Kit over at Kit Courteney Writes has passed me an award that apparently stands for integrity, commitment to excellence and stubborn optimism, and means I get to fill you in on five obsessions of mine. I then get to choose five victims, um, five nice blog folk to ask what makes them tick as well. An opportunity for writing and being curious! Bring it on.
NB: It has actually been harder than I thought to write down true obsessions. I like a lot of things, but I am not obsessed by any of them. So the things below are the closest I have to obsessions and rituals.
One: My novel
I think about it day and night, to be honest, which is a perfect example of an obsession! It will pop into my thoughts in the morning, while on the tube, at work, in meetings, on the tube again, in the evening, before bed. I think about it far more than I seem to do any work on it.
Two: Story ideas
If I am not thinking of the current novel, then I am thinking of other story ideas. I usually have a few going around the merry-go-round that is my mind, and sometimes I stop the ride and examine one idea, play with it awhile, add a few embellishments and then send it off again. After a while of doing this (it could be years) I will pull it off the ride completely and write it down. That is the best example of how I get ideas for stories.
Three: Second-hand book shops
I can’t pass one of these (or an antiques fair) without stepping inside. I simply can’t – what if one of these shops has a Graham Oakley Church Mouse book that isn’t £30? What if they have the 1965 Fontana editions of Agatha Christie books? What if they have the red Tiswas annual? What if, what if… no matter where I am, I will have to have a look. If the shop is closed I will stand mournfully outside, nose pressed against the window, in the manner of a Dickens urchin at a bakery window.
Four: Making a cup of tea as soon as get to a B&B room
I love staying in hotels and B&Bs, and one of the first things I always do is seek out the little kettle, awkwardly fill it with water from the sink, stare in bemusement at the walls until a plug socket reveals itself, and make myself a cup of tea. I then perch on the end of the bed with my cuppa, and eat the little free biscuit, and everything will feel all right with the world.
Five: My Remembrance Day poppy
I buy a red poppy as soon as I see a poppy seller. I carefully attach it to my coat and stride off for the day. When I look down again the poppy will be gone, and I will have been proudly wearing a pin. I will then buy another poppy. And so it will go on. So far I am on poppy number three, and I am not even sure it is still pinned to my jacket. I will have to go and check, and later no doubt I will have to buy another one. I don’t want to buy a poppy badge, as ultimately I think I give more money this way, so really everyone is a winner. Just don’t frown at me when you see me without a poppy, I will have no doubt already donated a tenner.
And so, I nominate A Letter From Abroad, Aspiring Writer, A Rose Beyond the Thames, Music Obsessive (should be easy for you!) and A Cat of Impossible Colour. Please don’t feel you have to by any means, but if you fancy sharing your obsessions please go ahead!