So, what’s happening?

by Marie Marshall

The problem with keeping web site content turning over is that, for a writer like myself, there are long periods where nothing much appears to be happening. That’s not the case, of course, but on the other hand, much of what is actually happening is ongoing stuff, or issues regarding which I’m waiting for someone else’s action.

vic1I could say, I suppose, “I’m still writing my next novel,” but how many times can I repeat that before ‘no news is good news’ becomes simply ‘no news is no news’? As it happens, I am still writing that novel. What’s it about? Well, I’m playing my cards close to my chest on that one, for many reasons, not least of all that it is a dynamic project that has changed course several times already. That’s largely because the leading character has taken over – the novel is not only in her unique voice, but governed by the way her unique mind works – and she is defying the concept of an end-driven story. I can say that it is the novel, or if not the novel then one of the novels, I have always wanted to write. Also that it is set in Victorian London, or is set there as far as can be gauged, given that the leading character’s psychology has telescoped the entire Victorian era into her short life. There will be murders and detection, but also obfuscation and doubt. English folklore characters from the countryside will encroach onto the bustle of the metropolis, there will be both psychic fakery and psychic peril, and a strange, silent figure will stalk through the narrative.

What I actually need to do at this stage is to allocate more time to writing this novel, the main obstacles being sleeping, cooking, eating, washing, and cleaning. Plus ça change. Something needs to give, so if you happen to see me in town wearing yesterday’s blouse…

Other projects currently maturing include:

  • Providing oversight and further ideas to a Scottish screen-writer, who is currently working on a screen adaptation of my short story about girl gangs.
  • vera1Assembling a chapbook-length selection of my poems inspired by the 16th century Venetian courtesan Veronica Franco, to present to a Scottish publishing house during their twice-yearly ‘window’.
  • Various poems and short stories currently with publishers and competition-promoters – I won’t mention what and who, because there is nothing more boring than a blog post that says “Hey guys – I just entered a competition!” only to be followed shortly after by “I didn’t win!”

fmcuh-cover-2001Meanwhile KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, the sequel to my novel From My Cold, Undead Hand, is now with P’kaboo, and is awaiting publication in due course.

So you see, there is a lot going on, just none of it exactly seismic. I have decided, however, to suspend my daily blog of poetry fragments, in order to give myself more breathing space. I know a daily snippet of poetry seems like no big deal, but I actually spend the bulk of my scheduled on-line time dealing with it. I shall continue to write fragments, when I feel the ol’ urge in me, and I might occasionally post one or two, but for now I think standing down from the daily obligation would be a good thing for me. I was one of several poets originally taking part in the daily project, and I think I’m one of the few who is still doing it five years later, so perhaps I deserve a rest. Please feel free, however, to go over there, look through the archives, and leave me some comments if something catches your eye.

I shall, I promise, keep you posted if anything interesting happens.