Matthew Munson: From dentists to dancing and science fiction

Bryan and Matthew

Dentists have featured heavily in our week. Bryan is proudly telling everyone that he is getting braces in April, so we’re doing some check-ups and x-rays in advance of that momentous day. I didn’t have braces when I was a kid, so I’m learning as I go as well; I’ve been given several leaflets, which I am reading assiduously. Bryan is more put out that he can’t have chewy sweets when the braces are on; he’s got his priorities right.

Last weekend, we got to visit Bryan’s siblings, which was a lovely experience. They’re wonderful human beings and watching them have fun was perfect; we were both exhausted when we got home on Sunday evening, after a long journey. Sadly, there had been a fatality on the line from London Victoria, so we had to travel to a different train station and get home later than I would necessarily have liked – but these events are special occasions, so I have no problem being flexible every now and then. It took me two or three days to properly get back into my routine; something I struggled less with when I was twenty years younger.

This weekend, we’re having a quieter, calmer time; we might try and go down to Board at Home (the rather spiffing board game shop in Ramsgate). There’s a strategy game there we’ve both taken to, but Bryan beats me every single time. We both rather like the games there, and I think it’s brilliant that we have something that isn’t electronic game-related. If we don’t get down there, I might try and explore a park or a bit of woodland; it’s just nice to spend time with my son doing something different and in nature. I genuinely enjoy his company.

Who amongst you is a dancer? Who can move to a beat? I most certainly can’t – I have all the rhythm of a dead flea that’s had its legs drop off. Because of my son’s huge love of dancing, we spend inordinate amounts of time at a local dance studio – Masque Theatre School in Ramsgate – where I am occasionally permitted (by Bryan) to watch him practice. It’s very occasional though. I’m in awe of dancers who can make their routines look so easy; I’ve never been graceful, despite a misguided attempt when I was in my early twenties to go to a street-dancing class with some friends. Given that I struggle to walk in a straight line, I’m sure you can imagine just how graceful I was while trying to strut my funky stuff. Bryan is the total opposite; I don’t think it’s possible for him to be ungraceful.

I have different interests; sitting quietly reading a book or trying to write my latest work (which is taking very, very long to get through). I love science-fiction and fantasy, so of course I write in those genres. Whilst I never got through the Lord of the Rings books (but enjoyed the films), I’m writing a story that looks at what would happen if someone like you or me was flung into a world with magicians, soldiers on horseback, and a king bent on world domination. Bryan, so far, hasn’t shown much of an interest in reading what I’ve written – I’ve managed to get him interested in some supernatural-style fiction, but I’m his dad, so I can’t be cool right? – so I’ve relied on a few people to give me some feedback on bits and pieces of what I’ve created.

I have a creative mind; being organised and logical with all of my admin doesn’t always come easy, so I have to find systems to make things as simple and quick as possible, or it probably won’t always get done. That’s why, from time to time, I look a little vacant if I’m walking down the street; my mind is entirely elsewhere as it contemplates the intricacies of the plot I’m trying to wrestle into shape. When this story is finally done, I’m going to be on the hunt for a new publisher; I’ve been with one for my first three novels, but now I want to find somewhere new – but that’s well into the future as I gently administer to the storyline and try to make sure it makes sense.

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