Tag Archives: the dead months


Blessed half term is sadly over and evil college looms. During the time I have been plodding on with Dragon’s Wood in between bouts of private teaching and reading. And I am getting nowhere. The tension that I hoped would be present as we approach the climax is lacking, where the disclosures are made and the horror becomes rampant. There is a misalignment in the plot in that the solution is revealed before the mystery deepens, and Margueritte’s English is almost as good as mine. But I have been here before: during the writing of Lights Over Sheel I had Michael working at McKinnon’s for some thirty thousand words; and from the ending I cut about the same during a rewrite because I did not know what I was doing while writing it.

But being stuck has yielded up some good ideas to be incorporated in the second draft and which both add to to the narrative and the texture. With this at least I am pleased. But I am also weary – oh for some encouragement. I have sold two copies of  The Dene this past month and more encouragement like this would be good.

Friend Nicola has tempted me with a opportunity for a performance for which I must write the material. Mmm will think; and indeed am tempted – but the material has to be written.

The dead months (see below) take their toll.


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The Dead Months

God, this year’s dragging. Ineffably it moves away from the darkness, the solstice, yet paradoxically we move through cold and wet and bitterness. These are the Dead Months till the light returns. And what have we done? Very little.

End of term saw me so exhausted that once the hullaballoo of Christmas was over all energy drained from my body and the rest of the holidays saw me flat out in my chair watching documentaries about greek drama and the classical world.

After reading the last four chapters of Dragon’s Wood I have concluded that the story is drowning in piffling detail, but any attempt to correct that was blighted by lack of energy. See above. However in the last few days before the evil of term began I managed to draft a few pages about Jacks sniffing around le petite chateau before going off in search of Margueritte. I am trying to return to the main events, of which I can see strung before me, like ionic columns holding up a frieze. And I can see how they fall into place to make the story. I must avoid the ephemera.

The Dead Months. I always feel low at this time if year, yet I raise up my eyes with hope. Through the darkness of winter a voice called out to me across the road. It was Simon, currently composer in residence at a London  theatre. We worked in TIE many years ago and we bump into each other once a term or so. I told him of Lights Over Sheel in the summer, and he crossed the road to sing its praises. I was taken aback, for he is a man of keen discernment. He also spotted many typos…

…oh, and happy New Year!

Get Lights Over Sheel here

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