Can it really be August 2014 that I last put anything on here? That’s just terrible. Of course, I meant to. After all, the presentation on blogging which I attended at Glasgow’s Magnificent Mitchell Library emphasised that for maximum effect, one must blog a minimum of twice weekly, daily if possible. Maybe it’s just me, but having someone’s thoughts in my face that often wouldn’t endear them to me, although I admit it would certainly raise their profile. Not entirely in a good way, though.
But yes, four years is a long gap – I kept thinking “Must do a blog”, but as with many neglected endeavours, the longer you leave it, the more difficult it is to get back into it. Life in the large tends to carry you away, and many sins of omission are left bobbing in its foamy wake.
I won’t bore you with too much detail regarding this hectic time, but I did manage to build a fair body of writing, mainly during courses undertaken at the University of Glasgow. In 2017 I participated in the Diva Literary Festival in Birmingham, and it was a salutary reminder, when others were reading from their latest publications and I was still performing extracts from my one-and-only novel, ‘Out Late With Friends and Regrets’, that I would have to take drastic action to stay relevant.
Problem 1: I was (and still am) only halfway through the first draft of my second novel, and only the Black Alpine Salamander has a gestation period approaching mine when ‘with book’.
Problem 2: ‘Out Late’ was published by a small house which has since ceased trading (wasn’t down to me, guv, honest!), and I don’t have the tech skills to self-publish – I’ve been trying to learn computer basics as I go, but am still years behind most people.
Solution: A short story collection (it’s called ‘I Really Did Love Her’), and a shameless reliance on the extraordinary generosity of talented friends, who did the design and publishing involved – all the hard work, in other words.
So here we are: today I received the first sample copies, in the very nick of time to take to the ELLCon in Bristol on Wednesday, to read from on Thursday. I do wish I could remember I could remember how to put a photo on this blog, but I’ve already had a tech fail in trying – the text blew up into giant bold, with not a paragraph or a space in sight; this is the third time I’ve typed it (slow process, two fingers), and I don’t propose doing it again! I certainly don’t have the time. Working tomorrow, so I’d better go and finish packing.
When I return I’ll need to revise how to use WordPress – nothing’s as I remember it…