THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 2003
My diary’s opening para: ‘The new year is here, and under way. Without any fanfare. Which is not surprising really, since the last year was pretty awful, and I can’t see many bright stars, or coloured lights to come over the next 12 months.’
Although my company ceased to trade at the end of 2002, I had managed to sell one of my newsletters - ‘EC Inform-Energy’ - to a London publisher (the other ‘EC Inform-Transport’ I closed down). The contract required me to help with the switchover, and to assist with the marketing, editing and publication for several months. But by April I was free of EC Inform, Brussels, the EU, and my entire professional life as a journalist!
Almost all of my time, though, in the first six months (while the US and the UK were blitzing Iraq) was devoted to Kip Fenn (his full name appears more than 100 times in my diary during the year, which is not to count the times I simply refer to Kip). And by June, I’d completed a first draft of 10 chapters, nearly 20,000 words a chapter, each one corresponding roughly to a decade of Kip’s life. Any depression I was feeling (or deep depression I was heading towards) was offset, to some extent, by writing this novel. I was beginning to believe that this was, by far, the best thing I had ever written, and, potentially, the most important. In the autumn, through to the winter, I dispatched Kip Fenn submission packaged to agents, and then to publishers.
I began, again, to consider what on earth I was going to do in the future; and, for the short term at least, considered several writing projects. One of these, which I completed quickly, was a sit-com draft - ‘Call Us Cute’ - for a BBC competition.
Adam did reasonably well with his GCSEs, and moved to study at Godalming Sixth Form College. For several years we had been having many arguments, and there was no sign of them abating. However, I have edited out (from these published extracts) almost all of the (many) diary entries in which I discuss with myself Adam’s behaviour as well as my own, and my impoverished (often counterproductive and possibly misguided) efforts to parent him. We had a few holidays together, one in Portugal (Diary 74 - not transcribed), which though full of interest, was blighted by teen-parent friction, one in the Peak District, and a few days walking in a Dorset.
In December, by which time my knee was finally close to fully recovered, I had a glorious two weeks of walking and sea swimming in Madeira (Diary 76 - not transcribed). (Diaries 73, 75, 77)
Paul K. Lyons (November 2017)