Let’s be honest: it’s a pretty rotten day. The papers would have you believe that the third Monday in January is the worst day of the whole year. I expect that’ll be because it’s grim and grey and all your New Year resolutions will have failed by now and so you just head for the choccie biccies and any hope you ever had of becoming that new you is gone, gone, gone…
I might add to my woes the fact that the temperature is hovering around freezing and I’m stuck in the house waiting for someone to come and mend my central heating. I’m walking around with a hot water bottle tied round my waist and, when I sit down to work, another one nestling in my lap like an ominously silent cat. (The real cat, by the way, is in front of the fire in the only warm room in the house when she could most usefully be playing the part of one of the hot water bottles.)
None of this is of any use when it comes to work. Oh, I can type on a laptop sitting by the fire. Yes. I can do that for at least fifteen minutes before I have to get up and stretch for five minutes or so. Or I can sit up in my room, nestled into that den of hot water bottles, but I can only manage that for another fifteen minutes before I have to go and make yet another cup of tea in an attempt to get the circulation back into my fingers.
To get over the frustration I attempted a weird middle way. It wasn’t exactly work, but if I stretched out in front of the fire with something mindful I might at least get a plot problem sorted out (and I have plenty of those). So I went for something new-fangled and reached for a packet of felt pens and a colouring book.
Adult colouring’s on the way back in, and in a big way. Maybe fine felt-tips aren’t the best tool for the job, or maybe I need new glasses, because there’s quite a lot of white on the few bits I managed to colour before having to get up and jump about a bit. Hmm.
I think I may have solved the plot problem, though, through the simple revelation that it wasn’t a plot problem after all but a structural one. I may have made zero progress on the edits from my next book and I may not have done the research I promised myself I’d do, but at least Ive learned that adult colouring books can be the author’s friend on a cold day when you can’t work at your desk. Even if I’m rubbish at the colouring in.