As well as being even busier than usual, my life has taken on a surreal tinge, and if I believed in a supernatural power then he would take the shape of Salvador Dali rather than the bearded deity people usually picture. While waiting for a family member to get ready for his custard pie, made with squirty cream on this occasion – you can get stage custard in a spray can for this kind of thing but needless to say we hadn’t planned ahead enough for that to be an option – we noticed that the cat had brought in a mouse, which then ran under a chair in the conservatory, and, not surprisingly, wouldn’t come out again. A little later, and after we had finished with the custard pie, although not with its after-effects, I was chatting to one of the many and varied carers who come to our house these days. She turned out to have known both me and the other family member in a previous life as having been involved in local children’s pantomimes, so when I mentioned the custard pie she just smiled and said, ‘He’s still doing that sort of thing, then.’ It almost made the whole sequence of events seem completely normal. Maybe it would be normal in a world created by Salvador Dali.
Anyway, that was a bit of an irrelevance to distract your attention from the fact that I haven’t yet got to the point of publishing Pitkirtly XVIII (‘Unrelated Incidents’). There are several reasons for this, but I can report that some progress has been made this very day. I’ve sent off for a printed copy of the novel to do a final proof-read. On occasion I skip this step, but in this case I’m afraid I’ve already had to sort out so many plot holes that I don’t want to skip anything. I’ve read through the whole thing a couple of times, trying to make sense of it, and I don’t think I’ve mixed up the days of the week on this occasion, although I did have a character who managed to get three different names within a few pages, and another one who had apparently died in an early chapter but whom I had to resurrect. You may be able to identify this person when you finally get the chance to read the book, although I sort of hope not!
I also must confess that I’m about to swan off on a short holiday, but it does involve a train journey to London so I’ve dutifully copied both the novels that I think are almost publishable (why do I do that? don’t ask me!) to my Kindle Fire so that I can do yet another read-through on the train. Of course I probably won’t, because I often spend hours just staring at the passing scenery, but at least I will have them to hand in case I get bored.
What I’m hoping is that the printed copy will arrive soon after I get back, so that I can get to work on it right away and (I hope) have it finished by the end of the month or soon after. Then all I have to do is finish the other one too, and I can relax for about 5 minutes or until Camp NaNoWriMo starts up again in July, when I plan to embark on Pitkirtly XIX. Oddly enough, the plot for that is much clearer than it was for XVIII. But then, it often looks like that from a distance!