September 10, 2014 at 3:55 am #116
(And her struggles with editorial and cleaning staff anarchy)
September 11, 2014 at 5:51 am #3506
“I see you are doing well with the exploration of playful spontaneity, Liz,” remarked Godfrey with a dry grin.
“Don’t you start, Godfrey. Everything has to be planned down to the last detail first.”
“Controlled spontaneity is it?”
“More of a solid base, a platform if you like, a launch pad for a cooperation of revelation and inspiration, a raft for the craft to avoid a sea of confusion. That sort of thing.”
“So, how’s it going?”
“Oh, it’s going very well indeed! I think we’re on chapter 57 of the plans already.”September 11, 2014 at 6:24 am #3507
Godfrey filled his mouth with peanuts to avoid speaking any negativity.
The raucous cough had alerted him to the presence of the cleaning lady.
In between mouthfuls, he whispered to Liz “Is there anything we can do, like having her breathe in a grocery store bag or anything? Her asthma has taken frightening proportions…”September 11, 2014 at 7:16 am #3508
“I suppose we could give her the rest of the day off, but then who would do the cleaning?” Liz replied. “I think it’s always best to distract oneself and keep very busy when one feels under the weather. It would probably help if we gave her some extra work to do.”September 11, 2014 at 7:22 am #3509
Godfrey was impressed. “Might be the wisest things you said ever, dear.” he chuckled.
Then, looking around, he whispered back with a mischievous smile
“What about the windows ? They do look a bit foggy, and there is this old bosun’s chair in the attic I’ve been dying to have tried for some time now…”September 11, 2014 at 7:47 am #3511September 11, 2014 at 8:16 am #3514
“You know what, Godfrey? I could just happily populate imaginary towns and then leave them all to get on with it, you know what I mean? I could call myself The Populator. My George, I think I’ve found my forte.”
“Well, you are known for an unbridled passion for introducing new characters that nobody understands, Liz.”
“Exactly!” she replied happily.September 11, 2014 at 9:22 am #3520
“It’s starting to look like the flashbacks are going to be more interesting than the start of the story, Liz,” Godfrey mentioned, while perusing Liz’s notes.
“Does it matter?” she replied crisply.
“What are you mumbling, Finnley? Soliloquy? What’s that?”
Finnley rolled her eyes, resisting the urge to snort lest it make her cough.September 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm #3523
“Anyway,” Godfrey continued after a ponderous moment, “you’ve gathered more documentation than you ever had before you started a book, Liz. Are you waiting for Finnley, (no offense)”, he waved at her while she was cleaning her overall methodically “to ghostwrite it for you or what?”
“Stop pushing me. You know the publishers, never happy without a working draft.”
“Exactly my point. Since when do you care about such things? All you need is a picturesque starting scene, don’t squander your wits in scattered tidbits.”
“Fuck off Godfrey. Now you got my limerick bone all tingly…”September 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm #3534
“Godfrey, go and put the kettle on. Finnley wants a cuppa. Finnley come and sit down and tell me all about it.”
“All about what?” asked Finnley.
“Anything, dear, just make something up. The whole world is insane, and I’ve decided that the only solution is to ..to….”
“Godfrey, don’t just stand there with your mouth open like a goldfish, put the bloody kettle on. Liz needs a cuppa,” said Finnley.September 28, 2014 at 8:31 am #3540
That Liz had started to become a few sandwiches short of a picnic when she’d hit her 57th birthday was an open secret.
Her editor had to personally recruit frequent replacements for her dame de compagnie, whom, no matter how different they looked, she would invariably call ‘cleaning lady Finnley’, stuck with her remembrance of a certain period of her life.
Godfrey often had wondered… were he to resign, and be replaced like so many Finnleys before this one, would she also call his replacement “Godfrey”? The though made him titter, as he put the kettle on the stove.
At times he wanted to scream that he wasn’t her bloody man-servant, but her personal doctor had made a point to explain to him that Elizabeth’s frail grasp on reality would only be strengthened if everyone continued to play the charade of her life.
Truth was, she really did seem to grow younger as the years passed, and as she was bossing around everyone with great enjoyment, Godfrey had often wondered if she wasn’t in cahoots with her physician to have everyone believe she was truly losing it.
He had to admit, she was doing a terrific job at it.September 28, 2014 at 8:33 am #3541
Funny thing was, none of this would be possible, if not for Liz’ impeccable release of new literary works. Despite her feigned struggles, she managed to release them like clockwork.
Prolific line-pissing writers like King had nothing to envy to her. She would document and expound on nearly every bit of news passing. As a matter of fact, most of her morning rituals were to document the press review, and make clippings out of the most absurd or mundane events, and somehow, weave enthralling tales with it.
