I have finished the first draft of novel#2. While Old Man and Littleson were out at the footy this rainy Sunday morning, I exercised my writer’s privilege and stayed in to work.

I have been anticipating the end for the last three or four days, but my characters kept spinning it out, getting diverted into yet more tension-increasing alleyways. But we finally nailed it this morning. I know I have an epilogue to write, but I need some specific New York State criminal law advice before I can write it. That tends to be the kind of research I do – come up with the situation, then find out the facts. I usually find before-the-event research a little too diverting – you can do it for weeks, putting off the moment of commitment to paper.

Anyway, it is done! To celebrate, in the evening, we open an ancient bottle of champagne we inherited from our old lady friend Rosemary, who died last year aged 101. We chill it, then, before dinner, Old Man pops the cork. Which comes out with a flabby fart, to reveal itself as rather black and mouldy. The champagne, when poured, looks like beery piss, and tastes like sour sherry. We pour it down the sink and go to the corner shop instead for a chilean red.

Jumping back, we went to a brunch party today held by our new friends Matt and Ju of Blast Theory at their amazing live/work place in a converted Victorian icehouse overlooking Shoreham Harbour. It’s a lovely event, with adults and kids hanging out and eating cakes and eggs and spinach. I run into Laura Wilkinson, a friend I haven’t seen for a year, who was in the same writing group as me. She tells me the great news that her novel, BloodMining, won a competition and is being published in autumn 2011 by Bridge House. Can’t wait to read it, as I really admired her work in the writing group.

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