As usual, ‘Pitkirtly VIII’ is taking a slightly different shape from the one I expected. One of the characters – a new arrival – has decided to do something very silly. Of course that in itself isn’t all that surprising. If characters didn’t do anything out of the ordinary then novels would be extremely boring. I’m just waiting at the moment to see where this particular example of silliness will lead. When I say ‘waiting’ I mean writing on through it all and desperately trying to get to the right outcome.
In some ways I feel as if I go through a time warp when I ‘visit’ Pitkirtly, and I was reminded of this when I went to Dunfermline for the day recently. This isn’t because Dunfermline itself is stuck in the past – far from it – or because I have based Pitkirtly on Dunfermline, which I haven’t, but because I have memories of it which are stuck in the 1950s, when we used to go there to see my granny, and I also tend to dwell on family history when I go there as I belong to a group of people who are all descended from a coal miner who lived there in the 17th century. Apart from anything else, this shows that it isn’t always just the aristocracy who can trace their ancestry back that far!
I’m about 25,000 words into ‘Pitkirtly VIII’ and starting to consider possible titles for it. I like ‘Night of the Living Elves’ which came to me first thing this morning, but I very much doubt if that is the one it will end up with. I am writing at the rate I planned to write, which means I may finish the first draft by mid-September. There will still be some editing to do before publication.
I’m trying not to take on any other random projects in the mean-time but sometimes I can’t resist them. That was what happened with the Edinburgh ebook festival (this link is for the home page: http://www.edebookfest.co.uk/ – either search for ‘Sheila Perry’ or look for ‘writers’ residencies’ in the drop-down list of categories to find my 3 historical research articles) and also in the case of two articles on bar-coding in museums I was asked to write for a museum registrars’ website called Registrar Trek: The Next Generation.