- Write two new short stories
- Edit and submit three short stories that I've already written
- Edit and re-submit three short stories that have come back from womags
- Submit the story I sold last October, in the UK, to That's Life Australia
- Make progress with the background reading and note-taking for my travel book (aiming to finish this by the end of March)
So no work on the novel; no actual writing on the travel book; and no competition entries. I suspect March will be the same, but I hope to see a change in April.
Another thing I intend to do in February is stay off the booze. I'm so busy that I can't afford to have alcohol-related insomnia or dozy morning head. As I get older, my tolerance for alcohol gets lower. In my early 20s I used to go out and get hammered on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night, and I would still be up bright and early for work on Monday morning. Now, if I went out and got hammered on Friday night, I'd spend the rest of the weekend in bed recovering. I don't drink huge amounts these days, and I try to have at least two days off each week, but it's not unusual for the Paramour and I to share a bottle of wine some nights. I think I need to find a way to get the same amount of enjoyment from a single glass of wine that I used to get from half a bottle. Trouble is, that seems like a great plan before the single glass, but after it all my resolve seems to disappear! So I hope a complete break will help me rethink all this, as well as making it easier to get all my work done.
I last had a month off about five years ago. Then I was going to do it again three years ago, but on day 12 my cat died and I reached for the hooch. Which is drinking as stress management, and not good - one of the things I've been trying to change. The other is drinking as essential to social occasions. But I don't want to give up the booze altogether, because I love wine, enjoy real ale, like brandy, Calvados, Armagnac and single malt whisky, and generally find alcohol life-enhancing. I'd like to reach a point where I only drink what I want, when I want, and I don't turn to alcohol as a matter of routine, either when I've had a bad day or when I'm socialising.
Having said all that, I had a lovely boozy night last night, with the Paramour and an old friend. This morning, while I'm not hungover, the idea of a complete break from the booze feels like a relief. I am also aware that this feeling may not last for the whole of the next 28 days (February is a good month to choose for this!!). I'll let you know how it goes.