Today featured writing bits of a lot of short stories in front of the TV while watching the final county championship cricket of the season. Yorkshire are relegated, and the chairman is already making noises about how the players need to pull their socks up. That seems a bit rich coming from a committee that is happily and hugely in debt, and which initially didn’t want a run getting overseas player because they couldn’t afford one.
Where exactly does pulling one’s socks up come from? Does anyone know? I can’t see how it can imply taking things more seriously, or being ready to take things on when Nora Batty out of Last of the Summer Wine was always ready to take things on, often with her broom, and never knowingly had her socks unwrinkled. They make us pull our socks up when fencing too. Apparently, a thin layer of wool will stop us getting stabbed in the shin should a sword break.
Going back to short stories, it’s interesting how trying to write ten at once feels different to one at a time. Whenever you get stuck on one, you sort of flit sideways to another. Presumably, it still takes as long to produce them, since I managed about the same number of words as usual, but it feels less like I’m trying to tackle the hard bits head on.
If you haven’t heard anything about my novel Court of Dreams in a while, it’s because we’re waiting for things like the cover and the galleys and the final proofing. It feels like a much more involved process than with either of my first two novels, and I am taking that as a good sign. Eventually, I imagine I should beg all of you to help me out with arranging a suitable blog tour to draw attention to it, but possibly not until I know little things like the release date.
I actually have a sequel to it in first draft form (or possibly second, given that I started again on a different tack after I decided I didn’t like the first version.) I’m wary of doing much with it until I can see that the first one is doing well. It makes fun of vampires in much the same way that Court of Dreams makes fun of the whole urban faerie thing. While still having a story of its own, of course.
I’m also working on the thing that I deleted not that long ago after trying to write without a plan. I have realised that this is something I do. I actually went through three or four attempts at Court of Dreams before we finally got to the finished version, complete with Grave (who remains my favourite character ever. Imagine Hagrid as a forgetful faerie assassin in a truly amazing coat and you’ll be nowhere near what I actually intend, but probably near enough to get an idea.)