Saturday, 28 February 2009

Boxofficegirl in Peril.

I started this blog last August after the first initial threat of redundancy and this week the Indians have been circling again. I have thus far managed to dodge gunfire but other's have not been so lucky including loved ones closer to home.

I am relieved of course to still be employed,( what would happen to Boxofficegirl if I wasn't?) But there is also a part of me who longs to tell the bureaucrats to shove it before marching off into a brave new world, or in my case stepping aboard a No 2 bus heading away from the city lights.

So, for the time being, I am still shackled to the wheels of commerce thanks to the latest rescue package yet can't help but wonder about the wealth of unimagined experiences waiting out there if the decision to cut me loose was made for me and I really did have to go into the world and live off my wits. I'm beginning to think it might be an adventure worth taking the risk for.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Book Review.

The Common Bond.
Donigan Merritt.

The story follows Morgan's return to Hawaii 10 years after meeting Victoria, the love of his life who has since died. Haunted by grief he takes up fishing again in an effort to escape the sense of guilt he feels by her suicide. The story moves with ease between the present and the past describing the beginnings of their encounter involving the betrayal of Tioni, a local guy that Victoria was seeing when she first meets Morgan, a ‘haelo’, white person. Tioni and Morgan had been friends since childhood and worked together on a tourist boat of which Morgan was Captain. The love between Morgan and Victoria shatters more than friendship by unearthing historical tensions and racial prejudice.

Told through a series of flashbacks the reader becomes privy to the vulnerable fragile and ultimately tragic development of Victoria, in contrast to the steady down to earth character presented in Morgan before he spirals towards uncontrollable meltdown. The central themes of love vs. the human condition are handled by Merritt with compassion and empathy; injecting the reader with same raw emotion the two main characters experience both individually and in their relationship with each other.

I did wonder how well the story would hold up with the reader already in possession of the outcome that Victoria is no longer alive, but the conclusion is satisfying and the language rich and evocative capturing the truth about relationships as we travel with Morgan into despair until hope is offered through the unlikely porthole of a local family.

The Common Bond is not a book I would instinctively have chosen to read, but on completion felt rewarded and gratified by the experience. Possessed by Shadows, written by the same author, is winging it's way to my door as we speak and I look forward with anticipation to it's arrival.

Friday, 20 February 2009

No Worse, There is None.

That's it, no more. You've had it with rejection letters, it's time to stop this nonsense and think about the future. There was no way this was ever going to be more than a hobby and someone has to pay the bills. Get the cardboard boxes out, put all your notebooks, manuscripts, reference books and tapes in them. Pack away the computer -

What was that?

Oh, OK, leave the computer it'll be useful when you want to grocery shop and compare road tax prices etc. Change the calenders from deadlines to school runs, after school clubs and don't forget that Conference in a couple of weeks time. Has your suit been dry-cleaned, more than your jobsworth if not. At least you can have meaningful conversations with colleagues about soft furnishings or the greenhouse instead of thinking of plot lines, characters and build up to a dramatic conclusion.

Your wife/husband will be thrilled to have you around in the evening, just as they got control of the remote too. Think of all those parties, dinners, cheese and wine events you'll be able to accept not to mention helping out the PTA and going down the pub with your mates. Did someone mention decorating?

Nip to Tesco's this very minute and stock up on all the 2 for £7 offers in the book isle without one moment of regret or bitterness for the embossed name of the author on the cover who signed a contract after only a few hundred rejections and as many sleepless nights before seeing the fruit of their labours come to pass, the dream realised in hardback glory. You did your best, no-one could ask for more.

And if that small voice inside does happen to lament and mourn the loss of creative impulse, silence them with a couple of beers, bottle of vodka, good wine/cheap wine, they won't know the difference...

Whatever it takes to anesthetize and smother the persistent grief stricken cry of abandoned self.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


(Woman approaches girl standing outside the dry cleaners smoking)

I know you.

(Girl looks alarmed, shrugs her shoulders in a dismissive way and avoids making eye contact with the woman.)

