Mother’s still at it, the old…ah, I’m not going to insult my mother. Check out this exchange:

I’ve just started the [publisher’s name] book today—got the first 2,000 words out of the road. As for my dressing gown, I suppose I could wash it and see how I feel. But it’ll always have touched toilet water.

I’m mainly writing to ask if you got me a bottle opener, though. You did, didn’t you?


And then, she’s all

Nope. Do you need one?

Glad to hear you’ve got started on the [publisher’s name] book, and good luck. Hope it just flies off the page.

As for the dressing gown, let this be a test. Forget your phobias and preconceptions, and just launder it well and wear it immediately. Everything will be absolutely fine, you’ll see, and you’ll prove to yourself that you can do the unimaginable.

Much love,


Laying it on a bit thick, what? The unimaginable, really! I just want a new dressing gown, a non-toilet one. A treat for having lived another year.

My housekeeper got me an actual present, by the way—socks, but not regular ones. Special woolly thick ones with pads on the bottoms, so I won’t slip on the floor. There was a card to go with them, quite a sweet one at that. I felt a bit naff with my packet of cash. Well, it’s her birthday in a few months. I’ll do better then, order up something nice.

Back to Mother, though…I’m out of guesses. I do need a bottle opener, and she knows I need one. She threw out my old one when I moved. It had rust on, or something. I don’t know. What else could I need? Soup spoons? Is it soup spoons? I’m going to ask. (In case it’s not, note to self: order soup spoons.)

Today’s been pants on the work front. The, ah, [author name] book’s coming along, but the original writer had an unusual style. I keep having to fix things so it won’t be obvious I’m a ghost. It took me nine hours to write two thousand words, which brings the total to six thousand. Ten thousand, and I get my first editorial review. (On this book, I mean, not my first ever. Obviously, I—there’s always an editor.)

I don’t have a picture today: I updated my drawing app, and now it won’t load. Here’s one from the archives instead.

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