The running first:
Well, since last weekend I have a target for the first half of 2013 so I now need to start upping my training.
Like someone with an impending state exam, the first (and most important) thing to do is to draw up a time table. This will be followed by the running equivalent of sharpening my pencils, getting new batteries for my calculator and wearing two underpants while studying (the last one was a bit of serious advice we got as kids from a teacher).
At least I can bring my meaningless runs to an end and can start a bit of structured training although having checked with Dale on what training he intends to do I realise that the term training is a broad church.
My main target is to get to the start line having built up a respectable endurance base, staying as injury free as I can and have a good fuelling (that’s eating) strategy that gets me to the finish. This, coupled with foot welfare and general common sense, should (I hope) prove to be a success.
More on all of that over the next 6 months.
Now, book ideas.
Believe it or not I often get people saying to me that I’m quite good at this blogging thing and that I have a book in me.
Often might be stretching it but they say it more than they say I’m good at running.
I tend to dismiss these compliments because they normally come from people who know me so their compliments have to be modulated through that prism (i.e. if they didn’t know me they’d think I was a bit of a tit).
But this evening over dinner I had my first commercial book idea. An idea that if I knew someone in publishing I’m sure would make it to the top of some sort of list.
The story goes like this:
I was finishing up my day’s work today – this mainly involved listening to The Sickbed of Cuchulainn on Spotify- when I got a phone call from home.
I had to hurry home as the eldest had been interviewed at school for TV3 news about what Christmas was like in their family.
This is pretty big news and so off I went, humming the Pogues, ready for some family bonding time. The sort of time where you make eye-contact with you partner and you both feel proud that you’ve done some good in the world.
We all sat down to watch as the news rolled on – our segment was going to be one of those and finally segments – and we had to endure all the misery porn of the western world.
And finally (well, about 12 minutes in – light day for the misery porn merchants) our segment rolled around. The interviewer had spliced together a montage of Christmas-y images and then the school kids were interviewed.
Conor had coloured lights on the tree, Louis put the angel on the tree, Heather had a bauble with her name on it and then my daughter comes on.
and she says:
My dad wants to put lights on the bannister but my mum says NO.
Silence from my wife and loud guffaws from me.
I was dead proud of her (mainly for telling the truth) but at that moment – as the family realised that on the outside we might be the Waltons but on the inside we’re the Simpsons – I had my book idea.
A book for kids about how wise and sensible mums were and about how feckless dads were.
You have to conjure up some sort of mental picture of a children’s book (under 4’s) with a soft message about not killing yourself.
Scene 1: Children covered in chocolate and a caption that reads:
I asked my dad if we could have chocolate for breakfast – he said fine but my mum said NO.
Scene 2: Children in school in their pyjamas and a caption that reads:
I asked my dad if we could go to school in our pyjamas – he said fine but my mum said NO.
Scene 3: Children suffering from severe sunburn and a caption that reads:
I asked my dad if we go out in the sun without sun-cream – he said fine but my mum said NO.
Scene 4: Children stuck up a tree being rescued by the fire brigade and a caption that reads:
I asked my dad if we could climb the tree- he said fine but my mum said NO.
I think you get the idea and I’m sure you agree that it would be a raging success. Like Shrek it would have a message for people of all ages.
I also have a book idea that would be targeted at a more romantic end of the book industry – a fifty shades of smut sort of thing.
This would basically involved lots of colour spreads of potential situations you could find yourself in with you loving wife but the text from the children’s book would remain pretty much unchanged (minor word changes but the same sentence structure).