I thought it was about time I gave an update on My Family and Other Ghosts. To be honest, progress has been slower than I hoped – partly due to real life distractions, my somewhat sombre mood as the country imposes sanctions on itself, and also not wanting to rush it.
There's been a bit more background research that I needed to carry out too, especially after I realised there was unexpected commonality between the therapy Chris Parsons undergoes and the work of Gertrude Stein. If you want to know how that could have any relevance to my story, you'll have to wait until chapter 6, which I finished writing the first draft of yesterday.
That puts me roughly 25% of the way through the first draft at just over 20,000 words. Some of the later details are becoming clearer now, so I hope my pace will accelerate from here, once I get over the funk engendered by today's date. I've now split the final section, which was to be 'The Parsons' into two shorter sections. 'The Parsons' will still be part 4 and will comprise three chapters, which I know exactly what will happen. This will now be followed by a new part 5 'Lisa, Alex and Chris.' I know how this will end, but the details are a little hazy still. I'm very sure the characters will tell me what needs to happen as they're living parts 1-3.
So, with a little renaming, this is now the structure of the novel:
Next on my list, immediately after I post this, will be 'An Adventure With Lisa.' Looking forward to this one.
At the top of this post, you can see how my draft cover has evolved. This is closer to the final thing, but I'm hoping to replace the photograph of the Calne head artwork with a painting of the same statue. It's coming together slowly.
You'll also notice that I've put a dedicated page for this novel on my website. As well as the usual blurb and character overview, I've also put a gallery of personal photo graphs of the key locations in the novel. If you hover over these, you'll get a brief description of their role in the story. This should give you enough of a clue that reality may not quite be all it seems...
I've also included a preview of the current draft of the opening three chapters of the novel, accessible from the bottom of the page. These have changed a little from the earlier blog posts I provided, and I'm sure will continue to change ahead of publication.
As is my wont, I've found a quote for the opening of the novel that nicely sums things up, as well as being a distraction:
Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.
Guy de Maupassant
Right, that's it for now. Time to start chapter 7...