On the outside looking in

To start on a sort of philosophical note, I found myself mulling over the various in-crowds I come across, and whether I would prefer to be part of them or remain outside. I think this line of thought was brought on by a sweep through the Book Festival programme and the realisation that a handful of Scottish writers – especially in the crime genre – seem to be omnipresent at this time of year, and that I will never be part of this particular group. But would I like to be? Is there any advantage in being in with the in-crowd? Or as a writer is it actually better to remain detached so that you can see things more clearly?

Before I abandon this topic – I don’t like to think about philosophical issues for too long at a time in case my head explodes – I have two more comments. One is that I am such an introvert that I don’t really enjoy being part of any group for more than about an hour. The other is that it can be very annoying if you go to a Book Festival event where the speaker is a member of this kind of in-crowd and assumes the members of the audience know nothing because they aren’t part of it. I had this experience the other day – not in the context of Scottish crime writers however. The speaker was from London and it could be that he just assumed people in Scotland know nothing about anything. But it may be just a sign that I’ve been to too many Book Festival events over the years.

Anyway, I expect regular readers are now wondering if I ever got the oven fixed, and the answer to that question is now ‘yes, and I have the ingredients for cupcakes in the kitchen now’. I’m not really the kind of person who spends the weekend making cupcakes, and in fact I’m not going to spend the weekend making cupcakes, but at least I could do that if I wanted.

Instead I will spend the weekend going to a BBC radio recording; assisting simultaneously with props and front of house at my theatre group and then with the move-out, and tomorrow I will attend another Book Festival event in the hope of learning something new. I’m hoping this will still leave me time to do a bit more editing. I’ve now more or less finished one novel and am left with the task of drawing or obtaining a map that I’ve reluctantly decided will have to go with it, and I’ve run through the first lot of edits for the second. Unfortunately this meant re-reading the last chapter and particularly the last sentence which currently says something like ‘Charlie Smith wouldn’t find out why any of this happened until much later. The End.’ I don’t think I can leave the readers dangling like this, so more words are going to have to be written!


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