I'm amazed there aren't cobwebs and half an inch of dust over everything. Two weeks away from home and I find the spiders have taken over when I get back, and it's been longer than that since my last blog. I apologise. You've often been in my thoughts, even if I haven't been sitting with my fingers poised over my keyboard.
The fact is that when daily life hasn't muscled its way in to what I laughingly call my writing routine, I've succeeded in tripping myself up. With the only deadline for the next Exiles of Ondd novel being one that I set myself, it's inevitable that work which has official deadlines set by others gets done first. More than this, my carefully constructed plot with visualised settings and its company of characters complete with back stories, has tried leading me off at all sorts of tangents, so that I'm unsure what I actually need to include and what to leave out. I foresee many posts of deleted scenes in future! Much of the material could prove useful at a later date, but at the moment it's slowing me down.
However, I refuse to beat myself up about it. It's all part of being a writer, and I'm confident I shall reach 'The End' eventually. I'm encouraged in this belief by Oliver Stallybrass's 'Editor's Introduction' to the 1978 Penguin edition of A Room with a View by E. M. Forster. He writes: 'A Room with a View has, if not the longest gestation period (...) at least the most complicated pre-natal history' of any of the author's novels. Forster made the first notes for it in 1901-2 and worked on the story on and off for six years with 'a bewildering variety of lists of characters, lists of chapter headings, working notes and actual draft fragments (...) some of which are mutually incompatible', according to Stallybrass. Forster then began again on a 'New Lucy novel' and another set of lists. However, the trouble the novel caused him was well worth the hard work in the end, because A Room with a View remains one of Forster's most popular works (it's certainly on my reading list every summer), so there's hope for me yet.

On a completely different subject, those of you who followed the advice in my last blog and checked out The Blend might already have discovered the sad news that writer and editor Robert N. Stephenson has died. The publishing world has lost one of its good guys.