Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Last Four Months

I hear you’re supposed to update your blog more regularly than I do.
The last time I wrote was in, what? December. So. That’s four months ago. I was thinking: “That’s not so bad. Four months! What can happen in four months?”
But now I hear there are people who blog every day.
I have to catch up!
In this post, I will describe every day of my last four months.

I’ll begin with today.
At the moment, I am sitting at my desk and there is a midnight-blue ceramic bowl beside me. You know what, it’s not midnight blue. More a deep cobalt blue. No. Listen, I’ll take a photo of the bowl and post it here.
Great, so, setting aside the colour of the bowl.
Inside the bowl I have some grapes, a sliced-up orange, a plum, and two squares of Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate.
The plum is gone now. I ate it while I was thinking about the next sentence.
Huh. Now the grapes are gone too. A similar thing happened to them.

Outside, there is a very blue sky. The blue is nothing like the colour of the bowl beside me. Nothing at all. Also outside: it’s blustery. Right this moment, the bluster has stopped but the ferns at my window are still trembling.
There goes an aeroplane.
An e-mail just arrived!
Oh. It was just Shopfast with an Urgent Product Recall for Rogan Josh Simmer Sauce 540g. I don’t have any.

Charlie is asleep in his cot in his room next door.

This morning, Charlie woke at 6.30, and said, “Breakfast?”
“No, no,” I said, keeping my voice low and sleepy. “It’s sleeping time.”
Charlie yawned. I moved in closer, consolidating. “It’s the middle of the night!” I laughed gently and smoothed the sheet over him. “You go back to sleep now. Morning’s not for hours and hours!”
As soon as I said it, I knew I’d gone too far. He sat straight up and gave me a quick, shrewd look.
Then he turned to the window.
“Hey, Charlie! Here’s Teddy! He wants you to go to sleep!”
Charlie ignored me, looking around the waving Teddy, his gaze fixed on the window. A gleam of light hit the sill just beneath the curtain.
That was all he needed.
He stood up, gathered his yellow blanket underneath his arm, and announced, firmly: “BREAKFAST.”

My favourite breakfast television is Playschool, but oh no, we were much too early for that.
We were also too early for the animated boy named Poko. I like Poko too. He has such green eyes! And each episode something goes wrong, like the time when Poko was trying to bake a pie but the dog kept throwing its squeeze-toy into the pastry.

After breakfast, we walked up the street, Charlie in his stroller.
In the windows of the kindergarten classrooms at the local primary school:


At the store, we bought Pink Lady apples and October Sun plums.
I saw a woman who looked a lot like the actress, Toni Collette. A few moments later, I saw another woman who looked a lot like Toni Collette.
What are the chances of two Toni Collette look-alikes on the same street on the same day? Zero. So one of them must have been her.

At the video shop, I chose a Hi-5 DVD for Charlie. I handed over the DVD cover, my membership card, and the password. All that handing over. It seemed enough. But then I had to pay.
“I always forget about paying!” I said.
“That’s all right,” the young man said, “I’m here to remind you.”

Next, we went to the park and Charlie said, “Green”, heading to the green slide. Then he paused, and changed his mind. “Yellow,” he decided, and turned to the yellow slide instead.
I looked around to see if the other mothers had noticed. My baby knows his colours! But nobody seemed to be watching.
In this particular park, alongside the slides, there’s a miniature surfboard on springs.
I’ve seen kids of, what? Five? Six? I’ve seen them climb onto that miniature surfboard on springs, stand up and balance a few seconds.
Today, Charlie climbed on it. He stood there, swaying gently, arms out exactly like a surfer riding a wave - for what? A minute? More?
I looked around to see if the other mothers had noticed.
They were all facing away.
‘Charlie!” I said. “That’s great balance!” A mother finally turned in our direction. At that exact moment Charlie tipped forward and fell into my arms. The mother smiled fondly and turned away again.
He did it on purpose, you know. The tipping forward into my arms? He was ready to get off.

I thought about a few things on the walk home from the park.
One thing I thought about was the fact that I often spill water. I mean, when I’m carrying a lot of stuff, including maybe a small child and a glass of water, from one room to the next – well, I often forget that you can’t hold the glass of water sideways.
Also, I thought about something I once read: that you feel your most creative when you’re almost asleep.
Last night, Charlie woke at 1 am, 2 am and 3 am. Then, at 4 am, I woke to the sound of footsteps. A group of people in heavy workboots were running through the house downstairs.
“WHO’S IN MY HOUSE?! WHO’S IN MY HOUSE?!” I shouted. Then I screamed, a big, beautiful scream, to scare them away.
What were they doing in my house! In the middle of the night! And why were they running?! Why not walk?! Why the heavy boots?! Was there construction work in the living room?! Then why hadn’t somebody –
Then I realised I was dreaming.
Nobody was running through the house downstairs.
But the beautiful scream had woken Charlie, of course, and he was so confused I had to read him three picture books and sing him back to sleep.
(So, technically, Charlie, if you’re reading this, 6.30 was the middle of the night.)
And walking home from the park today, I felt at my most creative.

Charlie, too, I guess.
He fell asleep in his stroller.

The transfer from the stroller to the cot was successful!
I closed his bedroom door, went downstairs, got the blue bowl, sliced up an orange, added some grapes, a plum, and two squares of Lindt 70% Chocolate and came upstairs to work.
Here I am now.
I’m about to begin work. I’m halfway through the next Ashbury-Brookfield book.
But how can I write? The blue bowl is empty! Just orange peels.
And my camera batteries are dead! So I cannot photograph the blue.

But, setting aside the colour of the bowl, it looks like I’ve completed today.
I’m right up to the now!
Yesterday is next.


Blogger Erin said...

What a darling boy. And so well-articulated, too, judging from his letter.

Happy writing!

(Yes, this is That Erin, the one who keeps sending those annoyingly long emails.)

3:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As chance should have it I was wondering if you had simply vanished from the earth. I was thinking about the Buttermilk book and it made me realise that I hadn't seen a new entry since I emailed you last year.

And then, seemingly bidden obviously now, here it was.

How anyone manages to write at home is a miracle to me. I work like crazy at work but I find home too conducive to phaff.

11:56 a.m.  
Blogger becca said...

i'm so glad that you've finally gotten around to posting again. it's comforting to know that Writers are normal people, too.

7:00 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a clever boy!

Oh! I just finished reading 'Finding cassie crazy' and also, 'Feeling sorry for celia'

they are BRILLIANT. You are my favourite Author. (:

So, is the next book a different one to those? I can't wait to read it.
And don't worry about being behind in your blogs, i am the WORST for that.

8:40 a.m.  
Anonymous Ali said...

I'm so glad that you're back to blogging. I just thought I'd check in to see if there was an update, and there was! :)

I'm a huge fan of your books. I can't wait to read the next one. I know that in one of your previous entries, you stated about what you're currently writing. Would it be possible that we could have an update? I'm just so excited and can't wait for the next book by you.

I hope you continue to update your blog regularly. :D


12:46 p.m.  
Anonymous krissy said...

you are my favorite author! all of your books are so funny, and i can't wait for another brook-field ashbury book! keep up the good work!

8:40 a.m.  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

once again, I want to thank everybody for your comments. You are generous, lovely people and make my day.

12:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing sends shivers down my spine and makes me smile inwardly and outwardly.

7:06 a.m.  
Blogger Jaclyn Moriarty said...

Anonymous, that's got to be one of my favourite comments ever... thank you!

4:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This made me laugh! As do your books. Charlie is the real Charlie, I'm assumung?

6:14 a.m.  

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