The Word Thieves…

What a weekend that was – like one of Baron Von Munchausen’s adventure…

…It started off with being asked to partake in a practice known as spit-roasting by a complete stranger (which I graciously declined), and ended up in an evangelical church. Thrown in along the way were a ten-piece funk band, 2AM junk food soul-searching, a multitude of drunken miscreants and various unexpected book-sales.

This, I have come to realise, is one of the primary weapons in a self-publisher’s arsenal – random collisions with alcoholics – they’ll buy anything! And with Christmas coming the pull is even more potent – no one knows what to get their relatives (least of all me) – they’re looking for something new and unusual, contemplating genocide so as to physically be able to get into a shop, or else ex-communicating their entire family so as not to see their faces when they open their presents and try to effect grimaces of gratitude.

Why not the scribbling of a struggling artist?

Surprising how often that line works!

One of the individuals encountered in the course of my travels was a published writer (either Philip or Harold – I forget). When asked to give advice to a budding author, he replied with ‘never use the word suddenly‘ – the implication being that it’s an overused word to denote a…well…sudden occurrence, and is therefore reserved for those of a limited vocabulary.

A fervent row ensued.

‘This cannot be allowed to happen,’ I declared. ‘The only thing worse than a Beer-Monkey is a Word-Thief. Lose the word ‘suddenly’ and a dangerous precedent will have been established. Where will it end? Next we’ll lose the word ‘the’ on account of its proletariat overuse. Before we know it we’ll have done away with all words and be reduced to pointing at things and making un-clichéd guttural moronic noises – ‘EH uh ei OHH! OOOHHH!’’…Or maybe I’m just looking into it too deeply? Anyway:

Last Wednesday morning – I was on a train commuting into Paddington. It was pretty dark and I had my head down reading when SUDDENLY the sun rose; a change so dramatic that the entire carriage morphed from dismal grey to ecstatic golden yellow. Artistic license aside – It was almost an epiphany. What was more amazing was that not a single other person looked up. Their faces remained buried in papers, laptops and I-pods.It made me think back to my first blog about getting noticed. Whilst I am unlikely to run out of drunks in the near future, a new tack is most definitely called for…


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