I’m home again, with a bit of the anti-climatic feeling you always get after a very nice holiday which included kippers, Dracula, the Vampire Prawns, scrambling up a rock face in wellies and a wedding dress, and lots of lazing about reading.

I was so busy before the holiday: scrambling to finish the last chapter of Cold Light and rewrite the final scenes in the light of some last minute research I did about water cooled power stations and their effect on sea-temperature, that coming back from Whitby to my bomb-site desk with its row of mouldy mugs and keyboard decorated with orange peel feels a bit like waking up from a dream.

Here are some of the things I was too busy to tell you about before I went away.

An article in the Swedish Daily News about Annie and me.

Writing an introduction for the anthology ‘Mostly Truthful’ published by Flax, available to read on-line and featuring the work of North-West writers Katherine Woodfine, Jane Routh, Adrian Slatcher and Kate Feld.

Getting a sneak preview of the U.S book cover for A Kind of Intimacy – appearing on this blog very soon.

Being an on-line writer in residence and teaching creative writing workshops in libraries across Lancashire for the Learning Festival Revolution – including one workshop in Lancashire Record Office where we used old Wanted Posters as prompts and inspirations for writing. if you’re from Lancashire, you can join in. Click on the link and tell me a story.

Here are some of the things I’ll be doing during November:

Planning a creative writing project working with prisoners starting very soon. Can’t say more about this yet, but it is one of the most exciting things I’m doing with my time right now and I can’t wait to get going with it.

Planning, with my mentor, how I’m going to spend my time next year. Am I going to be a full-time writer forever? What kinds of things do I need to do to earn money? What sort of projects do I like doing best? How do I go about getting the kind of work that I want, and still being able to write and have time with the SmallFry? How much time do I want to spend writing novels and stories, and how much time do I want to spend working outside my house?

Since I left the prison in August, I’ve been saying yes to almost everything because I want the experience and I want to find out what sort of work I enjoy doing, and what I’m good at (and no good at). I’ve been very, very lucky in that I’ve had more work than I know what to do with and have still had to turn down a few things. Now I want to start choosing what I do more carefully.

And of course, I’ll be writing down all those post-sending-the-novel-to-be-looked-at niggles and too-late ideas for the next edit I’ll no doubt be doing very late this year or early next.

I’m kicking myself that I forgot to put the knitted dog into the last chapter. 

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