This is Handybrew, an inspired xmas gift from my wife. It means I need never drink instant again. It also means that I now drink more strong fresh coffee than any human person on the planet. This may not be a good thing.
Before I forget, I stumbled over a new review of Thy Fearful Symmetry last night. It was a very pleasant surprise. With all the focus recently being on Craven Place and the works in progress, it’s nice to see people still discovering my other novels. You can check it out here – thanks Penelope!
In last night’s nicotine dream…
I still lived in the town of Amble, where I grew up. My friend Jackie from Seattle had flown over for a visit, and we were out for a walk with my brother (who in the dream was nine, even though I was the age I am now) along the path of an old railway track that used to run behind my street. Immediately after Jackie pointed out what she declared to be a scraggly looking bear cub at the side of the verge (I thought it was a cat, but didn’t want to offend her), we were approached by five grey/white mongrels that we all agreed had some recent wolf in their ancestry. The dogs worried at the three of us, nipping at heels, though I was the only one who noticed (Jackie was making big plans for the future and missing her camera). I picked up the two largest of the dogs by the throat, and though they glared at me they went limp and the other three dogs backed off a little. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the faintest idea what to do next. I knew if I let the dogs go they’d probably attack, but I couldn’t just carry them around forever. People would ask questions, and I wouldn’t be able to get into nice restaurants. I was intensely relieved when we strolled past somebody else’s garden fence and saw three massive Rottweiler heads poke up over the top. Problem solved. I dumped the two dogs into that garden, and the other three leaped in too. There was a bit of a commotion, but they didn’t come back out. There were many other parts of the dream, but that section is the clearest.
On with the novel. I’m at 64,978 words at the moment, and it’s time to formally extend the deadline and add five days to the project. I won’t write anything on this over the weekend, as I’ll be busy sorting out Hiram Grange, The 52, and very probably The Flesh Market. That takes me up to the eighteenth of the month to finish this. Scrivener estimates that I need to do 5003 words each working day to meet that, which is much more reasonable (although still a far shout from what I’ve managed since I returned from holiday!). I do have to hit that target though – if I fall far short the remaining words pile into the following days and things will quickly become unworkable. I don’t want to extend again, even though there’s no deadline for this, because the next project is calling…
11:30 – 12:50. 1133 words. Having an achievable target to aim for makes a tremendous difference to how I approach a day of writing. Am off for lunch now, having broken all Hell loose upon the story, and feeling satisfied at being a quarter of the way towards the day’s words.
13:50 – 16:30. 1558 words (2691 total). Nearly three hours to write 1500 words? I really am off my game just now. Still, they were good words and got Ro to where she needed to be at chapter’s end. I’m going to break for some tea, then come right back. With a semi-realistic target for the day, I don’t want to drop the ball.
17:15 – 17:45. 568 words (3259 words). I’m getting there, slowly but steadily. I need to go and make stage one of dinner (PIE!), and than another session of writing while the oven does its thing.
I like pie.
19:00 – 19:30. 450 words (3709 total). Two more small sessions should do it. I am teasing myself with the promise of the first of the new Sherlock episodes if I get done.
20:05 – 21:15. 1313 words (5022 total). The end of the chapter neatly crosses my required word count for the day. Thank god for that.
For the first time in ages, I met my target today. 5022 words done, and the novel is now exactly 70,000 words long. Same again tomorrow please…
While I’m writing this novel, I’m also preparing to release another called The Flesh Market in February 2014. A story of science, murder, obsession, and the walking dead, the book creeps between the slums of 19th century Edinburgh and the ivory towers of its academia. In the next couple of weeks, well before the book is released, I’ll be giving everybody signed up to my email newsletter a free ebook copy for their Kindles, Nooks, smartphones, etc. At the top right of this page is a ‘Newsletter Signup’ box. Stick your email in and you’re done. Your details will never be passed on, to anybody, ever. Thanks!