The last past years had been the most flourishing ones, mostly focused on tales of social responsibility in magical gardens, civil disobedience in cetacean societies, and financial collapse of ayahuasca economy based Amazonian tribes.
Well, to be honest, the magic had to be left to the Finnleys. It was nor the endless cleaning nor the unnerving bluster that had them resign. It was mostly that they were literary agents in cover aspiring to more than a life of cleaning. For what Elizabeth had as gift of prolixity, all the Finnleys were hired to put it all together, while sworn to secrecy.
Of course, with each best-sellers, they had to find a new one most of the time.November 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm #3569
“Where is that darned cuppa you promised me?” grumbled Finnley. “And don’t make me talk. I hate talking.”November 27, 2014 at 10:45 pm #3570
“There’s a very fine line, Finnley, between feckless drivel, and fecking snivel, and to not put too fine a point upon it, it’s all fairly pointless anyway,” replied Liz, smiling amiably into the curmudgeonly scowl. “Bert will put the kettle on, I’ll call him over from the thread next door.”
“Typical!” muttered Finnley, “Never a thought about waking the poor bugger up, that it might be night time over there. Bloody inconsiderate, if you ask me.”November 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm #3571
Bert really had his hands full at The Flying Fish Inn, fecking freak fest it was turning into, what with the comings and goings in room 8 ~ but what could he do? Refuse, and get written out altogether?November 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm #3577November 29, 2014 at 2:29 am #3578
“… so leaving the book club just sort of snapped me into just buggering off with a lot of that individualistic stuff that doesnt resonate to the exclusion of other stuff. And then I started another book club which resonated more with my special individuality. I found I enjoyed starting book clubs just for the fun of it—I think I have quite a gift in that direction. After a while, out of curiosity, I went back to the first group. I changed my name and wore a hat and scarf as a disguise so I am pretty sure nobody knew it was me. Finnley, are you listening?”November 29, 2014 at 3:14 am #3579
Finnley looked up guiltily from the Lemololol novel she was surreptitiously reading under the table. In an effort to give the impression she had been listening, Finnley read the first line her eyes fell on.
“You know Elizabeth, I always say you need a good smoking pile of manure to grow bigger cucumbers.”
Elizabeth gasped in admiration. “You are so wise, Finnley. We may have had our differences in the past — I have such strong inner values — and I may call you odd behind your back, but manure and cucumbers, that is just brilliant! That sums it up precisely. Let me make you another cup of tea.”November 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm #3581
“How about you Bert? Were you listening?” she asked, raising an eyebrow of her own to match Berts.
Finnly, always on the lookout for an opportunity to out do Liz, raised both of her eyebrows simultaneously; then looked quickly down, pretending to examine her nails.
“Then why did none of us hear the blood crazed howl?”
“Ah! Aha! I’ll tell you why nobody heard the blood crazed howl!” Elizabeth had become alarmingly animated, leaning forward and rapping sharply on the table with her cigarette lighter. “The walls of isolation that surround you, the windows you keep closed and shuttered for fear of a draft of passion, the fences of barbed trotted out dogma you use as protection ~ but I ask you, protection from what?”November 30, 2014 at 6:19 pm #3585December 1, 2014 at 4:21 am #3594
“Liz’, I’m sorry to interrupt,” remarked Godfrey, somewhat cautiously, “I know you’d rather forget about it, but shall I remind you that we are going to be irrevocably late for our appointment at the court, for the third time.”
“What nonsense is that again? And where did you appear from Godammfrey? I haven’t summoned you!”
Godfrey couldn’t help but raise his eyes and start a rolling motion, but insisted.
“The lawsuit, darling. This scandalous libel by that rat of a critic who accused you quite unambiguously of both plagiarism and ghostwriting. You surely do remember that?”
“I’m sorry Godfrey, can’t this be dealt with without my being there. I’m not paying you peanuts to just entertain me.”
Godfrey sighed. It was already the second time they missed the appointment, and the judge would certainly no see it in a good light. A little bit of publicity around this affair wasn’t bad of course, especially with such hilarious allegations. Everyone in town knew well enough Elizabeth’s take on both plagiarism (“it’s just slight teafing”) and ghostwriting (“channeling by another name, darling”), so it was very good publicity indeed.
But having sued the critic now, it would be a pity to lose to him. If only for the money. When did she become so careless about it? Having personnel did go a little to her head…
“If you’d pardon me” Elizabeth said after a eloquent burp, “all that tea have quite distended my bladder, and I would actually quite enjoy discovering the loo of the courthouse. When shall we go?”
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