Happy New Year! I hope you have enjoyed the whole Christmas period and 2017 is a good one for you. I always think the new year is like an unopened gift, none of us know what it will bring, but it makes us look ahead, to think about things we might like to change or try harder with.
One thing I would like to change is a Christmas gift husband bought for our sons. We had a ‘Men in Black’ party, so he thought it would be a good idea to give them alien guns. It wasn’t. The gun lit up when fired and made a noise. A very loud, irritating noise. Like those toys which people who have never had children buy for your toddlers (and you remove the batteries as soon as they leave.) Except, my sons are not toddlers. They are 20 and 22.
Did you like my story? It was bit of an experiment. Modern European literature has everything in a story build towards the end, where the climax is. However, I have been reading about ancient Greek literature, where the climax, the most important part, is in the middle. It acts like a sort of hinge, with the elements on either side balancing each other. I found this a very interesting idea, so would like to try and write my next book, Clara Oakes, in this style. Not in a way that the reader especially notices, it will read like a normal novel, but just for my own amusement, to see if I can. So “One of those days…” was a practise for me. It was more difficult than I thought, though quite fun to write, bit of a challenge.
If you missed it, the link is:https://anneethompson.com/2016/12/27/one-of-those-days/
We saw a lot of the extended family over the holiday, which was nice. I’m very fortunate, as our family all gets on very well, the cousins enjoy being with each other and we share the same sense of humour. One tradition is a games evening at my sister-in-law’s. Each family takes a game, and we eat bacon sandwiches, and sit around on chairs and the floor, chatting and playing games.
One game was a memory game, which involved lots of changing seats and remembering names that changed every turn. I was completely confused the entire time.
Another game was a word game. We worked in pairs, and were given a word or picture. We then, independently, wrote a prescribed number of other words, which related to what we were given. This list was compared with our partner, and we got points for all those which were the same. So for example, one word was ‘Airport’. I wrote: Heathrow, Gatwick, Newark, JFK, Manchester, Luton, Stansted. My husband wrote all the same, except he wrote ‘City’ instead of Manchester, so we got 6 points.
My brother was with my mother. Trying to guess what my mother thinks is quite a challenge, so he had a very difficult job. For ‘Airport’, Mum wrote: planes, Ruth leaves, Ruth arrives, noise. He didn’t manage to match any of those (can’t think why!) My personal favourite was the word ‘Compass’. Mum wrote: come, pass, useful, Ben Tucker. Again, none of my brother’s words matched, though Mum was able to explain exactly how her choices were completely logical. It was very funny.
Of course, the couple who scored the highest were my sons. I sometimes think they’re the same person shared between two different bodies. Ever since son 2 was born, they have basically been a unit. Even now, when the second son returns home, his brother greets him in the hall and they start talking and they talk, or play computer games, or watch telly, until one of them leaves. They are in ‘boy world’ and the rest of us are outside. Which is nice. Unless they have alien guns. Then they’re just annoying.
Have a lovely 2017.