About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Monday, 13 May 2013


There are some weeks when writing a blogged novel feels a bit like trying to start a train.  Each week there's one more carriage to drag along after you.  It can take a while to get things moving.  The secret, I suppose, is to uncouple some and park them in a siding for a few weeks.  I can't advance every mini plot line every single chapter.  But I can't leave things for too long either, or the tension dissipates.  

Not that this is proving to be a terrible tense affair.  It feels more like a gentle comedy of Anglican manners. The surprises are usually small ones.  I keep being surprised.  I had no idea what the archdeacon was like until I saw him hang his pork pie hat on the stair knob in the empty vicarage.  It all grew out of that moment.  

I had distinct plans for the archdeacon in Chapter 19, but they came to nothing.  The chapter was going to end completely differently. Here: http://catherine-fox-novel.blogspot.co.uk/ In fact, I'd written most of it, but it just wasn't working, so late on Sunday afternoon I deleted it.  We ended up with Fr Dominic remembering his Primary School swimming lessons instead, which I was not expecting.  I was just trying to invent something for him to do on his day off, and came up with bluebell woods.  Which made me remember my own trips to Deer Leap Open Air Swimming Pool in the early 70s.  A trip down memory lane courtesy of google. http://deerleap.ning.com/

Not quite knowing what's going to happen is one of the great pleasures of writing.  It is also one of the biggest stresses.  What if it all falls apart in my hands?


  1. Interesting. I had been wondering about this and whether you have a broad outline tucked away somewhere (on paper or in your head)in order to spread the whole over 52 chapters. Or maybe that's not an issue for a blogged novel and it doesn't need any kind of resolution and can just keep on rolling like a soap opera?

  2. I do have an over-arching plan, but I'm not sure whether the constraints of weekly blogging (the soap opera aspect)will end up undermining it. We'll have to see.

  3. I am intrigued to know what alternative fate lay in store for the archdeacon. I am getting to quite like him and am glad it has turned out that he 'prefers girls'!

  4. He was going to run into Jane on The Close. I rather like him myself, too.