10 November 2002
Abusage of the day: I just found an official council notice in a public park, that says 'Please exercise your dog responsibly, etc; no motorbikes; no golfing.' No golfing?!? Okay, Chambers may allow it as a verb, but I do not. One does not tennis, one does not football; in my book(s), one most certainly does not golf. No doubt if I wrote to tell them, they would say that I had lettered them. Good grief...
I've just been pouring injudicious quantities of armagnac into my Xmas cake. This is huge fun, you can hear it sizzling all the way down, and I didn't want to stop. Oops. I've never baked a fruitcake before, so I'm not sure how it's going to turn out (I wonder if that usage actually derives from baking, from turning things out of the tin?), but everything that went into it was so good, it's hard to imagine its not tasting scrummy. I used Jane Grigson's recipe, from English Food; she's as much a touchstone for indigenous cookery as Elizabeth David is for Mediterranean. And yet, the only Grigson my local bookshop acknowledges is young Sophie. Shame on them, I say.
I went to a party in Sunderland last night, and impressed the hell out of my host's thirteen-year-old with the tale of How Chaz Met Tolkien. Shame on me, I say; I shouldn't do it, it's too easy. But oh, it is fun. And it gives me instant authority, so's I can move on to recommend other writers, other books, like Patricia McKillip's Riddlemaster trilogy, which I adore and want the world to read.
It dawns on me (slowly, everything dawns slowly; I am proverbially dim) that I can use this space to answer frequently asked questions as they occur, before we transfer them onto the new FAQ page. So here's your first: my mate Richard asks if there will be any further news of the Macallan clan, first & last heard of in Dead of Light and Light Errant. The answer is that I deeply and sincerely hope so, but don't hold your breath. The series is a trilogy manqué, and always has been; volume three is called Night Fantastic, and the change of pun indicates a change of voice. NF is Laura's story: what it's like to love and be loved by a Macallan, to carry his child, so on and so forth. In the current circumstances no one wants to publish it, so it remains in my head, like an embryo in nitrogen. Come the movie(s), if ever the movie(s) come, then perhaps things will change.
Oh, and it is I confess a less frequently asked question, but just in case anyone is wondering, there were at last count fifteen unwritten novels in my head, waiting their chance. It's Zeno's Achilles paradox in reverse; by the time I get halfway through them, at least half as many again will have joined the queue, and so I can never, ever catch up. Which is the reason and the only reason I'd rather be immortal; choosing is brutal, which to bring forth and which to leave and let fail.
© Chaz Brenchley 2002
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.