My son Leon, aka my marketing manager, asked me this morning,
“Can you remember when you last wrote anything on your website?”
“Well neither can anyone else, because it was so long ago. Don’t you think you should do something about it?”
“Why don’t you quote something funny from your next book? Preferably using words of more than one syllable!”
“Leon, I have just this minute finished editing one of the chapters in the new book, and it left me in tears. And I don’t mean tears of laughter either. I can’t think of anything funny right now!”
“Oh. Well when you’ve got over that bit, work on something. Please!”
So here I am, working on it.
You know, this authorship lark isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Well, not when you’re as disorganised as I am. For a start I have to be in the right mood to write. This ‘2000 words a day between muesli-o-clock and a healthy lunch’ routine doesn’t happen on the street where I live. If I’m not in the write frame of mind it’s an absolute waste of time.
This was proven earlier in the year when I gave myself a dressing down, for not ‘getting on with book 3’, as my current masterpiece is imaginatively referred to. So I sat in front of my laptop and instead of playing spider solitaire I wrote about some random occurrence circa 1985 in Lusaka.
I actually managed to almost complete a whole chapter. Then other lifely commitments (like cooking or sitting making up new words ) overtook my time, so it was a few days before I returned to my book-ing. As is my wont, I read through the piece I had begun, before proceeding to finish it off, to find that I had actually written the biggest load of boring drivel conceivable. You’d be better entertained by reading the Smith section in a telephone directory (for those of you who can remember those!).
Another issue thwarting the progress of book 3 is that I ran out of letters. No, I don’t mean A,B,C,D,E… letters, but Dear Ethel, type letters.
The material for my first two books was a doddle to establish because I had scores of copy letters I had written to family and friends reminding me of what had happened in my life. But after living in Zambia for over four years, and had my folks visit us there and see what life was like, these letters became less frequent, so I now have to rely on my memory – a very risky source.
But fear not, dear reader, for the good news is that I have now actually reached the end. Admittedly a few bits in the middle need a little tweaking here and there, and a multitude of editors have yet to be unleashed on its contents to annihilate the typos and unscramble the grammatical errors, but the end is in sight, as the policeman said to the flasher.
And you’ll be delighted to hear that book 3 does, in fact, contain lots of funny bits.
PS. Don’t worry, I’ll have worked out a real title for Book 3 before it’s published.