July 27th, 2016

(no subject)

In class today my students discovered 21 words for 'nothing.' Their homework is to discover the correct way of using the words. "Nothing, " I said, "Your homework is nothing." I blame the virus that one of my students has generously shared with us all. By 'us all' I include myself. It appears I am not only off colour, but that half the class had been infected. Only one student failed to turn up, but we were all sub-par.

Despite this, the booklet celebrating turning 10 has already been finished (yay for A, who did all the work) and we rejoiced in them and I got everyone to sign mine. "I don't know how to do this," one said. "I you're writer," I answered, "you need to know how to give an author's signature on your own work." My reward was an abashed smile. Their reward was twenty minutes on the use of the possessive apostrophe, for one was left out. My students turn up halfway towards nothingness and I less them on the use of apostrophes...

Our book of the day ("Read this, it's good for you and the library has at least one copy") was Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation.

My reward for all this endeavour while off-colour was a major sticking point in my fiction being solved on the way home. I'm not able to write new prose yet, but when I have time and strength it looks as if there will be stuff to write. I'm reaching the stage of obnoxiousness, so I hope I'll be able tow rite soon. I read perfectly wonderful prose by others and discover three other ways it could have been written and work out why they would work for this, that or the other reason and I get angry with small flaws and... I know that it's time to write myself. When I'm writing, I'm a much better critic. When I need to write it's all about how the other writer is not me and didn't do things my way. I do not write new critical material when I'm in this state. And so I have an extra reason to get better fast enough to get back to fiction. I'll be increasingly a pain to be around until I can write again.

I'm impressed the irritating side of me has been in abeyance this long. It's the longest time in my adult life. I think this means I was very seriously ill. And now I'm getting better my capacity for grunge writing is getting larger by the week.

The rest of today is about my rest and my exercises and about catching up with the work stuff that I fell behind on before I realised I had a virus. My aim is to be completely caught up by Friday, purely so that I can have new things to fall behind on. I'm not entirely used to falling behind, to be honest, and it makes me jumpy. The sooner I'm caught up the less unhappy I'll be. Also, the sooner I'm over this idiot virus. While I'm very thankful it's my first this winter (given that the closer to the operation I had it the worse the effects would have been) I would still rather not get illnesses right now. I guess that this means I might be irritable today and tomorrow and that telephishers would be wiser to try someone else's number. I might do more than simply persuading them to apologise and hang up.