Friday, January 19, 2007

Teeing up in the mud

Whirled round the Godalming shops today like a dervish, and even had enough courage to go into the boy motor shop in order to get more oil for my car. Not that it is a boy motor shop, you understand, but it is a motor shop, so full of boys. Mind you, as I was wearing trousers and a woolly hat, they may not have known the difference, especially with my grandfather's nose. Darn it. However, being a girl in spite of it all, I did have to stand in front of the oil shelves and take out my diary to check the exact type of oil I needed, even though I had memorised it before entering. They may well have cottoned on to my gender at that point - as of course boys don't have diaries. They have funny electronic things they can poke at (as it were), if they have anything at all. Or they are born knowing oil types as part of the species. It's hard to say. There were several smirks while I paid for it at the counter, but I frowned and refused to make eye contact, so honour of some kind was satisfied. Probably.

Back at home, I tackled The Gifting again with the kind of sinking heart that says: hey, babe, you can't write a novel so don't be ridiculous; or you'll never finish this, so why bother? But after the first few stabs at the keyboard and maniacal laughing, I actually managed to get a scene transmission half-page across in some kind of fashion (though I may well tweak it with vigour later), which brings me to the point where Johan (secondary character, but a key man) has to tell the story of where he's come from. I like to get my teeth into a main section, so that's good news. And - great excitement - I've thought of a cunning twist for 3/4s through which will shake everything up once more. Hurrah! Just have to write the darn stuff then ... Ay, there's the rub. And I've done (almost) another 1000 words, which cheers me. Achievement obsessive that I am.

Which brings me to teeing up in the mud. Though, come to think of it, that phrase also describes my writing life pretty damn well. Marian and I played golf in a post-storm Britain, and had fun bouncing off trees which hadn't been there last time we'd played - or at least not in that position - and landing splat in the mud, when we were hoping for something of a run-on effect. Hell, is that too much sad golfing terminology? Well, you know what I mean ... Actually, one of Marian's shots was utterly fantastic, over the ditch and curving beautifully onto the green, and looked really professional (argh! that word again! somebody beat me, now!), thus gaining a "10" in the Golf Cool stakes. Or it would have gained a 10 if I hadn't shrieked with joy at the sight of it and danced up and down with my club in the air. Hmm, bet that's not done during the Ryder Cup ...

And, talking of sad people (ie me), I was on the phone to the Tax Office today to make sure I could pay in their kind rebate cheque without fear of arrest and incarceration, and when the woman on the phone asked me to give her my National Insurance number, I found myself quoting it to her without even looking it up. Bloody hell, but that's sad. And it was right too. God, but that's even sadder. I should really get out more. Or possibly stay in more and not interfere with the day-to-day lives of normal folk.

Tonight, I'm going to do as little cleaning as possible, eat pizza and ice cream till my brain explodes and drink lots of red wine. It's good for my heart, apparently. But who the bloody hell cares about that?

Oh, and good news on the reading front - Roger Morris ( has another book out soon - "The Gentle Axe" - which, as a tip-off, will definitely be worth reading. His first book, "Taking Comfort", is seriously hot stuff and everyone should buy it. It's classy, readable and - to me - like an English version of Murakami. You heard it here first.

Today's nice things:

1. Writing more of The Gifting
2. Golf shrieking
3. Impressing the Tax Office.

Anne Brooke

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