Insecure Writers Support Group badgeHow are things in your world, Insecure Writers? I hope you are safe and well, and keeping yourself to yourself in order to neither catch nor spread this virus.

Thank you once again to our founder, Alex J Cavanaugh (whose CassaStar I reviewed a week or so ago), and our co-hosts

Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Please get around to visiting them and as many other IWSG folks as you can this month!

How are things in my world?

Remarkably, not only are they much the same as usual, but they have even improved over the last two weeks. Those of you who visit regularly know that I’ve been moving house.

It’s been traumatic. The last-minute tensions were almost unbearable. Would the floor be finished in time? Would I be isolated in Norfolk, leaving the guinea pigs on their own in the new house in Hampshire (200 miles away)? Would the removals company be virus-free? Would they load and unload all my furniture safely…

First-world problems, but nonetheless traumatic.


Not only have I moved, on Friday a week ago, but I have finally located my kitchen cutlery and made a meal. It’s been wonderful not to be microwaving one out of the freezer. The oven has blown a fuse, the washing machine can’t be plumbed in, and these are minor difficulties, sending me back to how I coped as a student.

The TV doesn’t work. It has no signal. Interesting, since it had no signal since approx 20th December at the old house. Either I am singularly unlucky with dodgy aerials, or my TV coaxial input is stuffed. Talking to my brother on the phone, I discover one of the items I consigned to the dump before I moved might have helped me solve the puzzle. Such is life. Well, I’m not really missing the TV channels, I can watch essential viewing on my computer or iPad, and I can watch DVDs on the TV with no trouble.

The thing that has caused me the most angst, anxiety, and threatened to tip me into depression? The removal people dismantled my desk. They weren’t supposed to dismantle my desk, it was moved in in one piece, but they couldn’t get it out. And because I hadn’t paid to have it dismantled they weren’t going to put it back together.

It’s a big desk. It takes at least two sensible people to put it back together and lift it upright. My TV-solving brother will do nicely.

But we have virus lock-down

Nobody is coming into my house for the foreseeable future.

Believe me when I tell you, this almost has me in tears. No desk. Nowhere to sit and write my flash fictions for April. Nowhere to sit and re-write the final Princelings book. I cannot sit and listen to the chapters of the second Princelings audiobook while following word for word the text on my screen.

how is my world? boxed upIf you saw the state of my living room, you’d understand why I can’t simply put the computer on the dining table! Oh hold on, have a picture. It’s under the boxes in front of the window.  There are more there since this pic was taken. And when those boxes are empty, they’ll be replaced by the ones from my bedroom. Except for the box which contains all the things the removals men packed that they shouldn’t have, which will have to be sent back to the new owner.

I currently have my computer sitting in an elbow-height shelf in the built-in wardrobe. As soon as I saw this shelf, I knew it would be good for healthy standing-at-the-computer action.  But I find it difficult to do anything which needs any reference material. It’s fine for blogging and okay for most emails, and my feet hurt (especially after standing up emptying boxes all the rest of the time).

But it’s all first-world problems. Things in my world are fine. I am perfectly happy being confined to my home, although I’ll miss doing my bird surveys this spring. At least I can birdwatch from my window. And I’m reasonably well.

Here’s a sparrowhawk that dropped by.

sparrowhawk from my office

How are things in your world?

I hope you’re doing okay. Don’t mind me and my rambling. It’s what we do when we’re in this sort of mad world. Fingers crossed the new normal will be better than the old one.

IWSG Anthology

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost will be published on May 5th.  Order your copy now, and drop by the Anthology website to read more about the amazing authors who feature in it.

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#IWSG April | How Are Things In Your World? #staysafe
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27 thoughts on “#IWSG April | How Are Things In Your World? #staysafe

  • 1 April, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Oh, goodness, Jemima, it sounds like it has been, and continues to be, a horrendous house moving experience. I hope you can get your boxes emptied soon so at least you can use the dining table for your computer. Keep well. At least it looks like you have some interesting bird visitors to your new home.

    • 1 April, 2020 at 11:45 am

      I was going to say that it’s all right on the shelf. But since I really don’t want to stand there typing my edits, you’re right. The seven empty boxes now on that table have to go! And if I just empty the three boxes of DVDs and CDs onto the shelf behind it, I can ban all boxes from my living room! (I put the things for the rest of the shelves out yesterday, and that made it feel like home should feel!)
      I’m looking forward to catching up with your Afghan adventures, too.

  • 1 April, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Ambitious of you to move during a pandemic! Good luck with the snafus, and may they require little physical contact with the outside world, for now. Stay well!

    • 1 April, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      lol I think I picked the moving date before the pandemic headed our way! But actually, when you’re in the throes of moving, what’s happenining in the outside world goes by without you noticing… hence my shortage of toilet rolls!

  • 1 April, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for this lovely “reading material” this morning. I love to keep up with you all even though I am not a writer myself. I am an appreciator of good writing and teach writing (argumentative, researched writing) at my university. I NEED to get back to science fiction and fantasy, but for right now, I’m typing as fast as I can, teaching on line for the first time ever. Good luck with settling in. It’s a hassle for sure.

