The Bush of Goats

Marc Williams, writer & designer: 'Life's too short for empty slog ans'

What’s Another Year?

God… who was that? It was either Jim Diamond or the feller who did Irish Eurovision and kept winning. Jonny something. Anyway. Hello again after almost a year; what a different world that was! [laughs sardonically; scowls insanely at the sky.]

I’ve written an entire novel since I was last here, and I’m about to start punting it about. As you can see, I have not been disheartened by previous rejections, and I feel much more confident about this one than I did about the last. The five-and-a-half year slog to cudgel that last one into shape, and it still not making enough sense to catch the eye of the professionals… […still scowling insanely] It was a relief to lay it down in a desk drawer and forget about it to be frank. Start something else. Which is what I did, and now I’m punting this one about. The characters have 2 possible sequels in them, and also I’ve outlined a completely unrelated idea, that’s also in the YA SF genre, which I’m itching to start. Did I mention the one I’m punting about is YA SF, and that’s what I do now? That’s what I do now. I punt.

It’s odd to look back at the last entry and see where I was, back then. But the FRESH START (©Eastenders) I’ve enjoyed on paper, has coincided with work – and not of the sort I thought I’d be doing again, at my age. I’m a part time school punt– no. Part time school janitor.

You realise a lot of things about yourself, when you get rejected and have to mop the latrines (yeah-yeah; boo-hoo, ‘woe is me’. Well WHATEVS KAREN). And I am not afraid to change to get what I want. And blue jay cloths became a thing I wanted, so I thought, screw it. Nobutseriously, it does have a lot going for it.

My daily routine now involves packing the lunches of the assembled wives and daughters, seeing them off on their various commutes, then sitting down at my desk to  write, for the best part of the day. Then, at about 3, I get up from my desk and go do three hours cleaning at the local school. This means, my primary mental focus is on the thing I want to be doing for the best part of the day (asides from my war with the bottomless  laundry basket and the perpetual dishwasher-filling) the job is paying for sparkly new bathrooms, and I’m not getting desk-bound and unfit, or spending money on gym membership, because I get paid to do a three-hour daily workout, putting chairs on tables and mopping corridors. I am for the most part left in peace to either solve the days work riddles, or more often than no, think about nothing to do with anything and listen to headphones. Granted, the current level of infectiousness has added an additional level of hygiene preparedness, and the money is an absolute embarrassment (minimum wage, y’all) but I am now technically a key worker (hey thanks for the applause, guys – I used them to buy carrots). I’m also aware friends from previous walks are finding self-employment damn hard at the minute, so I was pretty-f*cking-grateful getting furloughed for five months. And that’s really just the background to what’s been an astonishing coincidence, and one of the universe’s funniest gags at my expense so far… But I need to send some queries now, so that’ll have to be next time. Hopefully it won’t be another year, and if it is, we won’t all have devolved into salmon.



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September 2020


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