Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Curse Of The School Trip


It was the desire to check my e-mail that levered me out of bed this morning. I dreamt about all my current submissions getting back to me with refusals, and thinking this was some kind of omen, I crawled out of bed and switched on my PC. There was, of course, nothing.

I got ready for work, delighted that I ironed my shirt last night instead of leaving it until this morning, and walked to the bus stop in a glorious morning sunshine. I can feel a cold coming on (have been since Monday) and hopefully some warm weather will help. I boarded the bus and decided the upstairs would be better compared with the trapped heat on the lower deck.

I took my seat on the right hand-side and settled into my seat. The window above me was already open and allowed a gentle breeze to filter over my baldy napper, and the warmth from the sun kept my skin pleasant without overdoing it. There was nobody else on the top deck; it was quiet and peaceful and just the exact amount of relaxation I needed before getting to the office.

I had previously loaded my phone up with some mp3's of a trip to London last summer when I went to see Madness. I inserted my earphones and pressed play; reggae providing the ultimate soundtrack to my journey, which now seemed complete.

I fell into a daydream and began to ponder Hunting Jack; the wheres the whys and the possibilities. A kid got on at the next stop and I vaguely thought it strange given this was a school day. I looked up and saw his pal racing after him, who wore the local school jumper under his jacket.

My heart stuttered.

"Oh no," I muttered.

There then followed a mad rush of around thirty excited kids going on a school trip. My peace was shattered by the sound of rogue children flicking rubbers, shouting above each other, hitting their pals and generally being - kids.

Unable to even hear my music above the sound of the melee, I concede defeat and unplugged my mp3 player. I must have looked a forlorn figure to anyone on the street. My sad round face and cracken neck, surrounded by a sea of blurred red school jumpers and sweaty teachers.

For the first time in years, I was almost pleased to see my office.

It's definitely getting warmer and spring is developing towards summer. Only last week my overcoat was a necessity to shield me from the snow, rain and blistering winds. Now, it is nothing short of a liability and I may have to consider getting a lighter jacket to see me through the warmer months.

I like the heat, but only in moderation. Last year in Florida was a nightmare weather-wise. I don't adjust to the warmth as easily as the cold and I sweat constantly. Pulses of salty water shoot out of the pores in my scalp, over my head and into my eyes. Add suntan lotion into the equation and it's a wonder I'm not blind.

I much prefer cool weather going to work. Luke-warm air coupled with the odd gust of a breeze will do me fine. I like the cold too. It's easier to get warmer than to cool down. The cold keeps the streets clear but the heat has its advantages too. The ladies come out in the sun and brighten the place up, which is always good.

I'm thinking about pulling Bill McCarty from the production line. It doesn't seem to be working on any level and despite several re-writes, it just isn’t fitting the bill (no pun intended). I think it may work possibly as a character or pattern of events in a larger piece of work, but as a short story, I think it's time to put it in the 'On Hold' folder for the meantime.

I think my contract with KIC could be up for renewal within a month to six weeks so I want to have HJ wrapped by then. If I need to go over the 9-month mark I'll have a better idea once I'm nearer the end. If I don't then I won't renew. The story will be told and if it works out the way I intend it will be a rounded finish. I'm reluctant to tie myself down, however. Jackie has surprised me before and I should be prepared for the eventuality that something happens on the journey to the end.

There are plans afoot for KIC to publish e-books related to the serials. I'm thinking about it. It would involve a parallel story running based on the serial and with some of the same characters. It's an interesting concept and I'll have to have a good think before committing. I like the idea though, but only if the story fits and doesn't retract from the main plot.
Colin 10:39 am


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