Friday, 15 July 2011

Write-a-Thon Day #26

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Day #26 Progress: ... enough. Figures, tomorrow.
Objective: +11,700/+30,000

From a purist point of view, not exactly a marathoning post. As a post inextricable from my writerly interiority, however, it couldn’t be less off-topic.

As if having heard the invocation of his 'Writer’s Prayer' from these pages, Neil Gaiman announced today he would be doing another talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival. It was not until this moment that, with creeping horror, I realised quite how far Scotland is from the West Midlands. Though with great clamour of offended keys I protested that the injustices of geography would not see me defeated, I could not help but feel that defeat had already come to pass. Even as I made a spectacle of declared disappointment, it was not like I had for one moment seriously considered I might actually be able to make it. Too far, too expensive, too crazy even for me, and (as is probably clear by now) I am a fair share of that last one.

Yet as I write this with lids barely open against the night, I am clutching against my heart metaphorical a very real ticket. As it turned out, a friend possessed of more faith and sense than yours truly weaved her way around the web enough times to figure out how I might get to Edinburgh without pawning my limbs for the privilege... that's the rationalisation. In real time, I turned into a squeeing, jumping, clapping, tearful mess. Yes, tearful. I don’t think I truly grasped how any of this related to me until I was hit square between the eyes with that blessed confirmation screen. To say that the meeting had morphed in my mind from a fanciful crysalys into a butterfly of flesh and wings might sound preposterous, yet pontificated platitudes are what my mind speaks in when it feels at home.

Desperately Romantic, I know. Whatever. In just over a month, I will be propelling terrified but whole limbs forward, toward one of my few living literary heroes. Talking to rockstars is easy – much as I appreciate their art and respect their talent, I don’t want to be like them. Neil Hannon, although a genius, is to me human, one that I could hug and exchange witty erudite banter with, like a good mate down the pub. But this Neil… breathe, and chant point 7) of 'Do’s and Don’t for Signings' like a mantra:
‘Don't worry. You won't say anything stupid. It'll be fine. My heart tends to go out to people who've stood in line for hours trying to think of the single brilliant witty erudite thing that they can say when they get to the front of the line, and when it finally happens they put their books in front of me and go blank, or make a complete mess of whatever they were trying to say.’
Wonder if I’ll keep cool enough to say how I snapped Neverwhere shut, stared down the wall and muttered, “Damn you, Neil. That’s the book I was trying to write.”

1 comment:

  1. excellent sweety! i am so happy for you:)