After almost two years of calling myself an ‘aspiring’ writer, early this month I took the important step of self-publishing a children’s book I wrote almost nine years ago. It was just two days later that I decided to drop the ‘aspiring’ and adopt the ‘perspiring’ writer status.
“Hooray!” I thought. Until…
On a rare evening out in my local pub I was asked the question I’d being dying to be asked since promoting myself.
“So, what do you do?”
It was just last Friday night when I found myself reluctantly stuck talking to a drunken bore, who, after claiming to be a rich entrepreneur having made his fortune in recruitment, asked me this question when he’d finally stopping talking about himself. Which was sometime on Saturday morning.
This was the first time! My first chance to say it!
“Me?” I said, puffing out my chest proudly – before swiftly sucking it back in again as the dirty old beggar’s eyes nearly popped out. Note to self: Search pub for missing shirt button next time I’m in. “I’m a writer; comedy mainly. I just published a book.” I beamed.
“You’re a writer?” he sneered, looking me up and down.
Oh no, I thought. He doesn’t think I look like a writer. Did I drop my Shakespearian ruff too whilst puffing out?
“How tall are you?” He asked.
How tall am I? Is there an average requirement for writers? No wait; Ronnie Corbett writes comedy.
I told him. And without a moment’s hesitation, as God (and vodka) is my witness, he said:
“I have just the job for you! You can be my Christmas elf!”
One of my drinking partners for the evening (my daughter), had to be helped onto a stool because her legs buckled as she battled with a fit of uncontrollable giggling. I, on the other hand, was choking so hard on my drink I was furtively stuffing straws up my nose so I didn’t lose any vodka. Our male companion, a tad more drunk than us, was found shortly afterwards embroiled in a serious conversation with said bore, which went something like:
“Christmas elf you say? £1000 a night? Do bagpipe playing elves earn extra?”
It has to be said my bagpipe playing friend Fraser towers over me at a height of about five foot two. He could be a Christmas elf too!
So, there you have it. At five foot nothing I don’t have the look of a writer. And writing isn’t a real job anyway. I look like an unemployed elf. Something tells me JK Rowling never had this problem..
Anyway, I declined his offer, citing “no elf insurance” as the reason; promptly confirming his suspicion that I wasn’t a comedy writer at all.
And so to my book. “Toads May Talk” – a rare serious piece of writing from me. ‘Toads’ is a gentle, sometimes amusing and compelling tale aimed at protecting children from abuse through the gift of knowledge. Every parent and educator of children should buy this. Spread the word X ..Or ‘Elf4heather’ could be coming to a toy store near you soon 😀