I wrote a post about gun laws, but I’m not going to post that today. Another day perhaps, maybe later in the week.
The truth is I’m tired.
I’m too bogged down with what is going on in my own life, in my immediate vicinity, to make the effort to scream across the water at America about their societal issues.
I’m sad. I’m very sad.
The black dog has been seeping slowly in and all my strategies have done nothing to stem the flow.
I can’t bear to look at another “be thankful”, “have gratitude”, “think positive” meme. It is all so trite. And unconscionably unhelpful.
A depressed person is almost incapable of being grateful or thinking positively. Life, on the inside of my brain at least, totally sucks right now. And you know why, dear reader, because I’ve recently written about that.
The stress of what is going on is causing me to not sleep. I’ve never really suffered from insomnia before. You insomniacs out there – how on earth do you manage? I am struggling with it. Big Time. By the time I eventually do fall asleep in the early hours of the morning, I am exhausted. The waking up is even worse. The making it through the day is even worse still. And all I want to do is eat. I am stuffing my face until my stomach is yelling at me to stop, but my brain is saying “Shut up, she needs more energy and by god she is going to eat.” And then the cycle starts again that night.
A couple of nights ago, I had to get up. I simply could not lie there any longer.
As I walked past my study I noticed my computer had not gone to sleep either. A metaphor perhaps. Maybe an omen.
Either way, I decided to sit down at my desk and write. I wrote first in one of the gazillion journals I have bought over the years and never ever filled. Each one has its first few pages scrawled with my ramblings, never to be picked up again. I am at least consistently inconsistent, if nothing else.
From my journal, with my computer still flickering on at me, I decided to type.
I have had a story for a book rattling around in my head for some time now. The thing is, I have always wanted to write – be a writer – a traditionally published writer – with a book. My problem is that I can never seem to create whole stories in my head. I have lots of sparks, well, embers really, but nothing prances forth fully formed. And so I never do write. I blog instead, to satiate my brain who yells at me all day to “Write woman! Just damn well write!”
But the other night, I was too tired to argue with my brain about how non-literary I am, or how uneducated I am, or how I am not a good writer, or how I am not worthy to even call myself a writer. Instead I just wrote. And below, is a very long read for you reader, of my stream of consciousness writing about my character Arabella Brown. It is likely to make no sense to you – it hardly makes sense to me. But after writing this, I was able to get into bed and sleep like a baby. That alone makes my mad ramblings worth it.
I’m putting her out into the world for posterity really. I don’t want Arabella to be completely unknown, and to die inside my head. And so here she is. Remember – stream of consciousness, utterly unedited, writing here. No judgement about my grammar, particularly. Don’t feel you have to read it through. It’s just here, no longer imagined, now a reality, sort of.
Where do I find you Arabella Brown. Who are you and where do you live. What is the life you want to live and do you want to leave the life you have to live it. Can you take the life you have with you and just live it elsewhere. Honestly, where is the fun in that?
I am Sarah and I want to live my life by the sea, with a view of the ocean in a little village where you have nosy neighbours who are friendly and who notice when you are ill. I want to live the life of the writer, but what on earth to write about. I don’t know if I have any stories left in me, if indeed I had any to begin with.
Do I have any stories and if not, why then do I feel the burning need to write all the time. Ever since I was little I wanted to write, but I am intimidated by the fact that everyone wants to write, and the fact that I am probably not very good and I do so want to be good at something. Can I just write drivel for the rest of my life. Is drivel writing an acceptable past time I wonder. Is drivel writing even a thing? If it isn’t a thing, it should be a thing. I should definitely make drivel writing into a thing. Actually, I think the internet beat me to it.
Getting back to my fishing village. Should it be in Cornwall? I did love Cornwall, but perhaps it is too hilly. I don’t much like walking up hills. Perhaps Devon then. A lovely seaside village near Devon. Should I own a bookshop. I have always wanted to own a bookshop. Perhaps I should run a local writing group. I’ve always wanted to belong to a writing group. Perhaps we could be a mystery writing group, except I don’t much like thrillers. I don’t like the suspense, you see. My constitution really can’t stand it. It’s a sort of a PTSD reaction to the dark side of life you understand. And so it is I have a nervous disposition.
So I’m living in a village in Devon, running a bookshop, a second hand bookshop, with a shelf set aside for local authors, who are mostly terrible, but who are published, so they are doing better than I am, and so my jealousy burns inside of me. I run a writers group, which is less of a writers group than a stuffy gossip group, but I keep it going because, well, because it gives me some sense of belonging, and if I am honest, some sense of importance. I think I am writing about Arabella Brown now.
What about if the adventure comes to Arabella Brown, rather than she go to it?
Anyway, I’m running this bookshop, and I do love my books, because I do consider them my personal collection. I also run a children’s reading group too, though the children annoy me, and trying to get them to understand the importance of reading in this technological age, is like to trying to get someone with a thermomix to churn butter by hand. Speaking of technology, I receive an email. A famous author, eccentric thing that he is, has decided to use my bookshop as the launch of his new book. We don’t even stock new books. Apparently he came in one day a few months ago as he was passing through, because people only pass through our sleepy village since there really is nothing to do here. The beach requires considerable effort to get to, hence the stunning view from the bookshop, where I have placed two beautiful chesterfield sofas so people can relax and enjoy their secondhand books whilst also soaking in the view. The only problem is that mostly people don’t buy the books, they read them, and hand them straight back, cutting out the middle man – me.
