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Leaveth the snow, cometh the thaw, cometh the floods.

Being British, I love talking about the weather and now that the snow and ice has departed, we are "enjoying" a lovely spell of torrential rain. Or rather, we have been "enjoying" a lovely spell of torrential rain up until today, which has been dry. So far.

I succumbed to the siren call of the Waterstones 3 for 2 table in a major way this week, coming home with 6 books that I wanted but did not need.

:hangs head in shame:

Fortunately, the commute into London has allowed me to race through my To Read Pile such that I've already finished 5 books this year and am well on target to hit 100 books for the year. Yay. Sadly though, I am chronically behind on my reviews, which will continue to languish as I focus on finishing the bloody edits of the bloody novel. Yes, I'm at that stage where I find myself staring at my manuscript and plaintively asking: "Why won't you just die?"

Speaking of death, I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll have to whack a character in the final battle scene and am having problems in deciding who to axe. There are 2 possible contenders. One character would be easier to whack than the other because to the extent that I've thought about the sequels, I have not set up a definitive 'role' for them in the future adventures but their death would have lovely angsty connotations for other characters. The other character does have a bit of a role planned out in the future books, but that role will of necessity change if I whack the other candidate.

Then there's the matter of how to do the whacking. Should it be a noble, self-sacrificing death, a case of being in the wrong place in the wrong time, or being the victim of a v. nasty character who will themselves meet a squishy demise as the other characters take immediate and bloody revenge?

All weighty things to consider.

I've also been taking the opportunity to think through some of the plot points that would need to happen in the sequels, together with firming up aspects of my historical zombie novel. All in all, I'm not having any problems with coming up with ideas at the moment - it's finding the time to sit down and write them that's proving tricky.

Yesterday was the monthly T-Party workshop, which was the usual good-natured blood letting followed by the Christmas party at The Three Stags on Kennington Road. I can heartily recommend their chocolate splat (I don't know what the proper name of it is, but it was chocolate mousse thing with biscuit splatted on a plate and v. tasty).

Sticking to the subject of writing, I have fulfilled one of my New Year's resolutions and booked an Arvon Course, which will be tutored by Patrick Ness, Celia Rees and Meg Rosoff. For anyone interested, the Arvon Foundation run a series of 5 day, all inclusive residential courses (and some writing retreats as well) at a number of centres around the United Kingdom. The website is here here for anyone interested and although it is a little pricey, the quality of the tutors who make themselves available is superb - e.g. in addition to the tutors listed above, the Poet Laureate Carol-Ann Duffy, comedians Alexi Sayle, David Schneider, Arabella Weir and Lenny Henry, children's/YA writers Melvin Burgess and Gillian Cross, authors Bernadine Evaristo, Ali Smith, Val McDermid and Jake Arnott. Bursaries are available to help with the costs and I will testify to having found the courses extremely helpful. Be warned though that the courses do book out quickly.

Liverpool continue to break my heart with their God-awful season of crapitude. Brief LOLs at the expense of my mum were obtained through Sunderland's 7-2 loss to Chelsea.

Right, back to the writing table.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 17th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Killing off the book. Yeah. When I was about 3/4 through book 4 of my YA series, what I most wanted to write was, 'And then an explosion occurred, and they all died. The End.' The only thing that stopped me was the thought of the blistering e-mail I'd get from my editor if I tried such a thing.

Good luck getting through it! :-)

(Terie from AW)
Jan. 19th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)

I don't think I've ever been more sympathetic to the phrase "rocks fall, everyone dies".
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )