17 March 2004
As we know, disastrophes come not single spies, but in battalions. I have had a day of minor but cumulative domestic ruckuses (rucki? ruckae?), none of which matters much independently but taken all together they have overset and overmastered me. Trying to change a light bulb, I found the whole fitting coming away in my hands (insufficient anchor in the dodgy ceiling-plaster). Itís still up there, dangling from its wires; I canít get the shade off, to get at the screws that would fix it back up again, and I canít even shift the little screws that hold the wires in. Itís pathetic. I put the damn thing up in the first place, and I think Iím going to have to cut the cable to get it down. Only I donít want to try that just now. If I canít turn a couple of brass screws, I probably canít work a wirecutter either. I feel like Samson after a haircut, all my strength is fled. And then when I tried to make lunch, I fried the bacon crispy and I melted the butter for the scrambled eggs - and found I had no eggs to scramble, which caused me to shout at the cat, who must have dropped all her forgiveness as she fled, because sheís still being very sniffy with me. And then someone delivered a set of proofs that Iíd forgotten about, that Iím going to have to check through and I donít want to. And all this, all of this is just the icing on the cake, because the dayís real disaster is that I had a story I was writing, and I have just decided to abandon it. Thereís nothing wrong with it, as such; itís got a smart title and a neat plot, itís technically adventurous and seriously painful, and all these things are good, but I just do not like it. I wasnít enjoying the writing at all, I was coming almost to dread it, and that wouldnít matter a damn except that I realised today that I donít want other people reading it with my name on, and that matters a lot. Itís a nasty, ugly little bottom-feeder of a story, and I want no more to do with it. So Iíve walked away. I never do this. Lots of stories get abandoned because theyíre no good or put into cold storage because theyíre not ready, a few even get forgotten about, but I never deliberately kill one off simply on grounds of sheer bloody dislike. New experiences are supposed to be good for you, but this one tastes foul. And it was meant to be for a local anthology, and I cannot conceive of not even submitting a story, which means Iíve got eight days to start again and produce something Iím happy with. And Iím supposed to be getting back to the novel, as a matter of urgency. And all that is the prime pump of this vile day, and now my head hurts and Iím going to bed. Alone, most likely; Misha is downstairs, sitting very upright on the hardest, most uncomfortable surface she can find, just to make the point. Bleah.
© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.