13 Writing

She stared at the blank screen in front of her, willing her brain to imagine a story that her fingers could type out. After all, how hard could it be to write a novel? Jeffrey Archer and Jordan could do it!

The screen remained stubbornly blank and she scowled at it in frustration.

What she needed was a cup of coffee, she decided. Yes! A good dose of caffeine was get her brain working.

Leaving the laptop open on the couch so that she could get right back to the business of writing as soon as she had made her drink, she headed into the kitchen. As she waited for the kettle to boil, she gazed out of the windows into the back garden. It was a beautiful spring day, and there was blossom on the cherry tree and crocuses everywhere. Two squirrels were chasing each other through the branches of the old apple tree.

The kettle clicked and she turned to pour the water into her cup. But the cup was empty. She spooned in some coffee, added the water and some milk. Then stood to watch the squirrels still squabbling over a particularly tasty peanut. It was only when she was drinking the final mouthful that she remembered the laptop lying on the couch.

Feeling somehow incredibly guilty about abandoning an inanimate object, she hurried back into the living room, picked up the laptop and settled back onto the couch. Automatically, she reached out for her coffee cup and then remembered that it was sitting empty in the sink. She rejected the idea of going back for another drink. This was the day when the magic happened; this was the day when she began the process of making her fortune!

Being made redundant had hit her in the face like a ton of bricks. She really had not seen it coming, since there was no good reason for the company to 'let her go', however many graphs they showed her that were designed to prove otherwise. Still, her redundancy package had been quite generous and she had her savings. If they were careful, they could manage for a year and she was sure that she would find a new job in less than a month.

And then her husband had said, “Well, it'll give you time to write that book you're always going on about!”

They had both laughed because they both knew that she would never write a book.

After three months, she was less sanguine and more anxious and suddenly the idea of spending her time creating fascinating characters and plunging them into breathtaking adventures seemed much more appealing than hunting listlessly for jobs that did not exist. She had not mentioned it to her husband, though. She had chosen this week because he was away at a conference. With all day and all night to spend with her laptop, she was confident that by the time he returned she would have a fair-sized manuscript to show him.

The only problem was, her mind was as blank as the screen.

Her stomach rumbled, reminding her that it was lunchtime, and she closed the laptop with a sigh. There was no point trying to work with her blood-sugar through the floor, was there?

In the kitchen again, she stared out of the window. The squirrels were still out there, one perched on the bird table stuffing nuts into its cheeks and the other grooming its tail as it sat on a branch of the old apple tree. They reminded her of a couple she had seen in the supermarket at the weekend who were bickering with each other the whole time but in the comfortable way that couples have.

And suddenly she knew what she was going to write about. Just like Beatrix Potter, she was going to write about the animals in her garden. Well, the squirrels, anyway. She would call them... Percy and Alice! And she would chart their whole lives from when they met to when one of them got eaten by next door's rottweiler!

She paused. Maybe it would be better to leave out the rottweiler...

 

13 Writing

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