Robert Palmer was Acceptable in the 80s

Robert Palmer Pepsi Girl

I have a very old mobile phone. It’s so old that it has Snake on it. Anyway, while waiting for my husband I managed to flatten my battery (playing too much Snake) so I just sat there and waited.

Frantic husband: I called you a gazillion times, why didn’t you pick up your phone???

Calm wife: My phone died. You said meet at this spot at 4.30 so here I am… waiting…

Frantic Husband: But I could have been late! Something could have gone wrong! I could have been in an emergency! You could have been in an emergency!

Calm Wife:  This was fine back in the ’80s.

Frantic Husband: Shirley – it’s no longer the ’80s!! And you never even lived through the ’80s.

I lived through the mid 90s though. Same-same.

Anyway, because I have no new news to offer you about my current MS and also to answer the question of “how do you get your ideas?” (usually from my everyday life, the things that appear mundane to normal people, I try to make it amusing), here’s another raw, unedited snippet from my failed NaNoWriMo 2012 effort 🙂

You can find the first part here.

“Halloween can be dangerous, you know,” says Mum. “Do you remember in the news last year how some kids got given cocaine instead of candy?”

“Cool,” I reply.

“You promise me you won’t get into mischief, Kellie?”

“Of course not. Mischief is only what Enid Blyton characters get up to.”

“Why don’t I trust you? As long as you stick by Kimberley. Now that’s a sensible girl.”

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, but no one seems to care that Thursday is a school day. There are rumours that James Palmer’s emo band is going to playing a secret gig at the party.

“Did you see it on Facebook?” Kimberley asks me on the phone.

“I don’t have Facebook.”

“Who doesn’t have Facebook?”

I don’t have Twitter, Tumblr or Hipstergram either. In fact I don’t even have a mobile phone. My parents gave me one for “emergencies” but I purposely hid it somewhere I wouldn’t remember.

“People were fine without it in the ‘80s.”

“It’s no longer the 80’s Kellie! Life is a lot more complicated. And there are… cyber criminals, like cyber punks and things out there these days. I just want you to protect yourself.”

I’ve hidden that mobile so well that even if I had to find it, I can’t remember anymore.

The only communication I have is my own personal line in my bedroom to a pink Princess phone. Sometimes I imagine myself lying on my bed and painting my nails while I talk to girlfriends about boys, like in a movie, but do you know how impractical that is?

Sometimes I imagine talking to Robert Palmer on the other line. Maybe he’ll tell me a bedtime story or he’ll do some rhyming couplets with me. I think its awesome how in “Simply Irresistible” he manages to rhyme inscrutable with indivisible and also principle and mythical. That’s talent. All everyone else can remember are the backup girls with the boobs.

In my room I also have an old TV and a VCR that I “inherited” off Mum. Plus all her old Robert Palmer videos.

One day Mum just decided to put the lot out on the curb. I rescued it immediately, went around and through the back door put it in my room in secret.

“That was fast!” Mum exclaimed. “People take anything these days it seems.”

Mum spent her teen years sitting in front of the TV with her finger on the record button so she could tape all the music video and interviews. Life must have been so tedious I think to myself as I watch clips with missed beginnings and chopped off ends. Then again, half the girls I know these days spend all their time sharing around emo pictures of headless girls and dead girls and dead, headless girls in prom dresses on their Tumblr and I can imagine thousands of teenage girls furiously looking and then tumbling along the images, all trapped in their dark caged rooms.

I’m glad I don’t have Facebook. I don’t care about boys like James Palmer, anyway.

NaNoWriMo 2012 (AKA the Year I Crashed & Burned), Robert Palmer & Boys called Michael

Confession time. I had high hopes for NaNo 2013, I really did. I was going to write every day, not the amount to make it to the 50K grand total, but at least 350+ words per day. I figured that if I wrote a mini chapter each day, then by the end I would have a mini-book that could possibly become the seeds for a full length novel. I was supposed to end up with 10,500+ words. Instead have a paltry 4,503 words:( I got up to Day #13 before I fell on my face. Bah. Real life got in the way, mostly in the form of my Beta, who turned out to be a complete Bridezilla, but it’s okay for me to point it out, she’s already acknowledged the fact:)). Oh well, I ended up with some interesting little vignettes. Plus there’s always next year!

Pssst. Not that it’s any secret (it’s visible on my public NaNo profile), but this is what I was working on. Truly. Do I ever humour you? But don’t you dare add this to Goodreads.

Novel: Robert Palmer

Author: Shirley Marr

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Synopsis: Liking Robert Palmer will get you into trouble.


Have you heard of Robert Palmer? He’s this singer who used to be popular in the ’80s. But he grew old and settled down here in Middlemoore to raise a family.

Why here? Why not a rich part of Britain? Why not even a rich part of Australia? Why not a tropical tax haven in the Bahamas?

Mum said Robert Palmer made some bad investments. And he wants his children to grow up without privilege. Even though it’s Robert Palmer, I still think it’s an adult’s way of saying that they want to subject you to the same crappy experiences that they went through so you’d grow up to be just like them. So you’ll all be truly related.

It helps me think of him as a real person.

Robert Palmer’s son, James Palmer goes to our school. He’s the lead singer of some emo band, but I don’t really know because I don’t listen to modern music. I like my mum’s music. I’m not sure whether this is because I want to be close to her, be like her or actually be her. Daughters are complicated like that. Mum used to be the Robert Palmer fan, but now it’s me.

James Palmer is having a Halloween party and everyone wants to go because it’s James Palmer. But I want to go because of Robert Palmer.

That’s why I decided to convince my best friend Kimberley to sneak out with me. It would turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life, of course.

I bought an early Halloween treat for myself, this big skeleton made up of individual lollies. I named him Robert Palmer and yesterday I ate his head. Today I will eat the legs. It’s really nice, tastes like milk bottles. I hope to finish him come Halloween.

But I never intended for Kimberley to disappear.

PS – I had a disagreement in the back of a limo with my designated groomsman (the good looking/goofy Michael, he’s so cute) on the day of the wedding about whether Robert Palmer is sexist or ironic. I think he’s the later. Michael of course does not believe me (plus I think that he thinks I’m a complete weirdo, mainly on account of singing Total Eclipse of the Heart in public), but I love Robert Palmer anyway.

How did you go at NaNo?

Have you written the next bestseller?

Same time next year?