time (and the lack thereof)

So, I signed up to the NYC Short Story Challenge this year and quietly bombed - by which I mean I paid the entry fee, got assigned my writing challenge (a 2,500 word story, science-fiction, with the theme 'home security' and starring a butler), managed in a week to write only 250 words and (obviously) didn't submit anything for the deadline last weekend. Waste of money, eh? 

Well. I don't know. It did remind me not to be an utter moron and remember that I can't fit All The Things In. This PhD business takes up four days a week, and then there's the copywriting that pays the rent, the book reviews (more occasional these days, but still), my local book club, and, oh, general child-rearing and having a nice time and getting (some rare) sleep. At the moment I'm concentrating on the critical side of my PhD - the academic dissertation that accompanies my creative work - and so I have three conference papers so sort out, plus the actual thesis chapters, plus the accompanying reading and thinking, and it's all fairly intense. I thought the NYC thing would be a way of doing some fun writing in the meantime, but it just added to the crazy time pressures. Lesson learnt, eh? Good luck to those of you who did enter - may you do a hell of a lot better than me!

In more cheery, if still academic, news, my partner, Andy, recently passed his Fine Art PhD - hardcopy submitted and everything - and my friend Joe passed his Philosophy PhD with ne'er a change to be made. Woop! If any of you are university sorts looking to hire experts on installation practice/institutional critique and social ontology, respectively, I've got a couple going spare.

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