I did more than just get hideously fat this Easter

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Not being a religious fellow, the only impact that Easter usually has on my life is that I eat more chocolate than normal. I’m already something of a liability when it comes to moderating my sweets-and-chocolate intake, but put chocolate eggs in front of me and I’ll go all hummingbird on you — eating up to three times my own weight in Cadbury every single day. Unlike hummingbirds, however, I am neither delightful nor possessed of a metabolism capable of handling that sort of food consumption.

Easter is something of a lardy, bloated period of any given year for me, and it usually concludes with me looking like a melting walrus.

For once, this year I actually feel like I’ve done something worthwhile. Two somethings, in fact. First, I, along with some friends, completed the C2C challenge; cycling one-hundred-and-forty-something miles across the Pennines from Workington to Tynemouth. We opted to spread the ride over the whole Easter weekend in the hope of minimising saddle-soreness and maximising drinking time. We failed twice; no five men have ever complained about sore perineums as much as we did, and we were all in bed by 21:00 each night.

Still, we raised a reasonable sum of money between us for some charities that we care about (you can still sponsor me here, should you wish to) and we had a lot of fun.

C2C 1

My second achievement of this Easter period was to complete the third draft (which I’m actually referring to as ‘draft two’) of Monsters of Elsewhere. It’s taken me a while to get to this stage — which I talked about here — but now that I’m there, I feel pretty good about it. There’s still a lot of work to do, I’m painfully aware of that, but every time I work on it, it feels less like I’ve just vomited words onto a page and more like a novel.

It’s about fifteen-thousand words shorter than my original draft (if that sounds like a lot, it really isn’t… the bloody thing was one-hundred-and-eighty-thousand words), and therefore it feels much tighter. I already have an idea of the areas I need to work on, and this latest draft is currently being read by people I trust to tell me all the other areas that need some attention.

I have my copy printed out and waiting next to me as I write this, and I’ll sit down to start reading it tonight — it will be my fourth time of reading this book, and I estimate I’ll need to read it about that many times again before it’s complete.

Even though there’s still a lot of work to be done — this round of read-throughs, subsequent edits, another read-through, send to an editor, make changes, another read-through, send to a proofreader, edits, read, weep, format for print/ebook, read etc — I feel like this particular draft was a big one, and I feel good for completing it.

So, between lots of cycling, raising money for good causes, and reaching a landmark on my novel, I really feel like I’ve had an unusually productive Easter.

Plus, I’ve eaten a shitload of chocolate.

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