Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tamar Cohen's little distractions... plus a book giveaway
When we first heard about Tamar Cohen's latest novel, "The War of the Wives," we knew she'd be a great fit for Chick Lit Central. Tamar Cohen has been a freelance journalist for over twenty years during which time she has written for publications including: The Times, The Telegraph, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Hello! She is the author of nine non-fiction books, as well as her first fictional novel, "The Mistress's Revenge."
Currently, Tamar lives in London with her partner and three teenaged children. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, especially when she's looking for a good distraction, like she describes in her guest post. Although she intended to write an intelligent, thought-provoking, insightful guest post relating to the themes she deals with in her novels – family dynamics, obsession, betrayal, infidelity – she realized it was the school summer holidays and, well, see what happened!
Thanks to Transworld, we have FIVE copies of "The War of the Wives" for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!
Downstairs my daughter is watching the Olympics on the TV. I can hear the commentator getting very animated about something. I absolutely won’t go to look though. I’m working. I have to get this draft finished (try started). But… it does sound very exciting. I’ll just go to the stairs and peek in. Just for a second. That can’t do any harm – mini breaks from the computer are essential, the scientists say. What do you know? It’s a sport I never even knew existed – men kneeling in little canoes and paddling like Pocahontas. Nothing for me to see here. I’ll go straight back upstairs...just as soon as I’ve seen the end of this race. Oh, and there’s another one...
An hour later and I’ve hauled myself upstairs. Right. I’m sitting at my desk. That’s perfect. Fingers over the keyboard, poised for action. Except there’s something bothering me. The mess! Papers everywhere, a half-pack of paracetemol, books, bills, clothes pegs (!). This is not good feng shui. No wonder I’m creatively stymied! I’ll just spend a few minutes putting things in order – it’ll pay-off a hundredfold in terms of increased productivity. Oh look! My son’s railcard application form. He’ll be needing that filled in before he goes to that festival next week. Which requires his passport. Which requires me to scour the entire house...
Finally found the passport stuffed into a kitchen drawer. Am on my way STRAIGHT back upstairs when I walk past the living room and see the handball is on. Handball? It’s like they’re making up the rules on the spot! I watch for a while just to see the girls dart on the pitch with brooms in between play and debate with my daughter what they are sweeping up. Sweat! Who’d have thought it? They’re sweeping up sweat! After that I have to watch some more just to speculate on the lives of these sweat-sweepers. (And what do you do? Well, I sweep sweat...)
But now I’m back at my desk. Form filled in. Everything in order. Looking out of the window for inspiration. But, oh! The sun is out. Finally. After weeks of grey drizzle, the sky isn’t any longer the colour of an old dishcloth but a gorgeous pure blue. The dog comes and sits by the door, reproach writ large across its face. I ignore it. The draft won’t write itself! The dog starts to make little whimpering noises. We both stare in silence at the blue sky out of the window.
Ok, so the walk takes longer than I thought, what with bumping into a friend outside the café in the park and agreeing that it would be insane not to take advantage of the change in weather, and reminding ourselves that studies show we’re all in danger of getting Rickets because of lack of exposure to sunlight. We have to think of our health, we tell each other sternly. But now I’m back at my desk, and raring to go. That break has done wonders for my concentration. But everyone knows you can’t just go straight into writing, cold so I’ll get myself warmed up by having a quick look at Twitter...
My middle son has appeared by my desk as if by magic. It’s lunchtime, he tells me. Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just sat down to work... I look at the clock on the computer. 1.30. How is that possible? Can’t you make yourself something? I ask, tetchily. But no, apparently our kitchen, which I stocked up just yesterday, contains ‘not one single thing to eat’. I sigh theatrically, and head downstairs.
At least I have a clear afternoon to work in. Or at least I would, if it wasn’t the 5000 metres final. The race itself doesn’t last long, but you need to watch the build up, just for the atmosphere. While I’m watching, I multitask by simultaneously eating the cookies my daughter has just made, which somehow seems to have involved using every utensil in the kitchen, now heaped up next to the sink.
Finally I drag myself away, leaving strict orders I’m not to be disturbed. Purposefully I sit down at my desk and power up the computer. There are still a couple of hours left of the working day. Plenty of time as long as I’m focused. I start typing. I’m on fire. I’m a lean, mean writing machine. Suddenly I stop as something occurs to me. Aren’t I supposed to have written a guest post for Chick Lit Central? Isn’t the deadline right around now?
I dig out the email. Yes. Uh-huh. That’s correct. Right around now. On the button! I’d better have a quick flick through the Chick Lit site again, just to get a sense of the style. No point in writing something then finding it’s way out of kilter. Just a quick look, more like a glance really...
A massive roar from the television downstairs snaps me away from the computer screen. I notice it’s no longer bright sunlight outside, but there’s a warm golden evening glow. How can that be right? I contemplate starting typing. There’s still time to get this guest post written... Mum! my daughter is yelling. Mum – it’s the 200 metres. And what’s for dinner? I sigh. Maybe it would be foolish to attempt to write something now, after a long day’s work. Better to start bright and early in the morning, with a fresh head.
I resolve to be at my desk first thing. Well, after the Taekwondo heats obviously...
How to win "The War of the Wives":
Please tell us what distracts you the most from being productive. (One entry per person.) Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win.
Giveaway ends August 20th at midnight EST.