A little snippet from the course I went on today, which was about writing in the style of Milligan, Lear, Lewis Carroll, etc. It’s probably not a type of writing I think I’ll focus on in my own work, but it was a really useful lesson in not taking my writing seriously – just having fun with it. One of the final (ten minute) activities was to write a nonsensical obituary. Here’s mine:
Lucien Bell, inventor of the Time-splitting device that took his name, passed into the night on February the second after a short illness that had not yet taken hold. Born before his elder brother, Frederic, Lucien was always a child of which no one could say anything, although his mother often did.
Bell was educated at an Inner London Academy in the 1830s and graduated from Cambridge at the age of eight, in 1945. He spent the war years in Ancient Rome where he met his first wife, Claudia. Their marriage was short-lived, however, as Lucien was forced to return to the 1920s, and there he met his eighth wife, Millie. Though Claudia and Mille never met, they were said to spit at each other whenever they did.
It wasn’t until 2012, when Bell created his time-splitting device, that his life really began, and only shortly before that, he was dead. Lucien is survived by his grandparents and his fourth wife, Maud. His fifth wife is expected to be born on the day of the funeral, so will be unable to attend.
The husband sent me a link to Nick Nolte’s This Much I Know in the weekend’s Observer. I was really struck by the line in which he says: “ I don’t believe you should be a professional at anything until you’re about 35″. I love this.
I have spent years now wanting to change what I am doing, and have felt sure for a long time that it is JUST TOO LATE. I berate myself for not knowing what it is I want to do, or worse, for all the years I have seemingly done nothing-and-now-time-is-running-out-and-very-soon-I-will-be… dead. I was reminded of something I had read about Alan Rickman getting his first acting job at 46, and figured there must be many more people who were late-bloomers, if you like. A google search will show you that there are.
As for authors, many of them started a lot later than I am, now. Raymond Chandler was first published at 51, Richard Adams in his 50s, Laura Ingalls Wilder not until her mid-sixties. I think Iris Murdoch didn’t get published until she was 35, and I’m still quite a way away from that ripe, old age.
Peter Roget, who invented Roget’s Thesaurus, only did so at 73.
I have many good years ahead of me. As, I’m sure, do you – however old you are!
Last week, I had to take the pigs to the vets with suspected mange mites. He gave them an injection and asked me to go back tomorrow.
I worried that the girls might never forgive me – I grabbed them from their beds, shoved them in a box, and walked them the 20 minutes to the vets. He then picked them up – badly – cooed over them ridiculously, and stabbed them with a needle.
I wanted to find an easier way of getting them there, something which might reduce the stress.
So I built them a mini-cage, with an opening door, so that they can just hop in (maybe with a cucumber bribe) and I can just shut the door and carry them off.
I love the floral roof! I hope they will too. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow. I’m not sure they’ll like the bus.