|Image: Disko Duck|
Behold, at the end of this post you will find a short slideshow of the best of my photographs taken in Portugal between the 17th and 31st July. Some are stupid, some are arty and some can be classed as research into a new story I’m toying with for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Whatever, I hope you enjoy.
This week has dragged like a sack of coal over sand. It’s been a combination of tiredness from the holiday and not being geared up to dive straight back in. I was talking to a friend at the bus stop after work and she said that it must have been “a really great holiday” and that “you must have really needed it” and I hadn’t thought of it like that. To get this unwound and laid back says something of our choice of holiday.
Another side effect, albeit a good one, is that things that stressed me out easily before I went away are now being shrugged off and allowed to float away. This is good. This tells me I need more holidays and that it is possible to shrug shit off.
After yesterday’s talk on GDR preparation, someone asked me: “How can you possibly contemplate writing a new story when you have three still unfinished? Are you mad?”
This is a good point and obviously something I have to consider when building next year’s GDR. GREENER IS THE GRASS is almost complete and won’t feature, but GATECRASH requires a fair amount of work and I’ve only got the first draft of BACARRA BURNING down so there’s a long way to go on that. Added to this is the novel I began a couple of years ago, GATECRASH (my first DI Lennox novel) that I desperately need to get back to.
I think they key for me is to work faster and get better at what I do. And as I was working through Devon’s 1 to 25 that became more and more apparent. I seem to have reached a point in my life where I’m happy with the balance of writing versus family versus work. And while I have no problem devoting time to writing most of the time, there are times I seem to waste these slots and spend too much time floundering around. I need to learn to be more productive with the time I have.
As for the second part of the question: “Are you mad?” Well, yes, I am and always have had that lunatic fringe to my personality. As Spike Milligan once said: “My father had a profound influence on me—he was a lunatic.” And of course, only through madness can one fully achieve freedom from the mundane.
I saw the full list of selected readers for the Story Shop reading programme at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival. Out of the 17 places available, 14 went to women. Good luck to them all but I’m surprised that the top 82% of up-coming writers around Edinburgh are all female. Surely the talent gap isn’t that big?
I’m finally going to get to see MOGWAI when they play Edinburgh next February. A great band to write to (I wrote the first draft of BLOOD TIES to their album, The Hawk Is Howling, after Ian Rankin kept talking about them), they’re a rock band from Glasgow that make some of the most powerful music around—without vocals of any kind. Cannae wait!
Speaking of gigs, MADNESS have announced a matinee gig in Glasgow on the 27th so I now have a weekend to look forward to that will be beyond belief:
Fri 26th Nov 9pm – Biffy Clyro (SECC)
Sat 27th Nov 2pm – Madness (Academy)
Sat 27th Nov 9pm – Madness (Academy)
Mad or what?!?!?
Here’s the slideshow from Portugal. Enjoy!