First of all, I have to report massive writing progress since last weekend. After adding about 12,000 words to fill the gap I stumbled into while editing, I’ve sent off my NaNoWrImo 2014 novel to be printed, which is the almost-final stage in my editing routine. Reading it through as if it were a ‘real’ book makes a huge difference – on this pass I usually catch things like over-used words and glaring issues with formatting. While I wait for it to come back, I plan to start writing my Edwardian novella ‘Adventure at the Palace of Varieties’, if only I can work out where to start. I think what’s holding me back slightly is that I feel as if I don’t know enough yet about how things worked behind the scenes at variety shows, which means that sooner or later I will either get stuck or have to start making things up. You wouldn’t think it was a problem for a writer of fiction to make things up, but as a history graduate it’s a matter of pride for me not to get caught out in some hideous inaccuracy. And, with impeccable timing, the seed of an idea for the ninth in my mystery series is even now starting to germinate in my mind.
We had some snow during the week – around here it was just about enough to look pretty without causing major inconvenience. Even the cats didn’t mind it too much, but that was partly because the tree in our garden is now so sprawlingly huge that we don’t actually get any snow lying on the ground for quite a long way in all directions, so they don’t see any whiteness when they peer out suspiciously in the morning.
As I write, there is a fight developing over my head between the magpies and pigeons again. They aren’t actually in the room with me, I hasten to add, but swooping to and fro above the conservatory in a scary manner. Sometimes they seem to co-exist in the big tree quite well, and at other times they all get agitated. I can now see that one of our cats is stalking a magpie at the end of the garden, so maybe that’s what has set them off this time.