I struggled into the New Year in a somewhat beleaguered state, lost in finishing the fourth draft of Against Gravity, currently sitting on my couch in a brown envelope, waiting for me to recover from staring slackjawed at nothing in particular. It still needs a few more drafts - but getting there, getting there.

MJ received her redundancy notice on Christmas Eve, leaving her stranded for a few weeks until she locked down another job at a business just around the corner. The redundancy was unexpected, but it was only a part time job for not very good money. The new job is full time, which means in terms of weekly income she'll be making more than me, outside of the money from writing.

My mind is still numb from finishing the current draft of the book, and as I sit here in the local library (the new, admittedly cheap ISP I signed up with is so unremittingly crap half the time I can't even get online), creative thought is deserting me. That, plus the fact I'm hammered with a cold doesn't help much. It'll be interesting to see what my agent makes of the new book - I've said many times I'm not very good at judging the quality of my own writing because I'm too close to it: I look at it, and all I see is words. I've read an interview with Terry Pratchett where he says pretty much the same thing.

Mind you, that isn't a problem if you leave the manuscript sitting in the drawer for a couple of years then take it out again. I detailed some ideas for a third novel earlier in this blog, with the title Real World Kills. I still like the idea, but the quantity and type of research it would involve would wipe me out right now: it's the kind of project I'd only really want to get into if I thought I could escape even part-time work for a while, and that's still a very long way off. So I've returned for the moment to my original plan, to completely revamp my first, unsold novel.

It was called 'Touched by an Angel', but that's the name of some dodgy US tv series, so as far as I'm concerned that's out. I read a book once by TW Moses which gave me an idea for part of the book, a city called Leviathan's Fall - so that's almost certainly going to be the new title when and if I do this.

Last year was interesting, because I got a book deal - but 2004 is the year it actually comes out. That means a possible trip to London; and attending the Eastercon seems like a good idea, though with the recent move money is, again, stretched to the limit.

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