Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Working Writer: A Good Day

So what does a typical day in the life of a working writer in Botswana look like?
Let’s see….
I woke up, finally, with the second half of one of the stories I’m working on for the new SA/PEN competition sitting at the front of my brain. I have had the first paragraph (a lovely first paragraph, if I do say so myself) on my desk top for three months. But as all writers know- a paragraph does not make a story. A paragraph without a plot is almost worse than nothing- it nags at you unrelentlessly. But my subconscious has been battling with the problem and this morning kindly popped out an answer. I’m letting the answer swirl around my brain for a few days hoping it will lead to a couple hours of writing bliss. The kind of writing where the words just flow onto the page and you reread and think- “Who wrote that?”
I checked my email. There were two – that is strange since I did my whole Oprah/ Secret Ritual Dance Thingy last night and expected at least two acceptances in my email. They were not there. That can’t be- Oprah said it works. Oprah does not lie. One of the emails was the Spam Report and the other was from an editor checking if my email is working because her emails have been bouncing back for a week. A week?? YIKES! How many Oprah/Secret acceptances are floating around in cyberspace for me??? As I speak, the editors are saying-“Damn that story by Lauri Kubuitsile is good, but she seems to have gone missing in cyberspace so let’s take the second best story in the bunch”. BOO HOO! I called the ISP- everything is fine. No, actually not. Very unsettling this situation.
Took the dogs out for our morning walk, worrying the whole way about the email situation and not noticing that it felt decidedly like spring. I came back and got to work with episode 2 of our TV series. Worked on the final edits and sent it off to my partner in crime, Wame. Then began what has now become a part of my daily life. The call to find our cheque. Don’t I love it? NOT. Very spirit killing that. Why can’t I write and be paid? Why?
Then I got to work going through a government tender for another TV scriptwriting job. They really must be joking. Anyway- I sent off a few questions/comments, but am not hopeful. Must I really write two full episodes and 24 synopses before you can see I am a competent writer? For free no less. I don’t think so. Think I’ll give it a pass.
Lunch time. I started cooking, not sure where it was all heading, and I received A CALL. Yes- A CALL. A call to say I won first place in a short story contest that I thought was already announced on the 6th! Yahoo! And there’s money in it to boot (more about this later- not sure if I must keep it a secret). That’s good. Needless to say, the lunch turned into a meat/ pasty macaroni and spinach casserole which can best be described as sustenance.
Afternoon, back to “Where’s that cheque?- the family game show that can bring even the most resolute to tears!!” No luck.
I spent an hour writing this. Then I’m off on a children’s story for a South African book. I’ve had the idea in my head since the weekend, but haven’t had time to write it down. Wame is insisting I enter Journalist of the Year using my FUNA story (about a yucky drink they were feeding to our primary school kids). I’m reluctant. Though I write news articles- it is not my strong suit. Maybe. Will look through the criteria, maybe its time up anyway. ( Am I dodging this???)
That’s about it. I rate it as an 8 day. Would have been a lowly 4 had it not been for THE CALL. Tomorrow, back to the science textbook. Nothing like switching off that fiction mind with a loud, resounding CLICK!
NB: This picture has nothing at all to do with the post. I just wanted a picture and it was between this and the zebras having sex, which I'm saving for something special. This is me last December at the beach in Namibia (my favourite place) spending most of my AngloPlat money.

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