So this author is wanting to do his launch in my shop, sitting on my chesterfield sofas. The publishing house is prepared to pay me what amounts to a months rent for the pleasure and they will organise everything, even the food. All they ask is that I promote it in my shop. I ask how many people they are expecting as my shop is very small and stuffed to the brim with books, and my little village is not very big at all, since we have nothing here of any interest. They don’t reply to that question, only that they will confirm the time closer to the date.
I reluctantly agree. I really don’t like the idea of this famous author. For a start, he writes mystery novels and I don’t much like mystery for the aforementioned reasons of having a weak nervous disposition, but I suspect my writing group will be very happy. I have also read he is very arrogant. And I really don’t like arrogant people.
The posters arrive in the following two days. I pop them in the window and my tiny little shop has never seen so much traffic. I astutely fish out all of the author’s past novels and place them strategically around the shop (there are quite a few to my delight). They are bought up in no time, since the chesterfield sofas are now full of people and so people are forced to buy my books because they can’t read them at the shop. This now means that the next two months of my rent are pretty much assured. This makes me very happy.
My best friend has just returned from a holiday to Europe. She is always swanning off to Europe. The only place I have been is to Paris and quite frankly I desperately did not want to return, even though the Parisians were very rude, though this may have had something to do with me complaining about uncooked pizza at a Parisian restaurant. Anyway, my friend has just returned from Europe. She went to Croatia which is fast becoming the go-to destination of the lily white brits. I’m not sure if I fancy Croatia. There are some dodgy builders in our village who apparently hail from Croatia and they are never very friendly, and with my Parisian experience still ringing in my ears, I’m not sure my nervous disposition could take another run in with a european foreigner.
My friend, who is worldly wise, is VERY excited about the author coming to visit. She is recently widowed, though she isn’t overly sad because her husband wasn’t very nice to her at all. He died suddenly of a heart attack, releasing her from his clutches, and leaving her quite wealthy in the process. At the funeral I swear I saw her do a half skip jump behind the Hearst, though it could be my imagination.
My friend is worrying about what to wear. I remind her that the event itself is some months away, and that she has plenty of time to find suitable attire. Finding suitable attire had not even occurred to me and I look down at my brown skirt, sensible shoes and green jumper and wonder if perhaps I blended in too well with the decor and the chesterfield sofas. I came to this village to escape life, and I realise that perhaps I have become too invisible. Still, the idea of this author is causing me some stress as I do not want the attention. I have a secret and I don’t want anyone to know, though I am keeping this very much under wraps (is this too predictable – possibly – Do I want a secret? How about I just have a dodgy hoarding problem, hence the very cramped bookshop? I may need to work on this idea a bit more?)
It’s now 1:33am. I had better get to bed, but I’m afraid to go to bed, because I’m liking my sleepy village bookshop with stunning sea views and boring writers/gossip groups and newly widowed rich friend with my on-off maybe-maybe not secret. Where will this all take me? What if I don’t find out in the morning?
I can smell the books you know, in the book shop. It’s crowded in there, and full of dust. But sort of neat, because I am a kind of neat person. But my books are my friends. I don’t often read the books I have, but that doesn’t matter to me. I have them close by because I love all those wonderful minds that penned those wonderful stories and ideas being close to me. I half think that I might land myself an adventure by osmosis.
Sometimes, i will find myself running my fingers over those books, wondering at the lives the authors lived. I particularly like the authors that aren’t all that famous. I love that they still wrote, and yet never did find widely acclaimed fame. In my experience, those are usually the stories most worth reading. Like indie movies.
Once my bookshop did have a tiny movie section, but I ditched it because people wouldn’t pay for them and would never return them. It was a nice idea, but wasn’t to last.
The author calls me. Well, he gets his people to call me and talks to me via his “person”. The conversation goes along the lines of “Mr X would like to know how many books of his new novel you can accommodate and if you will have a dedicated shelf to his works?” I reply by asking if Mr X is sure he has been in my shop because if he had he would know that it is very limited on space. I wait whilst the person relays my question. Then I wait whilst I can hear Mr X relaying what it is he would like to say. I am reminded of paint drying during this process. “Mr X said that he has been in your very quaint shop and would love it if you could move some of your books to a store room so that he can have space for the launch.” I consider the suggestion of the store room. I think of the outside loo. “Will his guests be needing the toilet at all during the launch” There is a pause whilst Mr X’s person considers this. Then more muffled voices, and more noises of Mr X in the background. More paint drying flits across my brain. “Well, he certainly imagines someone will need the loo after the canapés and champagne.” “Then, no, I can’t move any of my books to the store room”. Mr X’s person said that they would arrange a small storage room for my books to make the necessary space.
I am pondering where canapes and champagne will be housed, when my friend walks in. She has to flit off to Spain and wants to check the dates of the launch. Whilst I am very grateful for the money that the launch has brought in, I am starting to grow weary of all that it is beginning to entail. I desperately wish to flit off to Spain myself.
And this is where I end because it is now 1:45am and I am tired, and I need to sleep because I am losing the story line. I hope that I can pick it up tomorrow.
I’m loving my bookshop. Should I call it the Book and Bean, or something more quaint. Read’s Books perhaps. Brown’s Books. Since my name is Arabella Brown. Or what about Bella’s Books. No, Brown’s Books. More in keeping with her dowdy or subdued way of living. And does she, do I, have a secret. I want a secret, but I want it to be something exciting and not predictable. Like being a spy, which is why I don’t like mystery novels. Can I be a spy. No, maybe not a spy. I don’t know what I will be, but I’ll think of something.
Bloody hell Sarah, it is now 1:58am – GO TO BED!!
Until next time,