At the moment, I’ve got several writing plans/projects in my head, but two that are really standing out, and that I want to work on.  And already that’s a fair dollop of progress.

For now though, I’m trying something a bit different – I don’t yet know if it’ll work out, but so far it appears to be doing OK.

Basically, rather than just writing and seeing how things develop, I’m taking some time first to outline it all, so I know what the plan is, where characters will go, and how everything interacts. It’s also interesting, from the perspective of figuring out more about how my brain processes these things.

The only thing that concerns me currently about this process is that I know how I am, that once I’ve written something down or otherwise got it out of my head I’ll forget all about the details, and there’ll be something else to grab my attention instead. Oooh, shiny.

So it may be that doing these outlines is as far as I go on these ideas. Or it may be that the outlines gel everything together so that I know what I’m doing, and then just want to get it done.

And only time will tell which of those options will happen.  Which is kind of cool, and kind of frustrating…

Legally Dead

The BBC today has a fantastic story about Donald Miller, an American man who had disappeared for 8 years, was declared legally dead in 1994, then reappeared in 2005, having been drifting and moving from place to place since 1986.

Because he’d been declared legally dead, his ‘widow’ was given his Social Security death benefits, so when he reappeared – and I’m reading between the lines a little – it looks like they’ve tried to claim that back.

However, because he’s been ‘dead’ so long, that decision can’t be resolved or overturned.  Apparently it can be within three years (which is pretty mind-boggling in itself) but not after 19 years – unsurprisingly.

What this means is that Donald Miller remains legally dead.

Of course, my mind went off on a tangent at that point, and thought about how cool this actually is. (in some ways) I wonder what would happen if (for example) he robbed a bank. Could a legally-dead person be charged with a crime? Could it go to court? I suspect not. Even fingerprint checks would – as I understand it – come back as being those of a dead person.   And what happens when he does actually die?

It’s all a very odd story, based around odd tenets of law. And I suspect we haven’t heard the last of it.