Retreating into shell until a New Year dawns

Well, during the past 3-4 weeks I’ve edited Phibby’s wonderful new collection of poems (280 pp), completed language editing on nineteen clinical anatomy manuscripts (about 33 hours of working time), presented my work at the creative writing group’s Christmas performance, written a complete draft of the script for Inspire Glossop’s ‘Fright Night’ play, worked on an application for Heritage Lottery Fund money for the creative writing group, attended storytelling sessions, and bought, wrapped and dispatched a number of Christmas presents and cards – and written a whole load of letters and e-mails. Now I’m trying to catch up on household chores, including an ironing pile that’s getting dangerously close to critical mass, and otherwise I intend to spend some time sleeping.


On Thursday 19th I shall drive to Edinburgh for lunch with a daughter and return here on Friday 20th with friend to stay with me over Christmas. Between then and New Year I will do no writing, editing, grant-applying, storytelling or anything else demanding mental effort. Activities will resume in the New Year, when we’ll rehearse the play – and move on to the next stage of grant application. By then I hope I’ll be sufficiently rested for my IQ to have returned to three figures.


I must admit I’m provisionally pleased with the drama script, though, particularly because everyone else in the Inspire Glossop group is positive about it. It’s entitled Riddles, it exploits local folktales and makes a few political points, and I believe it hits the right balance of creepiness, ambiguity and laughs needed to keep audiences entertained. We’ll see what changes need to be made when we get around to rehearsals as from January 9th.


And by that time the literary consultancy should have told me what they think of my novel manuscript… Watch this space!


  • Mishka Zakharin 25.12.2013 - 02:41am

    Well, Mark, I hope you manage to keep busier in the new year… (sheesh!)

    Your productivity absolutely puts me to shame, I’m sorry to admit. But it also inspires me–and, so, after a little nap, mayhap a little T.V…. I’m going to sit down and think about something writery that I can work on in the not so distant future!

    Butanyhoo… in the meantime, a very happy Christmas to you and yours!~

  • Mark Henderson

    You’ve got the right balance, Mishka. I’m enjoying a week or two inside the shell, in congenial company beside a log fire, with occasional indulgence in champagne. And a nap or two, and a little TV, as you recommend…

    Have a great holiday and a healthy and prosperous 2014!

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