This is normal?

I suppose I’m back to normal this weekend. That is, if the meaning of ‘normal’ can be stretched to mean I have to spend today collecting cobweb spray from the sorting office, searching for a Hearts FC top in all the charity shops between here and Edinburgh Castle, buying a birthday present for someone whose birthday has suddenly turned out to be tomorrow although I thought it was some time off yet, and adding the statutory 2,000 words to my NaNoWriMo novel. Incidentally, I think ‘The cobweb spray is at the sorting office’ sounds just like one of these sentences spies use to identify themselves. It invites a reply something like ‘Yes, and I have the toy panda in a bag at home’, which is indeed also true.

I expect tomorrow to be normal in a similar way to today, in the sense that I will spend at least part of the day sticking odd socks to a piece of hardboard to make an element of a pantomime set.

As predicted, writing my latest novel has become easier as I go along. I think it’s partly because it now seems possible that I will reach the end, partly because I had to write an action scene right in the middle which carried me over the awkward 25,000 word bump, and partly because I now know the characters a lot better and can predict what they’re going to say in certain types of situation. When I accidentally watched 5 minutes of ‘East Enders’ the other night, however, I realised that this kind of predictability can be extremely dangerous for a writer. In the case of ‘East Enders’ it seems to have reached the point where someone who doesn’t even know anything about what’s happening or about the characters – or care about them, for that matter – can predict exactly what they’re going to say next. Maybe that’s why I regularly watch only 3 programmes on television at the moment. ‘Modern Family’, ‘Young Apprentice’ and ‘Only Connect’, if anyone’s interested!

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