We always boycott Valentine’s Day. It seems to be cursed for us. Usually, around this time, we have a row about something. One year we ended up throwing our Valentine presents across the room at each other. Besides, you shouldn’t have only one day per year to be romantic. So, when the fuss has died down and the price of flowers is something sensible again, we will go for a meal and possibly to see a film. In March, we’re going to see The Woman In Black on stage- don’t tell me I don’t know how to woo a woman.
                The CD I mentioned in my previous post, Doctor Who: The Curse of Peladon is really my Valentine’s Day present to myself.
                Things feel good. Better, anyway. Now that we’ve got a solicitor to fight our corner. It feels like the beginning of the new year proper. Spring won’t be far away.
                I’ve been trying to write another flash fiction for Microhorror ( ). I’ve been racking my brains on and off for a week or two now, and had a few false starts. It was bugging me. Whenever I’m not engaged in a new project, I get restless. I feel that I’m a writer, I should be writing. Actually, I’ve got a few first drafts under my belt by now, what I ought to be doing is rewriting. But anyway.
                I didn’t have any ideas, at least which excited me. That’s fatal. Whenever I treat myself as a story factory, the stories dry up. Lately I’ve been thinking about writing something other than horror fiction. And something other than a short story- perhaps a novel. At any rate, something which challenges me. I’ve started watching Only Fools And Horses again, my favourite sitcom. And even though the sitcom is a humble form, John Sullivan’s writing still resonates. More than even the best horror story.
                Since discovering horror fiction, both to read and to write, the stories and the words have poured out of me, and I will always be grateful for that. I don’t want to jinx things, and end up blocked for another decade. At the same time, though, I don’t want to feel like I’m on a treadmill.
                I’m forcing myself to watch the news, and read newspapers, as I used to when I was writing contemporary plays. Anger, then, was what drove me. Then, when I was 30, or perhaps even earlier, the world became a confusing place, and my politics became uncertain. Which is another way of saying that I got scared. Now, I’m beginning to think more about what’s going on in the world, what I think is wrong, and what we can do about it.
 Although, to be fair to myself, you need a certain degree of optimism for that, and I’ve never been abundant with that. I’m reading books on positive psychology, perhaps that makes a difference. I read an essay by A.J.P. Taylor recently about the Irish famine, in which he said that the reason it was so bad was because the Irish population were too weak and demoralized to fight. The famine had to pass, leaving death and devastation behind, and life had to become better enough for Irish people to feel strong enough to fight for independence.
It’s a similar thing with today’s society. Living Marxism once snootily wrote that the working classes now seem unable to organize themselves. Well, no, they probably can’t, at the moment, with high unemployment, poverty, eroding rights, etc. It’s easier to do that when there’s full employment.
                But maybe it’s time I went on a demo.


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