A subtle ability to warp actual circumstances into something different

A slightly adapted quote from writer Rebecca Serle.

Yesterday. Me.

 These were the actual circumstances: I COMPLETED MY TAX RETURNS for April 2012-2013. The final deadline to do this is January 31st, 2014. That meant I’d done it TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX DAYS EARLY.

My accountant will pass out with shock.

The delusion, the warping of actual circumstances into something different: That I was virtuous to complete my tax returns.


I became VERRRRRRRY self-congratulatory and smug.

Only later did I admit to myself that the only reason I had done it was to avoid doing something else.

How can it be that completing tax returns is preferable to reading through Of Night And Light, my novel, as preparation for sending it out to a new set of publishers, carefully researched and selected by me over the weekend?

Sending off my novel is THAT CONFRONTING?

I have a very firm grasp on reality…

I can reach out and strangle it any time! 

So – as promised yesterday – if only to myself – a reality check about my work.

Of Night And Light – the novel – still waiting to hear back from the commissioning editor.

Dancing With Elephants, The Wilful Child, Belief in Cod, One Of Our Pies Is Missing, Little Red Riding Hood and The Granny Confusion – still waiting to hear back from the animation company.

Filth – short film – at final edit stage.(London) To be taken to Le Marché du Film, Cannes, Short Film Corner.

The Other Side Of Silence – short film – original shoot date disrupted by the snow but apparently it is imminent. (Whitby)

Downtown Abby – short film – script approved and scheduling shoot with Eastenders actor attached. (London)

Caught In The Act – short film – (apparently) to be shot this year. (New York)

 Just For A Moment – a short film which has, apparently, been “on the point of completion” for over two years, (Leeds) – so I will chase it up, now I’ve remembered its existence! UPDATE: Answer to my query ‘Any progress?’ – “Sadly no. It’s still ongoing. Will be finished though. I promise.”

Creep Like A Rat – 22 page short – script approved – (apparently) to be shot within  the next eighteen months (New York)

The Colour Of Her Scream – longer short – loved by director but wants to seek proper funding in order to do it justice. (London)

The Last Assassin – a short script commissioned by a producer, in progress (London)

(The apparentlies in brackets are because I’m relying on the word of a director whom I’ve never met…)

Aside from all that – I have three feature length scripts complete, another 30 plus shorts, and Quirky Tales – a series of stories for young children, two of which have been broadcast on FunKidsLive, and Earthbaby, an audio story for babies, and Milo Saves The Circus – a long-time-coming interactive iPad story for young children.

So – quite a lot! And quite a lot needing to be done to get that stuff off my computer and out into the big wide world.

Inner Essence Designs

“The gift of the family novelist is to turn the cleaning of a closet into an inventory of love and loss, to scan a poem from a shopping list.”

Hmmmmm, Marilyn Gardner…this sounds awfully worthy. I’m not sure if I’m that virtuous. However, I have FINALLY finished Forever India and now I’m spring-cleaning the house, my In-Box, my desk, my brain, ready to move on to the next thing.

Here’s me hard at work. I expect you recognise me, particularly by the smile on my face. You know how much I love housework.

I’m just trying to decide whether my next novel will be about cleaning the sink or mopping the kitchen floor. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be riveting.

Here’s the shopping list poem, anyway.

Standing at the cash register 

I want to juggle red bell peppers,
Throw salt over my shoulder,
Bounce lemons off the walls,
And wish for something simple:
You, making a ham sandwich with mayo,
surprising me with the smell of fresh-baked cookies.

Instead, I am waiting in a long check-out line
With only chicken breasts in my basket
Not wanting to give up my place
To get the toilet paper
I forgot. 

Thanks to Deborah Davis. See, it IS possible.