Technically my last day of ’employment’ today, tomorrow back to self-employment.
Celebrated, in a way. Wasn’t intentional, but a few weeks ago noticed an offer for Senspa at Carey’s Manor not far from where I live, to get a spa day including a Tai Chi/Yoga class, a mud treatment, a 1-hour massage, full use of gym, pool, saunas, steam rooms and hydrotherapy, and a meal for an inclusive price. I booked it for today because I have a birthday coming up (allegedly the one where life begins, damn, I hope so!) and it seemed appropriate. I haven’t been to a spa before, although I’ve had a lot of massage – I trained as an ITEC Holistic Therapist, and was a case study as well as the regular class practise body. 🙂
My favourites included the Crystal Steam Room, which smelled amazing and had quite an intimidating chunk of amethyst for the steam to condense on and evaporate off, the Rhassoul Mud treatment was great fun – scary-looking stuff but has no smell whatsoever (my main concern!), and the massage was just amazing. I knew I needed some work on my shoulders from gardening, but wow, they crunched and popped like a bag of tortilla chips. And she did work all the kinks out. Brilliant.
The food was lush! I sat outdoors of the Zen Garden Restaurant to eat and was enjoying my Chicken Pad Thai noodles, when a robin flew up from behind me and perched on the chair to my right. I was eating alone up until that point, so I made a few whistling sounds, but it didn’t seem easily startled. After about five minutes it hopped right onto the table, doing a good impersonation of any other pet begging for food at mealtimes, so I gave it a morsel, which it promptly grabbed and flew off with, to enjoy in the bamboo flowerbed on the far side of the pond. Thankfully it left me alone during dessert, which was a white chocolate and banana bread pudding, with peanut ice-cream, brandy snap, caramelised banana and tuile biscuit. I had to have a rest in the Relaxation Room after lunch, as I felt so stuffed! 🙂
I thought I’d lost my locker key, which had been hooked on the strap of my tank top in the pool. One of the assistants turned the jets off to see if it was in the jacuzzi, but it wasn’t there – when I turned around he laughed and said “There it is!” It had gone right over my shoulder to the back of my shoulder-blade on the strap. Yay!
I didn’t take my phone or anything like that, so when I wasn’t sweating it out or splashing around rinsing it off – ahem – I caught up on reading more of Love Writing by Sue Moorcroft. It got to the part which I’ve been most concerned about – the nitty-gritty stuff. And the chapter was a real eye-opener (no, not in that way!).
Basically, it’s really honest, especially about how to ‘deal with’ being a writer of that subject – which I SO appreciated – and doesn’t expect you to be an expert on the subject. What I felt as well was that the chapter doesn’t assume you have any existing level of, er, experience (my problem encapsulated), and gives you the romance writer’s how-to, know-how, and tips on inspiration and writing practise suggestions, from scratch. To me, it was far less difficult a chapter to read than any article in a women’s magazine, asking you how often you do it and how it compares to all of your age group/friends/colleagues and similar. And how it works ‘in context’ of romantic/erotic fiction – what its role is in the story, how it appears being integral to both characters and plot. Probably the best piece on writing as a form of story architecture that I’ve read so far.
Even as an indie author with four completed books and others up my sleeve, I’m always on the lookout for new learning, new explainations, new insights on what makes novels work, and the spectrum of different people writing them.
I suppose it’s half about learning, and half about the age-old question: Where do I fit in?