No Break Is Ever Really “A Break”

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[Slams head down repeatedly on desk. Finished, I sit up, half-dazed, and despising the universe. And my mind wanders….]

….That’s bl-ody not gonna work. That bit is awful. It’s the French Revolution, not the Clinton administration!

I’m not a 9th grader. This isn’t middle school creative writing. I’m supposed to be a multiple-degree adult – a serious novelist, writing serious historical-romantic tales.

And that next paragraph is too familiar. Didn’t I pretty much write that same thing in Distances? Accidentally plagiarizing myself? Good grief, that’s pathetic.

Okay, true, it was mine to begin with. So I could only be accused there of being unoriginal. But I also do so HATE plagiarists.

And no way Marie-Thérèse would do that anyway. Not in her household.

I should stop for a bit. Break time. Gotta clear my mind.

I’ll go get another coffee.

[Thump, thump, thump…. enters kitchen.]

And look at that. Those dishes in the sink need doing….

[Turns on tap (“faucet” for U.S. readers) to begin filling English washing up bowl.]

I need to read up on details of how they ate dinner in a middle-class French home around then. That scene doesn’t read as real enough yet for that era.

Why is the water taking so long to get hot?

[Waiting, waiting. Opens coffee.]

Coffee. That coffee house scene with the Irish nationalist. He’s another man. There’s too much with the guys so far, not enough with the women. I have to write more of the women.

Finally, the water’s the right temp….

[Soap, scrub, scrub.]

Sort of like with a reverse James Bond, I want men reading to fall for her, and women to want to be her.

That other chapter at the port still isn’t quite working either. Would an American merchant ship captain really say that? I have check how fast that ship would be, too.

I’ll get ripped to shreds if I write something daft. So many people read so closely. You can’t make even the tiniest slip.

But I do think that Martha Washington reference is funny. I have had a few good ideas. Some of it is coming together.

[Splash, scrub, scrub.]

How can I be enjoying this? I actually am. I must be nuts.

[Glances out window. Pauses. Reflects.]

If I take a detached view, I’m not doing too badly so far. It’s still early days. I’m way ahead of where I’d thought I’d be in late May.

[More soap, and scrub, scrub.]

I also need to double check what travel papers an American carried in 1794.

[Done.]

Washing up completed. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Washing up completed. [Photo by me, 2016.]

And so many of the aristocratic women were named “Anne-Sophie-Adrienne-Louise-Marie-Alexandrine” de…. aye yai yai. They’re too easy to mix up. And they were all seemingly married to cousins, which just makes the family trees even more confusing.

Stop looking out the window. You should have filled and turned the kettle on already. Seconds wasted.

[Puts kettle under tap, puts water into kettle, puts kettle back on base. Turns kettle on.]

But I really need something stronger than coffee.

No, no, it’s the middle of the afternoon. I can’t drink in the afternoon. And certainly not by myself.

After I get this coffee made, it’s back to the Microsoft Surface. I shouldn’t stand here holding the cup while staring out into the north London distance. Masterpieces don’t get written if you don’t write them. 😉

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