Almost no one showed up to yesterday's first fencing session back, suggesting that people are taking longer to get over their christmas holidays than I thought. This left two of us practising in advance of what's usually the busy season for competitions. Hopefully some will make an appearance at some point before the Yorkshire Sabre in a fortnight, because one thing I've noticed in almost all sports is that your own success comes, not just from talent, or effort, or the quality of your coaches, but also very much from the standards of the people you train with, since they push you to do better. This is particularly true in a directly interactive sport like fencing, where your opponent's ability to respond determines how good you need to be to win.
Things I'm currently working on: The PhD, edits for novel no 3, first draft of novel no 4, some poems to try and put something together for the Beverley Poetry competition. All in all it's rather a lot, though I feel happier about the PhD now I'm over the minimum word count of 80000. It also helps that I've tied down a few of the small but awkward things that just build up in the course of writing. With the novels, I'm hoping to have 3 finished by the time my publishers open their submissions window again in the spring. It should allow me to submit it at the same time as the sequel to my first one then. This probably sounds like bombarding them with too much stuff, but it seems like a good idea to get this second, separate, series going before the first one gets entrenched. Especially since I suspect it may be rather better. Or at least funnier.
I've got a book on order from fantasy writer Rachel Green, having run into her on a couple of writing forums. It's strange how that seems a sufficient basis for buying someone's novel. Then again, she is a fellow comic fantasy writer, and if her shorter work and poetry is anything to go by, it ought to be rather good. It's probably proof that this sort of online self-promotion has at least some effect. A link to one of her many blogs, When the Dogs Bark, is on the sidebar.
The Tom Jolley book I started, 'Sword of Davelon', is bad. Sufficiently so that I doubt I'll finish it.