Tue 12 November 2019
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Nearly done with novel, nearly done in
The home straight of my novel is in sight, but I'm tired, tired, tired and the news is doing nothing to restore my energies writes AL Kennedy

Oh, Best Beloveds, I am tired. I'm almost too tired to talk about the things that are tiring me. Then again – as with bad dentistry, unpleasant personal experiences and unpleasant gentleman callers – there's something minutely empowering about writing down the source of your woes and peering at them in effigy. It can become a small rehearsal for future change.

So. Let's start with a small woe. I am tired of my printer. It's a tiny gripe in these days of mayhem and threatened water cannons, but for more years than I'd like to mention my printer has been the Nick Clegg of office equipment. It promised it would fax – it has never managed to send or receive anything like a fax. It talked to me through my computer in a cloying and yet convincingly masculine voice (until I turned that bit off) about switching it on when it was switched on and connecting it when it was connected and supplying it with paper when its paper supply was entirely adequate and, above all, it told me big, fat, narwhal herds of lies about ink. When it could still talk it would warn me, within hours of receiving new cartridges, that my coloured ink was low and that my black ink was exhausted and that swingeing cuts in page output or desperate foraging for cartridges must immediately ensue. I used to believe it. Then I got curious, let things run, and discovered that, on average, my ink supplies actually last three months longer than my printer is willing to admit. Now it can no longer nag me audibly, it constantly pesters my computer with alarmist messages while displaying its own scrolling alerts across its irritating little display screen. Since I've decided to switch brands, it also repeats dire threats relating to my use of non-proprietorial inks which have voided its warranty, threaten its health and may cause me to become sterile shortly before my office implodes. I hate it. It's only still in my office because – beyond being a money-grabbing, conniving company shill – it is, unlike Clegg, basically functional and I need it to hiccup and whine its way through what I hope will be the last paper draft of the novel.

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The Guardian

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