When the phone rings in the evening…

Today was the the first proper day of my Christmas holidays and annual leave…

It was a delight to go back to bed after feeding the chickens!

I’ve enjoyed a large breakfast, read (Chimera, Rob Thurman), watched two movies (R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, and Hercules – the one with Dwayne Johnson), played World of Warcraft (Troll Hunter on Uther), criticised an incompetent Estate Agent (I spoke to the manager), taken joy in phoning a gas company (to say the bill I received relates to someone else), walked with the chickens, changed a light bulb, de-fragged my computer drives, had home-cooked fried noodles for dinner (my wife is Chinese), and booked the car in for a service. No more figure painting yet… that starts again tomorrow!

At 5.45pm tonight the phone rang…

There are expectations when the phone rings between 5 and 7pm – especially on a weeknight:

There’s a small chance that it could be my mother calling (memories of a Police song just went through my head), it might be a mate who rings weekly (sometimes more often) hoping I’ll arrange a get together on the weekend, or as it is most of the time, a person with an African accent pretending that they are in Australia representing some company doing a survey, installing lights/solar panels/other crap, or to tell me my computer is infected with a virus…

Depending on my mood – the rubbish calls either

(1) get told where to go fairly quickly,

(2) I ask for clarifications they can’t give me (I studied I.T. at University and know my way around a computer)

or (3) I’ll lead them on for as long as possible. One of the best nights was where I was on the phone for 30 minutes plus, and spoke to 9 different people – I kept saying “I can’t understand your accent – do you have someone who speaks better English?”

Tonight I got an American accent (which is very different) and they got my name right after I answered (extremely unusual). Then they said they were from a publishing agent. <is this a fake call after all?> I can play along with that…

She asked if I had a time-lime for the completion of my novel. <Now pick me up from the floor>

The call didn’t get much further because I was so flustered, and I said it wasn’t something I was focused on at the moment and had a few chapters but didn’t know when I’d finish. She said she emailed me something and I could give her a call back if I was getting somewhere. After hanging up I wished I’d paid more attention because she mentioned a hotmail address, and I cancelled that months ago. I also can’t remember the company name.

I AM writing a novel.

I’ve been working on a fantasy novel for years, but haven’t really done any work on it this year. I’ve got 6+ chapters typed out, and lots of notes. Last year’s bout of creativity produced more notes, guidelines, background and character detail rather than actual story writing, when I wasn’t re-writing some of the oldest material. Most of my stuff is typed into the computer (and backed up) but I’ve also got a folder of hand-written stuff.

I need to continue overhauling and expanding my detail on the “Book of Lore” that is the basis for the Kingdom’s rules and customs, and redefining my political scene, to make the set up for the adventure more “realistic”.

Novel summary – The King of Kalindal and his heir have both died recently and there’s five candidates for the throne. Rather than have an election, an old rule is used to start a challenge. Three of the candidates head to a nearby mountain that contains a magical creature, seeking a token of the guardian. One of the candidates has hired an assassin.

The book primarily follows a young noble woman and her male guardian/friend as they learn the secrets of the “Caverns of Rahlt” (named after the Wizard who trapped the creature) and hope to make her Queen. I have very different ideas on presenting my assassin (compared to anything I’ve read before) and an interesting magical weapon.

My D&D background initially influenced a lot of ideas and characters, but its grown a long way beyond that especially after I collected nearly all the Darkover Series (Marion Z. Bradley) and read the Riven Codex (David Eddings).

Now, if I can just sit down and start typing again… (Maybe some of those evenings when my wife is watching Korean TV series)

and hopefully the email bounces and the woman phones me back!

1 thought on “When the phone rings in the evening…

  1. Sounds interesting. I of course use the answering machine as my phone filter, so I never get to hear from Microsoft about why I have a virus on my computer and why I should download this or that file from a website to fix it. 😉
    Hopefully the book thing is real, though I’d certainly take it with a bucket of salt. Maybe start a new email account on gmail/outlook/yahoo to use for it, just in case?


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