For some reason, ever since I finished work on the third book I've been falling to pieces. My back's killing me, my head's like the inside of a badger, I'm not sleeping worth a damn (or any other form of water-retaining / hydroelectricifying device), and I've got a crick in my neck. Wah, wah, poor me… etc.

Back when I used to be a fulltime wagemonkey I used to get ill every time I took a holiday. I'd go: stress, stress, stress, stress, day off… ill. With that little ellipsis there lasting anywhere from six hours to a day and a half. Colds, flue, bad back, leprosy, you name it. Well, maybe not leprosy. OK, once, but I was young and I'd had a lot to drink.

This post-book malaise didn't strike at the end of DYING LIGHT, or COLD GRANITE*. Which worries me a bit. Am I doomed to suffer the nasty snorks every time I put a finish a book? Is completing a manuscript bad for my health? Can I get a sick note from my doctor and be excused ever completing another volume? If I rub butter into my thighs will it make them all slippery? Or will it just clag up in the hairs?

if you look real close, you can see a brain!Or maybe it's nothing specifically related to the book at all -- maybe I'm just falling apart in a general sense? I blame my sinuses. And people from Fife. But as I can't do anything about She Who Must Be Feared When The Moon Is Full's birthplace, I've been in for a second opinion on the nose front. This involved another CT scan of my head (I'm hoping to see evidence that my brain is still there) and some intimate cavity poking. Next week I shall hear my fate - will I have to go under the knife again? I lost a stone and a half in a fortnight last time, maybe I could lose all that weight I piled on in Iowa?

Not sure if I'm really looking forward to that.

* Incidentally, does anyone know why the hell we're supposed to put book titles in uppercase? Seriously - I haven't a clue.