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Procrastinate much?

By Lisa McGarry
Long time no blog, for various reasons involving tiredness and/or babies. I would elaborate but in these flakey times (socially, not skin, though I suppose either is valid), not much explanation is required of me re the gap between what I plan to achieve and what I actually do.
This is mainly because I am at liberty to say something like "Sorry I couldn't do it/get there/send it, my breasts were overflowing into milk pails and had the feel of concrete bunkers" or "The baby had screamed for so many hours the previous night that I slept nary a wink, and was forced to neck several Prozac and a whisky/formula cocktail", and then whoever was doing the asking would wish they hadn't. So all my deadlines are moot, because the one thing I have to without question achieve that day - feed, wash, change, entertain and deal with all other issues pertaining to my boy - takes precedence over everything else.

For example, I recently tried to send a package to a friend. When I finally got around to sealing it and queueing at the post office counter to send it, it had assumed such monstrous proportions in my mental to-do list that I completely forgot I wasn't really ready to part with the contents (some of D-Bubz's old clothes). Thus the subsequent days consisted of me trying to bite back sentimental tears every time I thought of his little cardigan and vests, which wasn't really the effect I was going for. Then there's my plans to a) sell stuff on ebay (it helps if you actually post the items), b) become my partner's manager and organise various PR strategies to shoot him into the meeja stratosphrere (it helps if you can persuade him this is a good idea) and c) which is the sub-project of another project I am mentally project-managing and has raged out of theoretical control (it helps if you have a more concise project).
Other, lesser priorities which are constantly being re-shifted down to somewhere near the bottom of the whole hellish pile include finding somewhere else to live (it must be near a coastline, have several acres yet be close to good hairdressers and Japanese restaurants - year round sunshine would also help); getting rid of some of my books (this has been on the list for some years now, so post-baby the odds of this actually happening are around 1 gagillion:1); and of course writing my book. HA. I have, to this end, penned several synopses and chapters of various fictional scenarios, but the problem appears to be keeping up my momentum. So obsessed am I getting with the whole fiction conundrum (lacking: a room of one's own), that my dream last night featured me running around getting into scrapes whilst trying to write them all down in a notebook. Ever since my MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College (which I finished in 2002), I have been lurching from one creative non-event to the next, until the chances of me actually finishing said book seem about as likely as me becoming a keen daily body brusher.
However. I have spent the last few days, since visiting my mum with the D-Bubz, thinking about my dad. Part of my MA course involved me writing about him: his premature death from MS in 1980, his career in computer technology, working for Rank Xerox who later became IBM, and being present at events such as the viewing of the first robot. His time in Germany as a Jewish man who refused to let post-war racial nervousness dent his equilibrium (he famously turned up for his first day running the systems office in Dusseldorf wearing a brown shirt, and cheerily remarking "Not many Jews in today, are there?" as he bounced through the door. His strange encounter with Yoko Ono (which involved a table cut in half, and the fact that he got bad vibes in the manner of seeing his ex-wife). His friendship with Bill Gates, and other influential figures in the world of late 60s/early 70s technology. And more, much more.

My pompous memoir turned into magical realism (his ghost came back as a young man, unfortunately replicated in recent chick lit novel 'Twenties Girl' by Sophie Kinsella, which is distressingly good, although very different from my own idea apart from the central 'young ghost' theme), and now, many years of procrastination and denial later, seems to be turning itself back into a memoir. Whether this is as precursor to a more exciting fictional/script outing, I cannot say. But one thing is for sure: while I may have just celebrated my first Mother's Day, it is daddy cool who is on my mind. The McGarrys have a motto: spe labore fide, which means 'a strong man is a good man'. Lets hope that one day I can finally do that long-departed strong, good man some literary justice - or at the very least, recount the hilarious tale of the Kit-e-Kat curry...

Lisa McGarry publishes her own blog entitled 'Hold Me Close, Tiny Mama - Confessions of a NW London-based yummy mummy' and you can find it here. 
Press here for her other entries on the Source Mag
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