Oof, actually I didn't wake up all that well, even though the day is bright and lovely, somehow I had the second stupid nightmare night in a row. But I got a lovely email just then saying that my new Japanese drawing nibs are about to arrive, and the same instant the doorbell rang and - it was true. They did arrive, in a pretty box. So dinkybox.com is a good place for all your manga drawing supplies (in the UK).
I am working on the new book with Alexis, and we seem to have found a good way of working at last. It incorporates a whole bunch of Useful Tips and Tricks I have gathered over the years, which is pleasing. Here's some:
First I write my notes, and sometimes bits of actual very-first-draft, all as they come into my head, without worrying if it's any good or if it makes sense and whether I am wandering off. (Thanks Frøydis!) Quite often I have several ideas of what happens, then I write them both down, and imagine them until I see them happen in my head, and then I mark out which one seems to be the truth (and I ask Alexis about it later, he normally knows). I write all this with my trusty writing pen into notebooks, only on the right-hand side, so there's always another page free for notes, which is very much needed when I read the notes out to Alexis and write down his ideas and my own new ideas on the left. When it's a solid structure, I go and write it as a story, on my Mac. Then it goes through the usual stages of draft-editing - I suppose - because we haven't got that far yet! But the story is definitely taking shape now.
It's strange planning a story like that instead of letting it grow while first-drafting... but it seems to suit the project... actually it's not strange, it's how I used to work before I got convinced that planning a story through kills it. This one seems to come to life with re-imaginings and plannings. I like that - I've never felt very much at home with running blindly into a story as I write, always produces horror stories I find.