Tuesday, 2 October 2012


The cats are worried because my writing mojo appears to be low on fuel at the moment. Well, Phoebe isn't worried because she is generally aloof to my artistic angst, but Tybalt and Pandora are fretting because when I am not being distracted by writing, I am usually interfering with their lives by a) trying to persuade Pandora to enter Britain's Got Talent with me in a human-cat dance combo, or b) following Tybalt into cupboards to see exactly what it is that makes him so cupboard fixated.

Hence they have been suggesting writing projects for me, in the hope that I will hie me back to my arty-crafty writing room and leave them to follow their feline habits in peace i.e eating, sleeping, chasing Mr Light, and kicking cat litter all over the floor.

'How about a story about a cross-dresser detective thriller?' says Tybalt. 'With a main character called Dragatha Christie?'
'Hmmmm...' I say. 'Sounds mildly amusing. But I think I might get sued.'
'Or a story about a teacher who sees how much she can swear under her breath in class before one f her students hears her?' suggests Pandora.
'A bit too autobiographical,' I say.
'What about a short novel about a Prince who narrowly misses becoming King?' continues Tybalt, hopefully. 'You could get Andy to do the illustrations.'
I give him a withering stare. 'I've already got that T-shirt,' I say.
'Well, you should write a book about it then,' says Tybalt.

'How about, ' I say, 'I write a guide on how to train one's cats to show better manners and respect towards their owners?'
'I'm only trying to help,' says Tybalt. 'You always seem out of sorts when you aren't writing.'
'I'm writing now, ' I say. 'I'm blogging.'
'It's hardly proper writing though, is it?' says Pandora. 'I mean, most of it is drivel, isn't it, with the occasional crazy rant thrown in for variety.'
'It's very good quality drivel,' I say. 'Many people would give a lot to be able to write drivel like this. I can think of at least 100 people I teach every day for a start. And that's not including staff.'
'There's always the old fall back of the hamster/vampire conceit,' says Tybalt. 'Only 4 weeks to Hallowe'en.'

I sigh. 'Yes,' I say. 'Good old Hampires. But I don't know. Don't you think writing stories about Hampires is a bit, well, flimsy? I can't help think I ought to be doing something more challenging. Something more political, for example. Or philosophical.'

Pandora's yawn says it all. She's right, of course. I have to write silly stuff because it makes me cheerful. I mean, could you imagine having a writing career constructing speeches for the likes of Milliband and Balls, that famous firm of purveyors of rhetorical fantasy? No, me neither.

'Okay,' I relent. 'I'll give Dragatha Christie a shot and see what happens.'
'Murder most horrid, I reckon,' says Tybalt, as he slopes off to explore, once again, the land of the cupboard under the stairs.

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