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8 November 2005

Ah, yesterday. Sometimes a day can just take you by surprise.

I had to be up early, to take the cat to the vet; and that was all good, because she (the cat) was bright and bouncy, and he (the vet) was impressed with the efficacy of his own treatment, which is always an advantage. So we're cutting back on her pill regime, which would please Misha if I thought that she would notice; and she doesn't have to go back for a fortnight, by which time she is expected to be heavier, which will certainly please Misha because I will continue to lay gourmet treats before her, and these days she is at least eating them.

So then I came home, more wide awake than usual at ten in the morning; and I wrote a page of the new novel (it's called River of the World, have I said? Being the sequel to Bridge of Dreams, and the second part of Selling Water by the River) before I remembered that I had to go to town. Fair enough: skip in, skip out, and home in plenty of time to write another page before lunch. I thought.

But one of town’s many dangers is that I am not the only one who uses it, either for shopping or for displacement activity (if those are indeed two separate activities, which I doubt). So I ran into another, and one I knew, a fellow writer and a fellow in misfortune (sob! - but neither of us has a publisher in this country at the moment). I hadn't seen Steve properly for a couple of years, so when he said "Drink?" I said "Drink," and so it was that we drank.

By about the third pint, I was more or less giving up on the notion of doing any more work; but I came home regardless, and ate soup and drank tea and so forth, and did eventually wander vaguely up to the computer, just to see. And startled myself by writing a couple of pages, and quite fancied writing more; but opened a bottle of wine instead, and sat down to watch Jonathan Miller on disbelief - and turned him off, shock horror, in order to come back upstairs and work again. And so finished a chapter all unexpectedly, and then the bottle, which was less unexpected but none the less welcome; and the only problem with all this conspicuous virtue is that here I am this morning, trapped in the house by endless chilly rain, and I want to work on the book but I can't because I finished my damn chapter and I have no idea what happens next. So I'm filling in time by doing stuff like this, exercising my fingers on weblog and emails and admin, until I can face the weather and get out there, because I still can't work out the plot of a novel without walking. I blame the dogs we used to keep; it was always made very clear to me that these were my sisters' dogs but it was my duty to walk them, and so I would trudge round South Park thinking about story ideas two or three times a day, and the habit became a part of the process, unbreakable. I cannot think in a chair.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.