A week from hell and Corvalpluck’s chances in the world in doubt

I have just waded through the most exhausting week: late night Parent-Teacher consultations, throat infection that made me squeal like a pair of rusty secateurs, daughter – suffering from severe child neglect – thrown at the mercy of a resentful child-minder, and absent neighbours leaving me in charge of walking their self-harming dogs determined to slice themselves to smithereens on barbwire fences.

Amidst all of that drama I crawled with my nose to the ground, ears down and my tail between my legs. Go on, I kept telling myself, you can do it. I wondered why. Why was I doing it? Why do we all do it? What’s the carrot at the end of the stick? Is there a carrot, or only just the stick? I doubted the purpose of my drudgery and I’ve lost the sight of my ultimate destination.

Still, I have survived all adversity and am looking forward to the next – no less dastardly – week. It was easy. Somewhere at the back of my battered mind, there still flickered the eternal flame of me-the writer. Stories passed through my head. There is one I am yet to write, which I will enter for The West Country Writers’ competition. It has an intriguing challenge – Agatha Christie has to be mentioned in it. Piece of cake! Agatha Christie never leaves me, not for long anyway. I spend long, mind-numbing hours watching Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot on ITV3 – the tougher the going gets, the more I watch. So I’ve got Agatha Christie bagged, to start with. The rest is still only a blur in my head.

I have edited, re-synopsisized, printed, wrapped and nearly delivered “The Quite Contrary Colin Pluck” for the Children’s Writing Competition run by Chicken Publishing House. I do hope poor Corvalpluck gets noticed even though, I know, he will be doing his best to sneak by unobserved and enjoy his retirement in peace. Haley read the book once and once only, but she remembers the whole storyline, plus little funny quips – in fact, she remembers more than I do. She has asked me if anything could be done about Clarissa’s mother dying in the end. She didn’t like that, which -being her mother (however incompetent) – I found reassuring. Alas, there was nothing I could do. Even if I tried, raising the dead is not my greatest talent.

I guess I will need loads of good luck with Corvalpluck’s entry into the competition. He is such an obstinate old fart!

Another matter is keeping me awake at night. A literary agent to whom I sent a sample of “Be Gone”, the first part of my trilogy “In the Web of Time”, has asked for the entire manuscript. That was in August. I am now waiting, chewing on what’s left of my fingernails, and praying to God Almighty that she likes what she sees. Pray with me.

I am now off to Savernake Wood, followed by a cake at The Polly’s. The rain had its turn and the sun is now in control of the skies. A few heavy clouds to the West look in the bad mood though. They’re heading this way.


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