the state of things

 

The Long, Dark Easter Break

by Douglas Lindsay - 22:11 on 02 April 2010

In the midst of a long and dark Easter holiday. The kids have three weeks off school. Three weeks. It has been five weeks since their last week off, so obviously they need the protracted break.

I received an e-mail from a literary agent this week, to whom I had pitched the idea of A Room With No Natural Light. She said that she'd give it a look, but that she thought it a bit "rarefied" for them. Despite the non-enthusiasm of her reply, rarely have I received anything - positive or negative - that induced quite such a feeling of optimism. The notion that I was writing something rarefied.

I met a guy once who said he was a writer. I asked what he wrote and he answered, "Juxtaposition". He was an American Peace Corps volunteer, so I'm sure there was no irony intended. He said juxtaposition as if it was a genre rather than something that might be going on in the book. Presumably I wasn't the only person to whom he'd mentioned this; I was probably supposed to delve further, to establish from him what was juxtaposed next to what. Naturally, being British, I just stood there nodding, clutching my cocktail, pretending that juxtaposition was a genre of writing with which I was very familiar. 'Ah, juxtaposition... One of my favourites.'

Anyway, I've long since forgotten the fellow's name - probably the second I was told it, if my usual memory is anything to go by - but I think he might have given me a steer for my post-Barney career. When people at parties - (I can't actually remember the last time I went to a party, but I expect I'll have the misfortune to attend another one) - ask me if I'm the chap who writes crime novels, I shall casually reply: "Well, I used to, but I've moved on. Now I write Rarefied." And they'll look at me and be terribly impressed, but won't actually want to ask what that is because they'll think they should know.

Either that, or they'll think I'm a wank.

This is, of course, the much-anticipated Dr Who week, when Matt Smith will be unleashed upon television screens everywhere. We have spent most of the week camped out in front of the set waiting for the show to start. The TV hasn't been switched on, we just want to make sure we don't miss any of it.

We bought the Radio Times to read Stephen Moffat's episode guide for the series. Episode Three features the Daleks, who return with what Moffat says will be their 'deadliest scheme yet'. Hmm... The last time we saw the Daleks, they were plotting to destroy all of time and space. All of it. They were going to destroy absolutely everything, every single atom, that had ever existed. This time, however, they're back, and they've got something even deadlier than destroying EVERYTHING IN ALL OF CREATION...

Why does it have to be this way? Why? Why does everything have to be the best ever or the worst ever or the most this or the least that? Can't it just be pretty good? Why can't things just settle for being 'not rubbish'? Can't the Daleks just be back with a really dastardly plot that needn't be compared to any previous plot?

Oh well... School holidays and not much free time, and when I do get free time I'm writing a novel, so not many chances to write down random thoughts. This is just like the worst blog. Ever.

Comment from Snudger Trubshaw at 20:09 on 04 April 2010.
Yeah I know what you mean, why can’t the Daleks come back and we go to, say maybe beige alert. We may be only in entry level or moderate peril.
Comment from Trevor at 01:40 on 06 April 2010.
As with most things wrong in this world I blame Rupert Murdoch.

I believe Sky started it all with it's over hyped 'Super Sundays' where Man U play Chelsea or Hull play Stoke etc etc. I'm sure I've seen plenty of football games both live and on TV where I went through the full gamut of emotions without needing someone telling me that it was 'Super' or the best ever game I'd ever watched ever ever.

I've gone off the point a bit, but I imagine Murdoch would love the overstated claims of the Daleks latest attack. I suspect Sky news would bill the Dalek plans as Super Apocalypse Monday..

Besides, (and I know it's a bit clichéd now) but I've still never worked out how the Daleks do stairs.

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