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Taking Stock and Making Lists

December 4, 2012

Having completed the first draft of another in the Mike Nash crime series, I was at a bit of a loose end. There’s an adrenalin drop after finishing a manuscript, similar to that experienced by actors following the last night of a production. I decided to distract myself by tackling a long overdue task, the filing of manuscripts and shredding of old duplicate copies, obsolete versions, fragmented plot notes and a wide variety of accumulated confidential paperwork.

It was only when I viewed the assembled young mountains of paper ready for the sharp teeth of the machine that I realized how much effort these had involved. It also set me wondering about exactly how much I have written, and how many projects still lurk, half-formed, in the murky recesses of what passes for my brain.

To help gauge the amount, I began to make a list. Well, several lists to be precise. Those who know me well will tell you that I’m a compulsive list maker. This is not a product of the ageing process; it is something I’ve always done. There is something deeply comforting in having a list. It’s about the closest I get to planning. It has been said of me that I can’t cross a street without a list. I don’t think that’s exactly true, but having a list in my hand when I reach the other side makes it simpler for me to remember why the Kitson crossed the road.

I’m ready to share the lists with you, but first a disclaimer. They may not be complete, and there is every possibility that they will change. I don’t plan to stop having ideas if I can avoid it, and those ideas could add or alter the lists significantly.

1) The Mike Nash series. Published or in draft format. Total: 13

            That total includes the series prequel and a young Mike Nash story.

2) The Mike Nash series. Writing or plotted. Total: 7

3) The Byland Crescent Family Saga. Published or in draft format. Total: 2

4) The Byland Crescent Family Saga. Writing or plotted. Total: 4

            That total includes a spin-off novel.

5) General Fiction. Completed and published. Total: 2

6) Collection of short ghost stories* in draft format. Total: 1

            * Please note that it is the stories that are short, not the ghosts.

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