Long before I finished Nutters, I was pondering which novel to write next. I always have several possibilities floating in the topographic oceans of my mind, with others bubbling to the surface on a regular basis, but more like breaching whales than farts in the bath. I am happy to write short stories now and again, but I love getting stuck in to a full length work.
I started “The Jacket, the Juggler and All That Jazz”, a sort of mystery, three or four years ago whilst in the middle of Nutters, because it was about to burst out of my ears, and I know I would enjoy finishing it. Another one in the mix is “Big Trouble in Little Somewhere-or-Other”, in which some kind of development threatens a much loved natural habitat, and the protests against it unite the various (previously antagonistic) elements of the community. I have also given some thought to “Hippie Hotel” and I am sure I could have fun writing it. However, I feel I want to write something more meaningful.
I have already come up with possible titles for my autobiography, as I reckon I have had an interesting life: “Tinker, Sailor, Stoner, Shy” or maybe “Just some Guy”, but I think I’m not old enough yet.
A few months ago, the idea began to form of a young adult novel, with life-enhancing lessons concealed within a compelling adventure story. For the first time, I resolved to plan and research before putting pen to paper, rather than my usual stream-of-consciousness approach that results in months of belated investigations, revisions and confusion as I try to make sense of the guddle I have created.
After a few weeks I felt I wanted to write the opening passage, which ended up at around 850 words. I read this out to the group whilst on the writing course at Moniack Mhor recently and the feedback was so positive and encouraging (including “That was excellent Geoff!” from one of the tutors) that I have now decided this will be my next project.