The steps I take (literally) to avoid my novel

I had to laugh the other day when I was reminded of the phrase I heard in my teens about whether a guy is interested in you or not: ‘Don’t listen to the mouth. Watch the feet.’ I was never quite sure what it meant, but I thought it boiled down to ‘actions speak louder than words’.

What made me laugh, however, was how the body acts out what the mind (conscious or unconscious is feeling/wanting/wishing). Body language gives everything away, if you know how to read it. In my case, my body was literally ‘acting out’ what my mind was thinking.

There are a bunch of temporary ‘Wenlock’ and ‘Mandeville’ statues around London as part of the Olympic Games London 2012 celebrations, which encourage little kids and grown kids alike to follow the ‘trails’ around London, being photographed at each one. Every Wenlock is detailed according to his environment, and so you have City Wenlock with bowler hat and striped suit, and a PhoneBox with suitably red phonebox attire.

How can I keep avoiding such an entertaining reminder of my novel?

Except that the Wenlock closest to where I work – as I discovered weeks after he was first placed there – is called Novel Wenlock. And I have been AVOIDING him every day, either walking past without noticing or taking a different route across a square rather than the direct route past him.

I laughed when I realised. Because I have totally been avoiding my novel (the one that passed the MA examiners, but which needs so much work on it still). Perhaps I’ll be more conscious and mindful of it now I know that I can’t pass by Novel Wenlock every day without saying hello.

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