Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Anniversary Bash

Do you have a master-plan, or do you start something and see where it goes? Caroline always has clear objectives. To her, life is a Roman road with posts at every Roman mile. They even call them milestones in the latest business jargon. The discipline of business runs deep in Caroline's personality and carries over into our marriage. However many times events and affairs deflect her from the straight road, she somehow manages to shoehorn everything back into the grand plan.

I, on the other hand, hate to plan anything, even going to the movies. I would always rather decide on the day. So, for me, it is a particular and unusual miracle that this blog, started on a whim, has lived to see it's first anniversary. Over those 62 posts, the blog has roamed far and wide, following the adventures in publishing generated by Caroline's stories about her business colleagues. From time to time, my experiences with writers' gatherings have provided the material, and those have proven the most popular posts because people love to read something with their name in it. But in the spirit of an anniversary, I shall pour a glass of Pinot Noir, dig out three favourite extracts, and say 'Happy Birthday' to My Wife Caroline. (It's not her real birthday, but she could always have two, like the Queen).

I love it when characters answer back. Antonia Anderson said her piece when Shameless Ambition was due to be published. She wanted to explain how she came to be pole dancing in a bar in Spain.

"Robert is a lovely man but he can be cynical. I told him he wasn't being fair about career and personal development so here I am to put another viewpoint.
I am Antonia Anderson, Head of Press, PR and Social Media in Monsaint Medical Instruments. That's enough about me. Robert says he will put a picture on his facebook page. The fact is that MMI is a brilliant, dynamic company that cares about the future, and believes in nurturing internal talent. Our chief executive, Andreas Rivera-Castillo, knows that the difference between the winners and the also-rans in today's competitive environment is Leadership. Strong leaders have an undefinable edge which is why they get to the top. Belief is a big part of it. And that intensive experience in Spain with my colleagues was all about discovering the inner belief, the inner motivation that drives us to the top."  22nd March 2013.

I've had great fun collaborating the some of the other writers published by SteameReads of Australia, like when I met Tamsin Baker on a plane to Croatia.

My sleeping companion woke with a start when the refreshment trolley came past. She ordered a Bloody Mary. The plane hit a pocket of turbulence. There was raucous laughter from the seats five rows up, but my neighbour went a whiter shade of pale, grabbed my arm, and spilt some of the thick red liquid on my chinos.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I'm a nervous flyer. I always think I'm going to die." She used an inadequate napkin to dab the blotch on my trousers. Her nails were painted black.
"No problem," I said, though really it was, because I was travelling ultra light. I seized the opportunity to introduce myself and asked the purpose of her journey.
"I'm Tamsin Baker," she replied. "I'm researching my next book. After Croatia, I go on to Silesia, Moravia, and Transylvania."
"How interesting," I said. "And what would your next book be about?"
"Vampires. The myths originate from that part of Europe. They really did exhume bodies and stick a stake through the heart. It's more than a myth; every society wonders what happens to people when they are dead." She looked straight at me and her eyes widened. "Don't you wonder, Robert?"
12th June 2013.

And then, of course, there was that time last year when Caroline bumped into some characters from a book by Annie Oakfield, Amber and Lucy, and went to their hotel.

By the time I'd had my shower Caroline was curled up in bed and nearly asleep. I decided to risk extreme grumpiness and engaged my wife in conversation.
"What happened next?" I asked. "You were going to tell me about the maid and the champagne."
"Oh God, Robert, I'm really tired. I didn't get much sleep last night. Can I tell you about it in the morning?"
"I didn't get much sleep last night either worrying about what you were up to."
"I wish you wouldn't worry. There's no need to. I'm not suddenly going to run off with another woman, or two other women as it turned out."
Caroline turned over and talked to the bedside table...
6th August 2013.

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Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.

email fanshawrobert@gmail.com