Katherine Hayton | 2015 February
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February 2015

05 Feb / Starting Over

Well, it’s got to that time of the writing cycle again. I’ve edited, rewritten, re-edited, re-rerewritten, formatted, final edited, printed proofs, final proofread, final rewrote, and then published.

I marketed for a little bit, but not too strongly. Book number two can sink or swim on its own.

I sat back for a fortnight and waited for the first reviews and the first blogs to come in, and then breathed a sigh of relief when they weren’t too bad, and gave a yelp of excitement when they were great,.

I rested. I rested for a whole week.

And now I’m up to the final stage. I’m rolling the first blank sheet into the word processor and typing out the first words again.

Two characters. Two backstories. One plot point. And the germs of a story.

85,000 words and I can start this whole thing over.

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I tuned into the weather report last night. I was once again scheduled to fly up to Auckland for a meeting of a couple of hours that effectively took up the whole day due to the extended travelling distance.

As a special treat I scheduled a bit of me time by travelling up earlier than I needed. I thought I could do a bit of work on the plane trip up, go shopping for an hour or two, and then go into the office for the scheduled meeting without feeling too put upon.

Yup. That was my plan.

The weather report assured me that it was going to be 26° and sunny. I pondered on the advisability of wearing jandals on a work day, and sadly wisely decided not to.

I did however, throw aside my work uniform in favour of slightly more summery corporate attire.

On the ride to the airport this morning my phone reaffirmed that it was a nice warm sunny day in the nation’s pseudo capital. I considered whether I should start with jewellery out shoes.

When I landed it was warm and calm and not sunny, but still a pleasant day all round. Forty minutes later as I was deposited outside the city office it was raining.

In Christchurch rain is a brief affair. Both in longevity and heft. It flutters around for a few minutes, maybe a half hour if you’re lucky, and then it heads off to play somewhere else.

Two hours later the Auckland rain hadn’t moved on. It wasn’t playful. Remember I mentioned it was calm? Rain splats straight down on you when it’s calm. Big warm drops of water. Not flurries. Drops.

I did try to go out in the end. I had only thirty minutes before my meeting, but I thought I’ll still give my favorite Auckland jewellery shop a visit.

My shoes squeaked and lost their grip easily on the pavement. There were crowds of people, inconveniently spaced due to their umbrella accessories.

I was on a hiding to nothing so I turned and retraced my footsteps to return to the office. Older. Wiser. Damper.

Thanks Auckland. Right back at ya.

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Welcome to the CourierPost Feedback Form. Please provide feedback in the field below. (*500 characters max.)

Dear CourierPost,

I have a signed agreement with your company stating that it’s okay to leave signature required parcels at our property and we accept all responsibility for them from that point.

Today I’ve received a Card to Call where this direction hasn’t been followed. I’ve tried to use your website but I can’t order a redirection because I don’t have a drivers license.

I attempted to contact you on your Customer Service number, and a computer-generated phantom voice relayed two minutes of information and choices culminating in an explanation that I could order a redirection on your website. Which I can’t. Because I don’t have a driver’s license.

I would like this item delivered again to my home address and left on the front doorstep if no one is at home, as per our agreement. If you don’t want to do that any longer then I would expect that the usual course of action from the company terminating the joint agreement is to – at the very least – inform me that this agreement is no longer in place.

If you’re not able to leave the package then perhaps you could explain why I’m not allowed to redirect my own mail because I don’t have a drivers license. It is rather odd to expect me to collect an item from your back-of-beyond depot when – to be perfectly clear – I don’t have a drivers license.

I haven’t chosen your service, the person sending the item has. I haven’t chosen signature required, the person sending the item has. And please don’t worry, I will definitely contact this business on your behalf to stress how much they have inconvenienced you so that they know never to use your service again. I am happy to do this small thing for you.

However, I must stress once again that I have already made arrangements for this situation because it does inconvenience me as well when businesses choose to use your signature-required courier option. These form part of the instructions on your ‘permission to leave items’ form which I spent time and trouble to complete correctly and sign thus forming a valid contract between us.

Please either drop my item at my address where I have already signed an agreement saying you can deliver without collecting a signature even when the sender chooses to use your signature-required option, or redirect this item to the following address
why are you reading this
you can’t possibly
believe I’d type in my actual
address in
CHRISTCHURCH
where some lackie at reception will happily sign documentation to you heart’s content.

Kind regards,
Katherine

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S MORE THAN 500 CHARACTERS?????

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02 Feb / Exercise

Being a Monday, the traditional day of all dietorial and exerciserial resolutions, I was committed to walking home tonight.

It’s a nice walk home that I don’t do nearly as often as I should, and I have the current laboured breathing to show for it.

I was committed when I first sat down in the office. I was committed while I was eating my low-fat breakfast yoghurt.

I was committed when I felt like a snack at morning tea time, and I was committed when I remembered that I only had celery sticks and bravely decided to go without.

I was committed when I sat down to lunch and grimly chewed my way through konjac noodles and tried to pretend they were pasta, the same way the company that sold them to me had.

I was committed to it when I decided I deserved a Coke Zero and found to my horror that the machine still hadn’t been refilled since it mysteriously emptied out on Friday and I had to settle for a Diet Coke instead.

I was committed to it while I was walking to the door of the office…

And then someone said, “It’s hot out there. You won’t need your cardigan.”

I don’t understand where commitment goes. Perhaps it overheated and decided to go off somewhere and sit in the shade.

I caught the bus, but then for some reason my commitment came back.

Half an hour from home it jumped back in control and demanded that I leave the bus right then and there. I tried to explain to it how that would be totally impolite to the driver who’d steered us so well up to that point, but eventually I gave in and jumped down at the next stop.

The reason the someone said about the heat was because it was very hot outside. Even without my cardigan. 31 degree heat, and I was a half hour from home. I managed the walk, but I still haven’t cooled down. I decided not to heat my tea in the microwave in favour of eating it cold straight from the refrigerator.

I’m not sure that I’m committed to this tomorrow. We’ll see.

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My computer has been haranguing me today. It’s hot, and it’s getting old, and so it’s also starting to get slow. I’m personally looking forward to the day when I’m so slow that all of my laptop functions seem incredibly quick. Old-age here I come.

But the problems I’ve been having lately aren’t to do with its speed. It’s to do with the latest update, which I can’t install.

Not due to incompetence or incompatibility settings. No, I could have a reasonable crack at the second, and if I had the first I wouldn’t have installed any of the previous updates, or indeed be able to turn my laptop on.

The problem is that there’s one plug-in that I use that isn’t going to work in the new version. And, oh sure, they say they’ll let me know as soon as it’s been updated. They say these things. But what do they really mean? Where’s my forwards compatibility now Windows?

I have a range of plug-ins that I could live without. There’s a nice plug-in that I use to protect my computer when it’s visiting sites that it shouldn’t visit. And a double plug-in layer of protection for when my computer is visiting sites that it REALLY shouldn’t visit.

I could happily expose my computer to everything that the wild west deep web of the internet has to offer. But the plug-in that makes it a tiny bit easier to do a job ten times a day and which I could easily devise a workaround for if a put a little effort in?

I’m not into putting effort in.

So I laugh at your attempts to bully me into updating my system just by saying I’m old and irrelevant, Mozilla. You’re staying right where you are.

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