Last week seems to have been fired with energy, probably because the week started with a bang when I attended Conrad Jones’s talk on publishing to Amazon Kindle at Alston Hall on Monday. I defy anyone not to be inspired by Conrad’s energy and enthusiasm for self-publishing and his practical and down to earth advice really made me determined to try publishing some short fiction and non-fiction this way. Having said that I haven’t actually got round to doing it yet because the feelgood factor spilled over into current writing and I stuck quite well to my 1000 word a day quota on the new novel and got to the deadline of finishing the chapter by Friday that I’d set myself. I’m a longhand first drafter though and I must confess, I didn’t meet the other deadline of typing and editing it all onto my laptop by Sunday but I have a really good excuse, honest, well, two good excuses. First, I’ve been asked to run another set of workshops through the autumn at a local gallery and I had to produce a programme for these by Monday. Second, I was at a camping weekend at the weekend and it was close to the site of this old abandoned mental institution which has been left to fall apart, windows hanging off, trees growing through the roof. You couldn’t imagine anywhere more creepy and the atmosphere seemed to carry the cries of all those people who’d been incarcerated there in the old days of insitutionalisation. I just knew there had to be a story in there but about what? Then, bingo, I was driving to Ormskirk in my car, listening to the radio, when this story came on about a man with a really strange condition. I’m not saying what it was, I don’t want to give my ideas away, but the two things came together with a bang. So, naturally, instead of getting on with my novel, I’m now in the throes of producing a short story. Started this morning and got about 1000 words done but not quite sure where it’s going yet. I’ve got a storyline to about the middle but guess I’ll just have to follow the trail for a while and see where it goes. I shouldn’t be doing this? I should be concentrating on the novel? I KNOW, but I just CAN’T, I’m too excited and I just have to write it NOW. Anyway, I’m going to the Isle of Man soon to research for the novel and I expect to write all week when I’m there, so I’m sure I’ll catch up and the writing will be better for being steeped in the atmosphere. And as long as I’m writing something…..