Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The man looked listlessly out of the window of his corner office window. Nobody had warned him when he became a literary agent of international renown that he would have days as dull as this one.

“Dolores!” he shouted to his secretary through the intercom. “Let’s play emails! I want you to find me some pathetic little blogger in Australia so I can fuck with her mind!

A few hours later on the other side of the world, a small-time blogger ever-so-lightly battered in kid snot, checked her email.

“Ooo-Ooo-Oooh!” she called out to her husband. “A literary agent of international renown has contacted me. He wants to help turn my blog into a book. A BOOK! WITH ACTUAL PAGES! … Maybe even with a photo on the back cover of me looking off into the middle distance with my forefinger finger placed poignantly on my cheek!”

“Uh, is this one asking for your credit card details?” her husband gently asked.

“No, no. Not this time,” the blogger replied. “Although I should add that the daughter of the Late Sheriff Kindimbu is totally going to get back to me about that book deal. I just know it.”

The blogger replied to the literary agent of international renown’s email in short polite sentences that attempted to mask her excitement.

The secretary duly printed out the response and brought it into her boss.

“The pathetic little blogger has replied,” she told him.

“How desperate does she sound?” the literary agent asked.

“She’s trying to play it cool.”

“She’ll crumble,” the agent mused. “Mark my words, Dolores. She’ll be like so much feta over minted pea and chili soup.”

He turned back to looking out the window, his mood somewhat lightened by the prospect.

Two weeks later, the blogger was still waiting for a reply from the literary agent of international renown. She’d spent the entire time waiting for car horn outside her home signaling the arrival of the agent’s company limo, replete with a chilled magnum of Moet in the back and first-class tickets to New York. But the limo never came.

Feeling a little disappointed, she spoke to her friend L, who was knowledgeable in the mysterious workings of the publishing world.

“Time moves differently for these people,” L assured the blogger. “Two weeks would be considered a knee-jerk instantaneous response. Give it time.”

Still, the blogger sent another email from her other email account. You know, ‘just in case’ the first email had been banished to the agent’s Spam box because of the unfortunate and entirely accidental inclusion of the words ‘enlarged penis’ in its subject title. Or ‘just in case’ the agent’s cat had pissed on his keyboard and short-circuited the whole computer, destroying the email forever. Or even ‘just in case’ his mail server had been repossessed by Level 3 Operating Thetan aliens.

The weeks rolled by and turned into months. The blogger’s hope slowly turned brown around the edges and began to stink of despondency. It got to the point that if the limo turned up, she’d probably have given the chauffeur the finger but still drunk the champagne, straight from the bottle. And then ended up, completely pissed, signing a contract with the literary agent anyway.

Finally, after two months of waiting, she decided – on the advice of her friends – to send a follow-up email. She tried to keep it light and casual but she knew, in her heart of hearts, it was the email equivalent of standing outside the agent’s window with a karaoke machine, singing ‘I Want To Know What Love Is!’ by Foreigner.

“Oh, yes,” the agent murmured, when his secretary read out the email. “She’s my bitch now…”

And he told his secretary to write back to the blogger saying he’d decided “not to pursue the project but wished her all the best in the future.” Yes, that would do the job nicely.

Those words were like itty-bitty knives in the blogger’s broken heart. “But he came to me…” she whispered to nobody in particular.

As chance would have it, however, the telephone rang a few minutes later. It was the Australian Tax Office ringing to remind the blogger that if her freelance earnings as a writer exceeded $75,000 within one financial year, she would need to register for GST. She was a mere $74,700 away from that amount.

“At least the Australian Tax Office have faith in me,” she philosophised. In fact, as her friend SeraphimSP went on to suggest, the ATO were probably about to offer a book deal. Yes, that must be it. Now she just had to wait for their email. Oh, and the ATO limo.

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I am reluctant to call myself a “Writer”. I feel it’s a bit disingenuous to hang my whole identity on an activity I do less than 5% of the time – if that. I mean, I spend 33.3% of my time sleeping (or trying to sleep) and I don’t go around calling myself a Sleeper or even (more accurately) an Aspiring Sleeper.

Of course, one might argue that so much of what I do with the rest of my time informs my writing and I’m always thinking about it – thinking, thinking, thinking… But then, one might also argue that so much of what I eat informs my bowel output. ‘Nuff said.

My husband – who is currently working on his own Top Secret writing project – and I often accuse each other of writerly behaviour. 

“Oh, you’re such a Writer!” we say to each other.

When my husband complains about something trivial, I toss a casual “Go write me a sob story, Writer Boy!” his way.

And when I say I need to take some time out for my blog, his retort might be something along the lines of: “Well, you’d better grab your beret and go find yourself a fucking street cafe.”

