Well the WHITEBOARD OF DOOM is now all a-covered in squiggles, only some of which say, "What the hell am I doing?", I'm halfway through the page proof edit (only mildly panicking about chapters one through four inclusive, even though it's too bloody late to do anything major to them), three quarters through THE MERMAID SINGING* and so far so good.
I realised this morning that what I had been planning as a sort of pain in the arse side issue for Logan is in fact a plot device gift from the bearded gods of crime fiction. Which is nice. I always like it when stuff like that happens and the back of my skull (that would be the end with no holes in it) finally proves that it's still working after everything I've done to it in the last week and a bit. This lot device *should* make my life a lot easier and let me go places I wouldn't otherwise be able to without screwing around with the internal logic of the story or drafting in HUGE coincidences. Which I never like doing.
"The beard?" You ask, winsomely -- well it's getting there, but slowly. I think being under the weather is impeding its progress. I've tried rubbing salt into my chin to make the hairs thirsty, naked pictures of Gloria Hunniford to make them stand up, and duck fat for... well, that was just for the fun of it. But I'll still be returning to work looking like Captain Mr Designer Stubble Man. Which is something of an coincidence in itself -- this being 'Children In Need' week. A couple of years ago I let someone at INoGITCH talk me into shaving off the beard and hair for charity. We raised a lot of money (and INoGITCH doubled it), but I vowed never, ever to do anything like that again. When I eventually do go bald it'll be kicking and screaming. And probably crying like a little girl too. A little bald girl. With a beard.
Maybe I'll train Little Miss Kitten Cat to perch atop my head, so when the fateful day comes no one will notice. Plus she can swipe other people's canapés at swanky publishing parties when they're not looking. Assuming they invite beardy bald blokes with cats on their heads to swanky publishing parties.
One never knows.
* Damn you Valerie McDermid and the feelings of inadequacy you create in poor lowly write-ists. I'm talking creatively, 'coz, you know, I'm all man when it comes to that kind of stuff. We'll, obviously not when I'm on twelve different types of tablet and feeling a bit sick, but generally, on a good day and with a following wind.