Gosh. The Ides of March. How time flies. We'll soon be seeing the buds swelling....
This week has, for me, been blighted by the weather. Both my planned trips – to Sedgefield and Hexham – fell foul of the frost and snow. Both meetings were cancelled. However, there have been satisfying moments. On Monday – I think it was Monday – I reached the end-point of the memoir now entitled Working Progress. 78,000 words, give or take a few. I can’t remember whether or not I raised a glass to celebrate. I know that I slept like a dead man, until a nasty tickly cough woke me up.
When I say I reached the end, I should of course correct myself: in fact, what I did was to beat a path to an end-point. And, now that I know whereabouts my point of arrival is located I can go back over the 13 chapters and make sure that all the sign-posts are pointing that way. That may be quite a task. I have sent a copy of the manuscript as it stands to A. who will read it and, as she usually does, find useful things to say. I trust her: she manages to make observations, even suggestions, and useful ones at that, in such a way that they never cause me any pain. That is quite a gift, because well-meant advice, delivered in the wrong way, can be very hurtful. I have a few ideas about what may be missing, what else can be fitted in, what may not be working, but for the moment I am shelving them.
I suppose the trick right now is to avoid thinking ahead to my next project. I don’t mean the business of turning out a hard-copy version of The Red House On The Niobrara, which is very much on my mind right now. Rather I mean the series of short stories which will, when complete, touch on all seventeen western states. Mind, I shan’t have much time to chew that over: in about three weeks I should receive the outline of the photo book, Mike Pannett’s Yorkshire, for which I am to write the text by the beginning of May. And it’s starting to look as though I shall spend the summer months writing up a book based on his childhood. Busy busy busy.
But before all of that, we have the weekend. Tomorrow I take off for
to meet Jules Smith,
poet, and watch York
continue their struggle for survival against the Valiants. Port Vale, if you
must. And then on Sunday A and I are going to visit a friend, a potter who is
having an drop-in ‘let’s make a mosaic day’ as a thank-you to friends who
helped her out last year when she was ill. York City
More anon, I dare say.