Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Bizarre Trouser Accident - Joan Lennon
I love my job. I remember telling somebody once I was happy and they replied, "Is there something specific or are you just unaware of the facts?" The same thing could be said about saying I love writing. (Don't worry, I am NOT unaware of the facts, and I whinge plenty about them.) But there are MANY specific things about being a writer that make me want to hug myself with delight (or anyone passing within reach - disconcerting for strangers). And one of those things is how often I get to grin - and giggle - and, on occasion and not always appropriately, belly-laugh - at the felicities of language, and call it work.
As when, for example, a friend wrote to tell me that she'd been laid up because of "a bizarre trouser accident." Poor woman was on crutches and all I could do was snicker and think "what a great phrase - I HAVE to put that in a book!" Or another who said she didn't care, she intended "to irritate the conkers out of somebody." Or a son's long-term belief that the word "ostentatious" was actually spelt "Austentatious" and meant "thinking you're a better writer than you really are" - the same son who recently meant to say "Gilbert and Sullivan" but came out with "Sodom and Gomorrah" ...
Anyone could delight in such things, but only a writer - or perhaps a stand-up comic - could classify them as research. Some of them are just too gorgeously off-the-wall to be shoe-hornable into fiction - nobody would believe them! - but I live in hope that some day, somehow, I'll find a use for them all.
And, in the meantime, they are one of the reasons I love my job.