It’s been a very short, very intense summer here in Portsmouth (not to mention, a very damp and grey one) and though I feel I’ve made good progress on a number of projects, I have sorely neglected my blogging responsibilities, here.
Summer, for me, began when my temporary teaching post at Portsmouth College came to an end in late May and I was finally able to get down to some serious writing. For six solid weeks, I faithfully kept my commitment to work on the novel from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week. That period of frenetic activity came to an end after the first week of July when I went on a three-week bike ride in France. My big plans for continuing to work on the novel, in the tent each evening, came to naught. All I really wanted to do at the end of a long day’s ride was to eat and crawl into my sleeping bag.
On my return, at the beginning of August, my attention turned, not back to my own novel, but to a collection of short stories by the American writer, Belle Boggs. Earlier in the summer, I had agreed to review the book, Mattaponi Queen, for the new journal, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice. I’ve written a number of reviews, in the past few months, and each time I do I realise what a good discipline it is for developing my own writing. The 3000-word review finished and submitted, I then focussed on Thresholds, the new short story website which I’m involved in developing at the University of Chichester. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop for the past two weeks, tweaking the design, uploading content and making contact with university Literature and Creative Writing departments throughout the English-speaking world in preparation for the launch at the end of September. This is an exciting project which aims to build a community of postgraduate students involved in the study and writing of short stories. All worthy stuff, but nothing to do with my own research project…
Now, however, I’ve cleared the decks, transcribed the notes I made while cycling, and am ready to knuckle down to my own research and novelling activities, once more. Oh yes – and the blog. I will resume my sporadic blog posts, as well.