You know that old saying: If you want something doing, ask a busy person? Well, if you want something doing this month DON’T ASK ME! Yes, I’ve done it again and taken on too much, such is the story of my life. I think I have some kind of omnipotence complex – I really seem to think that I am capable of anything, no matter how tight or pressured the deadline.


For starters, my MA dissertation – or novel, to you and me – is due in on the 26th March. For a while I had it in my head that this was the actual deadline – we do everything online these days, don’t we, and all the essays and assignments for the past 3 years have been uploaded to something called ‘Turnitin’ on the university’s website. But then I remembered reading something, back in the early days when I had time to read the Student Handbook, about submitting the novel in the form of a printed and bound copy. Actually, not one but two printed and bound copies! Which means I also have to find time to get that sorted, and dissertations have to be a certain size and layout and … OMG, stress.

Second, because I want to graduate this July, I also have to submit a final assignment for the Teaching Creative Writing element of the Masters. This is a 4,000 word report on some teaching practice, with evidence and all sorts of other stuff. This is also due by the 26th March. Did I mention I haven’t even started this yet? Or thought about it much?

And there’s more …

If that weren’t enough, March and April are always super-busy times of the year for indexing work – and I forget this every year. Every year! So I now have three massive indexes lined up for March, and another smaller indexing job to squeeze in too. Turning indexes down is never an option, and neither is being even slightly late with them. I just have to get them done. End of.

Knitting? Are you insane?

And (you’re starting to wince now, aren’t you?) tomorrow is World Book Day. For reasons I can’t yet understand,ย I decided to knit – yes, knit – my six-year-old daughter a Katie Morag jumper to wear to school. I bought the kilt, and the wellies, but could I find a proper Katie Morag jumper anywhere for sale? No I could not. But I could find a pattern, and some wool.


So last Thursday I embarked upon a mammoth knitting project that is far more complicated than anything I’ve knitted before. I can manage hats and scarves, and I’m not bad at crocheting, but knitting items of clothing? With an insartia yoke? Raglan sleeves? OMG, it has been so stressful. I’ve been up until midnight every night for the past three days knitting. My eyes are out on sticks.

Nearly there!
Nearly there!

Will it be worth it? Definitely ๐Ÿ™‚ This is something that is just for my lovely daughter, and I think one of the reasons I was so intent on doing it myself, and doing it perfectly, was because I wanted to carve out a chunk of time in my packed schedule that was to do something just for her. Never mind the hideous impact on all my other work – never mind that I can barely open my eyes today. If my daughter wants to dress up as Katie Morag, she damn well will!

Katie Morag from the BBC adaptation
Katie Morag from the BBC adaptation

(Make sure you Like my Facebook page as I’ll be posting a photo of my daughter in her specialย outfit tomorrow.)

And now for some really big news …

Now for my final bit of news. Something else I’ve been working hard on recently was a proposal to study for a PhD in Creative Writing. And I’m happy to announce that I have been accepted onto the programme, and I will start in September this year! Dr Jo, here we come ๐Ÿ™‚ More news on the topic of the PhD to follow later in the year, but I’m just so proud and excited to have been accepted that I wanted to share it with you all as soon as possible. But don’t worry, it’s only part-time and there will be plenty of time for me to write more books, and blog about it all, and keep doing what I always do. I might even knit more jumpers.

Simplify things? Make life less busy? Not me. I’m just gonna keep on going!