Speaking of relations, my wife’s nephew Frank came to see us this last weekend. He’s pretty much the only one of my wife’s relations we ever see, for reasons I shall not bother to go into here. Suffice it to say that Frank is the best sort of family one could ask for. He doesn’t use us in any shape or form: he visits because he cares for us as people – and because he enjoys our company. And we, in turn, enjoy his.
Frank wants to be a writer. He used to want to be a miniaturist in watercolour: now he wants to be a writer, and try as I do to dissuade him, he won’t be budged. ‘Think of all the fresh possibilities,’ he says. ‘Being a writer has never been so good’. I frown, naturally, whilst he tries to explains himself.
Social networking sites, he says, are the most obvious target for the aspiring writer. I nod, sagely, though I have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. ‘I’m thinking of creating a whole fictional world,’ he says, his glorious eyes gleaming. ‘I’ll create people with lives far more interesting than those of any existing people’. ‘Well,’ I say, ‘that’s hardly difficult’. This raises a laugh, which fades into an expression of severity. ‘You know,’ he says, in dramatically hushed tones, ‘it’s only a matter of time’. ‘Before what?’ I ask. ‘Before the very first facebook novel.’ And he grins wisely.
I still have no idea what he is talking about.