Fatigue - in which our Bearded Protagonist reveals that he is knackered

Do you remember that resolution I made at the start of the year? The one where I said I wasn't going to take on heaps of things all at the same time, so I could really concentrate on suffering my way through writing Book Number the Fifth? That I was getting knackered by taking on too much?

Well, just to prove that I have the willpower of a buffalo in a moustache factory, I've managed to sod that one right up this month. Thursday was out at Aboyne library where lots of lovely people were traumatised by my tales of abattoiristic naughtiness (I don't know why, but somehow describing how a cow goes from 'Mooo' to a little shrink-wrapped package of meaty goodness, tends to upset some people). Good event. And I even managed to not do a great deal of naughty wordishness. Well, less than usual anyway. The only trouble with the event was that Aboyne's a three hour round trip from Casa MacBride. In the dark. With the SatNav thing sending me via every twisty arse-end-of-nowhere back road in-between. Cue Stuart getting home at nearly 23:00 with bags under his eyes the size and colour of your average aubergine.

Which on its own would have been shaken off after a few day of lolling around in a smoking jacket, while a naked Gloria Hunniford peeled grapes for me. But alas 'twas not to be, for today didst dawn at Dear-Jesus-It's-How-Early o'clock, so that She Who Must Be Shown What A Galmorous Life We Write-ists Live and I could catch the train to Glasgow for the Aye Write festival of bookly delights. Said train pulled a fast one and decided it would arrive a mere 45 minutes before the event. No problem. I'm a manly man, I can handle that. Jump in a taxi and away!

Only I didn't, did I? No, I took some idiots word that the hotel was just around the corner from the station and decided to walk it. Only it was about three million miles away, all of them uphill. Half way there, when the previous abundance of taxis suddenly dried up, panic begins to set in. Stuart steps up the pace, gets to the hotel five minutes after he's supposed to be in the festival green room, relaxing and getting himself outside a complimentary bottle of wine. Then discovers the venue is another four or five blocks way, on the other side of the motorway.

RUN! RUN FASTER YOU BEARDED FOOL!

So by the time I finally burst through the doors of the Mitchell library, I resembled a pervert in a sausage factory. Sweat pouring from every available surface. Puffing and panting. With a bit of wheezing thrown in for good measure. Ah yes, nothing like being all relaxed and calm before an event. Nothing sodding like it at all.

On the bright side, we did get to hang about in the bar afterwards - She Who Must, Allan Horror-Bollocks Guthrie, His long-suffering wife Donna, Russel the Boy Badger, and Duane Swierczynski, some strange Philadelphian homeless bloke Al and Donna were letting sleep on their sofa. There was a distinct whiff of whitespirit about the man, and he kept going on about haggis tempura. But at least he kept his hands to himself (after I slapped him two or three times -- well, I'm not that sort of boy), unlike Guthrie, who tried to French me up at the end of the night. Disgraceful.

Another bonus was buying a copy of SAVAGE NIGHT, the evil Horror-Bollocks' latest volume, which looks pretty damn funky. I shall save it for the plane next week.

Yes, in addition to schlepping halfway across Scotland to Aboyne on Thursday and halfway down Scotland to Glasgow today, She Who Must and I are off to Poland on Monday for a week of research and sausage*. Which means that although I'll be working, I won't actually be writing. Meaning that the chances of me hitting my deadline for this God-Forsaken-Tome-Of-DOOM are about the same as my allowing that skanky Ho, Kate Moss, anywhere near my manly parts. Not even with a jar of mayonnaise.

The knock-on fun and frolics will be that I'll still be trying to get the thing finished while I'm promoting FLESH HOUSE. Ah, a perfect recipe for the terminally confused write-ist to sod things up!

I now have to find a nice tactful way to tell HarperCollins that won't make them want to string me up by my goolies. Any suggestions?

* And I don't mean that in a rude way.

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