I had the most ludicrous thought yesterday. Yes, even more ludicrous than the time I pointed at my Accountz application window and said, ‘yes, and all these…(points finger up and down screen) are my accounts’ to my ex-accountant wife, having allowed her once-in-a-lifetime driving seat of the main Mac-status. Not so much sinking out of my depth, as existing in some kind of flubberverse where mere drowning in your own ignorance is not good enough, one must become one with it. Must be hard for her to keep up sometimes.
Anyhoo. Ludicrosity. Or ludicrousness. As I brushed my teeth last night (something I find much easier than doing accounts, although the time commitment involved is similar) I reflected on my writing achievements for the day. Nonsense blogged in various places, emails sent, a slightly panicky and forlorn author (think Eeyore on a very British speed – tea) buckled down to work at about 3:30 and eventually tallied 1,952 words. Of course, if I didn’t have to spend time whittling notches in little sticks as I wrote, I’d probably get more done. Anyway, I’d easily surpassed 4,000 words for the day, in all. And I’m brushing my teeth thinking ‘Four thousand a day, five days a week – I could be finished in two weeks’.
Finished in two weeks? Reader, I nearly read the instructions instead of the How To. It’s nice to dream, isn’t it? And yet it doesn’t feel that implausible. Or Im Plausible, if I’m following yesterday’s theme – although I should have referred to ‘the wife’ as Er Indoors. Which must be confusing for German cockneys. Gockneys? I digress.
So I dreamt about finishing. And about the mythical query letter – the next monster on the horizon. Funny that, almost all the fear of writing creatively has now gone. The fear has moved on to the commercial aspects. My lack of thousands, nay, billions of friends all demanding I be published. Immediately! Damn it! Odd twitter follower patterns and well, singular lack of non-client related internet presence to show for my ‘efforts’ at behaving normally (ie my oh so stellar career). And that’s before we get to the subject matter. No obvious readership! One of the main characters is made of plastic and never speaks, another appears first as a leopard and then spends the rest of the novel transmogrifying from one bad pun to another, AND the narrator spends half the time talking to himself in italics. Mentalist! I mean, he tries to be funny and learn things along the journey in a clumsy, albeit affectionate way – covering himself in bittersweet sauce lessons. But still…
So, I worry about the pitch. I have already prepared a formal pitch document, in Scrivener, that I torment myself with every now and again. I mean, why leave worrying about until the novel’s finished when you can waste endless hours worrying about it now? Excellent displacement activities young Jedi.
And yet what I really want to say is that it’s a mixtape. Or a sum of some sort:
Tom’s Universe: Monk Quixote = Cervantes x Douglas Adams + Nick Hornby – sidekicks / relative talent variances. Where N is a number of increasing improbability and Y is the number of pints it would take to explain this. I mean, I can’t really pitch a book to an agent as ‘Amelie for boys, with added drinking and swearing’?
And that got me on to Tom’s Universe II: Paranoise Alley = Kafka x JM Barrie + William Gibson. Which is approximately 2/3 Michael Marshall Smith. I have yet to understand what the remaining 1/3 is. But it’s probably where the cats live.
Which makes Tom’s Universe III: The Circus = Roald Dahl x Steinbeck. I’m less clear on this one. But it involves Dorset, motorcycles, feral children and strange women in bandanas. Which reminds me, I must read some more Russell Hoban.
Although whether to mention the other two universes is a point in itself. Sigh. Does one mention to agents that there is more of this crap, in the hope they liked the first bit of crap? Or does one simply stick with the crap one’s got? Creativity poker.
Anyway. The point is, I’m excited. Although I’ve just read back my descriptions to myself and I feel like I’m just trying to have Terry Gilliam’s career, but in words, not pictures. Although he’s already had his. And I am but a flea on the pimple of something or other. Not a bad thing. That sort of career. But prone to mishaps. Perhaps my first edition could be en route from printing in China and get kidnapped by Somali pirates. The ransom demanded is the inclusion of the bandit leader’s second wife as a main character. And then they want to finance a film of the book. And there’d be guns. And beards. And narwhals. Probably.
Anyway. Distracting myself into the day. Nice to dream though.