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Day nine (again)

January 17, 2017

I’ve just said goodbye to Catherine. I am stocked up on back tickles. (Plus, she managed to get my new wi-fi router working, taking over when my level of technological frustration had clearly reached the point when I was ready to throw the bloody thing out the window.)

She came to the rehearsal on Sunday. (In the past she has been amazingly supportive, making the long journey to the island to see me in plays – including the world premiere of my play, That’s Nice – but her work schedule is mad at the moment, so she may not be able to get back for the actual performance in March.) She went in knowing nothing about the play and, even though we’re still using our scripts and Sunday was the first time we’d tackled the final third, she loved it.

When I asked Dave and Charlie if they would mind having an audience on Sunday, they both thought it might be useful to have a new pair of eyes on the play and Catherine did indeed make some helpful suggestions.

Back home she waxed lyrical about what a wonderful writer I am. Always good to hear. Unfortunately, as always when my writing is praised, my first thought is that’s nice, but how the hell can it earn me some money? Answers elude me.

Here’s a funny thing. A few years ago I gave Catherine a copy of Unethical Practices for her birthday. As far as I know, she’s never read it. No idea if she ever acquired a copy of Rum Do. When I’ve asked her about it in the past, she’s sighed, apologised and bemoaned the fact that her workload fries her brain so much that at the end of the day she simply cannot concentrate on a book. I get that. I’ve had brain-frying workloads in the past and I know the impact that can have on your reading. I stopped asking her about it, because having to admit she still hasn’t read it makes her feel so guilty and I don’t want to add to her load. (Although I confess, there is a part of me that thinks, “But it’s my novel! How can you not read my novel?)

Here’s another thing. In the past few years I have given copies of my novels to a number of people on the island (birthday presents, thank you presents). One person who’s read both was quite effusive in her praise. None of the others have ever said a word to me about my work. Did none of them read it? Did all of them hate it? These seem to me to be the only possible answers and I’m not sure which depresses (annoys) me the most.

If someone gives you a copy of a novel they’ve written, surely you do them the courtesy of reading it? Surely you find something – anything – positive to say about it? Even “not really my cup of tea, but thanks for the gift” is better than nothing. Is it just me or is this just fucking rude? (Seriously, I want to know. Please feel free to leave a comment.)

An earlier than usual rehearsal today, followed by re-recording the play. We’ve made so many changes to the script during rehearsals that listening to the recording we did the first day is no longer particularly helpful in learning my lines. (One of the benefits of being the actual playwright is that you can change whatever you want.)

I mention this because I need to get moving. So this is it for today, dear reader.

Hasta mañana.


  1. krysross permalink

    I think I did tell you my sister enjoyed both of your books very much and eagerly awaits a third.

  2. krysross permalink

    …and of course you know I did.

  3. Yes, you did. 🙂 The mystery is the silent islanders.

  4. Donna permalink

    As one of the not so silent islanders…loved them, as you know 🙂

  5. Irmani permalink

    I think I was fairly effusive too 😉

    • You were indeed, my dear. And the writer of most glowing reviews. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, simply perplexed by the silent islanders.

  6. Cath Stewart permalink

    I did read Unethical Practices. And I’m pretty sure I gave you a lot of raves. Thoroughly enjoyed it and said so. It’s possible we may have already emptied a bottle or two of wine at the time, though. Maybe you blocked out the whole convo, praise included, as I did also offer a thought or two on implausible plot turns. 🙂 But nit-picking aside, I thought it was excellent. And I have a copy of Rum Do which, I confess, I haven’t read. It sits among the stack of unread and stellar books beside my bed, silently shaming me for watching Netflix at the end of every long day of reading and/or writing reports and emails about the tragic state of our planet. I’m not sure how an avid reader who devoured books all her life, even while working and parenting babies, could have let the practice lapse. But when I do pick up a book again, I promise Rum Do will be at the top of the pile.

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