Have you any idea how difficult it is to start working on your children’s book when you’ve just been reading The Kite Runner?  It’s got to be at least 11 out of 10, if not harder.

This month I’ve been trying to make up for my lack of reading time during the summer (such as it was, in Edinburgh) by… reading.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.

In June, according to my book spreadsheet (yes that is a real thing I made, shut up) I read absolutely no books, which is shocking.  In my defence I did read some of A Storm of Swords by George R.R.Martin, I just didn’t finish it.  Come on guys, it is pretty long.

Anyhoo, thus far this month, I have powered through:

  • A Feast for Crows by George R.R.Martin (good, if not quite as compelling as the first three in that series)
  • Life Class by Pat Barker (an interesting character study although I felt like it petered out a little)
  • A Light Hearted Look at Murder by Mark Watson (as in the stand up – this is quite silly and easy to read)
  • Nile Baby by Elleke Boehmer (which is unlike anything I’ve read before – she said cryptically)

This evening, unless there is some kind of tremor or other unexpected event, I’ll probably finish The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni.  Not bad going for 17 days work, although I am a speed reader so I’m probably missing things as I go along and if you talk to me about any of these books this time next year I may stare blankly at the spot above your shoulder as I try to remember what happened.

I must say I’m enjoying all this reading.  And I’ve been quite careful to pick things that are pretty far removed from the writing I am working on – if the themes of social identity in WW1 or imagery about war torn Kabul sneak into my story for 8 – 10 year olds something has gone awry.

The trouble is (and isn’t there always trouble?  This blog is like therapy), coming in from work (I’m back to working Monday – Friday 9 – 5ish, just to put that in context) and sitting down with a book for a couple of hours, whilst fun for me, is not conducive to getting much writing or editing done.  Last week, inspired by an article on how awesome women are at cramming writing into any nook and cranny of their lives (thanks for the timely reminder, Mslexia Magazine) I decided to try and get up early to write before work, in order to justify reading for ages after it.

This was going OK until this morning, when I thought I’d read another chapter of The Kite Runner over some toast before I began my own stuff.  About three chapters later I did manage to put the book down, but my head is still full of it.  Switching back to children’s mode proved too much of a challenge for 8am, hence this post – a compromise of sorts.  At least it’s writing, I tell myself.

With any luck I’ll get in a half hour at lunchtime.  Although The Kite Runner has found its way into my bag…