It has been very quiet over at SBI. One of our agents is missing. She was working for the BBC and Channel 4, and now she's in America, so we haven't investigated any paranormal events together recently, though I have written up the story of the small, stranded angel and the pen lid that spontaneously produced chocolate when I attended a lecture about psychic fakery.
I'm attending lectures on the subject at the moment in preparation for Beyond Belief, the Emily Castles mystery I will write after I finish working on Invitation to Die. They're both full-length novels. Ages ago I attended a workshop on how to become a medium and it turns out I have a natural talent for it. At the time I wasn't quite sure why I was doing it*, other than to amuse myself. It's great to think that, three years on, it will 'come in'.
More recently, I have been attending academic lectures about psychics and mediums to study the behaviour of the audience. I'm not so interested in what the lecturers have to say as I'll be making all that up in the book. It turns out that academic audiences are incredibly disrespectful - lots of door banging as they turn up late, and then eye rolling if they don't agree with what's being said.
In the most recent lecture I went to, a member of the audience kept shrugging at me and rolling her eyes, inviting me to express disappointment at being there, and then doing a high-pitched fake laugh whenever she disagreed with the point being made by the learned professor of psychology who was giving the lecture. Her antics made it very entertaining and very well worth my time in attending, so I wasn't disappointed at all.
I was looking through old posts on this blog this morning and found one entitled Things I Do When I'm Supposed to be Writing. At the time, I was working on a TV script that had been commissioned and subsequently seemed to have been shelved, but has recently generated some interest again. TV seems to work like that - it's incredibly slow-moving and can take forever to get something off the ground. And just when you think it's not going to happen, someone says they're interested and you're off again.
Here's the chart I made to go with the post from October 2009 (below). I need to do an updated one, though it will be slightly more boring. Now all I do, pretty much, is write and look at the internet. Considering I didn't even have a 'writing' category among the things I did when I was supposed to be writing back in October 2009, career-wise and productivity-wise, that's an improvement, isn't it?
* Oh, just found the post. I went along to train to be a medium as research for a play I was planning to write. Always good to say something like publicly that for tax reasons, though it's also true. I did write the play. It was The Memory Man. How could I have forgotten that...?