Wednesday, 26 September 2007

winter warmer

I am sitting in my office, waiting for inspiration. It's cold outside, actually, it's cold inside, because I have the window open. I could turn the heater on, but it's a bit early in the winter to do that, so I'll wait until I can't feel my feet and nose, and then do it.
I seem to have spent most of my writing life sitting in the cold. When I began this writing lark, way back in the dark ages of the late eighties, I was as poor as a church mouse, and couldn't afford to turn the heating on at all. I would sit at my desk wearing a very odd assortment of clothes - not fashionable, and certainly not sartorial - but they were WARM! Slippers, socks, leggings, trousers, two t-shirts, one jumper, a jacket, and a scarf, and if I was lucky, a warm purring cat on my lap to add to heat. Those were the days - actually, nostalgia isn't all it's cracked up to be - I was horribly miserable, cold and usually very hungry!
Why was I poor, I hear you ask - it is a long story, but suffice it to say I was in the middle of a divorce, bailiffs were banging on the door, not for me, but for HIM, the house was in negative equity and there was a recession on which meant I couldn't sell it because there were no buyers. Luckily for me I didn't have to feed, clothe and heat my children, for they had flown the nest and were living the life of Riley in London. One thing about poverty though, it keeps you slim, and boy, was I slim - but then I was on a baked potato and a bit of greenery once a day, so it's not surprising. Whoops, here comes that nostalgia again - if only I had the will power to avoid chocolate!!!!
Talking of chocolate, has anyone out there tried the Green and Blacks bitter cherry dark chocolate - heaven.
But I digress. Writing is what I do, and I prefer to do it in the winter. There are just too many distractions in the summer and spring, and my excuse is that although I appear to be lying on a beach, I am really doing all kinds of research in my head, plotting stories and dreaming up my characters and what they look like. When the first sign of autumn appears you will find me locked away here in my office, looking out of the window at the garden as leaves are blown from the trees and the horses in the paddock whinny in disgust as the sheep try to stand firm against the howling gale that threatens to bowl them over. I am not dressed in the rag-bag collection of those past years, but I have resorted to jumper and boots, and there's a coffee machine on the windowsill to keep me perked! Now all I have to do is WRITE. I do not have the company of a warm, purring cat, poor old Woosie is long gone and I miss him. Blue, his replacement is a surly sort of chap, with ginger and white fur and a bad attitude. He doesn't do laps - not unless it belongs to him indoors - and certainly regards spending any time in my office a great burden - unless he's nipped in overnight and nicked my chair to sleep in when it's raining outside. All in all, Blue is not the most sociable of cats, and although I love him, I have been seriously considering getting a female tabby to call my own. I feel outnumbered.
Must get on, the story awaits, my office grows colder and there's the promise of a bit of chocolate after supper as a treat for being so fabulous. I know, I know, but someone has to say it, and I'm sick of waiting for anyone else to do so. If you want a job done, do it yourself, is what I say. I'm off, the characters are waiting for me impatiently, as I've left two of them in the middle of the outback of Australia, two of them in the middle of an argument, and one of the children facing a dragon of a housekeeper. Bye. Tamara


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