In between trying to get ready for Christmas and fighting off some kind of bug (have you noticed how, even though you have the flu jab, which as an asthmatic I always do, you can still find yourself feeling distinctly under the weather and as though your immune system is working overtime to combat some invader? It remains to be seen who wins this particular battle!) - anyway, in between all this, I've been finishing off a draft of the Physic Garden. Today, I sent it to my agent, all 86,000 words of it! I know she won't read it till January, probably late January, but I still felt I needed to send it before Christmas. It's a psychological thing. I've printed out yet another copy of it, and filed it away in a desk drawer.It still needs a bit of work, even though it has already been through many drafts. Chiefly, there seems to be a wee 'dip' in the middle, which I've struggled to address. But I don't think I'm quite there yet. Distance will lend perspective. But the urge to fiddle around the edges is very strong. So I'm attempting to put it out of my reach so that I can move on with something else in the meantime. There are other things I want to do now - a plan for a new novel, a drastic revision of an old one turning it (I hope) into a different book. And a fairly bizarre collection of short stories which have been flitting around my mind like so many bats, these many months past. I intend to get going on those over Christmas. I do love this wintry hiatus in the year. Even when I don't do as much writing as I would like, it is still a time when I catch up with reading and thinking, and I don't seem to have enough time for either of these in my normal working week!