where the writers are
The invisible writer and putting the boot in

God, what a day. It's really been one moment of crap followed closely by another moment of crap. On the whole. And ooh look another will be joining it shortly. Oh what joy. I am seriously pissed off. I don't know but people have been getting on my wick today, and irritating me beyond measure. Is it Let's Piss Anne Off Day and I missed the national email telling me so?? Deeep sigh ...

Anyway, first off, the ruddy hospital send me another letter telling me to come for a scan in March. Well, I've only just had a ruddy scan last week - what do they want me to buy? A season ticket?? Are my bits just so incredibly fascinating that they must scan them on a monthly basis? Naturally I rang up to sort it out first thing this morning, and the woman on the other end of the line told me there must be something wrong for them to want to bring me in again so soon. Well, that made me feel cheerful, I can tell you. However, after a few moments of hyperventilating and wondering how many days (nay minutes) I might have left to live, she came back and said there was nothing untoward on my notes and it must just be an error. Well, phew. All's well that ends proverbially, but I could have done without the ride. To be honest.

I then attempted to squeeze out some words for Hallsfoot's Battlebut Lordy it's a total struggle today and I can't seem to raise any interest in it at all, let alone inspiration. Whatever that is. I've stretched it out to just (barely) over 94,000 words but that's quite a stretch and I suspect what I've attempted to add will have to be ditched in the eventual edit. And some. Sigh.

My headache really began to build up when I hot-footed it to golf and of course it's half-term so (reasonably enough) there is a plethora of young people on the course. So it took so much longer to trudge round. Added to that the fact that I can no longer open my car boot and therefore cannot get to my golf trolley, which meant I had to lug the damn bag round myself. Totally exhausting, my dears, and my arm aches like anything now. It was gone 1pm before we actually finished.

I then leapt desperately into Godalming to do some shopping I've been putting off for weeks, and then found when I got back that I only had half an hour to eat lunch before going to my Alexander Technique lesson. This gave me just enough time to (a) eat, (b) add another 100 sorry-looking words to poor old Hallsfoot, and (c) ring the garage to ask if I could bring the car round so they could look at my boot lock problem. To which the answer was: yes, anytime up till 6pm and they'd be sure to look at it for me.

I then went and had my AT lesson - which was okay but I wasn't sure I was relaxed enough to take anything in. Let alone how to be relaxed. Even the two calming pills I've taken today aren't helping me there. After that, I got to the garage (Lord, but Guildford traffic is serious crap) at just before 4pm. Only to be told that all the technical people leave at 4pm and can't look at my car until next week anyway. Then why the hell didn't they tell me that on the bloody phone when I rang???!!? God, but sometimes I think I'm totally invisible and nobody pays me a blind bit of notice. Are my perfectly valid questions simply the distant sound of soft bleating to them?? But fear not - I expressed my disappointment in reasonable yet firm terms and did not (as I longed to do) fall screaming to the floor in the ruddy showroom and start biting the tyres of the nearest sales car. Maybe I should have done. The upshot is that I've booked an appointment for the car to have its boot opened in a couple of weeks' time when we're back from holiday - on a day that Lord H can take me in as I couldn't have hired an alternative car apparently until the end of March. God, but it's so bloody complicated. Till then, at least I know the bloody things in the bloody boot are safe, even if the ruddy car gets stolen. Deeeep sigh.

Meanwhile, back at the work ranch, I see the very sweet lady from the Arts Office has sent an email round to the University Book Group telling us that when we're making our choices of the next tranche of books to talk about, we can't choose self-published books, even though last year they looked at "Anne Brooke's self-published novel, A Dangerous Man, as she is a staff member." Self-published?? A Dangerous Man?? I don't think so. Or, at least, it's the first I've heard of it. I'm sure Flame Books would be delighted to find out that their whole company is in fact run by ... me. Even deeeeeper sigh. I sent back a (rather less reasonable, but hell it's lucky I can still put words together in any kind of calm order at all) reply saying that while half of my novels are self-published, A Dangerous Man actually isn't and so was never part of any special dispensation to the rules, and I wouldn't expect to be treated differently anyway. As I has said at the time. Though in actual fact, it's also true to say that all of my available novels bar one are now commercially published, whether by paperback or eBook, and the next one off the press will also be a commercial production. Not that any of this will matter of course, as it now appears that anything I say is disregarded as random witterings or thought not important enough to remember - good to know my invisibility continues to widen its remit - at least something is working in Anne's World then, if only in a negative way ... In the meantime, it would be terribly refreshing if the facts about something I said or produced were actually listened to or regarded as remotely memorable - just once in my ruddy life!!...

In addition to all this, I've just had to speak to the middle neighbour (always tricky at the best of times) who somehow seems rather more tricksy than usual. He said something that particularly irritated me (and believe me my irritation levels are off the scale today, as you can probably tell) and instead of saying something jolly or soothing as I usually do (which is I know what I'm expected as a woman to do and which again he doesn't listen to, as a matter of course), I just didn't reply and stared at him. I think that took him by surprise, and I managed to escape earlier than anticipated, thank goodness. Any more conversation with people of any shape or form and I might just have to punch them, scream loudly and run away. God but that seems like a plan.

And here's today's meditation - the writing of which frankly seems a damn long time ago. Really I am pissed off with the whole of this day already and I want no more of it. I'm tired, that damn headache won't let me go, nobody listens to a word I say, I have the housework to face and I can't even open a bottle of wine any more to take the edge off. Bloody hell.

Meditation 74

The land breathes riches
for six years

and sleeps across your senses
for the seventh.

What you have not planted
will nourish you

and what you release
from your hand

will lighten your weight
upon the earth,

help you to dream again.

But do not fear, people - astonishingly, all is not lost. At the end of all this sludge and existential misery, Lord H has come back from work (hurrah!) and allowed me to pummel his chest in order to get rid of some of the angst - an essential duty which really should be performed by every husband. And I do feel a bit better now. Thank the Lord. Oh and I've had my third chocolate of the day - so my insulin levels will be crap but at least it raises the happy hormones ...

Today's nice things (um ...):

1. Chocolate
2. Lord H
3. Chocolate
4. Lord H.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - if you blink you'll miss it ...