I realised, waking up last night in a panic, that November is now advancing on us very quickly. Unlike some people this doesn’t remind me that Christmas is just round the corner, because I prefer not to acknowledge the existence of Christmas until a couple of weeks before it takes place. In my case the panic is because it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month to start again, and although I have made up my mind to write ‘Pitkirtly VII’ or ‘A Tasteful Crime’ as it is now known, I don’t feel at all organised to do this.

It isn’t just that I’m not organised, it’s that I am getting distracted even more than usual by other projects trying to push their way to the front of my brain. It’s a bit like a merry-go-round in there at the moment, and not one of the old-fashioned kind with stately horses and carriages promenading round in an orderly manner. It’s more like one from which I had to be removed, screaming, years ago, on which motorbikes go up and down and round and round, and tubs you sit in that don’t just do that but spin round and round themselves at the same time.

I found myself yesterday still doing some last-minute research into Edwardian dress, all the better to describe what the characters are wearing in my novella ‘Adventure on the Scotch Express’. I say last-minute, but it’s worse that as I was under the mistaken impression I had more or less finished it. Unfortunately what people are wearing is integral to the plot in this case. Usually I don’t care very much what my characters wear. Indeed, the people of Pitkirtly would probably scoff at the mention of fashion, Edwardian or otherwise.

What with Edwardian dress, blackberries, local emergency meetings and my ill-timed attempt to create a Pitkirtly omnibus (see picture below), I am so frazzled that it will be a relief to return to the familiarity of Pitkirtly on the 1st of November and find out what the characters are going to get up to next. Can Jan from the wool-shop ever recover fully from her recent disappointment? Will Charlie Smith encounter any unexpected problems in his new venture? Has Amaryllis really given up spying for good? I will try to answer these questions and more when I start writing.

Pitkirtly omnibus attempt 1
Pitkirtly omnibus attempt 1

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