As per usual I begin with an apology - and this the most earnest of those so far: so very sorry for the abruptness and the length (!) of my silence.
I am in fact, still alive, still working, and most significantly, preparing for fatherhood.
I do suffer from chronic, low level depression which most often presents itself as a strong desire to be left alone and excessive computer gaming :\ ... yet the main reason for the sudden stop was more particularly two things:
1/ fear, as I approach the moment/scene in ECONOMOUS that motivated me to start his story in the first place; &
2/ realising that I had no idea who Miss Swift actually is (since *-SPOILERS AHEAD!-* I want to make her a main character) and not being able to proceed without her being better realised.
Well, happy day \o/, thanks to my writers' group of Michael Hawke, Ben Morton & Rikki Lambert, I have a much clearer sense of her now (and quite different she is from how I have penned her so far) so proceeding can begin again.
That said, I am currently in the thick of illustrating a growing list of picture books which have most of my creative professional attention, and what of that is left for writing I am thinking of applying to the other fruit of the WRITERS' GROUP: the continuing story of Europe, the Branden Rose, taking up where FACTOTUM left off. Excitingly (for me, at least) I have a beginning, middle and sense of the end (or a final catalysing moment to work towards), so it now simply awaits for me to take the start I have already and turn it into a finished tale.
I would like to thank you all for your persistence and Tom Wamstad for his expressed concern (which prompted me to speak up at last). I am still here, a little overwhelmed, but getting there.
For my next post I shall seek to respond to the comments from the last long ago post, so stay tuned...)