Managed to get in on a wine-and-nibbles do from the Society of Authors. I note in passing that Dig has probably written about ten million worrds less than me, and most of his wrords were written in the twentieth century, but such is life. He is the author, and it's his name as Member and mine as Guest.
Truly, I do not envy the job. Blogging is my level. Blogging has no plot strands to stitch together. I don't have to think too much and I can wander off to stitch a real book. I can pick up and drop worrdrs when I like. And I have no contract with any reader. I can tell you details of what's on the office desk and I remain untouched as to whether you are delighted or bored. I guess the characters wander about in my world as much as in any wrordy thing, exhibiting all the usual human madnesses of sulk, anger, tenderness, mischief, resentment, regret. But I don't have to fashion their lives and spend hours picking the right expression to make you like them.
Anyway, I went hoping I would get much caustic humour at someone else's expense: meeting a room filled with Ed Reardon types, the average age of which is 60 and the coffee table book Love Your Goldfish the career highlight seemed like promising territory.
There was a bit of that, it is true. I met THE DUCHESS who said I AM A DUCHESS, DID I TELL YOU? I AM A DUCHESS. And then I met the lady who hadn't written as much as an address on an envelope for the last 15 years, and the very elderly lady with poor eyesight who confused me with someone who worked at the British Library.
Wandering about the room again I also met someone who lived in Thailand where it's cheap and, after meeting again with THE DUCHESS, I INHERITED 10,000 IT WASN'T MUCH, I looked about hoping I could quietly watch someone properly triggered off by meeting someone else who was fantastically successful. Because if it's any world like the academic world, underneath the smiles about the contract for My Little Book of Kittens, there are knives. And I know exactly the type of format to bring them out - it's a small room filled with Ed Reardon types who've been sat at a computer keyboard all day long before coming out blinking into the world where they are fed two large glasses of wine and a mini-pizza.