My Carnation Condensed Milk Moment

There’s nowhere to hide. The house is in chaos; a century of black dust swirls around, settling then rising and falling again into a different pattern. I’ve got the builders in. I’m not the world’s greatest visualiser so I live in hope rather than expectation that the end will justify the disruption and I’ll have smooth plaster instead of leprous lumps; safe electricity rather than the hissing switches and a fab bathroom just as I wanted it.

This whole building process – design, plan, destroy, build, destroy again and re-build – reminds me of the way I deal with ideas. They float around in my head, specks of untold possibilities bumping into each other; sometimes conjoining, other times repelling. Truth be told its a bit of a war zone and I know enough to be wary; gather those thoughts together too soon and they go “pouf” and vanish into the ether; leave them too late and they go stale on me and lose their sparkle.

The art of knowing when to start putting a piece of writing together still sits on the dark side for me but when I do get it right there’s no greater satisfaction. The words come at just the right pace, everything flows and melds. It’s like pouring a shot of sweet smooth Carnation Condensed milk down my throat (still one of my enduring childhood loves). How I feel about a piece I’ve written generally is a good indicator of whether it will sell (and I make no apologies for being “commercial” about it). Often I choke up a bit when I read the finished piece and whenever that has happened I’ve had success. I don’t know yet whether this is some subtle subconscious crystal ball or just plain happenstance – time will tell.

However if any of you are moved to tears by now and you are sure it’s not down to the tortuous segue between first and second paragraphs, then perhaps this piece works for you too.


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