My apologies for not being in touch for a while. My excuse - or reason - is twofold.
Firstly, I've been away seeing my family for the pre-Xmas exchange of greetings and gifts. And secondly, in truth, I've been in a bit of a sulk.
As some of you will know, or have guessed from the dedication in The Balance of Guilt, it's not been an easy year on the family front. That's really come home as Christmas approaches, it being a time of reflection, and particularly one when we miss those who are no longer around. So that hasn't helped my mood.
Secondly, as I've mentioned before, I've been working on a new book in the tvdetective series. It had been ticking along affably and comfortingly, but now I've hit a barrier and I can't, try as I might, work out exactly what's wrong, or where to go next.
Yep, it's a case of the old Writer's Block, that fabled and dreaded phenomenon amongst the scribbling types.
When I do talks about the books, one of the questions I'm often asked is whether I suffer from writer's block, and if I do, how I cope.
So, the answer to part one of that question is obviously a sizeable yes. As to how I cope, I usually say the only solution is to walk away for a while, not hammer your head against the creative wall in frustration, and the answer will come to you when it's ready. Such is the way of this writing lark.
The problem with that is that it's easier said than done. When you're in mid block, it feels as though it'll never be vanquished. I'm trying my best to follow my own advice and not let it get to me, but I'm still feeling more than a little tense and frustrated. I love writing, and miss it when I'm not doing some.
Still, it's happened before and I've got through it, so I'm holding on to that thought. In fact, I'm hoping the prospect of a few days off over Xmas will help, along with the traditional over indulgences of the season!
Finally for this less than chirpy post, and on a happier note, my thanks to all those who have got in touch with Xmas greetings or comments about the tvdetective books. If you want to drop me a line, you're always welcome - it might help to cheer me up! You can get in touch via the form on the contact page - www.thetvdetective.com/contact.html