I gave into my better instincts the other day and finally bought myself a new computer. A laptop, this time, a piece of technology I've been coveting for years. I have a (very) old one I picked up on Ebay from several years ago, but it had all the dynamism and operatibility of a brick, apart from being slow and cranky as hell, so somehow it never seemed to really count(even though I did write considerable portions of Angel Stations on it). What I wanted was something smooth, efficient and sleek. I finally settled on an end-of-line Advent from the local PC World for just about bang on five hundred quid. It's a bit of a compromise in some ways, since what I really want is an Apple (better operating system, less prone to crashing, hardier design), but they're way out of my price range, so ...
Thing is, I'd been paying little attention to the DVD function which is now pretty much ubiquitous in the pc market these days: I think the average number of films I rent a year is probably about, eh, one (apart from going to the cinema, which I do enjoy). But for the hell of it, I did watch a DVD on the pc and found it a rather engaging experience. Apart from the fact it's in widescreen, there's something about having your face relatively close to the screen: I suspect, as an acquaintance suggested, it creates an intimacy not dissimilar to that experienced when actually in a cinema. Or that's the theory, anyway.
Workwise, I have about ten thousand words of a new outline away with my agent, Dorothy Lumley, who I finally got to meet in the flesh a couple of weeks ago when she was in town for a 'crime writer's weekend'. We ended up in Miss Cranston's Tea Room, a very elegant and Victorian affair near the city centre. Some people seem a bit surprised when they find out I've never actually met my agent since she took me on board in the late 'Nineties, but it never struck me as something I should do. In fact, it never struck me in any way at all: I'd assumed most of these things, by necessity, were handled at a distance. I only realised I was a bit weird in that respect when some friends themselves got agents and hurried off in planes or trains to meet and greet in the flesh.
Names of books, names of books ... first, it was called Slow Burn; then it was Baskerville Station (dumped because it made it sound like it was set in the Angel Stations universe, which it wasn't); then it was Baskerville Point. And now, I'm thinking, Convergent, as in convergent evolution. And before you reach for the Amazon link in your browser, I checked it already. It turns up a couple of times, but in the form of variations - 'Convergence', for instance, which is close, or 'Convergent Series', ditto. But nothing simply called 'Convergent', which would be a good name, for two reasons: a) it sounds right, and b)it touches neatly on the theme of the story. So it'll do, at least until I inevitably go to a con and trip over a box in the dealer's room filled with books already called 'Convergent'.