Still waiting. Fiona has been in and out of hospital but nothing has happened; no contractions, no labour, no sign of the baby. My sister’s husband, Nolon, has been relaying all the latest information to my mother, who is acting as the communications hub for the Galbraith leg of the family. It keeps my sister free of hassle, and helps to keep the pensioners in our family busy and active. And so we wait. Patiently. A new person is on his/her way into the world, but he or she just isn’t quite ready to say hello.
Silly me for suggesting we nip out to B&Q at Fort Kinnaird to buy a new lawn mower this afternoon. If you’ll remember that last one blew up on me so I wanted to get a plain old push mower that will bring me into a sweat as I mow the lawn. I shouldn’t have taken Gail, because I ended up spending far too much and coming home with a bunch of new plants into the bargain.
I watched some of the Open Golf Championship in the afternoon – sorry to see Greg Normal wasn’t able to pull it off one final time. In the evening Gail and I were on our own so we ordered a Chinese meal and watched Atonement on DVD. It took me some time to get into it but the film grew op me as it got further into it. In the end, I enjoyed it.
A wee bit about the new novel I began work on while on holiday in Rhodes.
In the first few days of the holiday I write a few poems. They were quite good, but I quickly came to realise I was struggling to find new ideas. When I wrote Poolside Poetry most of the themes or ideas I had concerning the subject went into the book, so although I wasn’t actively looking to write a new chapbook, I was frustrated I could find no material to write about.
Then there was an incident at the poolside one day. One of the entertainment staff got into some bother with a child from a family from England. The child took “playtime” a little far and the member of staff got hurt. An accusation was made against the staff member, and a small amount of trouble flared, but it was all taken care of quietly and tidily. Immediately, my creative mind began to kick into gear.
Following from this incident, getting to know the staff at the hotel gave me an insight into the pretty crappy conditions the entertainment staff has to work in and for the pallid pay they do it for. Tick tock.
And while on one of my walks with Gail, we got to see the back roads and real life aspects of the locals – very much removed from the palatial treatment we were getting in the hotel. So the ‘what if’ part of my mind was really kicking in.
What if someone had grown so bitter with the work they do in the entertainment area, they let it begin to affect their performance? What if their personal relationships collapsed around them? What if a child made an accusation and their job was now on the line? What if that child turned up dead on a Rhodes beach the very next day, and the member of staff couldn’t sat where they were because they got so drunk after the accusations and personal turmoil they had landed in?
So I started writing but couldn’t find a suitable first chapter. It’s a first person point of view story – my first large piece of fiction in this pov – so it’s new and tasty for me. All I needed was a first chapter. Then we had the earthquake, and the novel was suddenly writing itself.
As for length I’m not sure. It feels like a novella but I reckon it could stretch to 50 or 60k. But then I’ve been here before and seen them work out to much longer pieces nearer 80 or 90k. I guess I’ll just play it by ear and see how it stands, but for the purposes of tracking graphics, I’ll set it at 60k.
I’m currently transferring all my writing from notebook to PC so I can write it faster as there is a huge build up of flow to get this one out. Don’t ask me where it came from or why – don’t even ask if it will be any good. All I know is this one can’t be stopped. So much for A Friend To Die For?!
And I’m still stoked that William McIlvanney phoned me up last night!