Work in Progress
Technically, none! I came up with a new rule last year after life got a little… difficult, which was basically around giving me some of my life back and not giving so much of myself to writing. Being productive is one thing but writing to the point of obsession is another. Short version of the long story: for every month spent writing I take the following month off.
So I’ve stopped working on Oakfield and Sunder Gloom this month, but I have been progressing with the review / proofing of the novel I finished writing back in June: The Social Club. That’s been going really well – due to finish first read with my editor on Wednesday. Got a printed MS with more red ink than I’d be willing to shake towards an angry bull. So it looks like I’ve got September cut out as a mammoth edit and fixing month for that book – but, if it means I can get to launch it in time for autumn I’ll be a happy chap.
This weekend is the first time this month I’ve actually relaxed. Mainly down to the backlog of other stuff that built up during July. Playstation (still wading through bloody Skyrim!), watching terrible Sunday afternoon movies, reading, and actually spending time with friends are all back on the agenda.
Managed to find myself in a cocktail bar at silly o’clock on a school night last week – sitting with the barman inventing a new drink.
“I like the idea of the Vesper,” I told him, “But don’t like the taste.”
“That’s the gin,” he advised me. I nodded. He smiled. “A Vesper is primarily 3 parts gin and 1 part vodka. We can swap out the gin for vodka, and then swing in some rum. Vermouth. And something else… for a kick.”
I named it the McSheen. Because the stuff looked like something used to cool a machine. Because the barman’s surname sounds like McSheen and, in honour of Charlie Sheen – for being so reckless on a school night. It was a very nice drink.
Have also started to get into chess for the first time since I was a kid, thanks to two new friends I’ve made – regulars at the Boston Tea Party cafe, in Bath (England). One’s a criminal defense lawyer; the other is a freelance location manager for movies and television. The latter is an American and looks like Hunter S Thompson, so naturally I’m calling the former my Samoan Attorney. Anyway, both of them kick my arse around the chess board most mornings but are also coaching me on the how & why as they do so. Nice to use a different part of my brain. So, fun city for the next 12 days. Then back to the books.
I had lunch with David Bradley (editor of SFX) other day. Talked about the recent spate of really positive reviews I’ve been getting about my work and how I need to really start doing more to promote myself. The age old conundrum of being a self-published author and dividing time between writing – and marketing (a whole full time job on its own). It was a good lunch. I have some ideas to follow up.
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