Thursday, November 30, 2023

November 2023 - Update #5

 Finally a little writing - chapter 3 is more or less finished at last. Now things should start moving, as Gwernin and company set off on a new adventure. The first part will be similar (but not identical) to the beginning of The Ash Spear - a sort of mirror, but twelve years later, involving the initiatory ritual called "the dark path". We'll be seeing Gwernin's friend Neirin again for the first time since that book. Hopefully he won't take over the entire story line, as he is prone to do!

Most of last week's snow has melted, but not all, because the weekend was very cold. It's definitely winter now. I'm looking forward to getting out of November - it's been a month with too many losses over the years.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

November 2023 - Update #4

 A cold grey morning with snow predicted tonight. The last two days were mild and sunny - what we call "the warm before the storm" - but that's over. I spent part of them doing garden stuff - planting crocus bulbs before the ground freezes, coiling a hose, giving the rosemary plants a last couple of days of outdoor sun. Now it's time to stay indoors and try to write. I have at least been considering plot and plot problems from time to time. Now it's time to put words to them.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

November 2023 - Update #3

 I don't usually start with vodka for breakfast, but this has been a horrible week.

A good friend (Elis Owens) with whom I had worked on the local Welsh language course for the last 24 years died abruptly last Thursday night. I heard about this in  an email two days later, and was just beginning to recover and start to write again when my Gray cat was hit and killed by a car yesterday morning.

The combined loss is almost more than I can stand. I keep reminding myself I have 3 young cats and at least 2 more books to write. But I've never felt more suicidal in my life.

Friday, November 10, 2023

November 2023 - Update #2

 Only a little progress in the last week. I did finish chapter 2 and started chapter 3, but that was mostly because chapter 2 was getting too long and I moved the last 1,000 words into the next chapter. I also spent some time thinking about plot development, and took 2 days off to work on the next issue of Oak Leaves. Hopefully I'll get back on track now. I always seem to have at least three major balls in the air, so to speak -- writing, Oak Leaves, and other druid activities (the last now in two flavors, so to speak), plus assorted daily mundane stuff.

Winter is settling in, with cold nights and heavy frosts the last two days, but we're still getting mild stretches. I need to use some of the milder days to do yard work, especially plant some bulbs and repair the cold frame. Ruay caught a mouse in the yard the other day, but I took it away from him and exported it. This led me to set the live traps in the garage, and I've caught two there so far. I need to get them out now, before the population explodes like it did last year.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

November 2023 - Update #1

 Winter is here. Over the last weekend, I got about 8 inches of snow, followed by overnight lows in the low teens F. A lot of the snow has melted so far, since the ground wasn't frozen, but it's still taking its time. I got all the garden tasks done beforehand; geraniums and rosemarys are in the garage, a few other freeze-tolerant plants in the cold frame. Still lots of garden cleanup to do, but no hurry now.

I've actually got some writing done this week. It took a bit of thought and re-reading of things after such a long break, but I'm hopeful of making fairly steady progress now. I've almost finished chapter 2 at last, and have been mentally grappling this morning with what comes next. The next few chapters will take Gwernin et al to Ynys Mon, where Taliesin's student Mael is going to undergo the initiatory experience called the Dark Path. Some of this I'll be cribbing from The Ash Spear, but some will be new and different. After that - Ireland again.