Today was the day. I would open the new notebook and write the first page of my novel. I wouldn’t put it off for another moment.
I carefully set out my desk. There was the large cup of coffee next to the notebook, the supportive chair and the scented candle in the background. Now, which pencil should I start with? The HB pencil looked too prosaic but the softer pencil smudged. I looked through the pencils. Perhaps I could try the purple one – I got it as part of a set at Christmas and I had never really used it. I tested it on a scrap of paper, but it was far too scratchy. The scented one felt sticky and the glitter pencil kept breaking. The phone rang.
“Hello, I’m Adam and I’m calling from Windows Support Services. Our information shows that you have a virus on your computer…”
“I haven’t got a computer,” I lied as I quickly flicked over the tabs open on my laptop. “I won’t allow a computer in my house. They are all possessed by demons.”
I glanced up at the clock. It was already 10.30 and the morning was almost over. I grabbed my favourite pencil. Right, where to start. I took a mouthful of coffee. It was cold. How could I write a world-shattering novel with cold coffee? I put the kettle on. I should be having one of those fancy coffees in a small cup instead of supermarket instant. What sort of writer has instant coffee? I opened the cupboard, then remembered I’d just used the last of the jar. I looked at the clock again. I had to start my novel. I had been trying and trying and now I had the perfect notebook and a great pencil and I just needed a cup of coffee before the morning was over. I got a new jar out of the cupboard under the stairs and made myself a coffee and then sat down at my desk.
It was just after 11am and I had to get started. I took a breath. ‘It was the first caress of summer…’ I picked up my pencil and then stopped. Should I try, ‘It started last summer…’ Or how about, ‘Summer was always the start of things…’ Did that last one make sense? I was desperate to write this novel. It was nagging at me like a hangnail and now I had the perfect notebook, the perfect pencil and a hot cup of coffee. I couldn’t let anything else stop me. There was a knock on the door.
I raged all the way to the door. Why today? Why now? How could I be interrupted like this? I flung open the door with a dramatic flourish.
It was Lucy. Her face was pale and her eyes red. She flinched. “I’m sorry if I’ve come at a bad time, I can come back later…”
“He’s left you again, hasn’t he?” I asked. She nodded. I held the door wide for her. “Come on in and I’ll make you a coffee. I’m not doing anything important.”