Where do you keep your writer?
Do you keep it in a room? Do you hit it with a broom? Would you place it in a box and cover it with heavy rocks? Could you, would you, squash it flat and post it to a democrat? If your writer makes a noise, do you feed it fresh porpoise?
Right. That’s enough of that. That’s just silly.
I have a room, in which I write. Since I moved into this house that room has been a mostly empty place where junk piles up and forms habitats for lurking shadows. Save for a desk and a seat it has been very little of anything useful. In this it has accurately reflected my writerly state of mind.
Except now I want to change it. I want to customise it. I want to turn it into a proper place. It is my 2016 project*. A better man than I, if there is one, which there probably isn’t, would likely take a week off and get the job done. I haven’t got the time, energy, or money to do that. Instead I’ll make a change at the start of every month through the year. By Christmas, it will be a different room.
Apart from clearing the room down, this month’s addition has been shelves to put books on, including my own. I have a brag shelf again. Next month? I may frame and hang another picture. Little steps. For now, shelves, a desk and seat, a beanbag for handwriting in, and a framed rorschach-style print my wife gave me a couple of years ago.
Today, being the first proper day of 2016*, is also when I start the year’s business. Kirsty bought me (after careful consultation), the trail shoes below. They have one job – to get me through the Mighty Deerstalker race in March. If the weather holds, I may field test them tomorrow. In an actual field. Mud will happen.
I will also now begin my new writing plan. More on that in the next day or two.
Not that you care about any of that, because David Bowie. I told him. That David Bowie. “Don’t you die on my birthday,” I said to him. “You know what’ll happen if you die on my birthday. Nobody will even read the press release about how old I am. It’ll be ‘Space Oddity’ all bloody day, everywhere I turn.”
David Bowie nodded, all enigmatic and stuff. Then he died on my birthday.
Well, all right. He died the day before my birthday, factoring in a few hours for the news to break so people would be all over it by the time I woke up. Always one to think ahead, that David Bowie. Proper visionary and all that.
Bloody attention whore.
Oh all right then. He was good, that David Bowie. An always dissatisfied inventor of new things. Can’t feel too gutted for him, given the extraordinary life he’s had and the vast legacy he leaves behind. And it’s not a bad thing that on this one day there is more of his music playing than you can probably imagine. If space aliens from actual outer space passed by today, they would…
Be a bit baffled about what’s going on, probably. No context for David Bowie, those space aliens. He’s an entirely human sort of creation. Not something that you can really have a frame of reference for if you’re a space alien.
Still, they probably wouldn’t think the world seemed too bad a place. A little bit strange. A little bit magical. Yeah, he did all right, that David Bowie. Not bad at all.
*My year never really starts until my birthday, a consequence of it being immediately on the horizon as soon as the fresh annum begins. You know that awkward week of dead time between Christmas and New Year? I have a second week of similar listlessness between New Year and my birthday. It’s odd, but true. Things don’t really start for me until the 11th.