Coming up for air
June 21st 2013
Hello. I’ve been busy: could you tell?
Probably only by the profound silence – I have many emails to reply to, letters to answer, ‘stuff’ to do, which I haven’t done. But I have achieved, oh yes.
My school reports, all sixty of them, are done: the little treasures will find out in, er, unalloyed terms, what I think of them shortly.
I have help launch a book, The Lowest Heaven, down in that London. The evening was terrific, fantastically well organised by the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory. We signed long and hard into the night, and I just about caught the last train back to my temporary lodgings by dint of cunning navigation of the Underground and sprinting between platforms. Me, sprinting: I know, not a pretty sight…
I have, hopefully, finished the edits to Arcanum. There have been …problems… which I shall gracefully elide over, but we are currently still on track for publication in January 2014 (and not Novemeber 2013 – please adjust your Christmas lists appropriately). It is a real beast of a book, currently resting like a beached bull seal at a mighty 285,000 words. And yet, it doesn’t feel long. There’s very little of the noodling that might usually be found in a fantasy brick (no T*m B*mbadil, for example), so it’s pretty much all plot. It’ll either be the a huge success, or an epic failure. I don’t think ‘equivocal’ comes into it, and I’ll happily settle for ‘flawed masterpiece’. Caveat Emptor! as they say in Carinthia.
I have also – shh, whisper it quietly – been working in conjunction with a producer about original script ideas for The Movies. I turned in something very first drafty today, and it might be that nothing ever comes of anything I do in this regard, but it’s not only fun, it’s really very different from novel writing. I’m used to just sitting down with a blank page and bashing the words into it, fully formed; this process is not so much that, more sketching part, have someone else sketch part, and so on, until you have a whole, which you can still change. Even working with another person is a bit strange. I’m sure I’ll cope…
So now I’ve got all those things out of the way, it’s time to get Petrovitch and company out of the suspended animation I left them in at around 30,000 words. Brace for impact.