I’ve disappeared into a novel for the past twenty four hours. I love doing that. It feels like christmas. Every year I make sure to get a book for christmas, and I (artfully or not) drop hints to make sure it’s one that’ll hook me good. Then I read and relax, disappearing for a couple of days at least, deep in a good book.

I actually haven’t finished the book I started yesterday – though I could have done by now – but the resolution part drags on a bit – necessary perhaps, but I doubt it. Dramatically, unless something is about to blow up, it was over a while ago.

I have started reading over the young adults novel I wrote three novembers ago during nanowrimo. I’m doing this to revise it, so I’m meant to be staying cool and disconnected, objective and critical, spotting all the errors – and not just spelling and grammar but serious deeper errors of structure, character, plot… But I keep getting into reading it and forget to revise.

I suppose this is a good problem to have – it’s certainly a good sign! So far I am enjoying it. I suspect this is a good genre for me – young adults – because I like teenagers and I worked with them for a while so I can probably write realistic characters.

I miss working with them, actually, and enjoy catching up with some of my ex-students on facebook occasionally – sticking my nose in probably, but they don’t seem to mind. We’re in the middle of one particular conversation about how much The Phantom of the Opera music gets stuck in your head.

And now, here I am, in Paris, home of the very Opera house. Must go some time. It’s easy to get ‘in deep’ here at home and forget that Paris is only half an hour away, with all it’s mythic enormity.

But then again, it’s important to be ‘in deep’ and present where I am. How could I possibly write honestly and accurately about life if I didn’t experience it fully in the first place. It’s easy to wander off into fantasy worlds, to escape into a good book, an enthralling television series, a great film… but I need to be present here as well.

It’s especially important with the kids. I love to multi task and sometimes it’s great – if Louis is playing and wants me nearby, but doesn’t actually want me to play with him, I can read a book at the same time. But sometimes I need to put aside distraction and focus completely on my lovely kids.

And when I do, there are some great moments I would otherwise miss.

This afternoon it was tower-building. Louis and I took turns to pile the blocks into this marvel.

At the park I am often tempted to get out my kindle/phone and not talk to anyone, to take the time while Louis is busy and happy to just relax.

Sometimes, of course, this is great, but I am starting to make friends with a couple of the French mums and today I chatted (mostly in french) to one of them, rather than reading and answering some emails… which is what I’d planned to do.

I’m ‘in deep’ as in ‘in the deep end’ here in France. Learning french is essential and challenging and yet easier for being here. ‘In deep’ as I am, opting out would be a bad idea. Luuk is setting a good example – playing educational games on his phone in french and reading ‘le petit prince’ in french, with google translate handy. I’m a little less committed – there are too many other things I want to do!

And right here is further evidence that I’m doing too many things at once – I started writing this post half a day ago and I still haven’t finished it. I doubt it has a consise thread running through or even makes sense… but it’s getting late and I’m tired (despite lovely long nap this afternoon), so one quick proof read and I’m posting.