Over the hill

I'm forty-five today. My grandmother is still going strong at ninety-six (well, she's completely gaga mentally - but physically going strong) and my great-grandmother made it into her nineties with a glass eye and a love of the horses that made her the spitting image of the gradma in the Giles cartoons, so I can probably say with some confidence that I'm halfway through my life.

I started writing fiction in 2003 - my career (such as it is) to date has been short indeed. Of course I've done other things before, some of them downright weird, and most of them contribute to my writing in some way or another, but fiction very swiftly became the thing I knew I was going to do for the rest of my life.

But then you wonder ... ninety year old novelists? Are there any? Of course we have some great old men of letters (and some women creeping up on them too, and one can assume great old women will overtake the men in longevity stakes pretty soon) who give examples of a continuing productive future into extreme age.

The one thing that today's reflections have brought me to realise is that there is probably no rush, and that I'd like to be able to look back, at ninety, and say that I did a good job, most of the time. And that usually means giving the writing more time, more time, more time ... to mature, to crystallise, to assume the shape it wants to be in. And suddenly the horizon looks quite a long way away.

Perhaps I should slow down a bit ...