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I’m proud to say that I got a good fire going tonight, despite the damp wood. It’s a shame the company wasn’t more crackling (pardon the pun). It’s such an odd group of people here this week, not really that cohesive. Last time the group talked and laughed and joked and we learned about one another’s lives, as well as what each of us was working on. This group sits in silence until one of us asks a question about someone’s book or agent or publisher and then we talk about that for a while until the silence returns.

Tonight I asked Gwenda when she first started writing, thinking it would be a reasonably short answer, and then everyone else could talk about how they got started. But my question launched her off on a monologue that must have lasted a good half an hour. There was no chance to derail her or interject or anything, so the rest of us just had to sit and listen. And although probably about a third of what she said was quite interesting, she has that habit that many old people do of just rambling, eg “and then we went out for dinner for my birthday and my nephew was there. My nephew has Australian parents but he’s been living in the States and so has quite an American outlook in his ideas. So we went out for dinner, it was for my birthday, and my nephew was at the dinner. And after the dinner we went back to my place. And he came too…” etc etc. It just went on. And she has quite a papery, monotonous voice that is quite hard to listen to.

Anyway. Nobody asks me anything or seems to want me to talk about myself. I seem to be the one asking questions to get the conversation flowing, and I’m not especially good at that so that gives you a clue as to how social everyone else is! I asked Mark about his book and he refused to talk about it because he was sick of discussing it. He said “I should ask you about yours,” but then when I started to talk about it he seemed completely uninterested. Everyone is pleasant enough, but nobody jokes or laughs much. It’s all very polite. Quite strange.

Also dinner itself was a bit weird. It was fish, which Sheila insisted was hot and had to be eaten immediately, but when we started to serve it, it was almost raw. So we had to microwave it, which took quite a while and by the time I’d returned from microwaving mine everyone else had served themselves vegetables and not left any for me (which I thought was, well, rude). No I lie, there were two green beans and some mashed potato. So I mostly ate mashed potato because the fish wasn’t very palatable after its nuking. I have a feeling I’m going to be hungry later.

There’s a reason I always refused to live in a share house.

In terms of the writing, I wrote about 2000 words today. None of it was especially cohesive, but I was darting between characters, building up little scenes and having fun with it. Also one of the characters is a latent artist and used to draw comics, so I spent some time drawing comics that he would have written, which opened up things about his personality that were quite surprising. I don’t understand this whole writing thing; it works in such a weird way for me. But I shan’t question it; I shall accept it graciously.