Out of the corner of my eye I see a rapidly moving furry object loping down the lawn (not a lawn, a large area of sphagnum moss). I hurl the laptop over, followed by the file and a spray of loose chapter paper, ungum myself from pillows, sheet, blankets and eiderdown (duvets are another subject) grab the tablet, find Camera, wait for focus.
Pine marten has obviously gone long since.
I shriek for husband, rush to sitting room, and there in the far distance is a dark speck loping up the track, then turning sharp left into the heather to disappear on the moor. Again.
I know that no-one is going to believe that we have our very own pine marten with a regular morning commute across our peat bog unless he is captured on camera. Even the husband looks doubtful.
‘Are you sure it wasn’t a cat?’ he says. As if there was a cat within twenty miles of remote bothy.
‘I’ve heard pine martens have a habit of coming down chimneys and wreaking havoc inside.’ I say. ‘Are you sure there’s a cowl on the chimney?’
I catch him later standing in the bog in the snow and inspecting the chimney.
My lovely book group is full of poets. As we nestle down in the pub, taking up large amounts of space and taking in large amounts of alcohol, I am aware that writing novels is not conducive to sharing production on a monthly basis, unlike those poets who wrote an entire oeuvre this morning. And those oeuvres are sad, or hilarious, or clever or just plain dotty, but they are complete.
‘Where was I?’ I say, having lost the post-it note which said ‘Read (past, not present, tense) to book group up to here’. There is then a confused babble of inaccurate memory, and I am truly embarrassed at having to recap my love story to those who were not there last month, and to the ones who weren’t there two months ago. Anyway, I can only read at most one quarter of a chapter if I am not to hog the time which must be divided between eleven aspiring scribblers. Yes, poetry is the way forward.
I think I never did blog that my one and only oeuvre was published in December. I’m supposed to market this thing, so it’s called
DOLPHIN DAYS and it’s by CHARLOTTE MILNE
How many more sales will that bring me? By the way, friends and family, thank you for buying or downloading. And thank you, thank you for reviewing. And thank you, thank you, thank you for 4 stars not 5. 5 stars for a debut novel? They can only be from faithful kind friends or family.
Today the typescript was reduced to single line spacing. Ensure Fast Draft otherwise the ink will bankrupt me. Margins narrowed almost to extinction. Spend time stripping paper off gummed blocks of squash scoring sheets and using it to print. (I am a Scot). Then press button on Print All. Discover no page numbers printed. Spend time numbering by hand 185 pages. Discover the squash scoring sheets weigh twice as much as cheap paper and I can barely lift 185 pages. Write begging email to an author friend asking her to proof and edit. Think the postage will make me faint.
Well, I suppose we all have to start somewhere, but I never thought I’d have to Blog. Such a revolting word. Nearly as bad as Moist.
I wrote a story. Now I’m told I have to promote it if I want anyone to read it, so….
What did the earwig say when he fell over the edge?