There’s something really weird about time differences – it’s a bit like living in a parallel universe – actually, living overseas really is like living in a parallel world. I guess that I’m kind of getting used to it, but there are still times when I come over all Star Trek and can’t work out where the UK time is. Though I must be adapting because it was more odd that when I went home to the UK last summer that I couldn’t grasp the fact that husband’s time was in front of mine.
It’s early in the morning here, as I write, and my body is crying out for me to go back to bed. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s not to lie down after sending the children downstairs to the school bus unless I'm willing to capitulate to unconsciousness (I’m often a very willing subject, but I am trying to write...) This morning my bizarre parallel thing has been made worse by the fact that at 6am my Mum phoned. She was mortified because she was trying to send a fax and thought she’d woken me up, I told her ‘we’re up for school, Mum.’ The children were making disapproving noises about why Nanny was still up, when it was so late at home (Desperate Housewives!)
The whole experience of blogging has also made me newly aware of the peculiar notion of time difference. I might miss things: I could be a day late for them – or get this, I could be early. OH MY GOD, I could turn up for a discussion BEFORE it’s happened. How weird is that?
Shortly after I moved to Bangkok, I got an email from my sister saying that our Dad had fallen down some stairs and had cracked his head open. He was being kept in hospital for observation because he takes warfarin to thin the blood but that he was okay apart from resembling Frankenstein’s Monster. He’d fallen in the UK evening, Bangkok nighttime, and for some reason I felt guilty and even angry for having being asleep. It was as though I might have been able to do something about it had I been awake, which of course is nonsense, since I’m 5,000 miles away. I don’t think I’ve explained this very well but is probably to do with the guilt of moving overseas.
I am reading A Writer’s Coach by Jack Hart, and he talks about the idea of whether you are (in your method of writing) a ‘planner’ or a ‘plunger’. He credits this to Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute and Don Fry, a writing coach. I think the names explain the ideas for themselves but it makes me wonder what I am, and whether it explains anything about my stalling process. I wonder if I am actually a planner, but as I’ve always plunged in the past, maybe that’s why I find it difficult to write when I don’t know what order of things I’m writing about… That seems to me to be a problem: if you’re writing your first book, how do you know? If I write articles and columns like a plunger, does that mean I’ll write fiction like one? Or could I need to be a planner because it’s a change in direction? I just don’t know.
Well, I am off for my me time weekend tomorrow morning. I've got my camera charged, my pc ready and even one of those squishy neck cushions for the 3 hour drive. I hope to be at the coffee, if I can work out what time to come!