Tyrannosaurus Rex and the House of Conkers

This morning’s chat with Monkey on our way to school resulted in the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. He was curious to know how the book is coming along, as his little mind seems to have equated writing a book with becoming a millionaire (imagine all the Xbox games). I explained the bleak reality of being a writer, namely that to make any kind of living out of being an author, you need to sell 50,000 copies a year. In the whole world, only 1,000 titles achieve those kind of sales. Monkey pondered this for a moment, then looked at me and shrugged his shoulders.

But you’ll probably do that, you’re you and that’s special enough.

My heart nearly exploded with love for this little angel, whose loyalty and belief in me don’t budge even in the face of grim statistics. It would be easier to just stick to a Plan B, give up before I’ve even started and accept that my dream is pretty far fetched. Or I could adopt Monkey’s attitude and believe in myself. I’m going to aim to do the latter. Well, I’ve taken the plunge now, so I kind of have to.

Someimes things just flow and I look back on an afternoon’s writing and feel really confident. At other times, I worry when I have a couple of days when the next chapter or scene just won’t come to me. This week’s been slow in terms of word count targets, but better for ideas, and maybe I just have to accept that this will keep on happening in leaps and bounds, interrupted by more stagnant stages. And that’s OK, I guess.

From the Best Compliment Ever, we went to me feeling so bad I could have cried. There was a spider on the balcony, and I asked my little man to remove it as he isn’t scared of them. I handed him a shoe and told him to whack it dead. His loyalty took over, and only when I came back and found him tearful did I realise that it had hurt him to kill the thing, even though it to my mind was a filthy critter and deserved the death penalty for having the nerve to set up camp on our balcony. Bless his little heart. I think I’ll have to go back to throwing shoes or using a mop.

Mother Hen told me what I suspect might be an old wives’ tale, but I’m too scared of spiders to doubt her theory and willing to try anything. She advised to place conkers around the house, especially by windows and doors, as apparently they detest them and it keeps them out. B is away with work, and what he doesn’t know is that what was before a couple of conkers in every room that I’d hidden so you couldn’t even see them, is now the House of Conkers. I’d estimate there are about 30 scattered around the place – on window sills, under the shoe rack, under beds and sofas, in every bloody corner…. ..and all this, because I’ve seen the ONE spider.

It wasn’t massive, I’ve seen much worse although not in this place, but big enough to have me screaming on top of my lungs followed by shaking like a leaf and having palpitations. Death by a well aimed shoe that I threw at it. The arachnae carcass was left for B to remove when he got home that day. Even when the filthy things are dead, I’d rather eat my own vomit than go near them. Oh, and of course there was the one on the balcony. Death by emotional little Monkey.

We had that conversation too, on the school run.

So what would you choose, a tarantula or T-rex?” Monkey wanted to know.

Tarantula,” I responded without missing a beat.

But you could kill a tarantula more easily.

They could both kill you though, and I’d prefer T-rex.

But a tarantula would take longer to get to you, so you’d have time to get your shoe of to bash it with,” Monkey mused.

So I’m undecided on whether I’d prefer an encounter with T-rex or a beefed up spider. It’s a tricky one.


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