People pretend they don't know me after a few years of not seeing me because I look down on my luck but I don't do that -

I know you.


Ask her. (nods her head towards the assistant in the dry cleaners who sides with the girl by staring vacantly and uncomfortably back. )

She knows all about me and I know all about you. I remember people and I don't pretend.

(Woman shuffles away down the busy street, her crutches hindering rather than aiding her dignified exit. Every few steps she turns to look back. In the shop the girl and attendant raise their eyebrows and continue with the pretence of not knowing.)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Phrase for Today.

Where can you scream? It's a serious question:
Where can you go in society and scream?
(R.D Laing 1927-1989 Scottish psychiatrist. Quoted in Mad to be Normal.)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Point Of Re-Entry.

As usual, the room was crowded with adolescent bodies and I couldn't remember the last time I had been able to sit comfortably and watch a programme or DVD of my choice without interruption.

“Look on the bright side,” my husband commented cheerfully. “It won’t be long before she’s old enough to baby sit and we can go out.”

“Out? You mean in the dark, as in night time?”

“Sure, why not? Like we used to B.C.”


“Before Children.”

Anxiety crept down my spine and legs and nestled into the depths of my furry slippers. The mug of tea I was holding tilted slightly slurping a few drops onto the oatmeal carpet.

“Where would we go?” what would I wear? I enquired hesitantly, gazing through our small window like an astronaut peering into space. “All the places we used to go are closed down now. It’s a young person’s game to be out on the town these days you know.”

His eyes shone with nostalgic anticipation.

A vision of the earth loomed before me like a giant suspended home made ball. Each city made up of different coloured glitter sparkling with luminous energy. On closer inspection, colonies of young people dressed skimpily, clattered over the cobbles beneath husky yellow street lamps; their laughter and conversation lost in burbling, alien language.

I’d seen enough.

Unable to spot a safe place to land I guided our ship expertly away from the atmosphere back into outer space.

“What are you doing, I thought we were going out?”

“We’ll buy a bigger sofa.” I mumbled picking up a book. “Put the kettle on while you’re up would you.”

Friday, 6 February 2009

Phrase for Today.

The great question...which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'
( Sigmund Freud 1856 - 1939 Austrian psychoanalyst.)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Repeat to Fade.

Grey mass seeped like mist rolling in from the sea foam-balling beach bathers as they awoke from sun drenched sleep to find themselves cold and clammy enveloped in white stumbling about like children with newly formed feet. She remembers stepping aboard the bus knowing without looking that it was the right bus heading into an endless line of rear tail-lights motioning her into daydreams trickling across her eyelids in a prism of psychedelic dew twisting through the tree-lined avenue of endless journey’s flight just like this one taken many times before, so many times before she wished the road and the bus would remember her imprint stained into her seat like a video recorder playing over rendering her physical presence obsolete no longer required in order for the film to roll out the repartition of her decay. Edges of time blurry with nothing to differentiate routine besides contents of sandwiches, covers of books, and faces at the window - so many different faces - snarling sniping coveting demanding dishing out poison drip drop drip drop before coming home again to see the man in the street walking his dog at the exact same time today tomorrow yesterday nodding his head in recognition of the time-warp he treads she treads they tread ignorant of the ghosts they will become careful not to disturb the ones already dead and gone. Fleeting moments of clarity trapped inside her head she shakes and holds in an effort to remember why she took the bus and where exactly was it she was going before the mist descended without mercy without gaps – there had always been gaps - through which to see the sun and focus the mind calming her breath on the window pane smudged by pained fingers tracing circles in a silent plea to wipe this tape and begin again.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

New Toy.

We finally got the Wi-Fi sorted for my laptop and I've been experimenting with a number of different websites etc including a new blog space in addition to this one. However, after due consideration based on feedback and my own feelings on the matter, I've decided to stick with Boxofficegirl.

Polite message: I am more than happy for people to link to my posts but perhaps just one link would be enough for readers rather than a whole list. Many thanks.