the state of things

 

Incident At Black Rock

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:22 on 02 November 2008

Despite the school holidays last week, I managed to get work going properly on The Final Cut. The initial process of going over the already-written manuscript, known as Limited Edition, and making the fairly sweeping changes that I think are going to be necessary. It was only for a few hours one afternoon, while I was in charge of four kids, but it was a start, and made me feel positive enough about what’s already there from the original text. I extracted a quote that I really liked for the Quote of the Day page - actually it was the Quote of the Day from Friday, but I decided to leave it there all weekend. It’s snappy, as was much that I went over, so I’m encouraged.

The problem with the book was always the stupid plot. A committee of old men trying to overthrow the Queen as the head of the Church of England... In a Barney Thomson novel? The final climatic scene featured a meeting involving among others, the Queen, the Pope and Barney. Never has the question what was I thinking? been more appropriate. Anyway, I have a much improved plot in mind for The Final Cut, a bit more relevant to the series.

My few hours of work were briefly interrupted when one of my kids banjoed one of the other kids over the head with a Wii handset. It was the kind of injury that probably happens all the time with Wii. It was also the kind of incident that makes me hate being in charge of Other People’s Children. You’re sitting there quite happily, when all of a sudden the cry goes up from upstairs. Black hawk down! Black hawk down! You think, aw crap, and strangely immediately hope that it’s one of your own kids who’s been hurt because you know how to deal with them. Your heart sinks when a kid from another family hoves into view and you’re the only adult in the vicinity.

I’m still haunted by an incident five years ago when a wee Korean kid who was playing in our house - for the one and only time - smacked her head off a window, and she staggered into my office looking like something out of a horror movie, blood cascading down her face and dripping onto the floor. Couldn’t get hold of the mother, and there I was, trying to comfort someone else’s five year-old wee girl. That, my friends, is the definition of Hell.

Anyway, last week’s Black Hawk turned out to be fine, despite the egg shaped bump that immediately formed on his napper. I made sure he wasn’t concussed - like I can properly check for that - and went back to work.

The main thing however - well, one of the main things along with the fact that my kid hadn’t actually killed my friend’s kid which would have been really awkward and embarrassing - was that The Final Cut is properly underway. Now there’s a whole six weeks before the Christmas school holidays to get the job done.


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