As the picture shows, a little foraging can remind you why living in the countryside is such a pleasure. The onset of autumn is a time of reaping what was sown both literally and metaphorically – the things that grew, anyway.

One glance at my trusty spreadsheet tells me that it’s been a mixed harvest. I have lost business for the first time, but learned valuable lessons in the process. I have done spec work which led to nothing. I have narrowed my focus and drawn back from the scatter-gun approach. And I’ve fallen a little out of love with Craigslist. Not the site itself, which is as entertaining and thought provoking as ever. But the return on my investment of time and effort there is decreasing so it’s time to adapt and seek new markets.

As you may have noticed on this blog, I’m in the early stages of a new novel and enjoying the process immensely. This book is different in that I already had the chapters plotted out at the start and now I’m weaving in new and alternate story lines. It should also be a standalone work.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, I was delighted to have made the long-list in literary agent Kate Nash’s first 500 words competition: http://slushpilemountaineering.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/great-novel-openings-the-longlist/

And a short story of mine will shortly appear in the first A Word With You Press anthology – http://www.awordwithyoupress.com – and I’m waiting to hear (that phrase is surely the writer’s constant companion) about some short fiction appearing in two other publications.

I’m heading in the right direction, but I could still do with a few signposts.


  1. motheroad says:


    And are those OLIVES, by the way?

  2. Derek says:

    Thanks for the pointer. And no, definitely NOT olives – yuk! Damsons, I think. And they didn't taste too great either, in crumble. I've grown to love olive oil, but eating olives is is still beyond my gustatory abilities!

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