So I am on the Côte d’Azur, lucky enough to be not too far past the start of my 3rd Annual Rent A Holiday Apartment in France Cheaply During The Low Season To Do Some Writing In thingy.
The first year I came, I had never been to this part of France before, so the majority of days got away from me while I, ahem, explored the place.
(Cafes! The beach! Cafes on the beach!)
Why write a book when you can read one? (Answer: To condemn yourself to a life of disappointment, bitterness and regret.)
Then last year I happened upon a collector’s edition box-set of Battlestar Galactica on sale in my nearest FNAC, and I’d never seen it and my oldest friend had just been telling me about how much I had to watch it, and being a TV show I knew there’d be an English option on the DVD menu even though it was the French edition, and, well, I may not have finished my novel, but I did find out who all the Cylons were.
This year though, things were going to be different. (I am finishing this bloody novel by November 16th OR ELSE*.)
And they were different, to begin with.
I arrived here last Tuesday, but because I opted for the cheapest flight in the universe (€30 from the south of Ireland to the south of France, can you believe it?), I had to travel to Dublin Airport on a bus that left Cork at 3:00am, so I missed a night’s sleep and then spent all Wednesday recovering from it.
But Thursday I was all business. I was all, ‘Let’s start this as we mean to go on,’ and, after stocking up on enough Nespresso capsules to kill a small horse, I banged out nearly 7,000 words in one session and, even more amazingly, I was pretty happy with them.
But on Friday I wrote half as much, and then on Saturday…
Well, you see, the thing is, I’d never seen Downton Abbey. Not a single episode. Not a minute of it. I couldn’t even have picked Dan Stevens out of a line-up (although I would’ve taken the time to study him very carefully). And so sometime on Friday evening, feeling like I deserved a reward for all my hard work and that I didn’t deserve to be out of this particular pop culture phenom loop for a moment longer, I casually logged onto Hulu—which, thanks to some internet wizardry, thinks I’m in America—and navigated to the first episode.
You can guess what happened next: it got to be Monday.
It was Monday, and I’d spent all weekend with the Crawleys & Co. I’d watched everything available on Hulu, which was the first two seasons and the first Christmas special. This isn’t a sitcom: the shortest episode is 47 minutes.
The Viewing History wall of shame. OF SHAME!
We’re now up to about two hours ago. Needless to say having become so adept at procrastinating, I immediately began my social media rounds (the TheJournal.ie, Sky News headlines, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, repeat as required) and discovered that Nathan Bransford’s new book, How To Write A Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever, was out, so I downloaded it and started to read it.
And a few minutes ago, about three-quarters of the way through the book, I came upon this:
Highlighting: Catherine’s own. Kick up the arse: courtesy of Catherine’s Kindle.
If that’s not a kick up the arse from the Universe, I don’t know what is. So I’m getting off my arse before this binge-watching (long) weekend turns into a binge-watching week (or more), and I’m getting back to my novel.
(First thing in the morning. Because I’m sure I can find a stream of Downton Series 3 online somewhere, right?)
*The or-else-what is TBD. Something horrible and awful and very motivating, though.