I am getting a novella ready for publishing through Amazon, it is called The Report, it is an ‘alternative history’ genre story, taking ideas from Philip K Dick’s The Man In The High Castle, and supplanting them to Britain more than 50 years later. It was enjoyable to write even with such a grim environment, and I hope can be seen as not too dissimilar to present political situations. I have designed a cover not so easy now I don’t have Photoshop or InDesign, but I am reasonably pleased with it.
I am doing a bit of final rewriting, splitting or joining sentences, and making sure the full-stops are inside the quotation marks and words are spelt correctly. English was not a high point of my education, I liked reading and writing stories and essays, but the grammar, oh dear! I ended up with a CSE Grade 1, equivalent to a bare pass in ‘O’ level. It was a very practical exam I remember, we had to write a description for the police of an accident illustrated on the exam paper; an essay, I chose My Pet, and wrote about Herbert our pet rook; then there was a comprehension test and there must have been some other fairly easy grammar bits as I got a grade 1!
Exams are an odd thing. I almost certainly wouldn’t have done as well in the current system because so much is marked on projects and coursework, the way the world actually works. I am far too lazy for that. Going into an exam is easy, I never did any swotting, but it had all gone in or most of it anyway, and could spew it out over two or three hours. My brother was the opposite and swotted like mad and became so tense he couldn’t sleep or eat properly during the run-up period.
The Report is not keeping me awake, well not in that way anyway. I could probably keep going back to it and changing things, rewriting, adding another character or viewpoint. I did that with Underpainting which took 15 years from start to finish (with a few lengthy breaks) and having read a bit the other day can see some changes I could make! It could get like the painting in Zola’s The Masterpiece which never gets finished and continually repaints it, until the artist dies of hunger and madness, the usual Zola plot!
Today’s photographs are of a wall and gate in the backs nearby at 12.30. It is chilly, overcast.