So, I finished a first draft. I gave #nanowrimo a go and managed to place a story on to paper of a required length to be considered a “novel”.
That bit was pretty sweet.
On Christmas eve I dashed around all morning looking for a place which might ring bind such nonsense, sadly, for all my intensely local attempts I didn’t manage to find anywhere likely.
In the first hour of the afternoon I was kindly asked by my Grandmother to “just pop out and see if you can find that new Annie Lennox CD”. I went to Tescos (I thought, foolishly it would turn out, that’s a safe bet for something my Grandmother had seen advertized). I wandered like the festively shell shocked through the worried faces and, upon finding nothing, attempted to extract myself speedily.
And there is was, on the horizon (across the round about), in all its magnificent glory - Staples.
Now, honestly, tell me, when have you been Glad to see Staples?
I recklessly flung myself on and across the round-about (in a tinsome little yellow car - purring like the magnificently asmatic beast it is) and into the othr side of the retail park.
Finally I burst into the shrine to office supply fetishism which is Staples. I fluttered onto the large long desk which a bemused plump dumbling girl looked back at me I asked:
“Do you do binding here?”
She glaces behind her to the row of 6 ring binding machines and suggest that, yes, it might be a service they provide.
“And can I print here too?”
The printer behind her warmed itself up with a sarcastic hum. She again made affirmative suggestions.
A pang of fear struck me as I realised there was one more question:
“And can I edit it now, before I mean? I mean -” I puffed out some air, apparently I’d not been breathing “- Can I make changes here and now?”
She said yes, I handed over the dongle, thrusted it into the beige machine, she pushed a screen my way (like a lovers cheek turning to me) and I made my last ammendments: double spacing, footers, headers and page numbers and a title page.
She started printing it, it would be ten minute “why do you go have a look around?” She said, clearly infering that I should calm down while doing it. So I did, not too far at first (after all, she could steal my novel!) But in a matter of 40 seconds I got over this and explored the store a little further.
I wandered round the promotional junk, some of it making sounds. I circled the orangizational stationary, the clips (bull-dog clips, paper clips, coloured clips, clip clop clips) and the pins (they were mainly just pins). I travelled deeper until I found something worthwhile, v-ball 0.5 pens - my heart leapt - these pens are the only pens for scribbling with; draft should be chicken scratch and these pens are of the few who facilitate such messiness. I picked up a handful (in blue and light blue).
I travelled deeper into the store and found an unknown treasure - and can you believe it was reduced to clear? A pen, a fine liner, in red - WITH - tiny, tiny adhesive post-it notes which come out the other end! Such wonders I never knew existed! I picked up one of these pieces of crap and began my trek back towards the “printing-zone” or whatever ghastly name it had been called.
I came to the desk after dodging some staff members moving storage about (potentially in to storage). I looked at the wodge of paper (200-odd pages) bound with a mental spiral, a frosted grey front, a hard back card.
I picked it up and dropped it on the desk with a “WHAM!”
I was happy. I paid, I said thanks and sorry and gushed my way out the door i blasted in through.
And now it sits here and I’ve edited a few pages, but I am not sure what to do next. The problems:
1. Feel like crossing everything out, but I can’t decide if it will help or not. I feel it is often too early to assess the usefulness of certain scenes to the novel as a whole.
2. I want to other things, such as: finish other novels (3 left hanging), write a new novel (one idea hanging in the ether) write an illustrated kids fiction with my girlfriend, write a parlimentary graphic novel (with a twist), paint, make money, play video games, get fit again, play with twitter, write a blog post. And in all this I cannot decide to do any of it.
Have you and words of wisdom to share?