Posts Tagged ‘imaginary conversations with imaginary people who encourage you to drink more’

A lot of people say to me “How’s the book going?” and I always give a gay little laugh and reply that I’ve started a Microsoft Word document and called it ‘synopsis.doc’.

The people then chuckle merrily and say “No, really. How’s it going?”

It’s usually at this point of the conversation that I hastily create a diversion, such as pulling a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder out of my bag, wrenching off the lid and, shouting “POOF!!!!”,  throwing talc over us all and then running away very very quickly.

Yes, I’m trying to shield us all from the terrible truth is that it’s the end of February and I haven’t done much  more than start that Microsoft Word document.

There’s a commonly-held belief seems to be that now I’m not blogging three times a week, I must have lots and lots of time to dedicate to writing my book. And while I do have a bit more time, I am spending it on other, way loftier pursuits.

The following random thoughts that I recently had provide a sterling example of such way loftier pursuits:

– Hmmmm…. Why does the word ‘umlaut’ not actually have an umlaut actually in it? It seems somewhat hypocritical. Note to self: write a book called ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ (and by ‘write a book’, I mean open a new Microsoft Word document and name it Synopsis2.doc).

– Wouldn’t it be better to rename ‘The Hypocritical Umlaut’ as ‘The Hypocriticäl Umläut’?’ That’d be ironic and cool people like irony, in an ironic kind of way. They tend to wear ironic hats while they do it. Which is never a bad thing.

– Perhaps the irony would be lost on those less cool readers (without the appropriate ironic head wear) and I should rename the book ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’?

– Is ‘The Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’ too wordy or is it not wordy enough? You know, considering the recent trend in literary titles like ‘The Incredible Amazing Tale of the Women Who Knit Stuff And Solve Mysteries In Their Spare Time Secret Club Society’ (And yes, I made that title up. Note to self: create a Microsoft Word document called synopsis3.doc because I could totally be onto a winner with those knitting female detectives).

– It’s definitely not wordy enough. The title should totally be ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut’. Yep, that’s it RIGHT THERE.

– You know, my blog post titles are never long enough. It’d be so cool to have a blog titled ‘The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’. In fact I should write one right now. It might feel more satisfying than creating another Microsoft Word document.

– But hang about… Would titling the blog post ”The Incredibly Curious and Staggeringly Loud Incident of the Ironic Hypocriticäl Umläut In The Blog Post’ kind of ruin the punchline of the blog post?

– Um, is there a punchline? Is there ever a punchline?

–  No, there’s never a punchline.

– Fuck.

And this, people, is what I think they call ‘writer’s block’.

(*throws a handful of talcum powder, shouts “POOOOOFFFFF!” and is gone…*)

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“How do you do it, NDM?” people often ask me. “How do you effortlessly come up with hil-a-rious blog topics week after week, month after month?”

“Gee, thanks for asking this question so that I could use it in the opening paragraph of this post.” I say to the people. “I mean, anyone might think that I just made this whole conversation up just so I’d have something to blog about!”

Indeed, only yesterday, I woke to find I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Absolutely nothing.

In a mild panic, I turned to twitter, as I often do when I have an important question such as “Soy yoghurt… What fresh hell is this?” and “How many black hairs do you need to have growing out of your chin before it can be classified as a beard?”.

I tweeted:

“Anyone care to suggest a topic for tomorrow’s NDM post? My mind is as blank as the cheque I will pay you with.”

Of course, I didn’t mention that the blank cheque would be so incredibly blank that it would actually just be a piece of paper and any demands to honour the promise of payment for topic ideas would be met with an even blanker look on my face. Anyway, turns out that my question drew the biggest blank of all because the only reply I had was from my friend SpiltMilk, who said:

“Julia Gillard’s hair and marital status. Not enough people are writing about these crucial issues!”

She was right. Not nearly enough. Because if enough people DID write about Julia’s hair and de facto relationship, we could totally pretend that the environment, the economy, immigration, public health and education and almost anything else that actually matters didn’t exist at all.

For those of you who don’t live in Australia, we’re three weeks into a federal election campaign. On one side, we have Tony Abbott, the embarrassing – and slightly creepy – uncle you’re worried is going to express his opinions on gay marriage in front of your cool friends. And on the other side, we have Julia Gillard, the Catch Phrase Queen, whose “Moving Australia Forward” response to any question is just like the Daleks’ “Exterminate!”, except from all reports Gillard can climb stairs, unlike the Daleks who don’t even have great hair to recommend them.

But there I am, blogging about Julia Gillard’s hair like everyone else. This is what this election is doing to me. The elections ruins lives, people! Yes, ruins lives!

The election means my husband has to work seven days a week for the entire campaign and is seen stroking his Electronic Mistress even when he’s not working. The election made my husband bail out of a christening on the way to it, leaving me to wrestle the three kids in a cold church on my own, while he went into his office in the city. At one point, McGee and Pixie both sat on my lap and began moving around so much that we began to resemble a writhing pit of snakes. At another point, Mr Justice, who’d been gazing at the crucifix, exclaimed loudly “When you told me about Jesus and the cross, you didn’t tell me it was like that!”. And, to secure my place in hell, I found myself texting my husband the following message: “The service has just finished. The kids are possessed by the devil. YOU. FUCKING. OWE. ME” See? The election made me swear via SMS in a church. IN A CHURCH.

And now the election has made my mind completely blank. BLANK. I think it might be because if I try too hard to think about things, all I can see is this. Yes, that’s why my mind is blank. And I think I’ll keep it that way for the time being, if you don’t mind.

What’s that? Oh, it’s the people saying that they don’t mind at all. In fact, they’re telling me to sit back and relax and to open another bottle of wine…

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