Grizelda was standing next to the display shelf right near the front of the shop, which isn't very interesting until you learn the next part, the part where I tell you what she was saying. She held up a pink sparkly pencil and very clearly and loudly explained to me how to hold a pen. I attempted to emulate her but apparently I got it very wrong. She went on to give another demonstration before grabbing my fingers and making me practice writing letters all the while giving loud instructions and corrections.
You see Grizelda has recently discovered that I hold my pen 'incorrectly'. I think it all began when I asked her to correct my chopstick technique to minimise soup splashes on my white shirt. What makes it worse is that Spencer agrees with her. He also thinks I hold my pen incorrectly, which is how I wound up in Smiggle receiving a public lesson on writing letters of the alphabet then purchasing a triangular pen-grip holder to 'help' me. I don't think Grizelda would have run so publicly wild if she hadn't have had Spencer's support on the matter.
I can not even begin to describe the intense feeling of embarrassment I felt standing near the display shelf at right near the front of the shop while Grizelda waved around an over-sized pink sparkly pencil. I wanted to yell, 'I am only being docile about this because I am writing my manuscript by hand and it hurts. My hand hurts!'. But a quick scan of the sniggering twelve-year olds in the shop kept me quiet.
I don't know if the shop incident was merely a coincidence but today I began to type. Before today any effort made towards writing the damn thing on the computer was thwarted by an insistent inner voice that said, 'you must first write this by hand'. Today the voice was absent so I went digital and began the work of typing it all out. It is depressing how reams of handwritten pages shrink down when they are typed out, like mushrooms in a hot pan. I never cook enough mushrooms but fortunately the manuscript is not finished. I have no idea how the whole thing goes which is almost the loveliest part. There aren't too many things left where I get to discover something brand new every step of the way. Don't vomit yet, I'm not turning into Anne of Green Gables I'm just saying that not all art feels bad to birth. That part of it, the pain part, is at least partially a myth. If it didn't feel good, apart from the unexpected public alphabet humiliations and the odd day of horrifying slow-progress torture, I'm quite sure we wouldn't all be doing it.