Thursday, February 01, 2007

Moon Talk





















This morning I had promised myself I would wake at 7am and start writing, a vow I only half kept. I spluttered into consciousness at about five to, which is more than showing willing, but I decided that lying in bed for the next two and a half hours wool-gathering would be more productive. What a pity I am not actually in the sheep business. If I remain in bed, I don’t need to put the heating on which is an excellent reason for doing it. So I made a large thermos of strong coffee and recoiled under the duvet. It was after all still dark and there was a near full moon hovering overhead.

At about 9.30 when it was seriously light, I got a call from an employment agency dealing with the public sector asking me if I wanted to do any work. The answer is emphatically no, I am only just getting over the disaster of my last contract which was in a hideous council just outside of London almost exactly a year ago. The sad truth is that I am running out of money and my move to the tropics is not exactly going as planned. It all makes me feel gloomy and directionless and that makes it difficult to focus. I said yes to the agency which seemed like the worst kind of betrayal. I have let myself down – badly. Reason enough to stay firmly ensconced in duck down Neverland.

There are few things worse than suspecting that everyone hates you and you’re the one giving them all cause. If I go back to work, everyone will hate me and, if they don’t, they should. I have always said I don’t have trouble writing but that is not strictly true. I am stumped by some structural problems with my novel. I took a holiday from it at Christmas time and wrote a television drama which has been duly sent off to Writers Room at the BBC, presumably never to be heard of again. The last time I sent something to the BBC it came back three years later. On the bright side it had been given a small redundancy package. Apparently it had been gainfully employed in the canteen, judging by the food stains all over it.

In an effort to put the novel back on track, I have decided to abandon the present draft (no 3) and start a whole new one. I am going to enter The Telegraph’s Novel in a Year Competition which means I need to have rewritten the first 1,000 words by tomorrow. I have never abandoned a draft before. I write chronologically and don’t give up until I reach the end, which usually changes with every version. In the past, each version has been an improvement on the previous one. I have no reason to believe that won’t remain the case. Although I probably am losing my mind, I don’t believe that has ever been a drawback in the case of writers. It can quite often be an advantage, as others have pointed out. I doubt I’ll ever leave this bed.

I am also going to enter Mr Moon Topples’ short story competition which starts tomorrow and would urge you to do the same if you are a writer. Please do not make your entry very good though because my self-esteem is in need of a boost and I would like to win something again soon. Far from satisfying a need, my Euromillions haul of last week has simply given me a hunger, rather like Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate. Mr Topples is a new blog friend who I believe is a natural leader and his holding of this competition is an inspired act of what we in Britain might call ‘community cohesion’. Mr Topples is in fact an American which explains his exuberance and faith in his fellows. I have another new blog friend called Ms Meredith who has recently launched a wonderful community initiative to twin Hackney blogs with those in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville, an area which has a similar cultural demography to Hackney. In Britain we would call what Ms Meredith has done ‘social enterprise’. Ms Meredith is an Australian and is therefore full of enthusiasm and ambassadorial ambition. I am now officially bed-ridden.

All this goes to show that we are very good at naming things in Britain but not quite as good at doing them which would explain why this novel has had as many names as it has had drafts. There is such a thing as an over-active imagination. Come to think of it, I could also rewrite the first thousand words of novel no. 2 and rename that as well. I’ve always liked the name Donald and Sam is also great.. Enough of this lunacy, I have a career to plan – it does however, involve another twenty-four hours deliberating in bed. A very nearly full moon will do that to a person...



Another really brilliant cartoon from the genius that is Chris Madden to be found at www.goma.demon.co.uk

10 comments:

Reading the Signs said...

ms P, I admire you! How could one not? I am inspired by this post - to do what, if anything, I don't know, just inspired by the way you write and keep on doing it. Keep us informed of progress, and the force be with you.

Miss Hacksaw said...

Wishing you the very best of luck with the competitions. If your story writing is anything like your blogs you'll do fabulously!

That's so pants said...

It's a funny thing - the more I suffer, the more people seem to like it. I've messiah fantasies or I'm one of those co-dependent people. This is not good... not good... More days in bed needed.

Ms Melancholy said...

Dear Ms Pants, if we still had any social care left in this god-forsaken country, I would enlist a home help to come round and turn you so you don't get bed sores. Please remember to turn yourself every hour and don't burn yourself on the flask. You have my best wishes, as usual x

The Moon Topples said...

That's officially the first time I've ever been called "exuberant," or accused of having any faith in my fellows.

How completely I have decieved you!

Ms Baroque said...

I know exactly how you feel dear TSP. Except I have to go to work. Again.

So what happened with the agency? (They're giving you a couple days' leeway anyway...)

Meredith said...

Ah it's hard. Good vibes from the other side of the world... I have nothing more to offer you...

That's so pants said...

Thank you kind blog friends.

Fringe poet said...

So you are human after all Ms Pants. The writing part is not that difficult. It's the being happy with it part that I find hard.

That's so pants said...

As always, I am thrilled that my misery brings so much joy to others.