Monday, 12 September 2016

J is for Jest

What would life as a modern writer be without the memes? And pimping ourselves? I saw a very funny picture the other day in Facebook. A man was sitting at an outdoor cafe table with a laptop. A big sign said 'Watch me work on my novel'. A jar next to the computer was labelled 'TIPS'.

I have been challenged to replicate this exercise by my friend, a church organist who has offered to meet me on it by putting a brandy balloon on her organ with money in it when she plays at a service. Being just a big kid at heart, I cannot resist a dare. Therefore, I plan to undertake this challenge today. Although the work I have on at the moment doesn't include drafting a novel, I am currently working on the worldbuild for my planned Science Fiction novel, and this has the added advantage of not needing to lug the laptop about. I am reading a vast, scientific tome about wolves on my kindle, and making notes in a spiral notebook, and thinking and planning, and that's all very portable.

First, I must make the sign and find a jar for tips, preferably something non-breakable. I'll need cardboard and a texta or something like that to write on it with. I have a couple of manilla folders which should do for this purpose.

The manilla folder can be easily folded into a shape that will stand up, and happily, my trusty kitchen odds-and-ends board supplies a black texta that's not dead. A spare takeaway container from the plastics cupboard, a little sticky tape and I'm good to go.

In town, Emily and I set ourselves up at the Dunolly Bakery. At this point, I find I have forgotten to bring the Tips jar I so laboriously constructed. However, Heather, our friendly waiter, supplies me with a takeaway cup. A page from my notebook and it's all good.

I don't actually get a lot of work done in the cafe, because of Emily and her Public. But I spend two hours at the cafe, which I think is enough to satisfy my friend's challenge.

There you are - and this, for me, illustrates one of the really important things about succeeding as a writer, at least of fiction - that it is vital not to take oneself too seriously.

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