    • 1 April, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Good luck with the online teaching. I have several interesting lines of homeschooling matter feeding into my email/facebook messages. I generally hand them on to my niece 🙂

  • 1 April, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Having no desk sounds awful. I’m thinking you don’t have a laptop. Yesterday it was storming and blowing here in Atlanta so I moved from my desk to sit in the front and work on fine-tuning my first A-Z posts. I couldn’t make notes and I didn’t have my music, but I did have my computer and my feet up and wasn’t worrying about a tree falling on me. I don’t know why it seems safer in the front of the house, a tree could fall there as well as in the back.

    Anyway, hope you get it all together some way soon that suits you.

    • 1 April, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      You probably naturally chose the lee side of the house. Good luck with the A to Z this year. As you may imagine, I struck that out some time ago!
      I used to have a laptop, but I swapped it for a nice big Mac, plus an iPad which has been invaluable. I just can’t do ‘serious’ work on a small screen or non-typing keyboard.
      Actually, when I say I ‘used’ to have a laptop.. the three previous ones are safely stored in my office 🙂

  • 1 April, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Oof. My heart goes to you having moved around this time. I know there have been stories of others who have had to put similar things on hold because of the lock down. Hopefully, it will be over sooner than later and you can get your desk built.

      • 1 April, 2020 at 5:53 pm

        Ah-HA! I wondered who that was … your secret is out. BTW I’m reviewing Leaves of Fall this month… possibly Easter Saturday, or the one after.

    • 1 April, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks. I think the push from Mary to move it onto the table is the correct choice. The desk will be waiting for the lockdown to end so it can get back to work 😉

  • 1 April, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Your move sounds at least as chaotic as ours, which is just not right! You were moving into an empty house!

    I still don’t have a proper desk for my computer—I was using a small card table, which was actually pretty perfect—just the right height. I’ve left that in the (former) guest room for Second Son to use once he gets here (today, I think). I found a small old-fashioned typing table with drop leaves that holds the computer and keyboard, but not much else. Still, it’s the right height, and now one end of the living room is my office!

    Hope you figure something out soon, and get back to work :). I need to do the same—as usual, the return home means days and days of kind of spinning my wheels.

    • 1 April, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Yes, the house was empty, but I wanted to do eco-upgrades to it, and the storms delayed some of the workmen, and helped some of the others but then they had to go back to the job they’d paused on because the Italian tiles hadn’t left Italy on the conatiner, because the containers weren’t going out into the Atlantic because of the storms….

      So a combination of a miscalculation on floor drying time in an otherwise empty house (which meant the guinea pigs came in before it was finished) plus other hiccups…. well, read the guinea pig viewpoint for the full story. 😀

  • 1 April, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    What a beautiful bird. Moving is the worst. Maybe unpacking is the thing to do until you can get a writing space back? I wouldn’t feel badly about taking a break right now.

    Wishing you good health.

    • 2 April, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Thanks, jmh. You’re right, unpacking is a priority, but one room will need to stay in boxes until the decorator’s been in. That’s no problem, though, and I’m getting to the stage where things can move into it from the other rooms till later.

  • 1 April, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Oh no, what a catalogue of disasters! Relatively minor ones in that you have a roof over your head, but very frustrating all the same.

    • 2 April, 2020 at 9:30 am

      Yes, and it’s messed up my blog visiting, and I really miss yours!

  • 2 April, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Hi Jemima! Oh boy, you are living in chaos! I’m sorry you can’t crack open your computer for the April WEP. We’ll miss you. I hope you sort yourself out at your leisure. We’re in complete lockdown too. Anything to beat the sucker. I’m having a virtual wedding party tonight as I can’t be 1,200 kms away for my baby daughter’s big day. She’ll get a kick out of our dress ups and videos.

    Keep safe.

    • 2 April, 2020 at 9:27 am

      I’ll probably manage that okay. I did the February one from the stand-up computer. I tend to write 1000 words an hour, which is fine for then taking a break from standing 🙂

    • 2 April, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Really sorry it’s messed up your wedding celebration. People are being magnificently creative about that sort of thing. Then again, my parents made a heck of a story out of their wedding, in the war, in Africa, on leave, etc.

  • 2 April, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Nice looking hawk.
    You’re safe even if the house is a bit of a disaster thanks to the move. Probably a good thing you don’t have a working television – the news is depressing anyway.

    • 2 April, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      I think you’re right about the tv. I look at the schedules and think, no, no, no…I can get the main channels on my iPad on demand, and I watch my favourite shows and that’s it. I get enough news with the hourly radio update!

  • 3 April, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I’m a bit delayed reading this, as usually I read them straight away, but I was going through my e-mails and realised I had missed this, glad to see you have moved in (albeit with a few hiccups), hopefully you can fix things to make it easier. I had to work from home this week for a couple of days as there was some confusion whether I should be or not, and Lupin was most indignant that I was working from home and interrupting her piece and quiet. Stay safe, Bob and Doris x

    • 4 April, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks, Mike. Glad you’re all safe at home. Still can’t get used to Lupin being a girl, but then, I am editing the last in the series!

  • 4 April, 2020 at 12:06 am

    My, that’s quite a lot going on. I do hope things get better for you soon! The pandemic has made everything so much more difficult. Sorry you have to be without your desk. That’s hard, for a writer. I hope you’re managing. Stay safe!

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