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Return of the native

Gah! Time seems to have flown since my last update - and not in a good way.

2008 turned out to be a rough year for me. Mostly this was to do with building woe that I'm not going to talk about until it's over (mainly because it's a story of epic proportions that deserves an entry of its own) but also I had a number of personal issues that needed to be taken care of and of course work continued to keep me very busy. As a result, I'm consigning 2008 to the dustbin of "Best Forgotten As Soon As Possible" and trying to put it all behind me.

However, I'm starting 2009 hopeful that the building issues might finally be resolved within the next month or so and I'm currently taking some time off before starting a new job in February, which I'm very excited about. I've moved into specialising in healthcare law (an area where I'd gained a fair amount of experience with my previous employer) and although it's a small team, they're all very friendly, they seem to have some v. interesting work on and am hopeful that I will be able to get up and running asap.

Obviously, changing jobs in the middle of a recession has its risks and there is a part of me that's nervous about being one of the first people out in the event that the new employer makes redundancies. In fact, I discovered last week that my previous employer has just announced a massive redundancy consultancy programme across a large number of departments, including the department that I used to work in. Scary stuff. However, I'm trying not to focus on potential negatives and just concentrate on getting the job done.

On the writing front, the September - December term had no classes, but we did do fortnightly workshops, which were as useful as they always are. We had to each produce another 20000 words on our novel for the beginning of December - I ended up taking advantage of the 10% rule and produced 18000 words. I should get the mark on that in the next couple of weeks, but I wasn't happy with the last chapter that I submitted and afterwards decided to re-work it. Am much happier with the current version. Current word count on Teh Novel is as follows:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35,259 / 100,000

I've been using my time off to write every day in the City University library and am aiming to get close to the 45,000 mark by the time I start the new job.

One thing that I've been working on at the moment is the opening 4750 words which will go into an anthology to be distributed to agents prior to the Showcase in June. I've restructured the opening two chapters and tightened up some of the writing. I've also produced an author blurb and book blurb which I'll be workshopping this week before submitting the first draft. Writing the book blurb was really hard - there's a maximum of 60 words, but I couldn't distill the plot down to that level and ended up coming out at 100, which I'm hoping will be okay.

Right, I need to get out for this afternoon's writing session.