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8 October 2004

The first ten thousand words of the possible childrenís fantasy went off to my US agent a couple of nights ago; and my US publisher has not yet uttered in re Bridge of Dreams; which-all leaves me with a vague unfocused feeling, as though I suddenly had nothing to do. Obviously this is untrue, but there is certainly now nothing urgent, nothing imperative except a book to read for my Iain Banks interview in a couple of weeks. Itís a classic recipe for sliding into one of those casual depressions that come so easily, especially as non-writing things are starting to plague me (university administration - and I havenít even started teaching yet! - and house insurance issues and stuff like that, the mundanities of staying alive; where is an ivory tower when you need one?). So I thought Iíd be virtuous and keep busy, take advantage of the lull and try to sort out some of the mess within these walls. Little and often, I thought, do a bit here and a bit there and maybe I can make that a habit, keep the place nice without hazarding my back or disrupting my schedule when Iím working again. Like all disingenuities, itís really quite charming. The truth of course is that Iíll do a little for a day or two, and then not.

For the moment, though, itís good; and one of the reasons is that spending my time on inanities always stokes up my imagination. So I cleared up some of the mess in the dining room, made shelf-space for a whole new batch of cookbooks, then came upstairs to check my e-mails. One from the Lit & Phil about the ghost-story gig in December, which reminded me that Iíd started writing that story a few weeks back. I didnít think I liked what Iíd done, but I thought Iíd better check; so I read it through and decided that I like it very much. And then I went off walking to the supermarket (a healthy mile or so across the moor), and by the time I got there my head was entirely abuzz with story. It seems to be about libraries and yachts and mobile phones; I am at least familiar with one out of the three. So I thought I was having a day off, and now Iím sitting here with a complex Bloody Mary at my side, all set to plunge in. This is only throat-clearing, this.

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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.