Earning money in a 'real' job really does get in the way of writing :-(
After having addressed more than half of the MS issues raised by the assessment, I lost my way with some of the tougher ones and then I started another contract of work...So, in order to try and fire up my enthusiasm again, I started putting some sample chapters (since removed) on literotica.com to see what sort of interest there might be. I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few tedious criticisms about the fact that I had chosen not to use dialogue punctuation (in the style of Stephen Daisley's Traitor...not to mention Tim Winton and Roddy Doyle, just to name a few big prize-winning writers!) but on the whole they were very positive. In particular, I struck up a correspondence with John Horrocks, who said he had been 'deeply touched' by the story. This meant all the more to me knowing he is Australian. It was also validating to know a male found my characters and their motivations believable. It's feedback like this that inspires you to keep at it.