Sometimes the best of intentions aren’t enough. When I last posted on this blog I was about to start National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) before resuming regular posts here. It just didn’t happen that way, for two reasons.
The first was that a major distraction entered our lives in mid-November. I was progressing well with the target of writing my fifty thousand words for NaNo then we got a new dog. When we lost poor Sally in July Liz and I decided we’d leave it a while before getting another dog, and when we did we’d get a smaller one.
Then one day when Liz was dropping some donations off at Ryedale Dog Rescue she spotted Bruce and fell for him straight away. The day after we both went to see him and I was smitten too, so he came home with us.
In keeping with getting a smaller dog, Bruce was a five month old mongrel. He’s a mixture of labrador, whippet, collie and greyhound. He had very long legs when we got him and he’s rapidly growing into them. At eight months old he weighs 25 kilos and measures 61 centimetres at the shoulder (that’s four stone in weight and two feet tall to us old gits!). So we swapped the plan to get a smaller dog later for getting a bigger dog now.
Both our last dogs were adults when we got them, and it’s 45 years since I had a puppy, so it’s a steep learning curve for us. Bruce is a typical adolescent at the moment and has his moments. But he’s a loving, fun and lovely dog: we’re going to have a great life together as soon as he stops chewing Liz’s trainers.
So, reason number one for my absence from this blog is our ever-loving young man. Reason number two is that I’ve been having a bit of a re-think.
If taking part in NaNoWriMo taught me one thing it’s that I’ll never be a novelist. Sure, I managed to write fifty thousand words in a month, but my draft novel will never see the light of day. Amongst all the padding and terrible dialogue there was probably a not-too-bad short story lurking. But my twitching corpse of a novel is beyond the skill of even the most skilled editor, so I’ll let it die in peace.
Even if I have a go at the odd short story, I’ll never venture into longer stories again and besides, my interests lie elsewhere. I’ve decided that, for the time being at least, I’m going to focus on our family history project and photo-essays. In a way they hang together quite well: the family project records the past and the photo essays record the present.
I like doing the research and the photography for their own sakes, but I also want to write about them on this blog. Over the next few weeks I’ll be giving this site a bit of an overhaul and adding a few new features such as a photo gallery and an improved comments facility. While I’m working on the overhaul I won’t be posting regularly, and my plan is to have a formal relaunch on Friday April 6th.
Until then I hope you enjoy the picture of Bruce and look out for a couple of short announcements in March.
Regards and take care