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I'll do it on Tuesday

Tuesday 11th February 2020

I am calling this the “Tuesday Blog” as a tribute to my late father-in-law; procrastinator extraordinaire, who for over half a century stuffed his house with abandoned projects and his garden with broken cars.

When his functioning car finally joined the other rusting hulks decorating the front garden, I began asking, “When are you going to fix it?”

The answer was always the same. “Tuesday. I’ll fix it on Tuesday. I don’t have anything else on, then.”

Wind on many years, and I now live a life in which each day is crammed with activities following each other until my mind spins—but Tuesdays are my only unstructured days. I now find myself saying, “I’ll do it on Tuesday.”

Because of this, of course, Tuesdays are usually full to the brim: dentists, doctors, physio appointments, car fixing, house fixing, gardening etc all have to be packed into a Tuesday… and now I am committing to a regular blog. If you have stayed with me so far, thank you. I invite you to travel with me on the journey of the 2nd draft of my work in progress.

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My next novel, Seth, is set in the same place as the novel Grace, but two years later. I am happy with the main storyline, but all my sub plots are in the wrong place. I cannot cut and paste. I need to completely rewrite. I have found this daunting to the point where I want to shut down my computer and walk away … and yet I know the story there is bursting to be told.

I need to revisit invaluable advice from my erstwhile sage and writing guru, Kathryn Coughran, who many years ago advised me to write a proper plan—a chart based on the principle of the three-act play. I have resurrected the plan and when I am sure it is exactly as I want it, I shall start the long rewrite.

In the meantime, feedback from readers of Grace have given me some thoughts for reflection. The other day at the beach as we sat around drinking coffee after our morning swim, a lady who is a high-school teacher said that the theme of bullying which I addressed in Grace, had given her food for thought. She said she wondered why Grace had not simply told someone. She then answered her own question by saying, “But children don’t, do they?” She talked of looking for hidden clues. Other friends who were either practising or retired teachers also told me their stories of bullying. It's such an iceberg, a small peak sitting daintily atop a huge and deadly mass.


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