The novel is still ‘nearing completion’; almost all the remaining text is drafted, but the pieces aren’t necessarily (to quote a well-known comedian) in the right order. Shuffling the pack is quite entertaining.


Progress with this minimum opus has been delayed during the past few weeks by a flood of editing work (a nuisance, but income) and visits from family and friends (neither nuisance nor income, but time-consuming). I’ve also had a minor battle with our tax authorities, the sort of conflict that can cause ulcers, though it’s comforting to know you’re right and they’re wrong… provided they acknowledge the fact and stop wasting my time. Nevertheless, the novel is on track for completion only a month behind my self-imposed deadline, which considering the variety of difficulties that have conspired to preclude boredom, makes me happy.


The Matlock Storytelling Café on September 6th was fun, as always, and there’ll be another one at the same time and place (Imperial Rooms, Matlock, Derbyshire, 7.30-10.00 p.m.) on Friday October 4th. I’ll stay in Matlock overnight to take advantage of the storytelling workshop on Saturday 5th. Whether my attendance is designed to improve my skills or to acquire some is a matter for speculation, but I’m looking forward to it. We enjoyed another storytelling group session in Glossop on Friday 27th September; the only other such event during the coming month will be on October 15th in Scrivener’s Bookshop, Buxton, at 2.30 p.m. Remarkably, since I produced my collection of 62 folktales from the Peak District, I’ve discovered several more. I’ll have to suggest a new edition to the publisher…


  • Wonderful blog, Mark, I am glad the novel is near completion. Hope all is well with you!

  • Isn’t this site great, Phibby? I think Dana’s done an amazing job with it.

    In future blogs I’ll be describing the closing stages (I hope!) of novel writing, and then the critique from the literary consultant – which I anticipate with some trepidation!

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