Well the days have definitely drawn in now, and as the wind blusters and blows it’s way around the house’s eves, acting for all the world like some sulky creature that likes nothing better than knock a few things over, I find myself increasingly drawn toward my fireside and a bit of toe toasting flame.

Unfortunately, whilst I love lazing around in front of the fire of an evening, its the lazing bit as much as the fire that I enjoy, so it’s taken a serious effort of will to drag myself back to the computer and get on with writing some more.

Have I succeeded? Well so far yes, my progress on the second episode of my Glass Darkly story is shaping up nicely with seven chapters and about 14,000 words completed. If I can maintain this pace, which so far has been quite comfortable, then episode 2 should be complete by the end of the month, and then I’ll have Episode 3 to work on in December.

But of course December comes with its own traditions and distractions beyond the allure of an open fire, and I’m sure I’ll outline some of mine as the weeks progress, and as the winds buffeted my house the other night and I retreated to my fireside I was almost tempted to dig out my copy of Charles Dickens Christmas Stories, which I have a lovely old Everyman copy of, and which I only allow myself to read a few of the short stories from each year, so that I have others the following year that I can enjoy without them all becoming too familiar.

But while I resisted the temptation to dive into the Cricket and Hearth or one of the other Christmas Stories, the stormy night did also remind me of another lovely old clothbound hardback that I haven’t read in a while by an author called Algernon Blackwood called ‘Ancient Sorceries and other Chilling Tales

I know this nice old book is lurking around the house somewhere, but it wasn’t where I thought I’d last seen it, and under the soporific effects of the fire I wasn’t in the mood to search high and low, so a bit of hunting is likely to be required on another day, but if you’re not familiar with this author already and you enjoy a gentler form of terror and suspense, then I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Similarly to the Christmas Stories, which are little darker in many ways than those written today, I like to dip into this book and savour just one or two of its several short stories, before putting it away again for a while.

Unfortunately the weather where i am has once again turned mild and generous for the time of year, which just isn’t right for the reading of such stories, so for now I think I’ll just have to find my copy and ensure its standing ready for the next stormy night in front of the fire.