I've had a great week organising Solstice/Christmas; travelling to the Isle of Wight where we used to live and catching up with friends and family; and enjoying reading. I can see the logic of treating reading as a part of the writing process, and prioritising it, but in practice I can only do one well, or the other! So, having enjoyed a few books for old times sake, and a couple of new ones for fun, I've really got to sit down and get back to editing. Since we had a plan to scale back Solstice and just have one tree, not go mad on presents and food etc. I can say we seem to have failed. Badly. The artificial tree wouldn't fit in our newly decorated living room so we went shopping for a new, more sensible sized one. The old one ended up in the dining room (because it's such a nice, if nine foot high, tree) and the old dining room one squeaked into my newly decorated, insulated and fixed up study. The kids wanted their little tree in the kitchen - we have four trees. We seemed to have missed downsizing the holidays by a mile.
Meanwhile, I have been thinking about the sequel and how close I am to finishing (well, abandoning really) the first book. “Poems are never finished - just abandoned”, Paul Valéry said, and he described how I see novels, too. There just comes a point when you can't polish any more, so you send it off, and the second you do you find a million mistakes. I think it's part of the process. The plan is to finish draft 4 by the end of December and start the new year with a round of submissions.