Yesterday, however, for reasons which may be connected to the explosion of a Supernova some 300 million years ago and the subsequent arrival on earth of some nasty gamma rays (which in turn zapped my tired, tiny mind) , I spontaneously picked up another project which is in hiatus. This one is NOT a memoir - it's a fantasy story (something of a leap of genre for me), and I'd written seven chapters of what I foresee as being a story for young teenagers, with a couple of children (and a small dog) as the main protagonists. After five minutes of reading, something happened. It surprised me, because having read and re-read 'Signs of (a) Life' (I must pick an easier title to type next time - i.e. one without parentheses) more times that I can recall, I had become used to not enjoying my work. You do, you see, become very tired of reading the same words in the same order after the twentieth time.
So, imagine my startlement, my shock and my raised eyebrows (still not an old man's bushy affairs, but we're on that road) when it dawned on me that I was enjoying reading this stuff! After so long forcing myself through the drudgery of forced reading words that I am so familiar with, returning to an almost forgotten piece of work was a revelation. What excited me most was that the work actually felt right, as if I have actually been doing something that reads well, and might be entertaining. Optimism is a wonderful partner!
I must (as soon as I've finished this post) return to the other task; it represents my very first efforts to write a work of some substance, and I feel that I owe it my time and respect, even if I'm not particularly wild about it. Experience is slowly teaching me that stuff I am not particularly fond of still seems to be well received by other people. In the meantime, my brain begins to cramp as - especially with emotional upheaval in the background - I try to marshal my thoughts and stay on track with each piece of work. It's harder than it sounds - at least for me.
How wonderful it would be to lock myself away (in a cabin in the foothills, with my wife) for a couple of weeks with not much more than a power supply and a computer, and simply write. And eat. And sleep.
One day - ONE day I'll treat myself in this way...one day I hope, I'll stop feeling like the donkey; at the mercy of outside forces which prevent me from doing what I wish.