Rookhope is a lovely hamlet in a tiny valley and the sight of the pub hoving into view as we dropped down from an old railway line and crossed the pontoon bridge (the river had flooded recently, taking half the bank with it) was very nice.
Then onwards, upwards and then downwards to Stanhope. Met a group of hikers, including an old guy who stopped for a chat and then gave me a bar of Kendall Mint-cake.
Got a message from Esma, one of Carin Klock’s former pupils the other day.
I’d been working with Carin’s English class as I wrote the first draft of a book and sending them the chapters as they were completed, for the class to critically dissect. As it happened, Carin moved schools before we finished the project and I got onto something else and I never completed the final two sections of the book. I’ve got about five or six almost-competed manuscripts lying around, and this one just joined the pile.
However, on the same day I got the email from Esma I was also contacted by a Scandinavian publisher of educational text-books asking if they could use part of that very same story in one of their books.
I figured that this was life’s way of telling me to finish what I’d started.
The first part of the book – Dealer No. 1 – is here: The rest will be completed in draft form very soon. I’ve set everything else aside to in order to complete it.
Which reminds me, I’ll have to contact the publisher to give them my details…
I’m always pleasantly surprised that people make films from my stories. It never gets old!
I’ve shown this still from Iranian film-maker Sepehr Rezaei’s version of Zippo before, but I just like it. Will have to check out what he’s been doing lately. This is another version of the same story, much crisper, more Nordic.
Haven’t been along the coastal path since last Autumn, but cycled along it tonight and my mind, as it does, thought of St. Claire, the central character in The Heaven Field.
I decided that I’d add a chapter that I hadn’t included in the first edition.
Thing is, I can’t find the original manuscript and, short of buying a copy myself and copying it out again by hand, I’ll struggle to add anything to what’s already on there. I think the final draft is on my old computer. Not the really old Dell but the crap one I got between the Dell and my current Mac.
Anyhow, The Heaven Field is perfect as it stands. There’s some quiet magic going on there. I think St. Claire finds his redemption, though some people disagree.