Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Writing in Real Time


This might sound familiar.  This is how a typical wordcount happens in my own ‘Real Time’ i.e. including all the interruptions, distractions and meandering trains of thought.  These words are fresh and in no way represent anything I’ve ever written (nor perhaps ever will).

The banks of the river lay heavy with morning dew, the fronds wait a minute, ‘fronds’, is that the right word or do I mean fernds? No, surely there’s no such word as ‘fernds’, I’m thinking of ‘ferns’ but I don’t think ferns grow by water do they? Aren’t they more… tropical?  Okay, I’ll have to Google it. Oh… look… Fern Britten’s lost a lot of weight lately hasn’t she?  And that Jennifer Aniston (“did you mean ‘Friends’?”) should start using a better hair colour, you can tell it’s not real….  

*PING* Oooh look… Pizza Express are doing one of those lovely offers; two main meals for a tenner… what should I do? Are we going out between those dates? Should I just delete it in case it entices me, or should I keep it in case the Girl wants to use it with her friends?  I’ll quickly text her to see if she needs the voucher saving. 

Okay definitely fronds.  That’s fine.  I’ll go with fronds.  But where was I going next?  Do I really want my banks heavy with morning dew? Now that I’ve seen before and after pictures of Fern Britten I’m less inclined to go with heavy.  Oh god now I can feel a biscuit coming on.

*PHONE* No, we’re fine.  No, we had it done a few years ago.  Yes, very happy thank you.  No.  Yes.  No.  Not really.  Okay then not AT ALL. Yes our Soffits and Fuschias are just dandy thank you!”
Maybe I shouldn’t have had that biscuit, now my head hurts.  Or perhaps it was the sales call. Where was I?  Oh the Girl’s texted back.  She doesn’t need the voucher but can I take her to her friend’s house tomorrow night.  I don’t know.  I could say yes but we might be doing something else.  I’ll have to text the hubster just to make sure.  

So fronds it is then. 
Camberley Abbey stood regal and proud in the grounds beyond.  Its splendour shone from the majestic leaded windows on the upper floors to the heavy dark oaked doors beneath.  Wait; is it oaked or oak?  If something been ‘oaked’ does that mean it’s been, like, treated with Oak – as in laminated?  I don’t think a majestic splendid Abbey would have laminated doors, would it?  And heavy?  Again with heavy?  Okay how about In the distance, Camberley Abbey’s splendour shone with majestic leaded windows on the upper floors to the great wooden doors below.  Now that’s just stupid. Nothing shines with lead and wood, does it, FFS. God I HATE descriptive stuff.  Why can’t I just cut out the middle man (like, agents, publishers etc) and go straight to film? That way I wouldn’t have to bloody worry about my heavy flippin’ fronds and my majestic laminate doors. They'd just BE THERE.

*PING* Oh, one of my Strictly teammates has a technical problem.  Should I help or should I let someone else handle it?  If I try to help I’m going to get distracted.  But I don’t want to seem rude by not responding.  And aren’t I already distracted by worrying that I might get distracted?  I’ll see if there’s anything I can do. 

*BRRRR* (that’s the mobile – just to differentiate between that and the *PHONE* landline) Yep, that’s fine.  Two o’clock.  Yes.   What, aren’t you coming with them?  But we gave you a key and everything.  But I might be… yes, we are serious about selling but… yes I know, I’m just concerned that… no, it’s fine.  Yep, sure.  Yes, lovely. I’ll see them then.

Right I definitely need a biscuit now.  This is ridiculous.  What are we paying an Estate Agent for if WE have to do the showing around ourselves?  I could probably have run up some details and stuck an advert on the RightMove website myself for less that we’ll end up paying them to do just this.  I’m cross.  I need to calm down.  I need a cup of tea and then I’ll see how quickly I can cobble together some house details and photos.  Ha – maybe I’ll have a change of career.  Then I could do one of those pieces in Good Housekeeping* about how I changed my life at 49 and ‘found myself’.  I’ve always wanted to find myself.  I’ve looked everywhere…

*TEXT ALERT* Ah.  We’re not doing anything tomorrow night.  Hang on, though, why do I need to know this again?  What was I doing with this information? He’s either being deliberately obtuse or I’ve forgotten… ah wait, yes, it’s coming back to me now… I have to text the Girl .

*PING* Ah the Strictly techie problem is sorted.
*PING*  the Strictly techie problem is sorted.
*PING* the Strictly techie problem is sorted. Yes I know that.
*PING* Aaaargghhhh the Strictly techie problem is sorted.
We’re  such a helpful lot, arent’ we?  Maybe I should just turn off e-mail alerts.  But what if something REALLY important comes through, like encouraging news from an Agent.  I’m sure there’s at least ONE agent out there who hasn’t vilified the last three chapters I sent off.  In fact to save them the time and trouble perhaps I’ll send them a ‘multiple choice tick-off’ postcard with the next lot of submissions I send out.  IF I send any out that is, if I haven’t left the country or stuffed stones in my pockets and wandered off into the nearest….. ah… my fronds… my majestic abbey….

*MIIIAAAAOWWWWW*

I don't really need the wordcount icon on my computer.  I can count to ten by eye!

 *Other glossies are available.






11 comments:

Derek said...

Debs, that's multitasking as I know and love it! I have to say that I'm guilty as charged, too. The whole scene puts me in mind of Radio 4's Ed Reardon's Week, which some think is a comedy and I take to be a documentary. We need to guard our writing time jealously, and yet...if you can get inspiration for pieces like that, perhaps you ought to make time for regular interruptions!

Deb said...

Very funny, Debs:)

Fionnuala said...

Debs, this made me laugh - an oh so familiar scene...x

Caroline Green said...

Ah yes, this is so VERY familiar!

JO said...

How wonderfully reassuring to know other people go through this! If only it were simple just to turn the phone off, but you never know, someone really important might ring ...

Karen said...

This is why I go out and write in cafes!!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Debs, you are so funny! And this is so true (esp. re the house selling/buying bits).
You are several fronds and laminate doors ahead of me, so congratulations.
Susiex

Debs Riccio said...

Ha ha, thanks you guys! of course I forgot all about the Twitter and the Facebook interruptions and the endless trips to the loo after the endless cups of tea, but, you know, TMI!

Gillian McDade said...

That's a great post, Debs! Really made me laugh out loud!

womagwriter said...

Brilliant, and something I think every writer would sympathise with! You could probably sell that as an article to The New Writer or another writing mag.

Debs Riccio said...

Oooh could I? Now THERE's an idea... thank you womagwriter :) x