2016 is to be the year I finish the most important novel I’m ever likely to write. It’s a summation of my life’s efforts, already in the first draft but begging to be ruthlessly edited. It has been to a professional editor and returned with the partly expected comments, suggestions and encouragement. So far, fine. It’s ‘brilliant but flawed’.

I’ll restart my blog at the same time. About twice weekly, time permitting. That’s my second resolution. Maybe a tweet or two…

Overarching Resolution: not to pave the streets of hell by breaking the two resolutions.

The guests for New Year’s Eve left happily on New Year’s Day, leaving a sense of emptiness behind them. Good. I’d start without delay. I intended to revise the beginning of the novel at the same time as I sort out the sequence of chapters 29 to 36. After them the novel seems to flow well to the ending, or as well as can be expected at this stage.

Back to chapter 1 and Nicholas. Glad to be with him again. My nose twitches with his and it’s as cold outside as he’s finding it in the frosty wood. He’s on his way to the crucial meeting with Magnus. Less of a gap in my feelings now. I’m back with friends.

Today, well into January and I’ve already left some miserable tarmac on my street in hell. Only just finished introducing Helen in chapter 6 and delays again.

The truth is that the New Year rushed in without flooding us – praise be – but with lots of repairs and replacements to steal my time. Our fridge freezer gave up the ghost while we were away at Christmas. We had to bin a lot of food, buy and stock up a new one. Then our son’s boiler expired of old age leaving him without hot water and central heating. This unerringly happens, of course, in winter. A day later part of the ceiling in his sitting-room collapsed, caused by an undetected leak. Slates around the chimney-pot had slipped unnoticed. More time lost with insurance, builders and estimates. The whole ceiling will have to come down and be replaced. It’s cracked and quite dangerous.

The house is next to ours. He is away. A writer is always around – and available? Of course.

Needless to say, I haven’t had a chance to look at those middle chapters, and while writing this I’m waiting for the builder to come. Another afternoon lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the builders have repaired it and left a mess for the carpet cleaners to deal with and the painter still has to come and the roof has to be repaired and – that’s enough for now! I’ve taken all the curtains to be cleaned!