What Next?

The Wound of Words (draft 2.2) has now been despatched to the lovely people who volunteered to be beta readers, and I… what am I going to do?

I’ll be carrying on with the Grand Productivity Experiment, but doing less writing work and a lot more house and garden work. Especially garden work.

You don’t catch me using a chainsaw in a tree. Or anywhere else. I am attached to my limbs and I would like it to stay that way.

There’s the redcurrant to prune (at last!), the mighty Balrog to hack back again (the shed porch disintegrated and collapsed under its weight this year), and the dozens of poles shooting out the top of the apple tree like some sort of living candelabra to slice off.

And once I’ve done all that (no doubt with the assistance of the Caped Gooseberry’s superior musculature), it’s on to the potting, the planting out and the weeding.

Inside, for those inevitable days of Much Water, there’s pruning of another sort to be done (aka decluttering), and a truly remarkable quantity of mending to work my way through.

Welfare work in a Services Hospital Art.IWMARTLD6000
Husband trapped in bed until wife mends at least one pair of trousers.
At some point, of course, whether sooner or later, it will have to be decided: what writing project do I work on next?

Grand Productivity Experiment: Phase Six… Manageable

Wombling, it turns out, is a great way to get things done when you’re tired, under the weather, or trying to fit things in around other, bigger things. Despite ongoing tiredness, I managed to get the bare necessities done and a few other things around them.

And yes, I did succumb to the temptation to browse an atlas, although I admit that I browsed the index rather than the map pages. (A quick eyes-closed stab at a random map page suggests the name Qoraqalpog’iston, which, if like me you didn’t know, is in Uzbekistan, near the border with Kazakhstan.)

Never stick a pin into an atlas. It’s a source of knowledge, not an international voodoo doll.

Continue & Comment

How a Dream Takes Shape

I had a dream about a year and a half ago, a vivid and exciting dream, full of plot and action. I scrawled it down on waking, and then hastily typed up my scrawled notes before I forgot what they said and became unable to read them. That was the sixteenth of November, 2017 (an otherwise fairly uneventful day in world affairs).

Sogno di una fanciulla 1833
About three months later, the dream drew me away from what I was supposed to be doing, and I started rolling the idea around, probing the ever-interesting question of What Happened Next? Why has he got that orange thing round his neck? Is that his granny? And what’s that girl with the heavy fringe glowering about?

Continue & Comment