This week has almost gone and I feel as if I've achieved nothing. I've written a chapter for a new book which means I am now in the stupid position of having one Victorian story waiting for its sixth chapter without a clue what its going to say, and a Tudor story newly begun without having worked out where the story is going.
This is bad, bad planning. Though I can hardly call it bad planning, because it simply isn't planned at all. I kind of just fell into it. I know roughly what I want from each story, but previously I've always had a plan to follow. Doing it without one feels very shaky. (Rather like Jonathan Foyle, swathed in ropes, clambering around the spires of Oxford last night on tv.)
Once upon a time I had a book published called Shadows. It told the story of a holiday couple in an ancient mill in France, and how they discovered a pair of ghostly lovers. A few weeks after publication, the company went bankrupt and the story was in limbo for along time. I rewrote the thing, giving it more substance and adding 20,000 words. I now have a contract for that story with Sapphire Blue in America.
They asked me for an ITIN number. It seems that to get one, I must visit the American Embassy in London. This is not good. The last time I went to London was probably twenty years ago, on business. Plus which the rail fare and an overnight stay will cost me more than I'm likely to earn in royalties! I may get away without an overnight stay. If I drive in to Newcastle, park the car and get the 9am train, I'll get to London at 12.20. Just in time for the Embassy to close for lunch as I reach it. It re-opens at 2 and closes again at four. If there are queues...I may have to return next day. If not, I could be back on the train and home again by 10pm. When I've got the number, I then have to fill in other forms....
This is what has been distracting me all week. Now I'm looking up train times - and instead of one national rail system there are now about twenty private rail companies to check. I agree not all of them run between Newcastle and London, but even so, why oh why did life have to get so complicated?