The Story thus Far
No, no! The other story!*
Okay. It’s true. I like knitting. I just . . . like it. I like picking up my needles when my frelling computer is taking forever to load—or when I’ve just been put on hold. Arrrrgh. Even with knitting I hate being put on hold. Four years ago, or whatever horrifying number it has become, when I was beginning to gear up for starting a blog, I remember a publishing friend, Miranda, who knits, sending me to Yarn Harlot’s blog as an example of a blog with a Strong Voice (I having been bleating about not really getting it about blogging**) and I was flipping through and laughing somewhat nervously—since I did not knit—but I was briefly paralysed by an entry that began, as I recall ‘I don’t know what other people do when they’re put on hold’ next to a photo of some hideously complex and adorable knitted object. And I thought, I hate being on hold. Hmmmmm.
But I didn’t get any farther with that thought. Well, I hadn’t started the blog yet. I hadn’t cracked under the strain of all those knitters out there. I hadn’t foolishly asked a Crazed Yarn Fiend to be one of my mods.*** I hadn’t met Fiona. I admit that once I had met Fiona, I noticed—one could hardly not notice—that there tended to be a lot of knitting where Fiona was. But I didn’t really register this.
How times change.
* * *
* PEG II is positively pouring, streaming, cascading on at the moment, although this lovely if spectacularly draining phase won’t last. More’s the pity, mostly. If it kept on like this I might even make my original deadline, about which I’ve been making rude noises since last summer . . . but which would probably also kill me, about which see yesterday’s entry on the counterproductivity of offing me. So when it tapers off to a steady trickle all will be well and I will not be crumbling to a few little bits of water-smoothed bone, and will probably live to write ALBION.^ Today was one of the important scenes I haven’t been able to get on with because of that little plot difficulty I referred to. I thought I knew what happened . . . and wow, was I wrong. Well, the result was the same, but getting there was like . . . uh, pegasus rather than pogo stick. Or the world ending in fire rather than ice. Drat. What do I do with all these parkas?
And then I had to close down and go ring handbells. Handbells?! What the freaking frell are handbells and why am I supposed to care? Poor Fernanda was suffering an anaesthesia hangover and I was still out there in la-la-la land^^ so we got off to a somewhat uncertain start^^^ but plain bob major was eventually had by all.
For my next trick I have to decide if I’m going to bring some stuff to sing with me when I go to take a cup of tea off Oisin tomorrow. I told you Nadia told me to keep working on Che Faro but to prepare a folk song too, for variety?# I’ve been vacillating between The Miller of Dee and The Minstrel Boy, but I’m probably better off with The Minstrel Boy, which is not only a full step lower, but less manic.## And if the plug’s been pulled out of the writing wellspring, I can risk composing again. That’s actually been there when the story-writing wasn’t, but I’m still new to composing and I’m not quite sure what goes on in the murky depths of my subconscious and I didn’t want to disturb the creative end that pays the bills. But there’s a little piano piece that keeps bursting out a bar at a time if Oisin isn’t there when I arrive—in which case I rush to his piano and pull out my sheet of manuscript paper—and did I tell you I’d started to write a piece for bass-baritone and organ with soprano accompaniment? Equal time, you know: sopranos get all the fancy stuff. It was originally for bass and organ only but I began to worry that you wouldn’t be able to hear it, except through the bottoms of your feet. I could always do two versions. . . .
^ Which I’m looking forward to. Even if ONE OF THE DAMAR NOVELS is the one making the most noise at the moment. No, no, this is normal for me—the stronger and wilder story-in-progress is, the more I need some other story prancing around like a hellhound with a stick and saying Play with me! Play with me! Which is also one of the supernumerary blecch-nesses of dead zones like the last couple of months: the other stories that I know are out there mostly stay out there. Even if I manage to engage with one, it doesn’t really mean it. It would rather go back to the story-bed and curl up and go to sleep.
^^ Or Balsinland. Note that none of my three Brits knew what ‘space cadet’ meant. Is it a significant cultural marker that Americans say ‘space cadet’ and Brits say ‘away with the fairies’?
^^^ No, no, no, you hold the little leather strap and shake the bell
# I told a friend this and she said, Oh? This Land Is Your Land? Buffalo Gals? No, I said quellingly. Beethoven. Haydn. Vaughan Williams. Britten. Get some couth, woman.
## I keep forgetting to show you the shoes I wore to my first voice lesson. I wanted to omen^ this as well as I was able to.
^ Well it should be a verb. Clearly.
** Hey. It was a long time ago, okay?
*** And I was too naïve to realise that all of blondviolinist’s chirping about Bach was a ploy. That really it was all about knitting.
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