Sunday, May 24, 2015

What's next?

The long Whitsun weekend, here in Munich cloudy and cool, invites introspection. 

What next? As I hasten to add The Hundredth Part of Evil (working title) to my Kindle originals, I am faced with the fact that although I have written over forty thousand words I have encountered a big problem. The Sword of Damocles hanging above my protagonists appears not to be fashioned in the strongest forged steel but unfortunately only made of limp papier maché! A hiatus in my storytelling is the unfortunate consequence. Not that there is no writing being done. I use the timeto return to work on my Memoir. This already amounts to roughly 142,500 words and because of all the illustrations runs to over 360 manuscript pages, I have nowonly reached thepoint where I am dealing with the events of 1994! Nosce te ipsum, 'Know Thyself', describes a task which in many ways is quite daunting.

What next? Daunting is also the struggle against penury. With almost no demand for my servicesas translator or voiceover talent, I am finding 'Benefit Street' to bea twisting alley leading to an unknowable destination. For too many days my bank account has shown a credit balance of EUR 1.11, a situation calling for further economies. My supper is still of buttered crackers with cheese but no longer with paté (although this latter is in fact only Teewurst, a potted meat spread of questionable nutritional value!). Things become all the more surreal when I learn from a letter that arrived yesterday that the Department of Pensions will be trasnsferring to me payments which have accrued to my benefit since the beginning of 2010, amounting to a five-figure sum! I'll believe it when I see it.

What next? Since I've not been able to afford any new Kindle titles to read, recent evenings have been spent with a booky-book, a paperback Jessi sent me as a well-timed gift. The print is hard to read, too small for comfort, but The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner is a most extraordinary novel. She describes the intensely dramatic and freaky flip-side of a decade which I experienced in a manner which, looking back, seems in comparison tame and self-indulgent, the late seventies. 

What next? Yesterday also saw emails from Amazon announcing the forthcoming transfer of royalties due for sales of my titles on Kindle. This pittance should nevertheless be enough for me to buy a couple of new ebooks to read. 

What next? In the coming week Jessi will sit the last two of her exams at King's College London. In just over a month she'll be back with us in Munich with only her disssertation left to write to complete her studies. And then it will be her turn, with her degree in her pocket, to ask 'what's next?'.

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