|My approximate face|
I think you will agree that neither of these states is ideal and that, left to myself, I would wear my pants on my head even more than I do. I would like the pencils up the nose and the hopping to be taken into consideration in this. So, you may ask, but probably from a safe distance, what keeps me hanging on to the tiny little bit of sanity that is left to me, by my fingernails and a short, but snappy, amount of knicker-elastic?
Friends, basically. Work friends, writing friends, old friends that I have known for more years than any of us like to count, but we remember the days before photocopiers, when school handed out Roneo'd sheets that were purple and smelled of alcohol. RNA friends. New friends. People whose names I am not certain of, (actually, given my tendency to forget almost anything that isn't written down on the back of my hand, these also occur in the aforementioned groups too...) but whose dogs I know. People who see me in the street and ask after my writing, or the most recent book and whose faces I vaguely recognise, but cannot remember whether they are friends of friends who I might have met at a party, or someone who serves me in the Post Office.
|These are some of my children. I include this picture to remind myself what they look like in case one of them asks after my writing. One of them is also a writer. See if you can guess which one...|
I know I am lucky, because I have all these things. Friends, I mean, not the biscuits and disgusting hands. And being friends with a writer is not an easy task (see above, re curmudgeonly, pants on head, talking to self, etc), so if you find yourself inadvertently being friends with a writer, just remember the following points:
Speak slowly (and sometimes fairly loudly)
Make no sudden movements
Carry chocolate at all times
Be prepared to listen to long, long....long and sometimes rambling discourses about the behaviour of people you have never met and may not exist.
If you ask how the writing is going, be prepared to run very fast. Chocolate is a handy distraction here, a writer cannot pursue you whilst stopping to pick up a large bar of Dairy Milk
Never ask why they haven't given up the day job yet.
And to my friends, thank you. You know who you are. Even if I don't.