I've been looking towards the end.
Yes, ok, that's partly one of those big, melodramatic statements with which I'm fond of commencing a blog. For those who have suffered it, see my teaching session on the importance of opening lines in a novel!
But it's also true, and in a couple of ways.
Firstly, I've been working on the outlines for two more books in the tvdetective series.
(If you're getting confused with where we're at - and I do, and I write the things - then The Shadows of Justice is coming out in May. That's number six. Two more books have been commissioned, and I'm thinking there'll probably be two more after that before the story concludes.)
These final two novels, in terms of our "hero", see Dan getting older and reflecting on life, as he is prone to do.
He's now officially middle-aged, and feeling mortal for the first time in all his days on the planet. He can't run as fast as he used to, and colds and other self-inflicted ailments, (due mainly to an overdose of ale) take longer to shake off.
Once again I find myself thinking that it's interesting how, entirely subconsciously, part of yourself seeps into your books. It seems impossible to write the things without a little of the soul escaping the cages we set for it, and bewitching the words.
Dan is also reflecting on the people he's seen fall by the way, something which sadly and inevitably accompanies a certain stage of life - both in books and reality.
He's learned though, at last. And where once the Swamp of the depression that has always stalked him would take him, now he can fight it with that most precious and powerful of human weapons - hope.
It's a beacon in the darkness. After many years, finally the fine old phrase has come to have a resonance. And long may it remain so.