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I’ll blame the crazy weather this month for the ping-ponging focus I’ve had on writing these last couple of weeks. This is as much of an update post as anything else. In the first days of this month the sun was frying my brain into coming up with new novel ideas and making me think I could just, you know, write them. With some perspective, I have settled back on my 22-year-old idea, ‘The Death and Life of Harrison Brodie’, as I mentioned previously.

That said, I’ve found myself in the dark, nether place after finishing writing a new short story where I’m not doing any actual writing, but am instead flying back and forth between writing notes for the novel and picking at the crumbs of short story ideas to see which one might be the tastiest. It’s not wise to spend too long in this nether place, otherwise the writing doldrums are not very far away (a place I know the landscape of all too well).

Good then that I have finally found a way forward on ‘The Last Photograph’, an idea I’ve been playing with for a while now. I’ve had the first 300 words or so for some time, but they were never quite right; never enticing enough to lead me anywhere. After chopping them up, sliding them around and stepping to the side to look at it all from a fresh angle, it is now a story I can write, and I pushed that 300 up to 450 last night. 450 that I’m happy to run with. And I’m just one more pass away from a final draft of ‘Closer to Death’, which means a 6th story into the submission queue.

Submissions have been slow and uninspiring, with four out of the five at 100 days or more. All the more reason to keep working on revisions and throw as many as possible out there.

I should be able to start the novel very soon, though. Into the stage of fleshing out characters and scenes at the moment; working out plot problems and researching stuff that needs researched – you know, the usual stuff, human decomposition, butcher’s shops, local Christian bookshops, Fife.