A zigzag trajectory is perhaps a reasonable phrase to describe my flightpath. In 2015 I didn’t write what I’d set out to do. But I wrote. I hardly stopped. It seems the writer can plan a destination but even if he has enough fuel to get there he still has to avoid missiles (in the world of writing think rejections, IT malfarts, etcetera). The work of missiles may of course be countered by the odd thermal current (think constructive criticism and encouragement from respected advisors; competitive success; think agent).
In 2015 I’d intended to complete a collection of humorous poetry. But in January I received an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University and discovered that the characters from my dissertation were knocking on the door asking for their parts to be expanded. The dissertation, written in 2014, was a collection of short stories around the lives and loves of the same group of chancers, choosers and losers, all of whom are linked in some way to Lassiter Limousines, a luxury car hire company. Two of the stories were short-listed in competition: Burnt Cork in the Labello Press Short Story Competition and The Joy Chair in the Writers and Artists Year Book Competition. Was I encouraged? Oh yeah: these organisations set high standards. Together with a clutch of new stories, I developed all the dissertation short stories into a complete novel entitled The Fruits of Rashness. I’m currently seeking interest from publishers and agents. Think thermal current.
In 2015 I also began work on a new novel. Although I expect the title to change, my working title is Which Art in Heaven. The first draft was completed in October and I’m deep into second draft territory. Like The Fruits of Rashness the new novel is set primarily in Sussex and is comedic; so I get to laugh as I write. Not in a maniacal way, not usually, but in a library-level chuckle. Why not? If I don’t think it’s funny, no one else will. Sadly, the reverse is not necessarily the case.
Although my intention to compile a collection of humorous poems in 2015 took a back-seat to Lassiter Limousines, I still intend to prepare that collection: the time and the timing’s the thing. Missiles and currents will no doubt play their part.