Okay, Charlie's flight to Seattle has departed Amsterdam, he's somewhere over the North Sea and out of touch with the world for the next 10 hours. Time, I think, to spill the beans about the fantastic and glamorous life of a writer's spouse.
Charlie has recently finished writing a novel, which means for the past few weeks he has been in Write Mode. Write Mode comes with its annoyances:
- Every moment of the day will be spent writing, except when he needs to eat, make a mug of tea, take a bath or attend to the cats' needs.
- Yes, he even writes there - he takes a laptop in with him.
- As implied above, the only acceptable interruptions are those from felines.
- No, I can't practice guitar - even with the wireless headphones, he can hear the strings. Nor mess with the synths, as the imperceptible sound of my fingers on the keys is like a machine gun to his ears.
- Ditto watching telly. Especially Mythbusters, when they're playing with explosives.
- Not only is the sewing machine too loud, but I suspect he'd take exception to hand embroidery - I occasionally have need to say
ouch, you see.
- Technical problems are my problem, and probably my fault (the latter is true).
- When he's not writing, eating, tea-making, bathing or attending to Their Hairy Majesties, he's either sleeping or about to go to bed due to knackeredness from serious brain work.
- He is too busy to answer the question
What would you like for tea?, and it's hard to guess how hungry he's feeling, and what sorts of things appeal to him today.
- Buggering off on holiday is Not Allowed. I am not his muse, but he still claims he needs me around to write.
- Buggering off to the pub with friends is okay, but I don't think my liver will be happy with a fifth consecutive night's boozing.
- When he can be persuaded to go to the pub, in those rare moments between finishing writing for the day and going to bed, he will talk about nothing other than the work-in-progress and plans for future novels.
- In those romantic moments in bed before nodding off, he will talk about nothing other than the work-in-progress and plans for future novels.
- If I were to try and chat to him in the bath, he would talk about nothing other than the work-in-progress and plans for future novels.
- I suspect when he's talking to the cats, he's telling them about the work-in-progress and his plans for future novels, with specific reference to the feline characters in them.
- Even when there's a bloody great Vulcan bomber taxying past at high speed, he will mention how it fits into the Laundryverse. Fortunately this cannot be heard easily.
- He was in Write Mode in the run up to my driving test. How much do you think he discussed my driving when he was supervising my driving practice? What do you think he mostly talked about?
- Forget grocery shopping. You learn a lot about how detailed his world-building can get when doing utterly mundane things together.
- He is, of course, completely unaware of his monomania.
- Despite the cats being allowed to distract him, he will not provide them with the attention they think they deserve, and so spend time in my study meowing for some of my attention. It's not as good as Charlie's attention, but it will do.