THE WRITER’S LIFE
I’ve got a new work machine: getting the laptop back is like gaining yet another wonderful home. The gift from my parents has been stripped down, had a new OS and software installed. I’ve been off-market for a few years now and as such, this is a quantum leap for me. I never would have been able to carry something this big around anyway, so it’s a good job I have a home base now.
I’ve named the new computer Holly: a retro nod to Red Dwarf. Holly is allowing me to work more productively than ever. I have to wait until Star Wars day (May 4th) before I can really let rip, as that’s when my new mobile plan kicks in and I get a bundle of data. Until then, there’s plenty to do to really personalise the work machine.
In just the last five days, I’ve finished two 3000-word short stories and a chapter of similar length for Infana Kolonia. As I’m a little ahead with editors on pulp fiction, I’m planning to slow down production a little over the next couple of weeks, while I relax into the world snooker championship. It’s an annual tradition which I’ve not been able to observe in peace for several years.
The Studio continues to have things added to it, as I spot them in the local shops. The kitchen has benefited from some equipment and foliage and the smallest room got a Mexican palm plant to make it a little prettier in there. I’m one month in The Studio now and have rarely been happier.
My ego was boosted slightly today too. One of the projects I have planned for Holly is to revamp my website (stevelaker.net). The hosting company have proven a bit of a pain lately, especially in providing the details I would need to transfer my domain to another host. I chose a .net suffix because I am neither a company nor a commodity: I’m an online entity to most. Given my frustrations with my host, I looked into stevelaker.com: one day, I hope I might be a commodity with my writing. The last time I looked was a couple of years ago, when I was always going to be a .net. Back then, my personal .com site was available for £25 per year. I dismissed it because I wasn’t a .com. When I looked again today, my .com domain is on sale for $700. It’s been parked by a prospector and fair play to them and their algorithms: Clearly, searches for my name have increased and it now carries a premium, because people are searching for me.
I’m due to play host to my parents again tomorrow and am very much looking forward to it. I shall prepare them lunch, then we’ll go for a short walk along the country lane at the end of my mews, to see something of poetry and magic. I still can’t say what it is ahead of me taking my folks there but I shall write of it once it’s happened. With some further research which I’ve undertaken, I have identified an exact spot where I can ask my parents to stand when I show them what I took them there for. My parents have romance just by having each other; I have none and it’s not something I crave. But I’m a writer and sometimes poet, and I like to create beautiful things.
I met with the next generation of the Laker clan last weekend and it was more than the pleasant day which I’d predicted. The journey into London was most agreeable, passing as we did through south west London into Victoria and therefore Brixton: Bowie central. As well as being pleasant, the day in Milton Keynes was longer than usual as I was in no rush to get home. When I did arrive home, it was nice to be able to do so without fanfare.
I shall be returning to the pub in the next month or so for two reasons: I’ve seen and heard that the new landlord is making a success of the place, proving a lot which I suspected of the previous landlord: more on that another time. In the interim, in consultation with my parents tomorrow, I shall see if they want me to pursue the family items which that same landlord stole from us. To date, he has not come forward to offer the return of my belongings. Advice from the police is that 30 days is a reasonable period of time to wait before involving the law. The next step is for me to send a recorded delivery letter to the last known address of the landlord (the pub), requesting the return of my belongings. If he refuses without reasonable grounds, he is breaking the law. If he has disposed of my possessions, he has committed a crime and I will press charges. If he is still in possession of my belongings, I have been advised to request – in the letter – a meeting at a neutral location to effect the return of my goods. This, of course would be the pub, by necessity. This is the pub which the last landlord stole from and almost ran into the ground; the same landlord who I have so much else on. If I were him and I had to face my old punters, I would hang my head in shame. I shall make my own entrance with an air of confidence, knowing that I am right about so many things. I’ll also have a police escort: I have been advised – by the police – that this is to prevent a breach of the peace. This is going to be one meeting I could sell tickets for.
Again, there is nothing libellous here because this is all true. No names have been mentioned in any case.
My name is Holly. I say what Steve thinks.