It is all about the work that is happening behind the scenes at the moment. I have been chipping away at various projects. The current story I am writing is going through a rewrite. Even the title has changed. The illustrator and I are also looking at ways to illustrate photographs. I feel very much in the experimental phase, which can be the most the creative.
It is not easy though. I have to keep pushing myself. I really want to publish two further stories this year and it easy to find other things to do at the moment. In order to create you have to just sit down and wait to till it happens. I am in a frame of mind where I struggle just to sit down. My mind wonders and before I know it, I am away from my computer doing something else. Perhaps this is what I need to do right now? Or perhaps I need to be more disciplined?
I am starting to teach again at the end of the month, so I am busy planning, creating differentiated work and learning to use an animation software package, which is fun. This is part-time and I hoping I can stay on in the library the rest of the time. It is not just the books that thrill me, but the work librarians do on academia. I have been running sessions on citing, plagiarism, research strategies and bibliographies. It is interesting to see students suddenly become aware of copyright and how their ideas have probably already been thought of by someone else.
There has also been a huge focus for me recently on my leisure time. I have been putting days aside to spend with my fiancé. We recently went to an outdoor spa on a Swedish farm. They have now turned their land into a vineyard and built the most amazing outdoor spa experience. The temperature was around freezing all day. There was an underground sauna where you could sit and watch fish swim past. The outdoor hot tubs were my favourite. I sat for what seemed like hours watching the ducks swim on the partially frozen pond. The light in Sweden this time of year is just beautiful.
Today is Valentine’s Day. I was surprised this morning with a heart shaped cake. The picture is below. It says ‘To my Darling’ in Swedish. I will be devouring this later.
So, is it time to find the discipline and sit at my computer or should I just wonder off and find something else do? I will see what happens after lunch.
A.J. York is a middle grade and children's writer. Author of Delilah Dusticle, Eliza Bluebell and A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story. A.J York has a Swedish and British background and currently lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.