Remarkably, in direct conflict with the information contained in my previous blog, I have started to write a new novel, a follow up to Due Diligence called Proceeds of Crime. Obviously this is a device to avoid having to rewrite Technical Difficulties.
I have come up with a major breakthrough in writing technique. It's called a synopsis.
Instead of wading through hundreds of thousands of precious words putting a comma here and a new word there, I am writing down the story. I will then have a good idea of which bits are necessary, which bits are not and where bits need adding. It might seem obvious to you but I have only just twigged that this is how to start editing.
So, today has been a good writing day.
I am also impressed by the heavy showers we are getting this summer. The weather forecasters promised a searing hot summer with dreadful water shortages. I installed water butts and rejoiced as the rains filled them. Since then, it has not been warm and certainly not dry. When I looked at my poor dishevelled chickens this morning I wondered if I might have been better getting ducks.
As I was walking in Chorley, a shower forced me into a doorway and into conversation of a fairly elderly man. OK, he was probably not much older than I am but in my book that makes him elderly. He opened by wondering whether we might collect more of this rain and export to somewhere it is needed. Our thoughts turned to Kenya and the Horn of Africa, to those distressing scenes of helpless women and starving children. My acquaintance expressed his surprise that those unfortunate women had so many children when they couldn't feed them.
This conversation made me realise how easily I find an excuse to feel disconnected from people who aren't pretty much exactly like myself. It's as if I am endeavouring to convince myself that their plight doesn't matter as much because they're different.
Well, they're not.
If anyone is different, it's me. 90% of the world's population doesn't have the full belly, the comfort and the security that I do.
I may not be able to send the rain but I can send them something.