Monday, 8 June 2009
Possessed Coconut-Monkey and the Happiness of the Long Distance Runner
I wrote 2,703 words yesterday. And maybe half of them aren't even gibberish. I wrote half at my desk, then the rest downstairs, when the Mr decided it was bedtime. My new housemate has a monkey carved from a coconut that he's afraid to have in his room, so he's put it on the mantlepiece downstairs. It scares the shit out of me. It has glassy eyes that follow you wherever you are in the room. If ever anything was going to become possessed, then it's that monkey. So, under the all-seeing gaze of the coconut-monkey, I started writing again. I tried to hold out, but after about a minute I had to turn it so it faced the wall. I don't usually feel spooked in the house, despite the dead bodies next door, but this monkey gives me the creeps. I got lots of writing done eventually, though.
It feels good to get my teeth back into my novel. I've had a few short stories to write over the last month, and it's been hard switching between the two. I had to read lots of short stories to get myself out of 'novel head'. Luckily, there are some great small publishers out there putting out brilliant short story collections.
One of the stories was for Word Soup 2. The theme was 'Skin', and it was a great night. I got to meet the very lovely Annie Clarkson properly, who in her review of the night, summed things up so perfectly that I couldn't even think about writing one of my own. Although, if I was to write one, I'd change the (very kind) bit about me to "I read a story called 'Proxy' and I was really nervous", and I'd go on to say how confident and warm Annie is, and how her poems draw you in and make you feel like a trusted friend she's telling secrets to.
I wrote another story for the Myth-themed Hello Hub night at Big Blue Coffee Company. After a few false starts, I ended up with a story about a sunken village, called Behind A Wardrobe In Atlantis. It was hard not to write about the Minotaur, though. I came very close.
But now I'm out of 'short story head' and focusing on the long haul again. I like the long haul. I like the total immersion. I wish I didn't have to go to work, so I could stay up and write through the night every night. But maybe stealing the time is part of it, too. Defining every spare moment with the scribbling of pen and the tapping of keys. I love it. I hope it lasts.