I urge readers to buy a copy of that estimable publication; quid pro quo, and all that. It contains many an excellent article, apart from the review, (which I am in no way planning to have laminated, framed in gold, and hung over my desk. At least not until after I have finished the rest of the Festive Preparations).
I am now, inevitably, in panic-stricken rewrite of the sequel, and suffering the probably entirely usual fears that I will fail dismally, that people might enjoy the first one but will find the second one a disappointment and strike me off their reading lists forthwith and with opprobrium.
I also seem to be suffering, as the astute reader has no doubt observed, from some strangely Victorian influence on my prose style.
I think it’s the hat.
I bought a hat, recently. It’s a splendid hat, I like it a great deal, but it is high, and black, and has a tuft of feathers on one side, and in combination with a full-length, severely cut, high-collared black winter coat, does rather make me resemble a Victorian funeral mute. Elderly people look at me askance, and shuffle away down the other end of the bus.
(This may not be because I summon thoughts of mortality, of course; I may merely look like some ominously dark-clad and eccentrically-behatted person they would prefer not sit next to. I admit to occasional strangeness, but I swear I present no threat to the elderly – unless they should happen to read one of the sex scenes in Babylon Steel and suffer a fatal conniption as a result).
Clothes do affect my behaviour; a new pair of buckled boots gives me a piratical strut; a slinky dress brings out the inner vamp, in roleplay armour I get all butched up and start challenging half-orcs to arm-wrestling matches.
Hmm. If I bought a navy-blue power suit, would I become suddenly efficient, whisk through the undone paperwork cluttering my desk, phone all the people I should have phoned six months ago, and generally Get Myself Sorted? Alternatively, if I bought one of those cloaks that has a deep hood and goes all swirly when you walk, would I have no choice but to stand somewhere murky and brood a lot?
Maybe I should try the navy power suit thing. In the meantime, I would be fascinated to know if anyone else finds that the clothes they wear affect their behaviour.