Special delivery! A blog about working from home

I tried recently to interest various magazines and newspapers in employing me as a columnist. Frankly, I need the extra money. But the experiment has been a bit of a failure. It’s been while since I was a journalist and, possible, I’ve lost my touch. Either way, I am abandoning my efforts for the time being. But I do have a sample column piece that I wrote, and I hate to waste, so here it is. All feedback welcomed!

The angriest writer in Kent

Amazon, eh? Those utter bastards. Making everything cheaper and more convenient, whether you want them to or not. Like everyone who works from home, the ring at the doorbell, or in my case the hapless guy wandering past my car with a parcel trying to find the right address, is the bane of my life. We get a lot of stuff delivered, and so do my neighbours. There is a lot of foot traffic round our way, even in the countryside. And I find it increasingly difficult to concentrate as I get older. There is a sweet spot – the Zone – in which the words are flowing like blood gushing from a severed femoral artery (er, sorry, I write a lot of gory battle scenes in my novels) and I need to fiercely protect this Muse-blessed space.

My wife and children get short shrift when I’m in the Zone. People I don’t love get a couple of barrels of twelve-bore rudeness when they interrupt me. So when I was writing the other day and a young man carrying a brown cardboard package pushed open my garden gate and began staring moonily about the garden, looking this way and that. I manfully resisted the urge to shout at him, and carried on banging away on my keyboard. Stick it in the porch, on the shelf with the others, the door’s wide open, I muttered, and bashed on. Looking up a few moments later, I found he was still wandering around aimlessly. I came to the door of my garden office and bellowed across to him to “Put it in the porch, over there, with the ordinary post and the other parcels! The door’s open!”

The young man paid me no attention at all. “Hey YOU! You with the parcel!”

Nothing. I furiously crossed 20 yards of patchy grass still shouting, as the young cretin, his back turned to me and clearly finding his mission impossible, went back to his van, parcel still in hand. I could feel my face turning purple. I’d doubtless soon find a slip of paper saying, “Sorry you were out when we called…”

The young man was at his van, I waved at him, still calling out, and he saw me, finally, and came back towards me. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I said. Didn’t you hear me shouting at you from across the garden? Are you deaf or something?”

He looked at the name on the parcel, said it questioningly, and in an odd, rather toneless nasal accent, then he handed it over to me with a brilliantly innocent smile.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he said. “I’m deaf. What was that you were saying just now?”

Ends

Angus Donald’s latest novel is The Loki Sword (Fire Born 3), which is available from Amazon as a paperback or eBook. The two previous novels in the series – The Last Berserker (Fire Born 1) and The Saxon Wolf (Fire Born 2) – are also available from Amazon in those formats, and as audio books.

Life is hard for a writer at the best of times but, with the cost of living shooting up alarmingly, things have suddenly become rather grim at Donald HQ. If you would like to help me out, I have a Ko-fi page where you can make a donation. Think of it as buying me a pint or a cup of coffee. All help gratefully received.

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