I've started counting, like a kid counting down to Christmas. Even though I've been warned - publication day might be the quietest day in the calendar. So I'm planning something small, maybe a meal out with the kids or something. I feel like I ought to celebrate somehow!
Meanwhile, I've hit the argghh moment with book 3. It happens later and later, but basically I run out of plotting to write. Everyone's in a bit of a tangle, basically, and I can't think how to get them out of it. My strategy (which might be rubbish) is to start on the ending. It's what I've done on the previous books, and at some point I expect to realise there's a really big beginning and a big ending - and I can just join them up. Hopefully. I wish I had a bit more control over the process.
I've been meeting other writers as well. It's interesting. Even when you meet people who are just taking up writing again, or even for the first time, you learn something. Most writers are very experienced readers, and they just have an eye and ear for weak spots in a story, clunky prose etc. But there are some rather good writers in the mix, some pushing forward towards publication, as well as a more experienced published novelist than me. It's nice to be in a group of writers again, worrying about the use of a word or fussing over the pace of a scene.
Meanwhile, as it does every year, my inner skies turn grey and nightmares sneak in. My daughter's death haunts me every year for ten days - the same ten days we nursed her at home through what we realised was her final illness. I don't know why, but the nightmares are often about corpses, often floating or on ships. I have no idea, but last night's one was particularly bad. I ended up sleeping a few hours with the light on. Is it any wonder I tend to gravitate towards horror and crime?