Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Unblocked and showing restraint...

What are my chances of suing Jodi Picoult for loss of earnings? I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to work when there’s Nineteen Minutes to read?

I did limit myself to an hour this morning so I was writing by half past eight so not too much damage done... I made sure that the book didn’t come downstairs with me once I’d got up and I stoically ignored the little voice which said ‘I'm in here’ from the bedroom when I went upstairs to rack the washing up next to the bathroom radiator. OK, yes, I’ve got the heating on during the day, it’s barely getting above freezing in Canterbury during the day at the moment and you try typing with frozen hands. I wear fingerless gloves as it is!

Where was I? Oh yes, the book calling to me. I hardened my heart. I told myself I didn’t care what was going to happen next to Peter Houghton the High School shooter, that I didn’t care if Jodi Picoult had made me sympathetic to somebody who guns down ten of his classmates, that I didn’t want to know (desperately) whether/how JP is going to save him from being locked away in jail for the rest of his natural life. I turned away! Yes.

Over lunch I read bits of The Author which arrived yesterday and felt virtuous and professional. I now know more about the fiasco at the PFD literary agency than I ever knew I needed to know, but I didn’t succumb to Picoult and, after determined thinking and re-writing my own novel is back on track. Result!

The nasty patch mentioned yesterday with such pessimism turned out to be no more than a conversation people shouldn’t have been having. Yet. What we needed was … well, don’t ask because I’m not going to tell you. I can’t, that’s not how it works for me. The minute I discuss the work in progress with anybody it sounds totally ludicrous and I wonder what exactly the hell I think I’m doing. It needs to solidify a lot before I can even let anybody think about looking at it. All these writers who give their spouse their novel to read chapter by chapter? Sheer madness in my view. Or just a very different approach to writing. Perhaps theirs is less subconscious and more conscious. Not mine, as I said - at some length - here.

So, am I going to be able to indulge my Picoult-mania this evening? No. This evening I shall be answering various questions sent to me by the editor of the local newspaper where I grew up (The Cardigan and Tivyside Advertiser) which is, very kindly, going to run a feature on Testament and me.

The questions? Hmmm. That’s for tomorrow’s post, I think.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already read Nineteen Minutes, buy it. Don’t wait to be given it for Christmas - that’s nearly a week away! Buy it now, today, tomorrow at the latest.
But only if you like page-turners and people who you can – oh so easily – imagine being.

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