Back to the grindstone.

So I’m back in China for 2015. Happy new year, everyone — and xinnian kuaile for the upcoming Year of the Goat. I’m still coming down from the mad rush of seeing everyone over the Christmas break, but getting straight back into my writing seems to be helping with that. Jenny had to tell me off for writing at the weekend, which I had promised not to do.

I’m writing this post from Pause Café, in the university quarter of Nanjing — the only part of town, other than our apartment, where I’ve found there to be decent coffee. (In the spirit of fairness, the other places that do good coffee around here are Qianduoduo, Sculpting In Time and Brewsells, which also does the best breakfast fry-up I’ve yet had in China on Sundays.)

It seems the stereotype of writing in cafés actually makes a lot of sense. I get more words written, on average, on days I pop out for a coffee or two. It’s not a lack of Internet that makes the difference — all the cafés around here have free Wi-fi. In any case, for the sort of writing I’m doing, I need to be able to look up things like the distance from Winnipeg to Chicago, or when the sun sets in Kansas City in mid-April, to name two examples just from this morning. But something about the café environment is conducive to the way I work.

So the novel is continuing to go well. The non-fiction book is still with its editor, but I’m getting regular updates. I’ve got a fair bit of work to do regarding clarity, especially in the introduction, but there don’t seem to be any huge structural problems.

I may have made a bit of a mistake in coming out on the scooter today, though — it’s been snowing lightly since I got here. Not too bad for just walking in, but scooting home isn’t going to be much fun if it doesn’t let up.

In fact, it seems likely to just get heavier over the rest of the afternoon, so I’d probably better leave it there and head home while I can. Ciao for now!

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