Here we go again…

I see it’s some time since I wrote a new post here. In the months following the previous post I’ve retired from my part-time day job as a database manager, published the 21st of the Pitkirtly Mysteries and taken part in a mad project to write 14 screenplays in 14 days. Fortunately all these things were well out of the way by the 1st of November, when NaNoWriMo started up again as it always does. This year, of course, there has been some sort of election going on in the USA to distract all the would-be novelists. Or maybe people are turning to writing to distract themselves from politics – who knows?

I’ve just reached 20,000 words in the NaNo novel so it is probably time to mention a few things about it. I’ve plunged into history again I’m afraid, with a spin-off from Brighton Heirs. This time I’ve decided, in the interests of equality, to focus on heiresses and I have a tentative series title which is ‘Misplaced Heiresses’, though at this point I don’t know if there will actually be a series or not. For this particular novel I’ve brought George and Charles from Marshingdean to Dorset, where they will become embroiled in dark political dealings and a search for a misplaced heiress in Lyme Regis and surroundings. I initially thought of Lyme Regis because I once had a holiday at a home educators’ festival in Charmouth, so I could picture the place, which is always useful, and once I had done some research I found, slightly to my surprise, that Lyme Regis was notorious at one time for political corruption. But there was some fossil collection going on there too (as there still is today).

Of course it would be lovely to be able to travel down to Dorset to do further research, although not necessarily in quite the same way that we got there last time, when our train from Edinburgh to Axminster was cancelled and we had to make our way down through the country guessing which stations to change at. We ended up changing at Carstairs (between Edinburgh and Glasgow), Stafford, Birmingham New Street and Bristol Temple Meads. From Exeter the train company put us in a taxi to Axminster with a complete stranger who turned out to be going to the same home educators’ festival as we were and whose brother-in-law then gave us a lift in his campervan from Axminster to Charmouth. I think the journey took about 12 hours in all. Still it wasn’t quite as slow as a stage-coach would have been! Also, my knowledge of British geography is quite good now, which would certainly have surprised my school geography teacher.

Retirement flowers

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