I plan to spend the next 2 days recovering from being away on holiday, allegedly, although the first couple  of days of last week’s trip were taken up by attending a conference at which I presented a paper, and then during the rest of the week I alternated holiday style activities with some family stuff which is much too complicated to go into in a blog post.

I’ve been on a kind of circular tour of the UK. My route was not completely circular but the only section where I re-traced my footsteps was between Llandudno and Crewe. Amazingly, the trains were all on time even although we were away during a time when landslides temporarily closed all rail routes into Scotland. This caused me to worry slightly that the Scottish government would seize this opportunity to declare independence, leaving half my family at one side of the border and half at the other – well, actually only one of my family was in Scotland at the time, since one of my sons was in Berlin. But presumably for a while it was very much easier to get back to Scotland from Berlin than from England.

Because I was still theoretically working on my June NaNoWriMo novel although I validated the word count before going away, I forced another 5,000 words out while on holiday, but I have a bad feeling about this part of the novel and will probably have to re-write the last few chapters at some later stage. But for now I will try not to look at the draft. I always find I need a bit of a break before starting any edits. Sometimes, miraculously, the thing will actually have improved on its own if I leave it long enough!

In some ways it’s good for my creativity to be in a situation where I can’t do much of it for a while. I often find myself turning new places, events and chatter into fiction automatically without even trying. I often imagine the most dreadful disasters happening – massacres, earthquakes, landslides, floods, even car crashes – but only as part of a novel, not as anything real. Some people might think this a little odd and macabre, but of course as far as I’m concerned there’s no point in writing a novel where nothing bad happens!

Great Orme tram

Missing the Great Orme tram – there must be a plot in this!


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