I had a really busy weekend and to avoid creating an essay long post, I've broken it down into multiple posts.
I was really disorganized preparing for the Finchley Literary Festival, even for me. I left it until final evening to choose what piece of the novel to read out at the festival. I had eight minutes to fill and when I did a test reading I noticed the piece I had intended, from chapter three, wouldn't fit. I tried abridging it, but even that came out to0 long. By 10pm I was starting to panic so I chose to just start from chapter one. This meant throwing out all the work I'd done trying to squeeze in the section of chapter three. I'm not going to deny that hurt.
I really didn't want to read out the start of the novel as it has a prank being played on the Pope. I was a little worried that someone in the audience might take offence. It is lighthearted and clearly not meant to be taken as an insult to the religion but there are plenty of oversensitive people about and I didn't want to put a stain on the festival by causing any bad feeling. However, I had to admit there was little choice. I need a self contained section that would make sense and also have a small sense of conclusion or natural stopping point.
Anyway, by the time I'd finished going through this next section, deleting areas not relevant for a short reading and giving it a final edit, as the professionally edited version is not available yet, it was midnight. I have to confess I was not feeling confident about the reading but that really was my own fault.