But before I do, I want to have a little rant (isn't it after all what blogging’s about) so bear with, and then settle back with a nice cuppa and have a jolly good laugh--especially you ladies, you'll know what I'm talking about when you get there...
In the meantime, to get some inspiration this morning I surfed through a few blogs and just happened upon a wonderful quote: “a great artist is a slave to his ideals”---thank you David Pilgrim, superb artist that you are, for that. Since the man in my life is one of those (an artist, that is) I have observed this a hundred times, and it got me thinking how alike we as writers are, only I wouldn't use the word enslaved, I'd say we're shackled--them to their palettes, us to our computers.
Having said this, I do have to sheepishly confess. It's all lies...
My problem is: I fanny about too much. It can take hours to knuckle under. First it starts with this inexorable urge to…(no not push, this is not a blog between midwives, so get with the programme) now where was I, oh yes…check emails. It's like a drug, problem is, it's never any sodding different-- all junk. NEVER the one I'm waiting for, the one that will change my life---
Dear Janey, Wow, we just read your partial (that’s the first three chapters you send off to publishers who sit in great big swivel chairs and shred you to pieces until you’re left with stumps for nails) and heaven’s above we love it, and we want to represent you, and we want to turn your book into a blockbuster movie…and we want to offer you a seven figure contract and--
That was me, I did it to myself. One has to. So then I move on from emails to blogs, from blogs to Facebook, from Facebook to ... oh dear, the next is pretty pathetic. I try to restrain myself, but I can’t, I simply can’t. I have to pass through another author's domain—just for comparison, you understand. It’s usually one highly successful with all the above-mentioned trappings. Here I have a long, destructive, green-eyed pity party after which I usually need a shot of something, and since it's not quite midday I have to make do with a boring old latte and a chocolate hobnobs...or two or three. That usually gets rid of any dark thoughts, and I'm back to a blank screen, cursor blinking back at me like a tired old heart monitor.
Every possible stalling tactic exhausted I now have no excuse; In between supping coffee I’ve straightened the towels, tried three different hair styles in front of the mirror, locked away the telly remote,and even gone for an imaginary pee.
You’re insane woman.
Oh wait, hang on, I haven't checked E-bay! Or ordered that great new moisturizer on offer on Beauty Budget! And what about DI Banks? It’s on again tonight, and I won’t know what the hell’s going on unless I watch catch up.
Let me see, what’s the time? Ah plenty of it; if I start at two I can bash out a couple of hours work—and who was it said knock up a thousand words a day and you’re well on your way to being a great author?!
Ah yes Steven King---wasn’t he the one who wrote Pet Sematary (and no that is not sic)? and yes I know, he wrote about a clown turning into a giant spider…and oh just shut up…
Anyway, here’s a little taster of my forthcoming book.
Enjoy--and that's an order!
Love, honour and ovulate…
That’s the trouble, thought Angie with a tiny spasm of anxiety as she wriggled self-consciously out of her knickers, far too much bloody information and technology. Feeling horribly ventilated round the bottom area she straightened up. If it was fifty years ago nobody would give a toss, because of course they wouldn’t know who she was, or be able track her down to remind her that she had to partake in this ... this vile, demeaning act of debauchery.
She stared in the tiny chipped and beveled mirror, fixating as she always did on her nose. It was a matter of opinion of course, but in her eyes it was either too big, or two fat, or too Miss Piggy. This morning it looked enormous! She looked like a corpse as well, which was obviously the light, she thought decidedly. She couldn’t possibly look this white, could she? Course she wasn’t nervous or anything. Glancing down at her bare, goose-bumped legs, her sphincter did a tiny lollop. Well maybe a teeny bit, it was only natural, after all it wasn’t every day you had to bare all to a complete stranger—well not a complete stranger, obviously. He’d seen her bits before, on several occasions actually.
And everybody did it. Well not everybody, that was a slight exaggeration of course. Now let me see. She did a quick calculation. According to the beautiful Miss Katie Melua there were nine million people in this world. Or was that bicycles…? Never mind; totally irrelevant. The fact was half of those were female so if one discounted women over ninety, female vicars and those that batted for the other side, oh and kids of course (good God!) it was fair to say at least thirty percent were about her age, thus quite possibly in the same boat as she was at this very moment.
Slightly mollified, Angie rolled her knickers into a tight ball and poked them discreetly out of sight into the toe of her shoe. She’d go in there guns blazing. Yes, absolutely. She Angela Maria Nightingale was a woman of the twenty-first century. She was young, she was demographically labelled, she ate orange couscous with Gogi berries, and wore Kate Spade jeans (a miraculous charity shop find, but so what?) and was just as capable as the next of having a Brazilian (and one of these fine days she would!) and if she hurried up now and got this damn thing over with she could be home in time to watch Homes Under the Hammer!
‘Are you going to be long in there?’
Angie almost jumped out of her skin with fright.
‘Only I’m running a bit late,’ continued with the voice with forced cheeriness.
‘Well sod off then,’ muttered Angie under her breath, and slumped against the sink.
Arrrgh haaaah. Who was she kidding? Like hell she wanted to do this. She glanced over at the window, and quickly discounted the idea. She suffered terribly from vertigo.
‘I’m going to have to rush you…’
Rush her? Honestly, who did he think he was, sodding Dermot o’ Leary? Ooh, bloody fucking hell, she scratched her scalp with frustration. She was beat and she knew it.
