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Water

3 July 2004

Water, water everywhere, but not (deo gratias!) in the wine...

It starts, of course, with the novel. Which has, remarkably, stopped; and not in a bad way. Iíve had a mad week, thirty-three pages by Friday lunchtime, that final sprint for the tape - and itís done, it is done, the book is finished. For now. There will be multiple revisits in the next few months, starting next week indeed, but today we donít care about that. By last night, we really didnít care about anything very much, except where the water went.

It is a very wet book. Deliberately so, to be a contrast with the desert-dry of the Outremer series; itís called Selling Water by the River, and it is all full of rain and steam and water-tanks and wetness. Vol 2 even more so; I suppose a sensible author (the one who I made up, who lives in my head and offers really good advice to wannabes) would start vol 2 today, get it rolling, not to let myself get costive; but nah, stuff that. Shopping and drinking, these are the orders of the days. And getting wet. It has actually been raining all summer, but Iíve been working so it didnít matter. In the day and a half since I finished, Iíve become much more aware of it; I look on it as a tribute to the book (there must be a word, for that psychological state where everything seems relevant, the world is addressing itself entirely to oneself: some subset of paranoia, but itís a very precise feeling, and at times like these I have it in spades. Goes with the territory, all this world-building one does, itís hard to see the real world in other terms - though I actually typed ĎGod with the territoryí there, which I think sums it all up in rather a neat phrase).

Today has been thundershowers and cloudbursts, but I went out anyway, no rain is gonna stop me shopping; and itís been altogether too much for the town drains, there are water mains burst all over, flooded roads and pedestrians laughing at the drowned and sodden cars. One heroic woman in one of those powered wheelchairs, chugging along through six inches of water and grinning manically; I waved, and forebore to tell her that it was going to get worse around the corner.

I was tempted to buy waterglasses, but came home with cutlery and cookery books instead. Yesterday was household linens, black cotton bedding and towels, an end to compromise; itís been years, years since I had a black duvet cover. No wonder Iíve been sleeping so badly. But there are people who shake their heads in sorrow, and ask if thatís really my idea of how to celebrate the end of a novel, by buying domestic things; and the answer, of course, is yes. I like shopping for other things as well, of course, clothes and food and anything at all, but stuff for the house is dandy. If I decide to change my career, I could be very happy outfitting other peopleís kitchens, if thatís a job one can be paid for. Just at the moment, though, I donít want a change of career, Iím very happy with the one Iíve got. This might, of course, be related to the fact that this weekend, I actually do not have to do it...

Now Iím going to pour hot water into a teapot, and then Iím going to have a bath. Splish-splosh.


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© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.