Monday, 30 March 2009

In reply to comments

More comments please, love getting them!
To anonymous in Bris vegas, hope the party went well, teenagers can be tricky - I know, I was one, and then had three of them! Thankfully they grow up eventually, leave home, come back, leave again - and it's strange, but they get more expensive the older they are!
To the dog lover - I wasn't quite sure what you meant. But at least with cats I don't have to walk them, they just get on with it!
Have a happy and fulfilled week, I'm starting my working/writing day. Cheers, Tamara

Friday, 27 March 2009

The Book

I've just read the blog I wrote back in January, and sit here shamefaced as I realise just how long ago that was. I haven't got very far with this latest book, in fact, I have to confess I've been dithering a lot - until yesterday.
The biggest problem for an author is where to start. The story is there, the characters rounded out and so real I can almost see them. I have a beginning, a middle and an end - but where do I begin? At the beginning? At the end? In the middle? Years before, or after? It's a conundrum that authors down the ages have battled with.
So I started the book. I wrote four chapters, didn't like them and scrapped them. I wrote three more and felt better about those, but I still wasn't happy with the prologue - which actually wasn't a prologue, but something set several years after the beginning - come on, keep up there at the back. I know what I mean!
Anyway, until yesterday I have had to deal with my daughter leaving England for Thailand and Australia with plans to find work in Oz and perhaps stay there. I've had a broken hearted carpenter telling me his woes, and his girlfriend telling me hers. I'm thinking of having a new career as an Agony Aunt - it seems all my friends are either broke, unhappy, unwell or splitting up from their other halves - or worse, all four things at once! The recession has a great deal to answer to if you ask me - and I do wish people wouldn't ask me anything - not now, not when I'm wrestling with this book.
Ho, hum, I hear you say - boring, boring. Just get on and right the darn thing. What can be so difficult? Okay, you could be right, but if the book isn't right, then I'm not happy, and will remain in that state until I've figured out what to do.
Books are like giant jigsaw puzzles, spread over an enormous table. All the pieces are there, the author just has to put them in the correct place. I find talking helps. Talking is one of the things I do most, so it has to have something good about it. To talk over the problem, to air my fears, my doubts and the strands of each story is an enormous help - and the more I talk, the closer to a solution I come.
EUREKA!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally talked myself into the solution, and HEY PRESTO, I'm writing like the wind. The pages are filling up, the story is flowing, and THANK GOODNESS, I can stop getting in a panic.
Wish me luck - I'll be busy for a few weeks now - happily writing.

Cats in a Flap

Bluey has decided he's a star and this all began when a cheque came in the post from a German publisher for an anthology which includes my story entitled, A Cat Called Blue. The persona on this feline star is one of disdain for the brand of cat food he's eaten since a kitten, dried food and anything human - and definitely anything female or feline, which means me, and our other cat Tilly.
Tilly, as you know was an orphan abandoned in the storm by a neighbour who will remain nameless as she isn't worthy. Bluey is jealous, there's no two ways about it. He stalks into the sitting room, eyes her with disgust and tries to chase her about the house. Tilly, of course had a somewhat slapdash upbringing, and her language would make a docker blush, so she lets Bluey know in no uncertain terms that she is not to be tampered with. They have declared an armistice for the nights though - but only because then they get to share out bed and keep us awake by purring!
Anyway, getting back to this stardom bit, it has all come to a head after 'im indoors went out and bought a new cat flap. It's very smart, shuts properly so there isn't a howling gale blowing through it, and refuses entry to the other cats in the neighbourhood which had taken it upon themselves to visit, wee and eat all the food lying about.
For this flap to work both cats had to have a chip implanted. Tilly swore and Bluey eyed 'im indoors with such loathing he almost cried - he's that way inclined actually, the old man - cries at the soppiest things, and yet he's all man I can guarantee that!
Getting back to the cats. With the flap installed it was now time to teach them how to use it. Stuffing their head in the hole so the mechanism could read the chip was only the beginning. Tilly refused point blank to go anywhere near it, and Blue sat for hours trying to stare it into submission.
'im indoors didn't help. One pathetic miaow from Blue, or a pair of sad green eyes from Tilly and he acted as doorman! Well, that couldn't go on. I'm damned if I'll get up in the middle of the night to play concierge to two cats!
I stuffed both cats unceremoniously through the flap at every opportunity. They only had to look as if they'd got their legs crossed and out they went.
Now we have a real problem.
Blue will go out the flap and refuses to come in through it.
Tilly will happily charge in, but refuses to go out.
'im indoors is still acting as doorman, and I've given up. I've warned him, one 'accident' on the carpet and he cleans it up, I've got more important things to worry about - like writing this blog.