From “I” To You

I was not going to post today, but having got back from a sunrise walk I thought I would share this. Sunrise was offically “7:19” and we started around that time. We had the cliff paths nearby entirely to ourselves…

[Edge of Dartmouth, Devon, November 10, 2022. Video by me. From my Instagram Stories.]

Walking for nearly an hour, I had a broader think, too. Always dangerous me thinking. (LOL!) I decided when I got home, I would just update you some.

At our new house here in Dartmouth, Devon, I have an outside office because we have only three bedrooms, not four as previously in Potton. The Mrs. has the inside office; but I like this outside one – in a well built garden shed, basically – I have created where I am writing this post now. The previous homeowners did not use it to its full potential as a room: It is fully powered, has a great window view of the Dartmouth hills, locks up securely, and is just a few steps from the back door.

Indeed I have piled more and more of my books into it. It has become my “place” in a sense. The Mrs. laughed when initially I told her what I had in mind for it, saying that many other men might have pictured power tools and a work bench, but I saw a library. LOL!

[An “ancient” bookshelf in my office. Photo by me, November 10, 2022.]

Usually I head outside to it after breakfast; the next book is being mostly written here. The view of the hills around Dartmouth is distracting at times, but inspirational, too. It is quiet out here (and I have a space heater, also necessary as winter approaches) and I can, most importantly, think. (Even with the Beatles coming from my phone.) In just a few weeks of really writing, I have gotten quite a bit of new stuff done.

I have now decided too that I have written my “magnum opus” – Conventions and its two “sequels.” I don’t believe I have another nearly 2,000 page trilogy like that in me. What comes next is going to be less in scope in the hope less is in its way also “different.”

Since the third volume (Capture The Cause) of that trilogy was released in late March, we have been coping with house-moving chaos – selling the Catskills in April and Potton about the same time and in August moving in here (and we are still unpacking) – which meant I had little time really to write. That enforced break has done me, I think, some good. Six years of developing many of the same characters – especially in starting them as teens or young 20-somethings and aging them into their 40s and 50s and even old(er) age – and trying to create and keep the (hopefully interesting) storylines within the actual historical chronology and events of those years, was mentally draining.

To try to “chill” some, I had since March been reading a lot too – much more than when I am writing – as I had been vaguely pondering on what might be a new story and new characters. I feel the next book will be a much more “spare” (no, no, good grief not THAT “spare”) and tight one of maybe 300 pages or so. It may open a new series, but I’m not 100 percent sure on that yet. (I know some readers love a series and some don’t. You can’t please everyone.) I don’t have a title yet, although I have some ideas for one. I do have the leading man and the leading lady figured out, and it will definitely be set in the 1780s (again), but this time built around here in Devon, at least initially; and some will also take place (again) in France, too.

[Edge of Dartmouth, Devon, November 10, 2022. Photo by me.]

My biggest “new horizon” for this latest is to see if I can write it in the 1st person. (A shorter and more “personal” story can handle that.) I had seriously considered writing it from her perspective, but I think I have chickened out on that one – especially based on what I have drafted of it so far. I remain unsure I could carry it off as “her” for an entire book. As a man, I know I can write a man and what a man thinks, etc. I am much more cautious doing that for a woman; I have done it, you may know, but I have never tried to do it for an entire novel and I suspect that is a creative step too far for me. So if I am going to do this one that way, it will still have to be from “what the man sees” so to speak.

This time, though, I am in no rush with a new book. I feel the pressure I had put on myself for a decade or so is off thanks particularly to my last three novels. Everything from now on is just, for me, “topping” in a way to those. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not 100 percent happy with them (no writer should ever be entirely happy with a book), but if I never published another thing, if they were to be the last things I ever did, I would be reasonably content with them and what they say.

So that’s where I am and how things generally are with the writing. Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂


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