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It’s been a while since I posted. I have just finished a full-on week of teaching, as well as getting my edited manuscript back to Allen & Unwin. Am tidying my work space and getting things under control after a three-week frenzy with lots of teaching and lots of editing. Celebrating tonight with some French bubbly, seafood and a few hours on the couch in front of How I Met Your Mother. Am late to this but I don’t think I have ever laughed so loud, so hard, and in such a sustained way as while watching this show.*

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This year for the first time (and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do it) I’m keeping a record of books finished during the year. I read several books at once sometimes, and I’m writing titles into my daily diary, and this is my list so far: 4 Jan: Under the Skin – Michel Faber 7 Jan: The Water-Method Man – John Irving (re-read) 9 Jan: The 158-Pound Marriage – John Irving (re-read) 15 Jan: My Struggle Book 2 A Man in Love – Karl Ove Knausgaard 31 Jan: Metamorphosis – Kafka (in one ‘lying’ in a bath in Prague) 17 Feb: Stasiland – Anna Funder 20 Feb: Clade – James Bradley 26 Feb: Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout (re-read) 3 Mar: Bad Behaviour – Rebecca Starford 9 Mar: Wild – Cheryl Strayed 19 Mar: The Strays – Emily Bitto Today I’ll finish Knausgaard’s 3rd one, Boyhood Island. I’m also a handful of pages away from finishing Elena Ferrante’s first book in her Neapolitan series; I read that earlier this year and want to get back to it. Have books 2 and 3 waiting in the pile.

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This coming week there’s less teaching – only two gigs – so I’m getting back to yoga, and back to writing. Working on my next thing which I want to have done over the next few months. It’s about 3K words away from a first draft but there’s something stopping me just writing those three thousand words. I think it’s because I need to carefully look at the structure and plotting. I’ve never been a planner (this one is the third manuscript I’ve written) but I really believe my first book wouldn’t have been picked up by a publisher if I hadn’t paid attention to plot and pace. These days it’s not enough to just write beautiful words.

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Have a good weekend!

* This is an after-thought: the show dipped for me in Season 6 or 7 when it became horribly sexist (or more so than before.) I really did not like and was losing interest. Then it picked up again, and I watched it to the end. Last episode was disappointing but the last season, until then, was satisfying.

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