Thursday, December 31, 2009



* At the top of my list: Stop playing MAHJONGG SOLITAIRE. I probably spend an hour of every day with this wretched thing. It's true that it "clears the decks" effectively -- but it's too time-heavy. I'll just have to find another way to clear my mental decks.

* In terms of work, I've got two picture books and one novel on my desk. I wish I was the sort of writer who could post daily progress reports. But that would freak me out so much I'm not going to even begin thinking about it. My typical work day begins at 9.30, when I wake up and 3.30 a.m. when I crawl into bed (it's 2 a.m. right now). In between, there's an endless struggle between dabbing at the key-board -- a few paragraphs -- and everything else: meals, cups of tea or hot-water-and-apple-juice (this is my current tipple of choice), chats on the phone with my sister/my mother/friends, solitaire, naps, TV. It's disgusting. I listen to other people say they work for 18 hours at a stretch and already I feel tired. I've also got paintings on the agenda and maybe a show. Or two.

* Fewer trips, longer stays. This resolution is going to be very difficult to keep. Especially as I'm starting the year with a shorty-short expedition -- just one week long. But I need to stop that.

* Stash my bills in an orderly way; currently there's one big padded envelope into which every bill gets stuffed and since I can never face opening the envelope the pile just grows bigger and more unmanageable until one weekend I spend the entire 48 hours struggling to make sense of the whole thing. If I would only stash them neatly to BEGIN with, there would never be that wasted 48 hours -- which I could otherwise spend napping or drinking hot water. *sigh*

* Post Ms Malcontent regularly. Like maybe every Sunday? That would be SO cool. I see that as a direct result of not playing solitaire any more. Maybe I'll get HER to play! Ha. That'll be fun.

* Keep a diary once more. For most of 2009, I failed to do this little thing that I've pretty much done most years, particularly since the late nineties. Everything depends on having the Right Diary in which to keep the record. It's especially important to get the Right Diary BEFORE the year begins. Which is currently the case: I have TWO diaries, actually, both very attractive. One is the WelcomGroup diary with contemporary art and the other is a spiral bound diary containing the wonderful drawings of the American artist CHARLEY HARPER. His Golden Book of Biology was something that grabbed my attention when I was 8 years old and never let go: I think my interest in both biology AND illustration was hugely augmented by his work! He died a couple of years ago, but his work has suddenly become highly accessible. My sister Su keeps me well supplied. Recently she gave me the Charley Harper MEMORY GAME set (you know, the game in which pairs of cards are placed face down and you take turns to expose them in pairs? Also called CONCENTRATION or PELMANISM) and I played endless rounds of the game with my niecelet in Madras. Outstanding.

This isn't a resolution but a link to TULIKA's blog, where I wrote a short piece for them, about putting together the I AM DIFFERENT book.

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