I've been working on some ideas for a new tvdetective book, and a potentially fruitful theme which has emerged is the disaffection of today's young folk.
It's not easy being young at the moment. We're saddling the generation with huge debts if they have the cheek to want to go to college for further study, and when they come out unemployment is a constant stalking spectre.
The thoughts - and obviously I can't give too much away here, they're mine and precious! - were along the lines of what might happen if a group became dangerously disaffected, so bitter and disillusioned that they decided to take revenge on society. It feels like the idea has mileage, so I'll keep thinking about it, to see if it's got enough for a book.
Part of the reason I mention this now is that I had the pleasure of doing some careers teaching at Exeter University on Thursday. (First aside - thanks to all who came to the session - I hope it was worthwhile - and for playing along with my strange games. As I warned you at the start, I don't like to teach conventionally!)
I like teaching for a variety of reasons, much of it altruism, but it also helps reassure me. The young people I meet are invariably extremely clever (sometimes fearfully so), and equally keen, dedicated and determined to make a way in life and do some good. Exposure to such energy and verve is invariably good for the soul, and that was exactly how I came away feeling from Thursday.
Young people get a lot of criticism, but the vast majority I meet are great and that's very reassuring to know.
(It won't, however, stop me inventing some bad ones as characters if this book comes to pass, but that's a thought for another day.)
So here's to the future, it's under good (trainee) management and not anything like as bad as we doom-mongers in the media will often make out.
Finally for this blog, another favourite tune, as promised, and how about one which is in keeping with my rant of the moment (you see how much care and preparation goes into these musings?!)
In which case, I suppose it has to be The Undertones, and Teenage Kicks. If it was good enough for John Peel...
And finally finally, an apology to Tennessee Williams for borrowing the title for this blog. It's because (you guessed it!) I'm very into the theatre at the moment, for obvious reasons, and Sweet Bird has always been a favourite play of mine.
As to An Unnecessary Murder, I'm trying not to bore you with my excitement, but I'll doubtless churn out another blog with an update on progress soon. Suffice to say (for now) that we're less than 7 weeks from the opening night, and all seems to be going well.
If you want to know a little more, there's a kind article just gone live on the fine Cyprus Well website - www.cypruswell.com/calendarFull.php