Saturday, November 29, 2008


Inspired by Kevin Musgrove I thought I'd bring you one of my favourite pieces of music. It was the first single I ever bought, back in the days when hardly anyone could afford to buy a whole album.

I'd like to say that my musical taste was always up to this standard. Just imagine it is, OK?

The original video was removed by YouTube for copyright problems. This podbean is based on an mp3 that I bought.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Looking back causes gangrene

I was reading some writing advice from Carol Clarke when the phrase "Looking back causes gangrene" hit me. I wish I could write like that.

She's advising writers to get a first draft down and not expect to get it right the first time. How many times do I need to read that before I do it? Maybe I should go back and read some more before I do any more writing. I'm not procrastinating, honest.

Oh, and to all my buddies in the US: Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's odd that since I stopped doing Nano I haven't written anything. A whole week of not writing! Natalie should have swapped with me: I could have gone a month without writing and she could have written a novel for me.

I suppose that was the point of Nano for me though: to get me writing again when I've lost the urge. I enjoy producing something that wouldn't have existed otherwise but it's hard to get going.

Maybe I need to try something much smaller for a change. That might be more manageable.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No more Nano

I knew it was going to be tough this year and I didn't think I could make it. Well, I haven't.

I went to see Bill Bailey at the weekend, which was great by the way, but the trouble is that I'm still recovering. I haven't written since Sunday and as I can only manage 2,500 on my best day there's no way I can catch up now.

I have more than half a story written though. I think my best bet is to take what I've got and edit it into a short story. That way I'll have got something tangible out of it. At least I've got plenty to edit and some of it is fun.

Every time I do it I learn more about the way I write. This year I learnt that I can get over writer's block by not being so linear and writing the next bit I know how to do and then going back and filling bits in.

I think my next major learning needs to be how to write a decent plot. It's all good.

Good luck to everyone who's still doing it! And good luck to Geoff while your human is busy writing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Real life gets in the way of writing

I got my hearing aid turned up today, which is good. On the other hand, it's half an hour's drive each way to get it done and that's enough to tire me out these days. So I only wrote 900 words today.

Tomorrow I'm going to see Bill Bailey with my husband, my boys and their other halves. So I won't get much done this weekend but it will be fun.

I managed four 2k+ word days this week so it's not all bad on the writing front.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rate this post

If you want to know about the little tick boxes that have appeared under all my posts then you might like to go and look at Polenth's Quill which is where I found out about them. Polenth's explanation about how to insert them in a Blogger blog is much better than anything I could write.

I'm not sure if I'll keep them. I think it depends on whether anyone uses them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Write or die!

If anyone is struggling to keep going during Nano, you might like to try Write or Die. Using this program* you write for a specified time or number of words and if you stop writing there are consequences, ranging from nagging pop-up boxes to irritating songs or in Kamikaze mode loss of words.

It's a bit of fun but I prefer to keep myself going by updating my progress spreadsheet every 300 words. (Or every 50 words if things are going badly.)

*The funny little semi-transparent window at the top of the Write or Die page is the actual application.

Lying about my age.

I am 29 years old. That's not a lie, it's the truth, but we are talking Martian years here.

I found my age through a now sadly defunct website.

I'm tempted to use it to lie about my age. Except that no one is going to believe me.

Typing Problem

It's very hard to type with a cat resting on your left arm.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's bucketing down.

Both cats are miaowing a lot today and they really do seem to be asking us to make the nasty rain go away.

If only.

I'm falling behind

I am now 5,000 words behind. In the last two Nanos I have only fallen behind once, by 500 words, and that was only for a day.

So I'm facing what I've known from the start: this year I'm not going to make it. It's disappointing but I want to keep going as long as I can because I have over 11,000 words written that I wouldn't have written otherwise and I'd like to finish the story if not the challenge.

Oddly enough, the days I've posted more in here have been the days I've met my target word counts. So I'm hoping the magic will work today.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

In mourning for civil rights

I have always believed that California is the place where hippies and liberals go when we die. Now my dream is shattered.

California has passed Proposition 8, which invalidates gay marriage. This is like taking the vote away from women, or re-instituting slavery, or outlawing racially mixed marriages.

The reasoning behind this Proposition is purely religious. Now, theology has a tendency to change over time to catch up with enlightened thought so there is hope for the future. The problem is that religious change happens on a geological timescale and meanwhile happily married couples are left in limbo with their marriages suddenly invalidated.

In the UK we got around the religious issue by having "civil partnerships" for gay people which are marriages in all but name. I would like to see this extended to everyone so that it is only religious ceremonies that are "marriages". That way gay partnerships would not be singled out as different from any others and believers could take their stand on the validity of gay marriage without imposing their beliefs on the rest of us.

I hope that this Proposition is overturned soon. Meanwhile, I watch the situation in California with horror.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm an idiot

There I was, all proud of my geeky skills, and then instead of backing up my existing blog template I saved a new template. I can't get the old one back and I still haven't got the quick edit feature back that was my reason for fiddling.

I have lost* all my widgets.

I'll have to sort it all out when I've written my 2k for today. Bugger.

*Edited to add: not lost, just misplaced. I need more caffeine.

I'm a geek

I'm a geek. Or is it a nerd?

I'm not sure which but I designed the above spreadsheet to keep track of my Nano progress. It shows total words, how far I am from the 1667 a day that will get me through, how far I am from the 2000 a day (but with days-off built in) that will get me an early ending and what my daily word count is. It also has a total word count chart and a daily word count chart.

All you have to do is put in your total word count for the day and it does all the rest for you. I didn't make the spreadsheet this year, I've been using it for a while.

Which is worse: being a nerd or a geek?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I'm not voting

I'm not voting because we English don't get to vote in American elections.

We follow it closely and the outcome affects us but we don't get to choose. It can be frustrating.

I'm not going to stay up to listen to results. I'll hear enough about it in the morning.

Which author are you like?

Thanks to Writemindset for this little procrastinator from o'faust. You can paste in your writing and find which author you resemble.

It picked up that in my Nano "novel" I'm writing for children so it's not completely wrong.

Nano Progress Meter

I found a progress meter on Writertopia so here it is. You can even change the mood of the little writer guy. Today I'm a mixture of joyful, calm and ready to shoot the cat. She seems to have an upset tummy and cats don't have toilet paper. I've already had to wash her bum twice today and change my fleecy the same number of times. I'm not quite sure which emotion to choose.
What the Writer is Doing/Feeling

Very frustrated
Ready to shoot computer
Shocked at what's written
Watching TV
Logical & Calm
Working at novel

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I've got family visiting and I planned not to do Nano and yet somehow I find myself doing it.

Only 1411 words today but it's a start. I may not be around so much this month or I may be around more, procrastinating.
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