I know, I know. It’s been a while. But here I am, back from the dead.
Since coming back from our trip to Thailand (which was very nice by the way and I will, at some point, get a couple of blogs up about it) things have been work, work, work here. This post then, is a bit more of a personal one bringing you up to speed with where my family and I are right now.
First off, life as a full time freelance writer is hectic! With three books on the go and articles constantly being written, I feel like I’m permanently glued to the laptop but not having much to show for it. Articles and stories often take months to be published and an editor, once he or she has received a piece, can take weeks to either accept of ask for further edits.
The three books all need writing/re-writing/editing at the same time. The novel ‘The Pukur‘ is in the final stages of preparation (I feel like I’ve been saying that forever though) which is fine as my publisher still hasn’t sent me the agreement. I have the agreement in principle from emails but until my signature is on that dotted line I’m still, officially, up for grabs from other editors. I have been promised the agreement soon and we’re still hopeful for publication before the end of the year. I really would like to hold my first novel in my hands before we leave Bangladesh.
The second is a Kindle book I’m self-publishing as my entry into that whole world. It’s been a labour of love for two years now which, recently, I decided needed a re-think and I’m now drastically re-editing the draft and updating it into something not just about my life in Bangladesh but a book which would also be useful for anyone travelling to the country for the first time too.
The third book is an educational title and almost certainly will be published under a different name as I want to keep my various genres separate. It will be a book about memory aids and mnemonics which, again, has been a labour of love for a long time. I teaching one single small eight week course at LAMB school as my ‘swansong’ based entirely on the content of this book and soon after will publish it too.
At this point, I’ll also remind readers who run their own blogs or are writers – amateur or professional – to join me on my other blog ‘Write Out Loud’ which gives more details about my writing work in progress and resources I come across which are helpful for writers.
Another reason for the big gap in posting here is that I’ve been busy with my final essay for my MA. It was a research-based essay so I’ve had to do a ton of reading around it as well as waiting for my raw data to come in. In the end, 75% of that data came in just days before the hand-in date – talk about cutting it fine! Still, it’s done now and I only have the dissertation to go. Most of that will be written next year once we’re back in the UK, so I get breathing space now to get those books written and continue building my client list.
Of course, the space is being eaten by other things – not least that me, Wifey, Thing I and Thing II will be heading back to the UK at the end of this year and so we’re packing up the house even now. It’s heart-breaking work. We spend most of our day either packing things into suitcases for visiting friends to take home for us early, or writing emails to business as we try to get all our stuff shipped home and find a place to live when we get back to England. Our lodger wants to remain in our house when we get back so I have no objections to this – we don’t have a great desire to be there even though it is a really lovely house. Part of me wants to remain transient in England and not put down proper roots. My hope is that in about ten years time both Things will have left for university and beyond and then Wifey and I will…I don’t know…go. Where, I’m not sure, but right now it’ll be back to Bangladesh and LAMB.
It is very strange to realise we only have a few months left in Bangladesh now. Thing I told me last night we have exactly 100 days. What a horrible thought! There’s still so much to do, so many people to see, so much left to experience.
At the same time we’ve all been conditioning ourselves to withdraw from this country and think of the good things awaiting us back in ‘Blighty’. I’m looking forward to fast, working internet and pubs. Wifey is looking forward to being near her family again and houses free of dirt and insects. Thing I is looking forward to a new school which has a high educational record and promises to push her hard. Thing II is looking forward to British food (yes, really!) and access to guitars, drum kits and technology that either can’t be bought here or would die very quickly if it was.
But as I look out of my ‘office’ window (which doubles, part-time, as my bedroom window) I can see a Bangladeshi man crouching down in the field next to us, checking his crops in preparation for the next harvest. The field is a rich green and the golden light of the Bengali sun has spread itself over the whole area.There is a gentle breeze and the exotic trees are waving gently. I have a cup of cha by my side and I’m listening to Bangladeshi music.
And I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than here. In this world. With these people we’ve come to know as our friends. With all the problems facing Bangladesh; all the heartache; all the political upheaval. It’s still a marvellous world here and I don’t want to leave it.
The thought of doing so makes a part of me die inside.