The last month of the year

the winter gardens at the People's Palace, Glasgow



The cold breath of the last month of the year is blowing now, and it’s almost, but not quite time to find out the edges of this last year and to gather it in, and see what it amounts to before looking up to (shh) face the year beyond.


The Millions have started posting their Year in Reading series, something I look forward to, even if I’ve not read nearly enough of those spoken about. I’m starting to think how many books I will have finished by the year’s out – I think about 32? Which is a good number I think, because that will be my age in the middle of June next year, if nothing intervenes.  I’m going to start thinking about what books spoke to me most – but I might keep quiet on that, lacking any great insights, and favouring for now they unuttered over the analysed.


I’m thinking too of how this time last year I was in Banff, in Canada, on the Creative Futures residence at The Banff Centre. I’m so incredibly grateful to have had exposure to those woods and mountains and sulphuric streams and icefields and lakes and stress and friendships and too much delicious food and walks and drives in the dark and in the hills. It took a long while for that experience to settle (if it has at all) but I think I can say truthfully that On the Edges of Vision came out of that time, though I wrote it several months later, having scrapped the stuff I was working on all those days in the the Leighton Colony, looking out at the snow and the pine martens and the pine bark. Lists and lists and riches. None of it settles, I suppose. None of it can be made neat. It sits in a dark place, crackling like a fire, fuelling my work right now.


Yes, it’s been a productive, book-filled year, and it is not over yet. I’ll start (hopefully) on edits for On the Edges of Vision right before Christmas, so I’ll be typing away. I’m also working on another project, interweaving flash and a longer narrative. Who knows where that will go, but where there is fire there is energy, so -.


Have you started to gather things in yet? Or is it too superstitiously soon? Or are you in a frantic rush for the holidays? Or are you reading (please say yes, and what)?



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2 responses to “The last month of the year

  1. Good luck with edits! I find this the hardest stage. I’m rounding out my year with non-fiction reads (which is rare for me). Somehow, I’m getting more writing done while I’m in the non-fiction state; I think it has something to do with storytelling. Can’t wait for your book. The publisher is sending along a copy when the galleys are ready in the spring.

    • Thanks, going to need it when they come. That is interesting about non-fiction. I read so little of it. I wonder if 2016 could be a non-fiction year for me (I think that would be the hardest thing to stick to).
      I really hope the book speaks to you! So glad it’s heading your way.

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