Renewed vigour, but will it last?

Having caught up with most of the backlog of editing (and a few domestic chores), I made my usual contribution to our storytelling gathering in Glossop on July 25th and then took a couple of friends to a storytelling performance in Cromford a week later (August 1st). Christine MacMahon was telling traditional tales from the Lancashire mill towns – lovely relaxed audience-friendly delivery, enjoyed by all. Her musician friend Paul accompanied her on fiddle and two sets of bagpipes (Lancashire pipes and Northumbrian small-pipes), playing traditional air and dances and occasionally generating sound effects to illustrate the stories. It was a great evening. I’ve a long way to go before I become a storyteller of skill comparable to Christine’s!

Meanwhile, despite the continuing excellent summer weather, I’m forging ahead with the novel. The draft manuscript has grown by 6500 words since I returned from holiday in the Isle of Wight, an average of 500 words per day, which for me is rapid progress. I’ve printed off the first two sections, around 45,000 words, and sent them to a highly critical friend for red-pen work. I await her verdict with trepidation – but I needed an honest female critic at this stage because the first part of the novel is seen through the eyes of the female protagonist, who ages from 13 to 21 in the space of 30,000 words, a serious challenge for an elderly male writer. Fear of literary demolition isn’t deterring me, though. If I can keep to the average of 500 words per day I should finish the first draft by the end of the calendar year. That’s my target.

Nothing like optimism, is there?

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