I met up with old pal Marie. She jolted me, in the way that a proper writer could and would:
Marie: You still blogging?
Shane: Yeah – not as regularly as I used to, but yeah, I am.
Marie: Funny that – cos I had a look earlier and it’s been about, what, three weeks?
Marie: No – just keeping an eye on you.
Marie: No, that would be what Emma is for.
Marie: Never mind. So, what happened to the piggery poem?
Shane: (wistfully) Do you think T.S. Eliot ever had conversations like this?
Marie: I expect so.
Shane: I’m doubting it.
Marie: I’m guessing piggery didn’t happen, then?
Shane: You are a harsh critic.
Marie: I haven’t criticised you yet.
Marie: Let me guess –
Shane: Here we go!
Marie: Let’s see – ‘piggery’ – ‘bigamy’ – no, too much of a stretch. ‘Hickory’, ‘chicory’ – not likely, too bland, and not quite rhyming enough. Piggery... ‘Wiggery’?
Shane: No – but I like that.
Marie: A-ha... ‘jiggery’?
Shane: Very good. The stanza would have been ‘Let’s get jiggery, Down in the piggery, Said Martha to Mo’.
Marie: (laughs) Ridiculous! But very T.S. Eliot, I must say.
Shane: Thank you.
Marie: So, Martha and a Mo getting frisky in a piggery?
Shane: Almost. Mo would have said ‘No thanks’, at first –
Marie: Mo being… a man?
Shane: I don’t know – I hadn’t done any character development. They’d have got it on somewhere - there was something about a river, but I couldn't remember it all.
Marie: I would like to say that I’m sure that that is a loss to literature… but I can’t - probably for the best, eh.
Marie: Was there a theme for January’s blogging, then?
Shane: I thought I’d just do a bit of dialogue.
Marie: The old familiar.
Marie: Which, from what I've seen, could mean that…
Shane: If that’s alright with you.
Marie: I shall look forward to it.
Marie: And if you want my suggestion, just stick to writing what you know best.
Shane: What’s that, then?
Marie: That's for you to say.
Marie: Schools? Your art stuff? Favourite books or films? Music? Actually no, not music. One hundred and one ways to prevaricate? You'd be quite good at that.
Shane: You're too kind.
Marie: You could try short stories - different genres, different styles, different voices. Or maybe spend January trying to work out what it is that you know best – that would be the blogging way, wouldn’t it.
Shane: (amused) Sometimes.
Marie: Ninety five per cent of times. But please, anything but football.
Shane: You give me much to think about.
Marie: In that case, how about blogging about a month of snap decisions?
Shane: (pause) Sounds risky.
Marie: Not a good start. Snap decisions - yes or no?
Shane: Worked well whilst it lasted.
Shane: I'll come up with something.
Marie: You do that.
Shane: Did I mention what I'd asked for for Christmas from my sister?
Shane: I asked for a short story - limited to 1000 words, with the title 'White'.
Marie: Good idea.
Shane: She promises that it will be delivered within a fortnight.
Marie: But it's January the fourth already.
Shane: Mm, she shillies, she shallies.
Marie: Wonder where she gets that from.
To the porcine enthusiasts, I ham-fistedly failed you and I was found out. My apologies.