Work in progress? Well, not exactly; not in this house anyway, and definitely not on this grey March day in the Midlands. Sitting here at my desk, eyes propped open with matchsticks and dreaming of hot buttered toast with maybe just a hint of Marmite, I know it’s decision time.
After a manic burst of activity sending off my chocolate-themed novel to a publisher, posting the same story to the NWS, dispatching a children’s novel about social networking superheroes for editing and finally resorting to tidying my felt-tip collection, I’m now in that messy and uncomfortable place known as a quandary. Even the word sounds squelchy and smelly. Things are getting so desperate I’m thinking I might just forget the writing and have a go at revamping my disastrous blogspots (three attempts so far, two Google, one WordPress; all very dull.) And there’s even some ironing that’s beginning to look quite tempting.
The problem is, what happens next? Is it time to dig out the dusty chapters of my Sex at the Seaside story? And why, you might ask, was it abandoned in the first place? Well, here’s the thing. My hero and heroine, Cassie and Thomas, were about to get to know each other a whole lot better when I left them to stew, and the big issue is that I really want to see my name on the front of a published novel. My real name.
That probably sounds like a perfectly normal wish. And it would be, if I wasn’t a primary school teacher – in a Catholic school. Think of the conversations in the playground. We do a lot of Hail Mary-ing and a fair amount of crossing ourselves, but the parents don’t expect their children’s teachers to write graphically about sex. Our policy is to just say no, quite frankly. Sex education involves a lot of talk of cuddly bunnies and, more weirdly, sticklebacks. Don’t ask.
The chocolate book has got some mildly steamy bits in it but I reckon I might just get away with it if it ever gets on the shelves. Thomas and Cassie are a law unto themselves though – there’s no saying what they’ll do next. He’s a very wicked hero – his clothes just seem to keep dropping off him, and as for Cassie – well, the girl’s no better than she should be. (Cue Catholic-Mammy-type sniff; think Mrs Doyle if it helps.)
Just to make everything even more complicated, I’ve got another finished novel hanging around which isn’t too rude but isn’t actually very good either. It does represent long hours of toil though and some of it’s ok…really…
So, helpful fellow bloggers, these are the choices;
a) start a brand new romance and try to keep it reasonably smut-free,
b) finish the Sex and the Seaside story and think of a really good pen name (such as Ruby Redpants or Nina Naughtybottom),
c) write a sequel to the superheroes story, which obviously has no sex at all because that would be sick and wrong…
d) revamp the not-very-good book,
e) run away to join the circus,
I would very much appreciate your comments. I’m off now to make toast. I may be some time.