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Time to cap the month off with a rambling post about writing. Yes, this is a writing blog, even if I have diverged into film reviews of late (and attracted more blog traffic than ever…).

I’ve mentioned before how Autumn’s fruitful attributes often translate into writing accomplishments for me. It’s something to do with that sensation of winter encroaching, of harvesting and stocking up food – making casseroles and soups in abundance. The weather is always dramatic one way or the other. The east coast USA is currently in the jaws of Hurricane Sandy. Leaves are abandoning their branches lemming-style and I feel like I’m watching the whole thing in sped-up time-lapse photography with a suitably apocalyptic Philip Glass soundtrack layering the scene with building menace.

I find my dreams are even more fecund and bizarre at this time of the year. That may be partly due to my body battling off the annual assault of cold viruses and infections. This is also due to my writing output increasing back to old levels. I’m relatively pleased with the amount of new stories I’ve written in the last six months. And the ongoing project of completing the various first drafts and aborted attempts littering my hard drive is progressing apace. I’m still no closer to starting any of the novel ideas, although I regularly add to the growing files of notes on all of them. There are four ideas all competing for attention in the category of novel-waiting-to-be-written. Only one of them fills me with confidence that it’s a good idea, but it’s the one that will be the most research-heavy and although I’ve begun that research, I still need to read a lot more history before I can attempt it.

As a way to prepare for the sort of effort required to revise a longer piece, I hope to attempt a revision on my long-forgotten novella about chess and demonic possession, The Lempkin Variation. Hence the chess-related image above. It’s a story that’s entirely worth the effort of revision. It always has been, but I am a lazy, work-shy ne’er-do-well and have a magical bottomless bag of excuses for not doing what I should be doing. As a writer friend of mine said to me the other day in an email. –

Start finishing your stuff. I’d put money on the fact that you’re probably sitting on a  pile of gems.

Best news of all, although this isn’t an official announcement yet (I’ll do that once it’s, well… official), I sold a story this morning to a really great magazine. It’s a story I only wrote in July and had only sent it one other place where it received a swift rejection. It’s a story of drug addiction, nostalgia and transcendence. I’ll have more news to follow and it will get its day in the spotlight. Bring it on, Winter.