A Visitor from Porlock
I've been trying to work today, finishing off a story. I was hoping to have the first draft done by early evening, ready for a run through with a red pen tomorrow lunchtime. After dinner, I still had the last scene to write, but figured that would be OK. I wasn't doing so well at about 10pm but I thought I could at least get the first draft finished and go to bed with a sense of satisfaction. I just had to focus...
First G and then The-Ex-That-Isn't-The-Doctor (hmmm, that codename isn't going to work) rang. The former I was glad of, since I'd lost their postal address and had something to send them. The latter I'd also been trying to reach in order to clarify something else, although I'm still not sure why they phoned me as I'd not been bothering to leave messages. The problem is that by the time the calls are done it was 11.30pm and my focus was shot to all hell. I've managed a grand total of 150 words since and I've been trying for the last hour to get back into the flow. It's doomed for the night though.
Ironically, the story does mention in passing Xanadu, a state made famous by Olivia Newton John, Orson Welles and Coleridge. Coleridge claimed the fragmentary nature of Kubla Khan was caused by a person from Porlock:
At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast
Maybe I'd better unplug the phones in future.