Elriot Day of Dance, plus Expanding Elves.

So, last Saturday was the first time since that terrifying day in September when I appeared at a public dance-out as Coton Morris Men’s solo musician, and the first time I’ve played for them as their solo musician and been in Coton kit. Here is the proof:


(Coton musician’s kit = anything you like as long as it’s black and white.)

I felt very official, and – while nowhere near as nervous as the first time – still pretty shaky-legged. But I was proud of myself for playing at four different venues around the town, in front of two other morris sides at each spot. Each with its own musicians who almost certainly knew the tunes better than me.

I’ve even managed to master the morris-musician’s magical ability to direct a focussed blast of air at the dancers, to keep them up during the highly technical levitating dances:


It was a great day. As you can see, it was warm enough to stand around in shirtsleeves (in March!) and we danced alongside Fenstanton Morris, Manor Mill Clog Dancers, Little Egypt and of course The Riot. The Riot were the hosts of the day and I was sorry not to be dancing with them, but at the same time I really felt like an essential part of Coton for the first time since I joined. I’m not quite sure which is ‘my’ side any more. Both, I suppose.

A dishevelled man swims out of the sea, crawls up the beach and with trembling hands holds up a sign that says “And now for something completely different…”

It will probably come as no surprise, to anyone who knows how I work, when I say that I’ve reviewed my progress on Elf Princes’ Quest and decided that with 11 scenes down, 22,000 words so far, and 17 scenes still to go, this is looking like a short novel instead of a novella. The whole “planning by scenes” thing is still valid, I suppose, as long as I remember that my scene length is a little less than twice what I think it’s going to be. I was going for a 30,000 word novella, and it looks like it will be a 50,000 word novel instead.

By this time I suppose the surprise is that I ever manage to write anything short at all.

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