Reading your own novel starts out the same as a relationship. It’s a hot and sweaty honeymoon, on a tropical beach, with a bottle of rum in one hand and a lobster sandwich in the other.
But man alive, after reading and editing, reading and editing, reading and editing, it’s like the end of a ten year marriage to somebody you didn’t really love. And you only wed them because your parents laughed at their jokes, and they had a good job, and their friends weren’t total bores.
But it’s too late now, I’ve got the child I worked so hard for in my arms.
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, it’s back again. After the rip roaring success of the last edition, with more than five likes, I am proud to puff my chest and announce I Like Old Photographs is back for a third instalment.
This is Barry Finnigan. He has invented a gadget that will change mankind forever.
The chicken suitcase is not only practical for farmers and market traders. It is an everyday essential the modern working man will not survive without.
With a delicate extension of his hand, Barry can produce a fresh egg wherever he travels. A simple swing of the blade, twist of a salad stirrer and drizzle of balsamic vinegar is all Barry Finnegan needs to produce a fine chicken salad.
He will save himself a fortune at supermarket chains. There will be no more £3 meal deals on his lunch break from the stock exchange.
This is Barry Finnegan, the inventor of the chicken suitcase. He is a world beater.
An elderly lady collapsed outside work yesterday afternoon. An ambulance arrived and carted her off to hospital. I hope she made a full recovery.
This is not something I would usually share, but the fainting woman was not the most shocking aspect. It was the people.
Somebody was on the ground beside the old woman, acting as citizen paramedic and local hero. But the others are what really grabbed me.
They say most motorway traffic is not caused by crashes, but drivers slowing to take a closer look at the mangled wreck. The old woman’s crippled frame served the same purpose.
There were hordes of them. Some in suits, others in polo shirts, mother’s clutching the hands of their children. And they weren’t doing anything more than gathering and raising the heat.
I trundled back and forth from the window. The collapsed victim hazed into the background. I watched the people. I remembered faces. I flicked eyes at the clock, timing their gawking.
And the whole time, I couldn’t help but think, surely they must have some place better to be, there has to be something productive they can be doing, not just watching the pain of a stricken pensioner sprawled on the searing pavements.
An elderly lady collapsed outside work yesterday afternoon, and she was crumbs for the pigeons.
It’s 32 degrees in the capital, so what do we do? We moan. Schools close early. Workers sweat through shirts and bitch about the heat.
It rains often on our little isle, and what is our response? We whinge. Schools lock up children during lunch breaks. Workers collide umbrellas on narrow pavements and fire dagger eyes.
During the winter, it snows. We don’t cope well. Schools will not even entertain opening, because the headteacher lives in a nicer area out of town, and she can’t drive with 3mm of ice under the wheels of her 4×4. Businesses do likewise. The country comes to a standstill.
But most of the year it’s cloudy and mild. We bang on about British weather being awful, that we can’t wait for a fortnight in the sun, that some mid 30s Mediterranean getaway is exactly what we need.
It’s funny, not writing. I mean, I know I’m writing now, but it doesn’t feel like it counts.
I’m talking about the big project, the novel, the book, the goddamn chapter that’s been a sticking point for the previous two sleepless nights. And now it’s all done, I come home from work, sit at my desk and sigh.
I’m between the waves. And jammed in the thick of those breaks, there’s an ocean.
I know what I’ll write next, every detail has been planned (even though it’ll all go out the window), but I don’t want to begin until a line has been drawn under the previous project.
I’m waiting to give the novel the final read, so I’ve taken two weeks away from it. That’s all it’s been. I even dragged myself on a beach holiday for seven days. And the new missus, who was more than happy to come along last minute, sipped her cocktail and kept giving it the old, “why you looking so glum, chicken? Look at the sand! The sea! Check out the fish! Grab another pina colada! You’ll be back to reality soon! This won’t last forever!’
But her talk meant little. I was between the waves. And I’ll keep floating until Sunday rolls around.
Any fellow writers, readers, book lovers, reviewers, tongues without cottoned edges and tweeters who might make me smile for a few moments in a long day, leave your twitter handle in the comment box below and I’ll give you a shot.
I’m @georgederr1nger. Keep your eye out for a man with a gun for a name.
Nothing soothes the prickles in my skin like progression, even if most days, nobody will ever read what I’ve written. That’s not sad. I love to edit too. And sometimes, the mind doesn’t function as it should.
I was a child who was moved around a hell of a lot. I racked up four primary schools, and three secondary. That’s a mean feat in eleven years of education.
Books became close friends. Words were confidants.
It seeped into adult life. I’ve never been alone in my office, or bedroom, or garden. They’ve been with me. Characters have affected my life in ways only lovers could.
And I’m improving. Years and months and sleepless nights have been poured into writing. Very little money has been made, but the odd publication has spun butterflies, worth more than any number in a bank account.
Four novels have been written and one will be published soon. The first three cut my teeth. I didn’t even send them off. Why? We are our own worst critics. I still love them, the characters, the plots, the sweep of exhilaration they’ve coursed through my veins. And I will revisit them all.
I could go all day with this, but my rent won’t pay itself. Hopefully, one day, a few words might help a little more.