Ah, *deep contented sigh*, that's better. I've fixed myself properly now. I had a bit of a malfunction on Thursday, but yesterday I took charge. I took myself into town in the morning, when all the boys were at their places of education, and had a tiny bit of retail therapy. All necessary - it actually wasn't procrastination (for once!). I bought a book of squared paper to help Thomas with his maths (Parents' Evening on Thursday - was very, very good and positive; Mrs Powell is wonderful and sensible and has nothing but sympathy for Thomas's struggle with maths. We have made good plans to help him, and Mrs P is very supportive). And I bought an Encyclopedia of Spirits. Yes, I have. An Encyclopedia of Spirits, you did read correctly. It's research, for my book :) I'm writing about faeries, elves and such (Tolkien-type elves, not Disney ones!), and have been noticing huge gaps in my knowledge of folklore and mythology. This is the book I've been looking for. It will hopefully give me a wealth of ideas for characters and little sub plots. I've been working on basing my story in faerie 'fact', if you will. It would have probably been easier to completely invent my own world and history and language, so that a reader couldn't question it too much. But that's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to explore centuries-old supertitions and beliefs, and give them a link to the present. My kids believe in faeries, and so do I ;) The story is about what's been going on in the faerie world since most people stopped believing in them. There's not a right lot written about faeries though - other than passing comments or stories in history books - so it's been difficult to find out what people did actually believe a couple of centuries ago. This encyclopedia seems to be the missing link for me. I have high hopes that it can give credence to my story (yes, I do know that faeries are not actually real - I just want people to be able to get lost in the world I create while they're reading, and not find that things jar and bring them out of the book).
So, I took myself to Starbucks after the trip to Waterstone's. I got stuck into the writing-of-the-book for a couple of joyous hours. It was very productive. I did some brainstorming for a bit, and then started a new chapter. My story is getting nice and big and complex now :D Just what I wanted.
But what a difference a day makes, eh? It's a true sentiment, that. I was proper miserable on Thursday, but yesterday I woke up looking at the world from a different angle completely. It was weird to lose control of myself the other day, but I don't feel bad about it at all - I'm looking back on it now with interest. I can see what it was about and can file the rubbish away, just keep it in the reference section for use when I need to identify negative thoughts next time. Hopefully I won't need to use more than one filing cabinet for negative stuff. I'm going to need a bigger mind-office as it is to accommodate all the positive and floaty flowery thoughts I have!! (Blurgh - pass me the sick bucket!)
Oh, I also bought a Buddhist book called The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. It's a guide to meditation, and is about slowing down time and enjoying every second. All good. I started it yesterday, and it's excellent. I've been paying attention to my breathing today, and I'm not very good at it yet, but I can already see what an amazing thing meditation is. The whole thing is still rather bizarre to me, but I like it, and I'm going to stick with it for a while and see what happens. (I do hope I'm not getting preachy with the Buddhism - I'm not expecting anyone else to try it, but it's in my life right now, so ignoring it in my writing would be odd. Try it, or don't: it's up to you!)
Oh, one more thing - Sport Relief was last night. Now, those videos of suffering children put the whole world in perspective, don't they? Makes me see even more clearly that I have no right to be unhappy, and that I must always be grateful to be alive because nothing in my life will ever be as bad as it is for millions of people in the rest of the world.