Monday, May 31, 2010

When Secondary Characters Attack

I was doing some revision tonight.
Well, to set the scene, I was sitting in Starbucks, drinking a hazelnut latte FAR TOO LATE in the evening, plus a cupcake, plus a krispy kreme (and I wonder why I can't lose weight?), with Gabrielle sitting across from me pretending to revise but probably reading Facebook...
...anyway, I was reading over my scene. It was an innocuous scene. My hero and his buddie were playing billiards having escaped the ballroom. The problem was, somewhere during the rewrite, the best buddie, Captain Cosgrove, suddenly got some killer lines and a bit too much personality.
Suddenly HE was backing my hero into a corner, analysing him, finding him wanting. Next thing I know, I'm laughing out loud at his witty repartie, his bravery, his intelligence.
OH NO!!! The dreaded 'secondary-character-who-leaps-off-the-page' syndrome.
Crap. Now I don't know what to do, or even if I have to do anything. Captain Cosgrove is whispering in my ear (after thoroughly trouncing my hero at billiards) that he should have his own book, that he's worthy.

But I've got news for you, Captain Cosgrove. Make the most of your five minutes in the sun because no matter how witty and lovely you are - YOU ARE NOT GETTING YOUR OWN BOOK. Your happily ever after comes in about three chapters, and that's the end of you!
Deal with it, you gorgeous thing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A pocket full of time

I'm here.
I've come to the page.
It might be late, I might have had a crazy hectic day, but all that is done and I've finally arrived - dipping my hand into the small pocket of time I've found.

I ferret out these pockets most days with a stubborness that would surprise the me of two years ago, who could spend all Sunday in her pajamas.

Sometimes the pockets are ten minutes, sometimes fifty.
They encourage me not to sleep, or watch a rerun of the Vicar of Dibley, even though Dawn French always makes me laugh.

These little pockets are beautiful to me. A green oasis. A tropical island.

They are hard won and highly treasured.

They are most often before bedtime, when the demands of the day are truly done, and my man and my baby are fast asleep.

It's like that tonight. I'm sitting on the sofa, the lights out and a candle lit beside me. The swoosh of the dryer in the background is strangely soothing and it's just me and my laptop, throwing a stream of words into the quiet night.

I'm here.
I've come to the page.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life by Brochure Drop

This week I've been delivering brochures. Hundreds of them, to any house that doesn't have a 'no junk mail' sticker on their letterbox. I find now, that although I had one of those stickers on my last mail box, courtesy of the Wilderness Society, now I am utterly offended by them.

Junk, you say? What is it about the menu to my cafe that is junky? It's not junky! it's gold, I tell you, pure GOLD! You should be so lucky to read about our ricotta pancakes with spiced apples, hazelnuts and honey labne. lol.

But nevertheless, I walk past those letterboxes, even though most of the time they look like the letterboxes of precisely the kind of customers I would love to have.

But I digress.

I've discovered that delivering brochures gives me extreme envy. I walk past the sweet little cottages with gardenias planted by the door and wonder what those people did to be so lucky to own such a lovely house. House after house, each charming in its own way. Until I discover the house that just makes my heart sink into my stomach I want to own it so badly.

True to form, it's old. Old and falling down. The weatherboards are severely weathered, the garden crazy and overgrown. And the icing on the cake -- it has a vintage phone booth perched in the front garden, overgrown by vines, waiting for a vintage superman to come along and change in it. And I wonder, yet again, who is lucky enough to own this house? what did they do? Who are they? I wonder if i knock on the door if they'll give me a cup of tea and tell me their life story for the price of a piece of junk mail.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the moment

I'm sitting on the floor, spoonfeeding my little girl. Between chews and spits of polenta and beans, I rifle through the coffee table drawers and come across a chemist prescription.
Cephalexin, dated 9th May. Yesterday? How can that be? I could certainly use some anti-biotics at the moment, but I'm still going au natural for my remedies.

But no, it's 9th of May a year ago, when I had a week old baby and nether regions that were none-to-happy about it. I read on the prescription that Dr Hilary Donald saw me. Now I remember that too. She was brusk in the way she normally is, but more sympathetic than normal too - like she knows i could burst into tears at any moment.

But it wasn't the memory of my nether-regions that made me pause. A year ago, a whole year, I had this precious little bundle of newborn baby that I hadn't a clue what to do with. And I was so busy having no clue that I don't think I felt the joy of it. I was never in the moment, I was worried if I'd be able to feed in four hours, wondering if it would be permissable to fall asleep before dinner, crying because my breasts wouldn't co-operate.

Sitting here now, a year later, I find I want to go back there. I want to be in those moments again when she was first born and actually experience them this time rather than survive them. I have answers to all those questions I had when I was pregnant, and a year later, i feel very ready to have a newborn. lol.

I want to bath her again, being confident and not scared. I want to try feeding again, this time understanding my body and the way it works. I can't, we all know i can't and it's stupid to long for it.

So I have now. I have this sweet little one-year-old who is a joy beyond imagining. I need to be always in the moment with her, crawling on the floor, singing off-key, splashing in the bath with her, because this precious time will pass too. All those things I worry about?

Just things.