Of course, the time he said that to me, we were staying in Blinkton at my mother’s house, which is at least 50 km from the nearest street cafe – unless a cup of instant coffee in a polystyrene cup drunk while squatting outside the local truck stop counts. Is that behaviour befitting a Writer? I can’t remember Nicole Kidman doing it during her turn as Virginia Wolf in “The Hours” so I’d say not. (Note to self: must buy prosthetic nose). 

Anyway, it must be said my husband goes a bit strange when we’re in the country, and not just because he often does a lot of goddamn writing there. For one thing, he fancies himself as a bit of a Country Boy and starts offering to write “Spirit Of The Man On The Land” guest posts for my blog.

For another thing, he makes grand statements like “I understand The Land. Unlike you city writers. You’re like Vincent von Gogh staggering drunk around my sunflower plantation. OF COURSE the sunflowers are going to look all squiggly when you’ve drunk that much absynthe.”

And I’d say he has a good point if he wasn’t being such a goddamn writer about it. 

Anyway, if you’re wondering what has sparked all this writer talk, I’ll give you the lowdown.  I just got one step closer to being able (but perhaps not yet willing) to legitimately call myself a Writer. As of yesterday, I became a guest blogger on kidspot.com.au . There’s a retro-NDM piece up there now but there may be some freshly-baked posts up there one day soon. 

Oooh, look at me! I’m a guest blogger on a major Australian parenting site! La-di-dah!

(What a Writer.)

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I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement when my cousin L-Beer recently told me about her mothers’ group. It was just as well I didn’t, as I was in a moving vehicle at the time and we all know that jumping out of one of those seats either leads to grave injury or, at the very least, being issued an official warning by a passing policeman. 

You see, L-Beer lives in the Eastern Suburbs of Another City – an area famed for  its New Mothers working off their baby fat two days after the birth by doing “pramercise” along the esplanade and frequenting solariums with creche facilities. So when I caught up with my beloved cousin at her parent’s house recently, I asked her about her mother’s group, thoroughly expecting that her description would make me clench my fat lily-white fists in not-so-silent rage. However that’s not what happened at all. If anything, those pudgy white fists o’ mine were punchin’ the air when she was done.  

Firstly, she reassured me that her mothers’ group was nothing like the horror stories I’d heard (and no doubt bored her with in that bombastic way of mine) and that she’d fallen in with a great bunch of girls. And to prove the point, she went on to tell me about how, on the first night they went out together, they went around the table each sharing with the group what they’d done BC (Before Children). I think I might have stifled a yawn at this stage of her story, expecting that they’d all revealed themselves to be PR reps for footballer’s wives or professional Brand Advocats for Prada. But no! One of them – somewhat reluctantly – admitted to the group that she was a Psychic. 

“Oh, oh, oh!” I exclaimed, perking up immediately.”Does she ever say stuff like ‘Let’s not meet at the park next Thursday because I sense rain…’ or are you ever tempted to ring her up with those day-to-day parenting dilemmas like ‘Should  I put Baby C down for a nap at home now and be late for my lunch date or should I run the risk of her not sleeping in the car and be on time?’ or even ask her what the hell to make for dinner tonight? Or… or… or…”

I might have gone on (and on) with that oh-so-amusing tangent, except L-Beer told me to Stop Right There, Sister-Girlfriend-Cousin-Whatever because the Psychic wasn’t the night’s biggest “reveal”. That came from an even more unassuming woman who owned up to being a Dominatrix.

“Aarrrrggghhh!” I shouted, literally beside myself with excitement by now. “Does she dress her baby in leather onesies? I can bet there’s one household where the Naughty Spot’s not just a chair in the corner but a room with chains and spikes and…. Oooh, does she ever say stuff like ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’? Do you think she ever threatens anyone with the whip?? Hmmmm, I guess you could count on her children being extremely well-behaved. And… and… and…”

I started groping around in my handbag for my pen and paper to  a) write some of this Comedy Gold down before I totally forgot it and b) to get L-Beer to sign some kind of release form to allow me to use it on my blog. 

“Wowzers!” I enthused, looking up from my notebook temporarily and noting the rather bemused and possibly frightened look on L-Beer’s face. “This blog post is writing itself!”

As it turned out, the blog didn’t exactly write itself and as usual I’ve had to “write it in fits and starts… with small children dangling off me like christmas decorations” (just to somewhat tragically quote myself – see “The NDM Guide to Blogging“).  And doesn’t it just show? But I love it how, just when I think I’ve come to the end of my bloggin’ road, I have a conversation like that one or the cat walks in with a mouse in his mouth or the children get possessed by the devil at the local shopping centre or the Love Bus turns a 3 hour trip into an 8 hour one by breaking down in the middle of nowhere (that post is still to come), and lo! I’m back in Bloggin’ Business, baby.

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