Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Talks, toilets and the Matthews Method

Had great fun seeing Bryony last night in London – in the end we ate Turkish instead of pizza, which was great. I’ll do anything for lamb’s kidneys and hey the lamb had even died first, so no problem. We chatted for ages, so thanks for that, Bryony. I was rather amused though as she’d like me to give a talk to the children at her school (she’s deputy head) about writing – I was thrilled to be asked, just as long as she doesn’t leave me alone with the children (arggh! scary aliens, you know …) and just as long as I avoid actually telling them about the books, ho ho. Heck I don’t want to be arrested.

Meanwhile, the lovely Rosy from Vulpes Libris has given me loads of other ideas for my self-publishing article, so I’m all fired up to do those – so that’s tonight nicely sewn up. My, how I love a plan. I’ve written down a set of bullet points and I’m all ready to go. UPDATE: Second draft done, so I'll see what Rosy has to say about it. I certainly like it better.

Just a shame that I have to be at work first. Still, I think I’ve managed to sort out most of the meeting crises which threatened to overwhelm me yesterday and the people who might attempt to scupper my plans today have been quiet. So far. Though of course there’s always time, darnit. And we’ve come up with a Cunning Plan to get more money into the Hardship Fund – all we do is take the Dean, hide him under a bed for a couple of weeks or so and wait for the media offers and cash to roll in. The students will love us. We’re calling it the Matthews Method. You know it makes sense. Though, for some reason, the Dean doesn’t seem that taken with the idea. Not at all like Lord H, who would absolutely love to be hidden under a bed for three weeks in order to escape from his busy work life for a while. Also I’m sure I’d be marvellous at weeping and wailing in front of the cameras and think what we could do with the money! Heck, it’s a plan. One with a charm all of its own.

Talking of ideas for work, we have a virtual noticeboard where people advertise items they want to sell. Today we see there's an advert for a toilet tent, complete with portable "elegance" potty, tent pegs and loo roll (unused). Bearing in mind that our office has no toilet facilities, I've sent a request to the boss asking if the item can be added to next year's budget before the April deadline is upon us. I'm convinced that, with Ruth's expert camping skills, we can install it in the meeting room next door and need never leave the office again, thus improving our productivity levels and minimising the time spent wandering cross-legged round the campus searching for a suitable Ladies. No answer from the boss yet, but I live in hope ...

On the way home, I popped into see Gladys. We had a pleasant half-hour before the nurse left me the pills and told me I had to get her to take them (why, oh why do I get involved in technical stuff like this?? I just make a rod for my own back, I swear it!). Naturally, Gladys then started shouting and fighting me. I put the pills down, picked up what was apparently the most important one and asked her if she trusted me. She said no (well, what the bloody hell did I expect, really?...), so I replied that if she didn't take the pills, I'd leave. When she glared at me, I started to walk away, so she called me back. I repeated my offer and she took the first of the pills. So far so good. When I reached for the next of the medicines, the same scenario took place, so I turned and walked away again. This time, she didn't shout for me to come back, so I just kept on walking. And came home. No doubt leaving the nursing home with the impression that I am the mean-spirited Bitch from Hell and Scourge of Little Old Ladies. Well, one always likes to have a reputation. Tough Love - ah, it's a drug, you know. Not to mention totally bloody debilitating.

And weirdly, I’ve started another short story, about a dark but healing encounter between a woman and a man in an office. What the heck is going on in my writing head at the moment?? My dears, I simply don’t know – but while the ideas are there I have to go with them. Heck, I even have another idea for when I’ve finished the first one. Shock! Horror! Probe! Still, who knows when the next five-year dry zone will turn up? Short stories have a mind of their own. Talking of which, I think I’m going to give up on my attempt at terza rima – it’s a disaster in the making and every time I add in another line to the wretched beast I find I’m turning into a mix of Patience Strong and Pam Ayres. Now there’s a frightening concept. The world would never survive it, believe me.

Today’s nice things:

1. Our new money-making scheme
2. Articles
3. Short stories.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford website - still ...

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