What I am not doing is procrastinating

Okay, I am. A bit. Although it’s less procrastination than fear that I may have entered a form of mad neurotic writing overdrive that will lead to a Back To The Future improbability that could cause the end of the world. I am writing about 2,000 words a day. Oh yes!

Whether or not they are good words is another matter. First reader, who possibly reads this blog, is probably being too kind. No matter, editor person, who also may read this blog, but it’s not very likely, is it, given how busy editors are etc, is not going to be too kind and is going to require the best possible book. So that’s all right then.

And road-testing recipes. The inimitable Kate was press-ganged into eating the apple and blackberry sponge. She’s still alive and still talking to me, so I assume it was okay. I’d rather hoped it would be superlative but you can’t have everything. Friend of short-standing (as opposed to short stature, she is of average height) has been sampling grape-thinning and redcurrant jelly. She said it was ‘yummy’ which I think is an imprimatur of excellence. First reader, who is coming in for a lot of odd requests, also road-tested the plum curd, and described it as delicious, so that’s all good.

I sound like a little hive of productive activity don’t I? But part of that a cappella murmuring is my neuroses having a field day, which is induced, in part, by imminent birthday and evidenced by the frantic exploration of the outer limits of cupcake invention. There are not going to be any cupcakes in the book, and that makes it difficult to explain why there have been six different kinds of cupcake in my kitchen this week.

Finally, after all that effort, Friday’s inspiration turned out to be the best, so I shall be celebrating my natal day with walnut and vanilla cupcakes with brown sugar fudge icing.

At which point you will realise that this post has almost nothing to do with writing because I am heartily sick of said subject, but still, let me try to creep up on the it in a roundabout fashion.

Saturday was Book Club day. We discussed Brick Lane. I admitted that I had failed to read the book three times previously and only got through it this time because it was Book Club. Another reader admitted she’d not got far into it the first time she read it either. We both agreed that we were glad we’d persevered this time, as once the first three chapters are over, the book really picks up both depth and pace. The humour, touted on the back of the jacket doesn’t really evidence for a bit longer but when it does, it’s delicious.

I still think this novel has a mediocre opening chapter, but from 25% of the way into the narrative, it’s the kind of book you’d carry on reading in an earthquake. I found some of the characterisations mordantly vicious and some of the characters utterly lovable and might even go and read some more Monica Ali. When I’ve finished baking, that is …


  1. Summer Ross
    3rd September 2010

    I can’t even pull off 2000 words a day, I’m learning from you and others, cause come NaNo in november I want to be able to reach the goal. Props to you for writing anyway good or bad

  2. Kay Sexton
    6th September 2010

    Summer, no worries, NaNo will get you there! Some people are sniffy about NaNo but I can now confidently state that they are not the people who have been contracted to write 50,000 words of quality prose in two months (ie me) and that NaNo novels, in themselves, may be pretty rubbishy but NaNo skills are somewhere up there with grails and winged sandals when it comes to value.

  3. Susan Woodring
    17th September 2010

    I just discovered your blog–I love the tone of it! Its energy and humor!

    So amazed at anyone who can write and cook. I’ve never managed 2K a day or anything close to those wonderful cupcakes. Something to aspire to on both counts.

    I agree with you on nano–I’ve written three horrible novels that way, but have learned plenty in terms of writing habits.

    Winged sandals–yes! Love it!!


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