everything that's happened since

I've written a whole book since the last time I was on here. Not sure how I managed that, or how I managed to not pour forth on here about the daily hiccups and constant torrents of self-doubt that accompany that particular endeavour. Previous attempts at book-writing accumulated another book's worth of blog posts; meandering missives concerned with the curious space writers occupy. It could be limbo, but perhaps it's more that limbo is the ideal, the space I search for when I'm writing. An in-between space occupied by only me, a part of the world and apart from it. In contact enough to sip a whisky and see the odd friend, but outside so that nothing can exist but the sound of my fingers banging on the keys to Dvořák's 9th. It works as an ideal to aim for, rather than something to expect. Anyway, I wrote it, limbo or not, and I'm rewriting it now. I like the characters more than the book, so the rewrites are to make sure they get the book they deserve. It's slow, but sort of steady. 

Also, through no fault of my own, I appear to be a wine merchant again. In a shop. With wine. And whisky. I missed whisky. Well, I missed constantly dealing with whisky on a professional level. I was never really far enough away from it on a casual level to actually *miss* it. There are thirteen bottles next to my desk and a glass of Springbank next to my trackpad for goodness' sake. Anyway, it's a job with great booze. I will not be talking about it much here. 

There's another manuscript to rewrite, an old one. The first novel I wrote, the one that got me writing in the first place, that is going to need a hefty rewrite as well. Fortunately, my editor doesn't get their mitts on it until October, so I've got time to rewrite the other one first. Hopefully. That book is published next year. You can still get your name in it, if you fancy.  

I've drunk well, eaten well, and run a lot. I've come up with a name for my wine label. It's Cathar(tic) Wines, if you're at all interested. They are not yet available in a discerning independent wine merchant near you. They may never be. There aren't many bottles to be honest, and I'm pretty sure my mum is going to drink most of them. The name's a mediaeval history joke, if you need any further proof that I'm an incurable nerd. I like having a wine label. It's only taken a decade, which is less time than getting my first novel published, but more time than publishing my first wine book.

Other than that, the summer is kind of a blur. Some lovely friends got married, though that was May. Some other friends had parties and others drank on weather beaten picnic tables outside pubs. I tried to get to get to Scotland but couldn't, so I drank a bit more whisky than summer usually suggests and Scotland came to me. 

Someone died that shouldn't have. Who I'd not seen in too long but was so strong a presence in a time and part of my life that still feels and tastes so fresh that it could have been five minutes ago. I can hear her laughing and fighting and shouting with glee and she's not there anymore and while I know that I'm supposed to celebrate her having been there at all, I'm still angry and sad that so bright a life and talent is gone. She drove a red Honda Jazz (when I knew her) and painted horses and liked wine. I disagreed with some of her politics, but liked the way she fought for them. I'm ashamed that whenever I thought, "I've not seen or spoken to her in awhile" I just assumed it would be something time would correct, that we would meet again because that's what people do. But she's gone now and it doesn't seem real.