‘Coming,’ she called back with a croak. After this, she decided resolutely, she’d go and have a nice, civilized cappuccino and read her Elle Decoration mag. Placing a starfish hand over the crack of her bum, she took a deep breath and scuttled into the next room.
Hm, maybe female vicars did do it, thought Angie staring pensively up at a crack in the coving. And those that batted for the other side. Anyway, never mind that, the trick here, right now was to stay calm, and no eye contact with the enemy, no eye contact with the enemy, no eye-- ‘Oh hi there,’ she did a little cough and grinned ostentatiously at a pair of bandy legs in creased gabardines hobbling towards her with a slight hup-one-two gait. ‘Sorry about that, it’s just--’ she almost gagged as a cloudburst of Old Spice engulfed her. ‘I’m a bit nervous.’ she managed, twisting her head to one side, and landing boss-eyed on a full blown, cross-sectioned poster of a fanny.
‘Tosh and nonsense, now just relax.’
Oh re-e-ally, she gripped the side of the bed, easy for him to say.
‘That’s better, now can you slide your bottom down a bit?’
Slide-bottom-down-a-bit, hmm, yes, she supposed she could manage that.
‘Well done. Now flop the old knees apart.’
Now hang on a minute. A scream started to claw its way up Angie’s throat.
‘A bit wider.’
Okay, stop! Stop right there! Floor I demand you swallow me whole! Oh God! Maybe now was a good time for a nice string of therapeutic four letter word.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour---
‘So how are things in the upstairs department?’
Upstairs department? Angie dragged her eyes off the poster. ‘Fine,’ she replied cagily.
‘Only my dear wife, God rest her soul, always used to say upstairs was the tricky part.’ A pair of specs suddenly debuted over the rim of her perineum. ‘We have these huge beams to contend with, you see.’
Good God, Angie looked away horrified. Someone here’s obviously been watching a re-run of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, honestly, what a cheek. Still, she supposed she ought to be just as flippant.
‘Well, um,’ she cleared her throat. ‘Matt and I do have a very healthy sex life ... obviously. I mean we’ve only been married a year, but you know how it is, pressures of life that sort of thing. Matt’s got his own business now,’ she cringed as something icy slid between her thighs. ‘So um, we hardly get time to catch a cold, never mind...' she glanced down at the Einstein thatch hovering between her thighs. What should she call it? He was ancient so probably read a fair bit of Jilly Cooper raunch. ‘…a bit of the old rumpy pump---’
‘Only the last time I saw you,’ there was a rather worrying cranking sound, followed up by a muted slurp. ‘You were telling me all about your renovations upstairs.’
Angie’s face froze. ‘Oh…right, those, yes, well actually they’re not finished yet?’‘Not finished!’ exploded the doctor as if he was on a podium at a doctors’ convention, endorsing the fact much to Angie’s relief that he was a bit deaf. ‘Goodness me,’ he puffed up, sending tremors along the examination bed. ‘But that was over a year ago.’
A year ago! Angie stared studiously at a crack in the coving. Good grief, he was right. They really did need to get a move on. They’d been so enthusiastic when they first moved into their little two up two down and set about tearing up all the vile, moth infested carpets, even doing a half-baked job of sanding the floorboards. Nine months later, the excitement having worn off a bit, the floorboards now bore a slight resemblance to the Olympic flag from all the mug and wine glass stains. ‘Matt and I agree on most things I have to say, but I’m afraid we’ve hit a brick wall here—he can be very stubborn, you know,’ she added as an afterthought.
‘Is that so?’ the doctor glanced up from scribbling squeaky hieroglyphics on a glass slide.
‘The thing is,’ Angie eased up on her elbows and tossed her thick mane of toffee hair off her face. ‘Matt wants those white tiles that they have in the London underground—which are very nice and edgy. But I just love mosaic. And he wants boring old varnish on the floor, and I want blue wood-wash with perhaps a few clouds and doves stencilled here and there. ’
‘Sounds romantic…um...you can close your legs now Angie dear.’
‘Now everything appears in order, so run along.’ Doctor Heaton gave her upper thigh a congenial little tap which, in light of their prior intimacy, felt weirdly intrusive. ‘I’m running a bit behind this morning,’ he continued distractedly. ‘But I’m sure I can squeeze in a five minute chat.’
‘The thing is,’ Angie re-crossed her legs then shuffled even deeper into the recess of the desk. ‘It’s not the be all and end all, is it?’
Doctor Heaton glanced at his watch.
‘I mean the world’s so chocker block full of humans, isn’t it? We’re like ants, bursting at the seams. I bet by the year twenty-twenty,’ she steamrollered. ‘We won’t be able to move for bodies, let alone feed them.’ I hate to say this,’ she said after a pause. ‘Actually no, I’m glad to say this. Matt and I have made a firm decision—last night actually,’ she denoted. ‘We’re not having any, no siree. And I feel wonderful about it, frankly, almost pioneerish if there is such a word. What do you think Doctor Heaton? Doctor Heaton…?’
Doctor Heaton, who’d gradually lapsed back into a sedentary, vacant-eyed pose, pinkie resting delicately in one nostril, jockeyed round at such velocity his vast belly almost knocking the computer keyboard off the desk. ‘Sorry?’
He looked at her uncertainly and then re-aligned his keyboard. ‘What about them?’
‘We don’t want any,’ repeated Angie with self-importance.‘Oh, I see.’
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