25 May 2006
First day for ages, I haven't gone near the novel. It's probably good for me. Better, at least, to have a day off than to have a day of trying and failing, of ekeing out half a page and hating it.
Instead, I've been cleaning the house. Yes, yes, the words 'displacement activity' do mean something to me; but in this instance, they're inappropriate. Point is, it's launch-night tonight, and I'm nervous. So (a) it's good to have something to do (that is not sitting here and scowling at a book and feeling the deadline crash through the undergrowth behind me) and (b) my plan for the evening includes the possibility of people ending up here, so it had better be clean, or at least cleanish. The plan in detail is to gather up the willing and go from book launch to my favourite Indian restaurant, just round the corner from my house; and then to sweep up the residues and fetch 'em down here for champagne and nibbles. I haven't cooked, I haven't had time to cook, so the least I can do is pop a cork or two.
Or, of course, something entirely other may happen instead. That's okay, fizz keeps. It's a pity that cleanness doesn't, but Barry may enjoy it for a day or two.
So: Carly's on the stereo, pumping anthematically ('You're So Vain' is actually playing as I type, which is nice, as I have always asserted that fiction is an act of vanity, and if that's true then by God so is keeping a public diary), because I cannot hoover nor scrub without something resonant happening in my head, and resonance in this case is consonant with 'the music of my teenage years', by and large; and I have hoovered and scrubbed and tidied and cleared space and thrown stuff into corners (when Chaz cleans the house, it's kinda like a lick and a promise, that's all I can manage, the whole thorough spring-cleaning thing is just beyond me; it's the promise I never keep), and now I am waiting for good people to come and collect me and several boxes of books which I am pretending to be optimistic about selling.
I hate waiting. Hate it, hate it with a passion. Especially in my own house, where I'm just reduced to helpless pacing and peering through windows, utterly unable to believe that people have not arrived exactly at my convenience. How can this be...?
© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.