I'm working on several stories at a time, but this burst of story writing started as a distraction from writing a novel which I started in August 2008, and put aside on (checks diary) Friday May 1st, nearly three months ago. I was bored with seeing it each day after nine months and I've had two stories published as a boost to confidence as a result of the lay-off.
So the novel should all be horribly fresh when I see it again. Hopefully, it will be great, but more likely it will need another year's work. Never mind. 18 months is the minimum to write a novel, and summer is when everyone writes their blockbusters (6000000 pages of how a boy wizard called Harry Trotter took on the might of the British boarding school). There's no point rushing to get into the already heaving slush piles.
I want to submit it to an indie publisher in December, and for that I need the first three chapters. The first three chapters are greatly affected by how the whole novel feels, so I like to complete the whole thing and then redo the beginning. It's like running 1o0 metres, and then going back to the start to run the first 10 again. In writing you can do this. In running if you get the start wrong, the race is over, but not in writing. Not until the printer whirrs.