Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 16 August 2012

A Story is Still a Story

Today might not have been a typical working day, but it could prove interesting to you, and a story is still a story, after all.

Today I had a breakthrough with a story that the husband and I have been collaborating on for quite a while. We have come to the final couple of chapters, and we need to go out with a bang. It’s up to me to sort this stuff out, and plot the last twenty thousand words, pull all the strands together and produce a finale.

It’s the end, so it shouldn’t be difficult, right?

Today, I had an epiphany, but it all got a bit complicated.

The whole thing hinged on a map. I kid you not... a map.

That’s fine... A map exists. The city that the entire denouement of this twelve episode epic takes place in already exists, and so does the map for it, which is great, because it simply meant that all I had to do was download the material, print it and take a couple of coloured pens to it to work out the action.

Simple, right?

Simple indeed.

Except... Here’s the thing.

We are an organised household, ergonomic even, which means that every computer in the house shares one printer. That would be OK if our printer would hook up with our wi-fi and interface seamlessly with every machine that wants to interface with it.

You know and I know that in the real world peripherals, and printers in particular, simply don’t operate that way.

The husband is away, and... you guessed it... the printer is hooked up to his desktop computer.

When any of us wants anything printed we simply e-mail it to ourselves, or to the husband if he’s at his desk, and it’s an easy enough job to print it off.

The husband is away in London working for a few days. Sensibly, I suppose, he thought he’d give his desktop computer a rest; he turned it off. Fine... I turned it on; I’m not an idiot, and it’s not difficult; in fact, the husband and I run the same hardware, so everything really ought to run very smoothly.

The problem was that, naturally, we all have our own passwords. None of us can get into each others’ computers without those passwords. What do you suppose the chances are of me remembering the passwords to my husbands computers? Yes... That’s right... ‘Slim to none’. What do you suppose the chances were of the husband being in a part of North London that supports a Vodaphone signal? Yes... That’s right... ‘Slim to none’. Given those two things, what do you suppose the chances were of the husband not being able to pick up a text from me concerning my desire to print maps from his computer for hours, and hours... and sodding hours? Yes... You got... ‘Bloody good!’

So, I have been up since 6 am. I was thrilled to have finished all of my incidental jobs by, oh, about elevenses, which, incidentally, I do not partake of, so that I could get on with a long, and hopefully productive day writing. 

That was twelve hours ago, and I have finally finished printing, cutting and pasting city maps so that I can work out just how to finish these final chapters. I can assure you that it’s going to be bloody good, and I can assure myself that I’m going to have a blast writing it.

In the meantime, I’m just going to remind you that I’ve worked a seventeen hour day today. I sort of wish that I could say that was in any way unusual.

I love being a writer, to the extent that I wouldn’t change any minute of any day of it... not for anything. 

I do urge the rest of you, though, to be very careful what you wish for.

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