Monday, 5 April 2010

Missive from the North Pole

I have decided to name my apology for an office the North Pole. It's an open plan area at the top of the house that faces north, and there are gaps around the badly fitted windows, through which the north wind blows and freezes my fingers and nose. Today, it's 58F at the North Pole; sounds warm(ish) but believe me, you soon grow chilly when you're sitting still, typing and 58 (15C) is just not a comfy temperature for me. Better than 43F though, which is what it was when we had that snow. Then, I was wearing thermals with three fleeces on top.

I'm working on the Fiesta horoscope column for June. I have an Ephemeris, I draw up the chart for the month, fill in all the movements of the planets, write down all the planetary aspects, then sit and think until a kind of pattern emerges for each star sign. As Fiesta is a men's (in other words, girlie) mag, all they are interested in is what's going to happen in their sex lives, so this is what I give them. I look at the cosmic picture and give it a sexual spin. Each column takes two days to do, and for that I earn the princely sum of £120. I used to get £200, but the internet has killed off the porno mags and their circulation is well down, so I agreed to shorten the column and accept less money.

At least it is regular monthly cash. My only other source of income is writing manuscript appraisals for which I earn much less for far more work! To think I was once editor of Loving Magazine, having the time of my life choosing romantic stories for it, and earning a nice, fat salary. One day, as soon as I find my own place to live, I shall start writing books again. That will be bliss indeed. But I can't write or even think creatively at the North Pole while stabbing at cold keys with blue fingers. I tried fingerless gloves but they were too clumsy to type in. I have a fan heater but that only stops me getting chilblains on my ankles. Roll on that big lottery win!

PS: Overheard whilst passing a couple at an outdoor cafe table when it was battering down with hail: Woman was shivering inside her plastic while man says with true British stoicism and irony, "At least it isn't raining!"


Teresa Ashby said...

I love that comment about the rain!

Loving magazine was great - I have very fond memories of it.

it is so hard to type with cold fingers. I tried fingerless gloves too but kept hitting the wrong keys.

I've got a Beautiful Bloggers award for you over at my blog - and its for Hillingdon Wildlife too.

Jacula said...

So many of us - so-called old bags - writing now that I can't find your link, Teresa.
Glad you are so prolific and get paid. I'm still reading fiction specials and mags back from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s and your stories prolierate. So, though I envy you, more power to your pen or typing fingers, Teresa.

hydra said...

Jacula, here's a link to Teresa's blog.

Jacula said...

Thanks Hydra.