The first draft of Aggie’s Art Of Happiness is complete. I finished it at 17:40 this afternoon. I don’t know how to feel about it, to be honest. I had a little cry when it was done, and could feel, while I was outside, knowing it was going to be done within the next 30 minutes, how I really didn’t want to let go of this wonderful character that Aggie had become. I really love her, I think, and feel more bereft at the end of a book than I have ever felt before. It’s a very odd feeling.
There’s no definitive word count yet, because I need to delete out over half the blog entries from the file yet (I had copied the whole blog file over into an Aggie file so I could just carry on writing). So that will be the first part of the editing process. Then it will be into the usual editing process for a novel. First, the automated spell check. Then a manual spell check which really does just focus on spelling and punctuation. Then a read through with some changes to the narrative (like obvious timing errors and obvious plot errors). Then an in-depth read through (I guess at this point it would be called a line edit by professionals and publishers), which will reveal any significant plot holes which would then need fixing throughout the entire piece because every change at this point will have a knock-on effect throughout the rest of the narrative. It’s not a process I necessarily enjoy, because it can seem interminable, and usually brings with it severe self-doubt.
On my weekly call with Colonel L – misnomer this week, as we spoke Monday as well due to a conspiracy of adversities in timings – I mentioned that for my final post tomorrow I’ll be looking at what I’ve learned during this year of blogging every day, and that I’ll be making my mind up about what I’ll be doing next year (and I have a range of possible things, although those do not include writing a novel live on the blog, at least not in my mind today).
Another closing of the year was my broadcast for Radio Stradbroke today was the revelation of my top 24 songs of the year. Here’s the final track list (in no particular order, because it was impossible to pick a Record Of The Year this year as they are all stunning works) with just one note of caution – they’re not all available on streaming platforms, so you may have to google some of them if you want to hear them:
- The New Nostalgia – Ibis Budget
- NiallTheUrchin – Bleak Street
- The Clockworks – Endgame
- Tidemann Og Gud – Sånn Jeg Er
- Point Nemo – C’mon
- Children Of The Year – Monster
- Glamboy – Regular Sin
- VENUS GRRRLS – Violet State Of Mind
- Thirteen Paris Vandals feat Safea Elder – Broken Nation
- AstroModa – Leave Me Alone
- Staarks – All Of Your Love
- The Choco-Las – The Invisible Kind
- Ringlefinch – The Masochism Tango
- Enjoyable Listens – A Laugh And A Half
- George Francis – Cardboard Cathedral
- Marina Florance feat Kitty Perrin – Annie C. (Florance/Pierce)
- Wolf Alice – The Last Man On Earth (Lullaby Version)
- The Gorstey Lea Street Choir/Junkyard Of Silenced Poets – The Dragons Of Mont Blanc (Parts I & II)
- Burning Juniper – She Changes The Weather
- Chasing Shadows – Light Up The Sky
- Wild Spelks – Hail Mary
- Femegades – Leash
- Digital Resistance – Delusional Safety
- Glytsh – Sav@ge
There you have it. One brief stat: in my musical year of 1st December 2021 to 30th November 2022, from which these records are selected, A and I worked out that I’ll have listened to parts of about 5,000 songs, of which just over 1,000 will have made it onto one of my radio shows. The final 24 come from those of these 1,000 songs that I gave four asterisks to while playing them out. It’s a massive achievement for these artists to be in this final list. And I am grateful to all of them for writing such masterpieces.
Despite everything, I feel quite fulfilled right now.