How many monkeys does it take to change a typewriter ribbon?

You might be wondering ‘why thousandmonkeys?’; or you might even be wondering ‘why thousandmonkeys what?’ The answer to the first question is that it’s a joke of sorts, arising from my other half (spouse, as opposed to conjoined twin, though some may beg to differ) often being called a monkey, at least by me. His logic being that if he’s one monkey (or yeknoMenO as his blog has it) then I must be a thousand monkeys bashing away at typewriters. Or computer keyboards – this is the twenty-first century, after all. Though I like to think they’re working the WordPress, wringing damp adjectives from the depths of the machinery.

Now before you protest that you’ve never heard of me (and how could you? I haven’t told you my name, yet), I freely admit that you can’t go into your local supermarket and pick up my latest bestseller. You can’t even walk into an obscure bookshop and smugly ask for my collected essays just to show how clever you are. You can, if you wish, look at a BBC7 webpage and see my prize-winning installment of a radio sci-fi series, the prize being a Doctor Who CD and a treasured note from a BBC producer. Or you can go into a library a couple of miles from my birthplace and read my articles in the local family history journal. Hardly the Booker or the pages of the Guardian, but every writer has to start somewhere. Unless, of course, they happen to be famous in an entirely different sphere, because we all know that any fool can write a novel; maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see anybody reversing the trend and asking Stephen King to do a TV programme on organic gardening.

Was that a hint of bitterness there? Well, maybe. I’m not above a touch of envy at the publication of Jordan’s ghost-written pages, but I’m enough of a realist to know that if, by some chance, I got a novel published and out there, no-one would buy it, because they haven’t heard of me.

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