Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Don't turn light on, I'm working

I am most open to ideas at 5 am, lying abed, darkness outside, body comfortable. I once did six lines of a sonnet this way. Mrs BB bought me a mini-torch to aid scribbling notes rather than relying on memory. But a sonnet is containable; these days there is the more sprawling task of plotting a new novel. Here’s how it’s gone:

Main character. Woman, who…? flies planes.
● Author ignorant about gayness (Don’t rule that out. Later, then.) hence a male accountant… culling employees from subsidiaries of a large company. Who may need to use a plane.
Character theme. W. uses word “love” too freely, M. not at all. Thus American vs. British dichotomy. But turned on its head. At the end of (Successful? Unsuccessful?) affair Brit is guilty of destructive passion and American shows humanitarian restraint.
Neutral territory, surely. France?
● Accountancy no longer appeals in France. Man helps monoglot Brits buy houses so probably was more successful once. Mid-forties.
● Woman an instructor rather than charter pilot. Age? Why in France? Gay episode in – great flying country – Arizona? Do gay episodes happen?
Marital status/children of both. On back-burner. Same with parents
Foreground plot. Iraq war. Local French discrimination against American. Chap’s burden? Back-burner.
● Idea from book I’m reading: woman is ugly. (It’s a plot device. I’m not in favour!)
Location (Probably south – better flying weather), acquaintances, families, contrary character traits, etc, etc.
Very long chapter (70 pp at least) flying house-buying customers. Removes much pre-history, frees up use of present tense. Flight adds changing interest.
Dare I do chap in first-person? Would writing about woman suffer?

She thinks a mouse is food

To the right is Missy, a mixed if temporary blessing. She is lodging with us for a couple of days and I shall be taking walks with my trouser pocket packed with a Tesco shopping bag. The bag will, I hope and pray, remain empty. Unlike Lucy and Mol (most of Brittany) and HHB and Blue Dog (all of Western Australia) Missy and I cannot call on millions of acres as our personal fiefdom and should Missy sow then I must reap.

Missy has brought one benefit. Several neighbours were recently burgled and we are now activating our alarm for short absences as well as long. When Missy is left behind a burglar alarm becomes unnecessary. No unauthorised ragamuffin could bear the piercing shriek of Missy’s barks.

Both Mrs BB and Occasional Speeder (Missy’s owner) have noticed Missy appears to have taken a shine to me, proof of her low intelligence. As further proof I sat her in front of the Ilyama and she was obedient but listless. I get the feeling she was comfortable with DOS but couldn’t get her head round Windows. A speech bubble rising from her head would probably say: “Where’s the C-prompt?”

This isn’t her only limitation. In an hour or so I shall watch the recorded highlights of qualifying for the South Korean Grand Prix. I expect little reaction from Missy. Or for that matter from Mrs BB.