As usual, an email from Elberry found me elbow deep in the compost heap of my own scribblings. I don’t know what I was doing there. It’s such a festering mound of old prose, unpolished stories, and novels that have far to go before they can even be considered ‘half-finished’. You see, I’m troubled, dear Madeleyites. I’ve been troubled for the last few days. It all goes back to my hosting this year’s Galaxy Book Awards.
I managed to get through the show with the minimum of trouble. Bill Oddie was sitting backstage with a dart gun filled with mild tranquilizers. His job was to watch a heart-rate monitor and fire a dart into my buttocks whenever it became apparent that I was getting too excited. It worked well until I watched Russell Brand receive his award for best biography. I was suddenly filled me with such rage that the darts didn’t work. Oddie missed with one which lodged itself into Jordan's forehead. The poor girl was struck dumb. It was left to Dame P.D. James to leap up on stage and pin me down during Russell’s acceptance speech.
Now I’ve had time to calm down, I’m left to reflect on what has been a week filled with unique events.
First there was kindness when help came from a totally unexpected quarter. A complete stranger contacted me and helped me with my search to find an agent.
Then there was helpfulness. The agent rang me and talked to me for 25 minutes during which they gave me some very helpful advice.
Then there was frustration. Back up in Manchester, I was mildly scolded by a producer on ‘Eye of the Storm 2’. If I didn’t need the work, ‘Eye of the Storm 2’ would be looking for another presenter.
Finally, there’s vacillation. I’m considering returning to education. The last week's sequence of events has convinced me that I need to have some direction in my life. There has to be something more than 'Eye of the Storm 2'. And writing blogs is fine but they are hardly the stuff of novels. The agent told me as much, advising me that there’s no book to be made from this blog. It means that I have to rub out 190,000 words from my list of publishable material and to write something big and new.
Which leads me to my hesitation... The local University runs a creative writing course. I’m tempted to apply for it. How I’d pay for it, I have no idea. Whether they’d accept me is open to question. And how this would help me, I’m really not sure. But as I told Stephen Fry when he rang me on Sunday morning, since he's been in America, I’ve been missing that spiritual straight edge to run my pen along.