Tuesday, December 30, 2003


No, I think it's been working all this time. Just - things. Things and stuff, and I haven't been writing. So, for the remaining few who haven't yet given up, here's my current predicament:

I have approximately no time available to me to do any writing, and - as we know - writing is one of the things I'd really like to do a bit more of. My main problem is that my free time is at the end of the day, when I'm tired. Despite this, there are a number of things on the go at the moment, none of which seems likely to be finished any time soon. I'm not looking for advice (though don't let that stop you), just kind of putting down a marker of some kind:

The Chronicle of the Lean Months - not, strictly speaking, written by me. In fact, not in any sense written by me, this is a wonderful piece of family history in the form of a diary of the late 1920s kept by my grandfather and his brother. I have been transcribing and researching it, and it is substantially complete. I think it probably needs an introduction or preface of some kind, and I am actively pondering this, but I think I need some more background material, which means more research, and that may have to wait. Although, I do have a lovely tale of my visit to the British Library Newspaper Collection to recount. Remind me, won't you?

Morningside Crescent - complete in one sense, in that there is no more story to be written. I haven't looked at it for over a year, though, because when I did look, I frightened myself with the amount of work needed to make it internally consistent. Serves me right for writing a serial, I suppose. I'd really like to get it done, but I somehow doubt I ever will.

Going Back - nice idea for a short story, born out of my account of the school exchange trip to Germany which I did manage to write earlier in the year. Unfortunately, it resolutely refuses to remain within the 'short story' boundaries, and now needs to be completely reworked into a much longer piece, which I wonder about having the energy for. I only started it because the pivotal scene occurred to me one day and is still fresh in my mind, despite my never having written it down anywhere. I'm a little afraid that if I get that far, I'll consider it done.

Untitled thing - I've foolishly gone and had an idea, and I know that this is a full-length story and I know I'll never have time to do it. I have a sort of vague concept of a retired rock singer suddenly discovering that one of his songs was an underground anthem behind the Iron Curtain - the story proceeds in a kind of parallel state; one thread the imagined riches of a successful career, the other the reality of a faded dream, and some kind of twist involving giving up your dreams for something or other. It's a bit unformed, as may be seen, but it's an idea.

I wonder if any of this will ever see the light of day.

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