Writing a cellphone story isn’t much different to writing any other kind of story. The chapters are just shorter by a couple of thousand words. And getting writer's block every now and then happens just like it always does.
So it is in that cold week in July when I am writing Confessions of a Virgin Loser for Mr Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation. I hit my first block. It happens in Chapter Ten, half way through this story of 20 chapters.
My dilemma is that I don’t want Frank to smoke weed and get high. I want to get him out of the situation and I don’t know how.
When I hit a block, I go walking. There’s always something on my walks that makes me see things differently. Like these people and their dogs.
How inspirational is that? Colour coding your dogs with your outfits.
And this chap. I call him the Tramp Man, although it’s not his name. I see him on my walks all the time. He stands outside people’s houses and won’t leave until they cook him a big egg and bacon fry-up.
The Tramp Man
The Tramp Man has been given guest appearances in two of my books, the most recent one, Melly, Mrs Ho and Me. And he also appears in The Club.
Then there’s this guy here. He walks in my neighbourhood every day. He also looks like a tramp, but he’s not, he’s actually an MD for a huge media company. I wish his wife would buy him a new T-shirt.
Holey T-shirt walker
Sometimes I find stuff on my walks. Like this chair over here. It was a bit rusty but I brought it home and painted it. If I found a cushion too I would be able to sit on it.
Groovy chair sans cushion
And then there are always the dogs. The nice thing about Zwiggy - Teen2’s new dog that sometimes walks with me - is that she doesn’t bark at the other dogs. But that doesn’t stop them from barking at me. I meet a lot of dogs on my walks. They make a helluva racket.
Annoying yappy dog
I also come across disgusting garbage in the streets.
And I meet a lot of private security guards with names like Professor and Doctor and Christian. They come from places like Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Between the garbage that is never collected, and the security guards who are privately employed by people who don’t want their stuff stolen all the time, I think about how my tax dollar is being spent. On things like helicopters and submarines and German cars. I think about how much I’m being ripped off.
And when I return from my walk, inspired and unblocked, I decide I’ll let Frank get ripped off too.