Somewhat preoccupied

November 14, 2011

The deadline for the manuscript of Ruso 5 is getting very close now. How I wish I could say the same for the end of the book. Meanwhile this is my excuse for being even vaguer than usual, as is evidenced below:

1) I am driving along the motorway while Husband, the first victim for any manuscript, sits next to me reading Ruso 5 – The Story so Far. Husband has a tendency to mutter odd words as he reads, hence when I hear the word ‘Sixth’ mentioned more than once, I smile in recognition. He has reached the passage about the arrival of the Sixth Legion! I say nothing to distract him.  I am somewhat surprised when he repeats the word for the third time, louder. It seems he is particularly impressed with this passage. Then he adds, ‘Gear.’ I ponder this for a moment, thinking of armour and shields.

‘Sixth gear!’ repeats husband, amazed that I am ignoring his helpful reminder. ‘You’re doing over seventy. Don’t you look at the rev counter?’

Er, no. My eyes are on the road. Clearly my mind is not.

2)  I have just returned from yet another 200-mile drive (a frequent occurrence when you live in the West Country) and barely taken the coat off when a young man phones needing some information for a form. We confirm Husband’s initials and then he says, ‘And your name is Arthur Ruth?’

‘Just Ruth,’ I say, puzzled. ‘Not Arthur.’


‘No, not Arthur,’ I repeat, ‘Just Ruth,’ adding, ‘I don’t know where the Arthur came from.’ ( mailmerge, I suspect, but don’t say so).

‘No, not Arthur,’ he repeats, with the patient voice of someone who clearly thinks he is dealing with a total nitwit, ‘I said, R for Ruth.’

I hope to rejoin the real world shortly after 31 December. Meanwhile, dear reader, please bear with me.


  1. the phone call was for sure a “Ruso” moment . . in modern times of course. People are always asking him misleading questions that sometimes lead nowhere but sometimes head him in the right direction.

    • Hm… maybe there’s a future for a writer called ‘Arthur Ruth’?!

  2. Ruth, that does make me laugh. Talk about funny things happening on the way to the forum! Your experiences ring so many bells with me. That sort of confusion isn’t quite absent-mindedness, because part of one’s mind is present, driving or phoning or whatever; it’s just the other part which is two thousand years away, and even one’s nearest and dearest find it hard to break through. I suppose it’s the author equivalent of a Senior Moment…we’ll have to think of an impressive literary name for it! Meanwhile, all the very best for Ruso #5.

    • Thanks Jane! I think Husband may have a name for it, but not a literary one.

  3. These misunderstandings arise between people and it’s not usually fair to blame them entirely on the listener.

    I remember many years going into a shop and asking for something; the man in the shop didn’t have it and directed me to the D.R.Y. shop, or so I thought. I repeated the mysterious initials solemnly. Only later did it occur to me that he meant the Do It Yourself shop, but his accent was somewhat different from mine.

  4. Ha! Now you mention it, D.R.Y. really IS how it’s pronounced… (reminds me of a friend sitting an exam, who quoted a book called ‘Iron Brain’ that she hadn’t actually read – or even seen – but her boyfriend had. Unfortunately, as the examiner later pointed out, it was really called ‘Eye and Brain’.)

  5. Ha! Sadly, I have way too much empathy for you. *grin*

    (BTW,Gary Corby pointed the way to your blog via Twitter, where we were waxing philosophical about writers and insanity…)

    • Hi Linda. That sounds interesting! I shall go instantly to Twitter and read… oh, no! No, I will sit here diligently writing and save it as a treat for later.

  6. LOL! I know about those moments when your mind is somewhere else and it takes several tries for those on the outside to break through.

    • Thanks Pepper – I’ll tell Husband he is not alone!

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