Dog in Residence: Week 3, Day 19

Guest blogger: Horrie Oddlong

The House Writer is on a roll, and I’m a bit seasick.


Woah! Well, the napping-on-the-knits phase didn’t last.


I’d no sooner drifted off on a poncho than I was hooning about in the back of a yellow Moke, gripping tight to the roll bar as we fanged from Windy Harbour to Marble Bar and on up through the interior to Darwin, where I boarded a light plane for the buffalo plains along the Mary River. I was deeply, dangerously in love by then.


“Hang on to your back teeth, Horrie,” said the House Writer. “We’re pantsing!”


I made the requisite head tilt, but to no avail.


“I can’t explain now,” she said. “Pomodoro!”


In the five minute break after the bell sounded, she flicked me a few crumbs. The Pomodoro, apparently, is that new tomato-shaped thing on the desk that maps out 25-minute intervals with panicked ticking sounds. It pings when you’re done. “Productivity, Horrie,” she said gravely, stretching her hamstrings between rounds. “It’s an interval thing.”


And pantsing? Well that’s the thing you’re doing when you’re not plotting. By definition it involves having no clue where you’re heading. Getting there at full tilt seems to be part of the arrangement.


I get seasick in a heavy shower of rain so I’ve been pretty knocked around by all the motion – forward, sideways, backwards, the whole bag.


I don’t think frenzy is too strong a word: paper has been accumulating in small tornadoes on the desk, ripped from random notebooks and spat out from the hardworking printer. I’ve never seen the House Writer’s hand move so fast across paper. A kind of possessed look has gripped her as barely legible notes get scribbled in margins with a Bic Fine:


Rival poets!

A lap dog tragedy!

Expand this bit.

Make this hurt!


Gotta run – I’m on. The pomodoro has been reset, and an eerie quiet (except for the ticking) has fallen over the desk. I have a sinking feeling I’m about to get my heart broken.