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Last month I finally got round to publishing Small Town Blues, my second and probably last novel. Each was years in the making and at 77 I’m not sure if I have the time or stamina to write another. I’ll go on writing, of course, but in shorter forms: poems, stories, possibly a novella or two. Brevity is an undervalued quality and the novella an underused form – a genre that allows for development while avoiding the ‘bagginess’ that Henry James complained of. ‘The blessed nouvelle,’ he called it.