working some old journal material into a story and then ran out of steam. I petered out.
7. Whoever came up with the expression “petered out” has some explaining to do. I’m sure I’m not the only Peter who objects to that phrase.
8. Being single on Valentine’s Day needn’t be so bad. I’m thinking of it as a celebration of love. Pet love, family love, friend love, book love. Romantic love can wait.
9. I should read more Alice Munro. Picked up her collection “Runaway” and was blown away. Not immediately but she has this way of working into your heart and then you wonder how you lived without her. Ok, perhaps not that dramatically. But she writes so simply and evocatively. Her short story “Runaway” has what Karen Russell (commenting on Carson McCuller’s story The Jockey on a New Yorker podcast) calls “unexploded bombs”. I would just say: read this story.
10. I tend to over-analyse things. Perhaps it’s part of my training. And I am a big fan of insight, which I now regard as necessary but insufficient for meaningful change. One of my supervisors used to say, “Just stay with the feeling”. You could probably say the same about writing. Don’t think your story too much. Feel it. Easier said than done though, right?