In a World Gone Mad: Saturday 16 May 2020
Saturday 16 May 2020
The night before last I slept—six uninterrupted hours and pretty much the same last night.
Yesterday, I fell unconscious at half twelve and didn’t wake until half six. I got up, fed the animals put the washing out and gave Teagan the quickest pee walk, in history. The bloody animal will not, under any circumstances use the yard. It’s great that she won’t use our miniscule garden but, no matter how long we stand in the yard saying, ‘Busy, busy,’ which, according to Max, is the term used for training guide dogs, she will not do any of her business. I don’t care what we say to her, I just wish she’d pee in the yard first thing in the morning. She’s of such a higher intelligence that she knows if she just expands her bladder and ruptures her kidneys for long enough, we will take her out.
Yesterday, I told Max that I have an intense week and he’s going to have to take the brunt of his dad. I locked myself in the office from seven in the morning until nine at night and came out once to eat dinner at half six. Do I feel guilty—do I hell.
I’m at the point where everything Arthur does annoys me. I hear him coming and feel my body tighten. His voice is high, cockney, and grating. It sears through me and it’s not so bad when it’s continuous, but if I’ve had a break from him, when I next hear it, I want to scream. First thing in the morning—I had it this morning—I have the cat screaming at me in one ear and him in the other.
Every flavour is a new sensation which I suppose is endearing and great for him to try everything for the first time, but even that annoys me.
‘What’s this called, lady?’
‘Well I’ve never tasted anything like it in my life—tasty.’
Everything is tasty or tasty, tasty yumyum and he gets fulup.
When we went t Pam’s we bought a bottle of tropical pop while we were getting her milk and Max said, ‘Oh, that’s tasty.’
‘Please, Max, don’t ever say that word again.’
Some people have issues with the word moist, for me it’s Taaysteey.
I’ve worked with Paul on his book the last two mornings. Because I’d had no sleep, I was short and snappy with him the first morning. That’s fine, we always argue when we’re editing. We haven’t done anything on my books for years, but we have an obvious rule, whoever—and no matter how grammatically correct it is, I will not bring myself to write whomever—owns the book gets the final word on any issues. He annoys me when he’s too precious to listen and I annoy him because although he’s already told me that he will have ‘he said, she said’ after every fucking line of speech, I still insist on pointing each and every one out.
Yesterday morning I vowed I was going to be kinder. Despite the bickering, he’d read the two chapters we did, and the book is better for it. I started the last sentence with He said, and on edit realised that it wasn’t necessary and got rid of it. When I read it back the, ‘He said,’ jumped from the page at me. Paul’s book is full of them. His other big one is, ‘had’—the man can put six hads in a sentence and a hundred and six in every paragraph. We met at ten o’clock and I told him that I’m only going to be able to give him one hour a day for the next week to ten days I needed to go at eleven. He was great about it.
However, my laptop is old and knackered it is so clogged and slow that it misbehaves. A point that is going to have to be addressed before I go back to work and start working form home. Skype refused to open. I had to do a restart and it took over half an hour. We started work at ten forty-five and I’d lost nearly an hour of my day. We boxed off two and a half chapters. I wasn’t kind, I was an arse with him, and he yelled at me non-stop.
‘Right, am I helping, or am I just annoying you?’
‘You’re annoying the fucking cock off me Sarah, but it’s what we do. When I tell you I’m not moving that ‘had’ and it stays, don’t fucking spend ten minutes arguing the point, just fucking move on. You OCD bitch. Right get on with it, I hate you now, but when I read it back, I think you’re amazing and I love what we’re doing to my book. Satisfied?’
‘I suppose, but I hate it when you swear at me.’
‘Oh, fuck off.’
I was going to suggest to the boss, rolling this live Skype service out to my clients. After two mornings of Paul and I screaming at each other—maybe not, eh.
Day three and I will be sweet and kind. I will point out every had and he said, because that is my job—and then I will move on. This is my vow.
And although I’m biased because he’s my best friend and taking all bias out of it, he is an amazing writer—his description and language is second to none. His book, Cornerstone will be out in July, look out for it.
I’m working with two incredible authors this week—both with dialogue written in dialect.
