I wriggle out of my sleeping bag and three fleece blankets and duvet, waking the cat, and stumble into the kitchen to put the water on to boil. As usual, I do breakfast with my email inbox followed by the latest updates from top Facebook friends, blogs I follow, and the local paper.
I dig back into the current proofreading job. I got halfway through 90,000 words last night; today will see the rest finished. As lunchtime nears, a flatmate whispers from the stairway and hands over a brown cardboard envelope. My book! Aquasynthesis, this one, written by 12 authors. Many of them have seen it before me because I live farthest from the printing presses. So that's how the design worked out. I'm happy.
Time to clean up the backyard after the builders left it in a huge mess. I grab a flatmate and a spade and wheelbarrow, and we spend a couple of hours separating yellow clay from concrete rubble, and stashing the clay in a hole that gaped in the front yard since the drain unblockers were there. My hands are muddy and tender when we call it quits for the day, even though the mess doesn't look that much different than when we begun.
After I get the mud off, a sandwich follows - eggplant and spinach - and then it's back to work upstairs. Read, read, read. Caught a few more typos. But by the time I get through, I'm satisfied that we have done our best. I cast my gaze to the distant sea, to the volcano wearing a bluish tinge today. Winter is showing his gentle side.
Voices float up the stairs. It's a prospective flatmate come to look at the room I'm trying to rent. We hit it off pretty well, and I tell her I just have someone else having a look later on and then I'll decide who I want. She loves cats. Good thing around here.
The fellas are giggling over a computer game as she leaves, and then I educate them on how to pronounce a name in another language. The other would-be tenant arrives, and likes the room, but says it's too far from town. So with much well-wishing we bid adieu and I call up the first one to tell her the room is all hers.
An email drops in to say that one of my short stories has made it through preliminary acceptance for an anthology. That's good news! I am fond of that story. It carries much of my soul in it, though only 5,000 words long.
Night has fallen over the city, and the roar of traffic dulls a little from the evening rush. The valley's twinkling lights suddenly remind me of Christmas tinsel before I draw the curtains and fire up the heater. After midnight I finish my work and toy with the idea of waiting up a little more until a faraway friend or three might be getting up in another time zone. But no, tonight I am sleepy. It's been a long day. I boil the kettle for my hot water bottles and climb carefully into all my layers.
Writing was no more than a breath in the wind today, but it is still the essence of my being.