Julian Least-Weasel the 23rd: art by Tom Brown, from “When Stoats Go Wrong”

Right now, I’m typing & writing away with the members of the London Writers’ Salon.

Except I’m not. The group holds Zoom meetings, and despite having taken part in numerous such meetings, I still struggle with technology.

And writing.

In my last blog, I talked about how I was going to re-submit rejected stories, rather than put them on my blog. Which is why you’re reading this, and not “The Sky Came Down”, a fable about power.

My main focus should -ah, that word again- be my detective novel, “Love in the Time of Covid 19”. Which I need to re-title, as most people read to escape, and apparently aren’t attracted by books which are about – or imply they’re about – the pandemic.

Lockdown, and the lack of a Mon – Fri 9 – 5 job (1), means plenty of time for writing. Except, of late, it doesn’t. Because I’m stuck.

Also known as writers’ block, stuck means I don’t know what happens next. Or is this simply that, once again, I’m bumping against perfectionism? The fear that whatever I write, it will be wrong?

Is it possible to go wrong with a first draft? Particularly if you’re the sort of writer that’s a “pantser” rather than a plotter? In other words, prone to writing by the seat of your pants, rather than according to a plan.

I read a book which was called something like “How to Write a Novel in a Week” . The author did indeed write a novel in a week, and said something along the lines that 2nd drafts, etc., weren’t needed. This may be true for him, but it isn’t for me. My one published novel, “The Wood Cutter’s Son“, took several drafts. So have my other, so far unpublished, novels.

What does this all have to do with Julian Least-Weasel? He’s one of the main characters in “When Stoats Go Wrong!”, the title story in the short Story Collection of the same name. The collection is a sequel of sorts to “Koi Carpe Diem”, and features tales of my alt. Doncaster, with its sentient cats, mythical creatures, and, apparently, weasels and stouts. There’s also an ancient university, the setting for part of “Stoats”.

Boswell “Bozzie” Badger, cosplaying the 4th Doctor. Art by Tom Brown.

The stories are all written. Artist Tom Brown of “Hopeless, Maine” fame has created beautiful art for each story, including a colour picture of Mr Least Weasel. I’ve even paid for it.

So why haven’t I self-published it (yet)?

Good question.

About Sheila N

Enough about me. Art by Tom Brown.
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