My second author—who I love dearly—set me a puzzle to collate chapters into a book from two sources. Some were duplicated, some were missing, and I think I may need a wig to cover my bald patches. For those who read my diaries and think I’m a neurotic nutcase, that is a joke by the way, my beautiful waist-length hair—that is anything but beautiful and looks like a crow’s nest— is intact. I had a great time and got there in the end. The book is collated and I’m ready to begin the edit this morning.
My third book is on hold until the boss has spoken to the client and got back to me. I did four hours on it and had to stop. I started working it and realised it was familiar. The words were different, but the story is the same as the book I did for her two years ago. This was supposed to be a sequel.
I thought she’d copied and pasted swathes of the early chapters from the first book to provide backstory—and I added a comment that it was cheating the reader and she should write every new book fresh. I stopped short of saying that it was lazy and came across that way.
But I was confused. This version had new and better story parts, but the writing was worse than the first draft. She hadn’t taken any of my suggestions. Which is fine, I say in my disclaimer that an author should only take what they like and discard the rest. But not one suggestion was rectified, not even basic typing errors for instance, Hte instead of The. I have no idea what’s going on and it looks as though she’s sent me the same book in a former draft—the storyline is better than the one I did but the writing a lot worse. I skim read both books to see if it is a sequel, but it isn’t.
We offer a second service. if an author gets back to us after first edit, we will do a second edit at half price. Once the wood is clear— we all write a load of shite on first draft that needs to come out— and they’ve taken the suggestions they want. We offer a second, faster edit to correct any additions and see that it’s ready for publication. But this wasn’t the case. It’s a first draft book with no corrections. I’m baffled beyond baffledom.
I had a great day yesterday, it was all a bit one forward and two back, but today I’m refocused and ready to roll.
We were going to have a music night, but Max was too tired. I’d written all day and it was Friday. If you can’t have a drink and a sing song on a Friday, when can you? I only have a drink once a week.
Bebuggered, now it sounds as though I’ve got a drink problem to go with all my other neurosis—I’ll allow OCD, though I’m still in debate with myself about that one, I just have my ways, that’s all. I do things in certain ways and that’s the way they have to be done. If they aren’t done in that way I will meltdown and obsess until they are. Nobody in our house—with the exception of Arthur, he’s oblivious—ever messes with my way of hanging the washing out. To get down the path, Arthur will curl all the washing back on itself, everybody else just flaps it out of the way until they are clear. Andy was so impressed about the socks. He watched me bring the washing in one night, they know not to offer to help. When I got to the socks, all military straight and hung in the same direction toes, heels and tops meeting, I ran along his six pairs and flicked the ends over while they were still on the line so that they are paired and ready to go in his drawer.
I’ll Allow my vomit and phlegm phobia—that’s a biggie and combined with my possibly, possibly not OCD it’s why I get so incensed about Arthur hawking all over the place. Anybody would have a problem with half a mug full of phlegm—but I rank it to the max.
And getting back to the point, I don’t have any issues with drink but chose to only have a vodka once a week. Music night was cancelled, and we watched a couple of episode of Hannibal the series and as usual I saw the first five minutes.
Last night Max said, he loves me. He tells me that most days and I reply in kind.
‘I love you, Sarah.’
‘What do you mean, Why? I just do?’
‘Yes, but you say that and it’s like a mantra, what does it mean?’
‘Stop being silly, you know I love you. It’s hard to quantify, it just is?’
‘I know you do; I’m not saying you don’t, I just want to know why so that it’s more than just words we say. Name three things that make you love me.’
He couldn’t. He couldn’t come up with one, never mind three.
‘Sarah, it’s not about things, it’s just a feeling. Why do we love anybody? We just do, that’s all.’
‘Humour me, name three things that separates your feelings for me from our neighbour five doors down.’
‘I don’t know our—’
Three minutes later he came up with two.
‘I like being with you, most of the time. And you’re more lovely than you give yourself credit for. You make out that you’re not a nice person, but you are.’
He managed two, only two things that he likes about me and it took five minutes to coax that out of him. I could list a hundred things that I like about him and probably about thirty that I don’t, bang, bang, bang without having to think about it.
I want to write about guitars, but I’m not sure if I should. If I do it’s going to be a rant but what the hell, it’s what I do. But my time’s up, Paul will be Skyping me any minute. It can wait until tomorrow.