Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Fodder



Ah, it's all over for another year.

Being newly single, this was the first year in a very long time that I spent it with family (without the guilt associated with WHICH family I decided to see etc). I must admit, I had a lovely time. Missed Mummy who's started a new life in the States but it's not like she missed out on a white Christmas or anything. It was bizarrely mild in Manchester.

Anyway, I'm not on here to write about the weather.

I'm writing about the realisation that my writing, to other people, is quite a big deal.

My grandmother asked me repeatedly whether I'm published yet.

"Gran, when I'm published you'll be the first to know, I promise."

My dad's friend in the working mens club on Christmas Eve even asked whether I'd had any luck and what the book was about.

"Erm, no luck as yet....and the book....it's...well, it's a girly book."

I really need to stop saying 'girly' book because I think people are starting to think it might be some kind of erotica judging by the raised eyebrow reactions and the clearing of throats whenever I say this.

I'm still apologetic about the whole thing. I just don't think I can talk about writing a 'book' or being a writer when all I've done is sit at my computer and bang out a few thousand words in my spare time on the very self-indulgent topic of live music (and the journey of self-discovery...and maybe a teeny bit of romance...you know the score).

"No!" My friends and lifelong supporters cry whenever I share this opinion with them. "Em, you ARE a writer! It's in your heart!" Ah, gotta love friends.

But hey, it's a good thing I've got my aforementioned grandmother to keep my feet firmly on the ground in a series of fabulous little pearls of wisdom that, I swear to god, you just could not write. No one would believe me if I included a character like her in a book.

My favourite had to be when I told her I was going to the Manchester United game on Boxing Day, bearing in mind this came straight after a conversation about my writing and getting published:

Gran: "Oooh, well I'll tell you what you need to do - wear a low-cut top."
Me: (fork raised halfway to my mouth) I beg your pardon?
Gran: You know (nudges me), wear a top that shows off your cleavage. You need to bag one of those footballers.
Me: (Looks desperately at Dad who just carries on eating) Erm....
Gran: Think about it, you'll be set up for life. All the money they've got. Wear something tarty, they'll like that.
Me: Are you kidding?
Dad: She's got a point...
Me: WHAT?!

Ladies and gentlemen, my staunch feminist grandmother.

Unbelievable.

Sitting around the table having Christmas dinner made me wonder whether I did have some comedy gold right there under my nose. As I said, the reality just wouldn't be believable but maybe diluted versions for upcoming books is a goer...

I'm not the only one she offended. She referred to Bruce Springsteen as Bernard Brucesteen and made a hilarious (yet totally unprintable) comment about a certain young male popstar that brought tears of laughter to my eyes.

I still haven't got started on the last scene of the Side Project as I left my laptop at the flat but tonight is the night I'll get it finished. While I was eating Christmas dinner at my aunty's house, I caught sight of a book on her cabinet in the dining room.

"Is that Point Horror?"

My cousin, who's the same age as me, raised his eyebrow and made a face. "Yeah, its mine. Been there for years."

"Really?" I asked half-heartedly as I dived out of my chair and practically over my dad to retrieve it, turning it over in my hands to read the blurb.

"Do you...want it?" He asked, still looking at me as though I'd landed from Mars.

"Oh my god, yes please!" I knew I sounded about seven years-old but I didn't care.

So, over the last day I've been making my way through the Point Horror Diane Hob collection, consisting of The Fever, Funhouse, and The Invitation. It's really whet my appetite to get the Side Project finished now.

As I left my Aunty's house, hugging the book to my chest as though not wanting to be parted from it, my cousin appeared at the door.

"You can have that book on one condition," He said sternly, pointing at me.

"What?" My heart actually sank thinking he'd changed his mind.

He hadn't. Instead he grinned, "Promise me I'll get a signed first edition of your book when it's published?"

So, I left with my new book, feeling well and truly stuffed from all of the food and also happy that at least one member of my family didn't want to marry me off to a footballer.

All the best folks,

Em

x

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