Year we go

Sorry if this blog’s felt a bit neglected lately: between family things and sorting out a new office (the arrival of baby Adam means I needed to find a new place to work; the room I’ve been using as an office needs to become a nursery now) I haven’t really had much non-work stuff to write about recently. Most of what I’ve wanted to say has been sayable, and said, in 140 characters on Twitter.

I’ve had a bit of a mixed year: Adam’s arrival was a high point, of course, as was finally putting some music out, but professionally it’s been pretty tough as many fine titles disappeared from newsagents and many utter bastards tried to build journalism businesses where everybody’s paid except for the journalists. I’m lucky to do what I do, but I’m unlucky to be working in an industry that’s going through very tough times – not just structurally as our eyeballs move from paper to screens, but economically too. I’ve lived through worse, but it’s still been a pretty rough ride.

I haven’t achieved as much outside work as I’d hoped either. This time last year I had two unfinished novels, a few short stories and a bunch of unfinished music in the pipeline; today, I have two unfinished novels, a few short stories and a bunch of unfinished music in the pipeline. The music’s only a few weeks old, but the unfinished writing is the same stuff I was talking about last year. I’ve lost my way with it a bit.

That’ll change in 2014: I’ve vowed to get my backside in gear and get more creative this year. There’s a whole bunch of new and generally fantastic DMGM music to finish, I’ve half a thriller (and potentially the beginning of a series) to finish writing, and I’ve also got the sequel to Coffin Dodgers bubbling away – although that latter one might not see the light of day in 2014, as I think the central crime is too dark for what’s supposed to be a fairly funny book. Might need to go back to the drawing board on that one.

Whatever 2014 brings, it’s going to be interesting – especially up here in Scotland where we get to decide whether we’re governed by a bunch of clowns in Westminster or if we’d rather be governed by our own home-grown clowns in Holyrood. So far I’m gravitating towards the latter, partly because of the relentlessly negative and misleading campaigning by Better Together (known internally as Project Fear), partly because of the ongoing cruelty of the current national government (a government the Scots voted overwhelmingly against), and largely because the referendum gives Scots the chance to do to their country what I’m always doing to computer kit: turn it off and back on again in the hope that it’ll work better afterwards. We’re living in interesting and potentially exciting times. 

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a very happy Hogmanay and that 2014 brings you joy at ever turn. Happy new year.

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