The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 12

The single most depressing thing to my new found sense of Britishness is a bad cup of tea. I have become quite the connoisseur of tea in the last 8 months, and while I was in California I picked up a box of hibiscus passion tea that sounded amazing.

It isn’t.

It will taste great as iced tea, but as a hot drink, it leaves a strange aftertaste and smells a bit odd…of course, I have been sick for two weeks, and am currently producing more snot than should be humanly possible, so that could very well be the problem.

On to more important things. I’m supposed to be working on a script for a presentation I am giving on April 6th. I’m doing a pecha-kucha (my supervisor called it a Manchu Pichu, and someone else said bless you after I mentioned it). That means I have 20 slides and 20 seconds a slide to get my point across. I got the presentation done, but trying to say more than ten words in 20 seconds is proving to be a challenge.

I am not known for my brevity.

This quandary I find myself in speaks perfectly to the writing challenge for this week. The goal for this week is to think of one word that describes my life right now and one word that I wish described my life.

Let’s start with my current word: Stressful

Much the way trying to say everything I need to in 20 seconds is driving me bonkers, the state of my life right now has me feeling like one big ball of stress and snippyness. In addition to trying to get this presentation done, I am having to beat feet to collect the rest of my data for this year, and write the first draft of a paper I am trying to get published all before the end of April. Part of this was my fault for not getting the data collection done before I left for California, and for not working on my paper while I was there, but part of it is just the nature of being an academic. Couple that with the project being done at the university, and my work at the tutoring center, I am feeling a bit like my life is just a blur of diary appointments right now. I’ve been back for almost two weeks and I cannot even tell you what I had for dinner last night (wait, the dishes are still in the sink….I had pasta with garlic and herbs. Guess I need to add clean my flat to the list of things that needs to get done).

The word that I wished described my life right now? Adventurous

Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain amount of adventure that comes with being an expat and living in Scotland. There is a certain amount of adventure to my life no matter where I am living, but right now, the only thing that I want to be doing is traveling. I have been spending an awful lot of time planning trips to different places. I made the list of 30 things I want to do before I am 30, and visiting three new countries is on the list. I’ve been looking into a trip to Paris in November, and a trip to Malta in September. That trip to Malta is giving me so many problems. I am having a really hard time coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t book it right now. I don’t want to feel stressed. I want to wear cute sundresses and sandals. I want to wear a bikini and get a tan. I want to see sunshine.

I don’t want to feel antsy and uncertain. I don’t want to take hours to get something written because I am so afraid that it is going to suck or that people are going to hate it, or I am going to let my supervisors down because my writing isn’t strong enough.

But first, I am going to take a nap. Naps solve everything, even a bad cup of tea.


  1. Brenda Davis Harsham · March 27, 2016

    Twenty seconds is barely time to sneeze and blow your nose. Not time to say all you could want. Oy.

    • erranteditor · March 29, 2016

      Right? I thought about saying Damn the man! and just having the title slide repeated 20 times and just talking about my research for 6 min and 40 seconds….I’m still tempted

      • Brenda Davis Harsham · March 29, 2016

        You need one word per slide. Who could read and take in more than that while listening to you?

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