The drudgery of proofreadnig (second tranche) is done, I am pleased to say, and pending a few final formatty fiddlesticks and decisions about the cover design, the next Hooting Yard Lulu paperback will be ready – after, I suppose, groaning, a further proofread, just to be on the safe side.
I have to say that a prolonged bout of reading and rereading and rerereading my own stuff, in concentrated form, is scarcely conducive to writing new-minted blather. That is why Hooting Yard has gone a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks. I pause before tippy-tapping on a new blank screen. Blah blah Dobson blah blah Blodgett blah blah cows blah blah… there is an awful sense of futility. I know it will pass, and I know too that I constantly need new material to prate on the radio once a week, so all will be well.
Meanwhile, instead of all the usual nonsense (ie, Dobson and Blodgett and cows etc.) it occurred to me that I needed some kind of fresh challenge. My eyes alit on this, snipped from the cover of some 1950s pulp magazine:
Could I write a novel of intrigue in the void? Isn’t the point of a void that it is empty, vacant, that there is nothing whatsoever in it? That’s why it’s a void! What sort of intrigue takes place in a void? As soon as you put something into it, to create or prompt an intrigue, surely it is no longer a void?
These are mighty questions, and perplexing ones, but I do not think a mere list of questions, however lengthy, would deserve to be called a novel. Or would it? Might the questions themselves form the intrigue unravelling in the void? Or is that a circular self-referential knot of twaddle, much like this postage itself?
These are less mighty questions, yet just as perplexing, are they not? So perplexing that I am all a-dither. I think I’ll have a cup of tea, and then go for a walk, and then sit and dribble into a pewter pot, gazing at the stars, up there in what would be a void if it were not for the very stars with which it is riddled.
If you are writing a novel of intrigue into the void, and you put something into the void, and now it is no longer a void, then surely your novel is now void, and that’s where the intrigue will take place?
I can’t go on. I’ll go on.
Perhaps it’s done already?