01 August 2007

evening beer

The mid-evening sun lends its warmth still and I squint down the lane. It’s empty. The fields shine green and gold. The one on the left is vibrant. You can almost hear the veg growing. The air hums – everything’s alive. The farm’s on the left. I wander into the steadings, jingling the coins in my pocket. One of the pigs wanders by the barn door, wondering if I have any food. She’s a Tamworth. I say hi and walk over to the brew house. There’s a hint of malt in the air, amidst that cool, damp stone scent. The 80 /- barrel’s tapped. I drop £4 into the cigar box on the worktop and fill the pitchers. The sun still lights the steadings as I walk out, two pitchers in hand. The lane’s still quiet, the fields still alive.

It strikes me, walking back to the cottage, that this is a stolen moment. Taken from a time of gaslight and horse-drawn carriages; some rural ideal, that maybe never existed in reality, but that people remark on whimsically regardless.

But it’s here, and it’s now, and damn the beer tastes good.

I’m leaving soon. I’m going to miss it.

30 July 2007

along came a...

It's been 4 months since I started rewriting chapter 6. Quite a lot has happened in those 4 months.

I've had my first spider bite.

Say what you will about spiders, but in terms of telling tales, having a spider bite is far cooler than a mosquito bite. You never mention mosquito bites. They're boring and annoying. You scratch them when you think no one's looking, hoping no one gets the wrong idea.

With a spider bite, you let folks know. You hope they wince with arachnophobic distaste. You scratch freely and mumble about bastard spiders. Then, when you've been doing this for over a week, you realise something that should have been obvious from the beginning:

Spider bites fucking suck.

They itch more than mosquito bites, they hurt more than mosquito bites and they take ages to heal.

Not as long as chapter 6 is taking to rewrite however. It's irksome and lingering. In the midst of it all sorts of things continue in whirlwind fashion whilst this one chapter floats in limbo, half reformed. It nags me. Moments of relaxation abruptly halted by stabbing anxiety about chapter 6.

So fuck it. I'm going to leave it. It's not ready to be rewritten. I'm taking it off the schedule. It will not plague me any more. I'm moving house, sorting out new jobs and generally there's a whole lot of new shit happening.

So I'm starting a new book. This one's been rolling in my head for just under three years now. I'm hoping to have submission chapters ready by the end of the summer (not that summer's actually begun yet). Like much else that's going on in my life, this is pretty exciting. I figure if I shop two sets of submission chapters I'm twice as likely to get picked up.

So that's a two-in-a-million chance then...