Dear Reader, I am feeling very Smugg. So Smugg that a small 's' and one 'g' cannot convey the level of my Smuggitude.
The reasons for this are twofold. First, I have just had an utterly lovely holiday in unspoiled north-west Sardinia: snorkelling with sardines in clear warm sea (beats dolphins - more appetising), eating pizzas the size of cartwheels, reading book after book after book, gawping open-mouthed at stunning sunsets and frescoes, chatting happily with my travelling companion, and writing rather a lot of words too (5000 new ones plus 2500 lifted from a previous draft and edited).
Second, during my holiday I got the third report from my lovely mentor Debi. She had quite a lot to say, and was a bit worried that I might develop homicidal tendencies as a result, and dismiss her as an evil hatchet woman. Although I regularly seek and use feedback on my writing, it is true that my first reaction to receiving feedback is often to feel defensive, upset, and cross. I usually get past that fairly quickly without the need to inflict it on the giver of feedback. But this time there wasn't a shred of anything other than illumination and gratitude. I'm hoping to apply the lessons learned to the current 'chunk', and to have that ready to send to Debi sometime this week. Paid work is in rather short supply just now, but the upside of that is more time for writing, so I intend to make as much use of it as I can.
I will of course be popping round to visit you all in the next couple of days. Holiday snaps to follow.