Editor’s note: Dear Six Sentence Story-ers*, I am super late for this week’s SSS (“Link party ends in
10 9 8 7 6 hours” according to the latest entry point). The prompt word is Distraction … having just worked 35 hours over three days at work, I’m struggling to catch up with not only this Six but my writing (and reading) in general.
*for Clark 🙂
So before the main event (which I haven’t even written yet at this stage of the editorial) … I would like to discuss the, ah, joys of reading and writing: are they not just about the discovery of creativity and universes in which to become lost? But about joys, too, as simple as collecting books for their covers, having a nice pen, attending a conference or festival celebrating your favourite author, or receiving random literary-related gifts?
My editorial today is indeed about random literary-related gifts, and here I present a trio of wonderful items which recently came into my possession.
First up is a dedicated message by the author Jonathan Coe in my copy of Middle England. A couple of weeks ago Jonathan gave a lecture in Marseille, France, about his career and influences as a writer. I was unable to attend due to my work, but my wife and youngest son went, and when they met Jonathan at the signing later, they asked him if he would sign my book.
Jonathan Coe, a Birmingham-born writer (the same as me 😊) was only too happy to sign my copy: “To Ford, Best wishes to a fellow Brummie…”
Thank you, Mr Coe! How pleased am I with that 🙂 Such a pity I couldn’t go as I would have loved to have met you and have a quick Midlands, musical and Peaky Blinders chat with you. By order!
Another gift came this morning as I was returning from the shops on my day off… a black feather… likely from a crow… laying there on the pavement across the road from where I live. Sometimes I perceive single feathers like this to be messages from the fairies and the angels, sometimes a feather is just a feather, and sometimes you need a feather! In this case I needed a feather for not only this post today, but for a poem I’ll be posting here later.
Another gift came a few days ago in the form of a surprise parcel from my good friend and artistic collaborator Spira aka Nick aka Wizard. He thought of me at the same time of taking stock of some Writer’s Tears whiskey, and he sent me the flask afterwards.
As I mentioned to Spira in my thank you mail to him, Writer’s Tears is such a cool name. It has a romantic, mysterious mood, and nicely captures the spirit of someone in perhaps a moment of literary contemplation or inspiration.
My friend, Spira, thank you for thinking of me 🙂
As you can see, the found feather and the flask have married together perfectly. You can see their work in the header photo at the top of the post – a quote from a previous Six.
If you’ve made it this far in reading, then well done! And here is my contribution for this week’s Six Sentence Story (still not written yet at this stage of post composition lol).
Distract me if you can.
Distract me if you can, I DARE YOU to wrestle me from my creativity and endeavours to read and write.
You TV and video games, you concerts and YouTube, you relentless Twitter and breaking news about the world a-burning and a-flooding, and its corrupt politicians laughing all the way to the bank.
I DARE YOU my day job to distract me with protocols, with death and Covid, with the absence of staff burnt-out and depleted, with the exhaustion I feel on days off and on, off and on, on and off, it never ends.
I DARE YOU my lovers and brothers and sisters, to caress my agonies into a thousand butterflies to replenish the Earth in magnificent twirls and swirls and whirls of pollination.
Distract me, I DARE YOU if you can, with infrequent fine French food and wine when I dine often on scraps accompanied by the tune of hunger gnawing at my belly (for I am working class, and have sometimes seen days when there was nay a single pot to piss a good piss in).
Distract me if you can, I DARE YOU life… life with all your tragedies and strife and agonies sent to crush like insects underfoot; ha, ha, how little do you realise, understand, that your distractions are my muse, that life is my eye candy ideas and rocket fuel to the moon, for pens which never run dry of ink.
Jings! The author has even found time to include a new avatar! Look how young I am on my profile pic! (photo was taken only last year, but you know how time flies and takes it toll).
By crikey! The author has even found time to add a video…
I dare you… (to play fkn loud!)
Bauhaus – Double Dare (with lyrics)
Final thoughts: no time for a proof read, nor the distilling of the words I write; to perform that noble art of the edit. What you read is what you get. Or, to quote a good friend and wizard: “But I will not back down – one take, whatever happens.”
Thank you, dear readers, for reading along 🙂
Ford, Atomic Mage, July 31, 2021. PACA, France.