Before I go on to other things, I must just admit that there has been no further progress on the clutter front. I still hope to have some of the major items of clutter removed, but that now has to wait until after I’ve wrestled my way through the apparently infinite layers of polythene in which a new mattress is packed, so that I can include the old one in the pile of stuff to be taken away. I’ve never come across anything packed quite as tightly, but I think that has something to do with the fact that you have to leave it to expand for a while even after you’ve taken the packaging off. I await that stage with interest and hope it doesn’t take over the whole room.
Since I got my latest book completed and published, June has been a month of crochet and stories. There have been audiobooks to accompany the crocheting, and there has been a short story writing event which means writing a new short story every day for a month in response to a series of prompts from the organisers. As was the case with National Novel Writing Month the first couple of times I took part in it, I am doing it mostly to see if I can. So far, so good. I had a few hectic days in which I tried too hard and wrote stories of 2,000 words, usually involving some of my series characters, but now I have settled down to writing random things that only reach 1,000 words at most, and often a lot less. One of the longer stories has actually turned out to be a sort of outline for a novel in my ‘Heiresses’ series which might come in useful later on, and I also have a short and very silly Pitkirtly story which I might publish on another blog later. But generally it has been easier not to work with characters I already know. Along with the short stories I’ve been reverse-outlining another novel which I call ‘the capybara story’ to try and establish exactly where it went wrong! Fortunately the answer to that has turned out to be fairly obvious so my next writing task after I’m finished with the short stories will be to put it right.
I am still not entirely sure I am doing the crocheting right. I got off to a shaky start, trying to follow a pattern that was meant to produce squares and finding they inexplicably came out as octagons. I decided to go with the octagons and there is a pile of them building up. Goodness knows how I will join them together. I’m sure there must be a way.
An audiobook I thoroughly enjoyed as I crocheted was ‘The Ashes of London’ by Andrew Taylor. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it quite as much if I hadn’t watched a documentary about the Great Fire, or if I hadn’t worked near Barbican station for several years and spent many lunch-hours wandering about the St Paul’s area. One unforeseen consequence of listening to this was that I remembered my epic novel of the English Civil War and decided, not for the first time, that I should try and do something with it. Because it only exists in typescript, I had imagined being able to scan it in but on reflection I think it might be better to re-type it in Word, editing as I go. At least if I aimed to do that with a chapter or two I might find out whether it’s actually worth salvaging or not.