The ratio of landline callers who I know versus callers who want something while telling me they don't is approximately 1:9 at this stage.
Whilst I haven't yet read Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, I plan to. Reading her piece about how she came to write it was like smoking crack for any "I can just about write short stories but a novel would kill me" writer.
I don't agree with those writers who say that reading writers write about writing is a useless enterprise. Of course it's procrastination - an extremely valid, 99% sugar-free guiltless form of it. It's also encouraging, enlightening and entertaining.
I have been reading up a little on my Great Great Grandmother, Jane. She was born in Tasmania and moved to Victoria at some point in time where she married Jean Brehaut, who had also moved to Victoria from his homeland of St Peter Port in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Jane cuts a bit of a tragic figure in my family tree, dying at the age of 43 after a life where she lost a child in infancy, then her five year old daughter and husband in the same year, and then finally herself to the bottle if the rumours are true.
I can hear that voice in my head. Hmm, why don't you research this? You could do her justice by writing her story, help her bones settle. Why don't you just explore a little bit - say, for example, trying to find out a little of what Hobart was like in the 1840s when she was born?
I finished a short story the other day. Honestly, my days are very strange. But I confess I do like their irregularity, when it's not stressing me off my dial. I dislike being beholden to a clock that always runs too fast when I want it to run slow and too slow when I want it to speed. I like working odd hours here and there. The lack of work part isn't so great in terms of stress, but it has given me time to keep on with researching Liminal, and it has given me time to write. And I simply can't explain in words how much better typing my own words are compared to transcribing someone else's. A world of difference. A very vast one.
I struggle to know how to end my stories. They always start off with a bang - that lovely feeling of a lens shifting into view that comes sometimes from bunches thoughts and ideas and impressions and pictures rolling around in my head - often from in the shower. One takes hold and, "Ooh, that'd be a good idea for a story." And so off I roll. But then, as is evidenced by the files on my computer and the pieces of paper floating around in my life, often they fizzle out.
And so this time with a stab of nervousness I decided to stick with writing this one. The fact that it was 10.30pm when I started felt rather impractical and could have been an excuse to not do it if I was less clued into the wiliness of procrastination, but what can you do?
And so I wrote it for a couple of hours and then finished it and went to bed and then I slept and then I got up and wrote some more and I actually truly ruly think that it is finished. It feels finished.
I told my mum when she came to visit yesterday that I have written a short story that I hope to send to The Big Issue for its annual fiction edition, and that she needs to be forewarned that if they publish it it contains the words "fuck" and "cunt".
She didn't bat an eye. I guess she's had a bit of time to get used to me.
I take so much delight in being able to legitimately say the words "fuck" and "cunt" to my mother that it's really a wonder that I am not 14, but 43. I have come to the conclusion that there is a part of me that will always be 14. Perhaps we contain within us all of the people that we have been in all of the years that we have lived, like complicated trees.