NaNoWriMo :: Day 13

Nanowrimo 2017

Well, here’s a thing. It is all going REALLY well. I’ll grant you, some of my writing is shonky as hell at this stage, but the plot is golden. I’m confident with where everything is heading, there’s no panic over motivation or characterisation. When I write my two leads (and right now this is simply a two character affair) they sit in my head with glorious clarity. There is reassurance and comfort in familiarity. All that needs to happen now is to keep the momentum going. The only fly in the ointment is that I forgot to update my word count over the weekend and therefore won’t get my ‘updated every day for 30 days’ badge. I’m a gamer, come on, this shit matters to me.

nano13th2
That gap’s gonna annoy me, you know…

However, as you can see, I’m over halfway to completion… but I doubt I’m actually halfway through the novel. Looking at where I am the final total’s gonna be around the 70k mark, and I’m being pretty economical with exposition. It just happens to be a long and complicated story, and I need to tell it complete before I can go back and consider chopping stuff out. Right now, however, according to the stats, I’ll be done with 50k around the 23rd, which still allows time to get the thing finished at my level by the end of the month. I hope to put some extra work in today and tomorrow in order to push myself to about 35k. That’s what I’d like to happen anyway.

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I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because I know how important it is with the limited free time available before Christmas. Most importantly of all however, I need to prove to myself I can go from start to finish and make this happen, because there are so many other half finished projects I could be working on apart from this novel, and they all could potentially make me some money. It has become a bit of a personal crusade now to show I’m capable of sticking with this through to the end, as that’s always the part of the process with which I fail. Saying you’ll create something is one thing, having the courage to complete the task is a different ask entirely.

Today’s going to be a lucky day. I’m going to make sure of that, and take a huge step towards a major goal.

Election Day Micropoetry

In the second of my poetry ‘sets’ looking at notable days in November’s calendar, I picked a day that as a follower of American politics has become synonymous with change. This year is not nearly as traumatic as the one that preceded it and allows a measure of considered reflection on how many of us have become complacent towards the concept of democracy.

I’m quite pleased with sections of this work, though on considered reflection there have been much needed reworkings. See if you think this has improved from the original.


Election Day

Democracy
It used to be:
A constant source,
Stability.

Not any more
Holding the door:
Look, apathy
It’s you and me.

A time to change,
Think, rearrange
Priorities:
Shift what we see.

It matters not
The wealth we’ve got;
Should, in the end
Still help your friends.

Each vote will count
The right amount,
Objectively:
They keep us free.

To not take part
Will break my heart:
Move, do your bit
Help promote it.

Remember who
Allowed you to
Be free, and strong
Where we belong.

They gave their lives
So we survive:
Through two World Wars,
Plus so much more.

Pencil draws cross
Marked in the box:
Whilst in the booth
Think, know of truth.

A vote should mean
One single theme:
Make change be real
Help truths reveal.


Old Friends

Again, through the wonders of time-travel, I’m writing a post on Sunday that should have been published on Wednesday, but that’s useful at least in terms of deciding what happens to both this website and my Patreon going forward. If you’re a Patron and have not yet taken part in my Feedback Survey, you can expect an email to ask you to consider giving some next week, before I open up the process to the general public. I’m quite happy with the way that poetry is now running, and organising a month’s content in advance has given a lot of freedom for other projects to take flight. Therefore, next month, I’ll be doing the same with a twist.

Before Xmas

This year the festive season will be celebrated in a very particular way: I’ll be producing 25 Haiku up to and including Christmas Day. However, I will be taking the Christmas period off: last day of ‘work’ for me will be December 22nd, returning to full activity on January 2nd. It is still not clear what December’s Patreon content will be, but I’ll have a better idea after the Feedback Survey is concluded. What I will be doing is starting to write the Haiku next week, as many of them will need particular festive pictures as accompaniment.

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I suspect there may be an Audio Advent Calendar too as there’s never a bad time to share music, however that’s not going to need that much additional planning. I’ve decided to not push particularly hard for new Patrons in December but to leave that for 2018: yes, I could give it a go but as most people’s cash over this time of year is quite difficult to come by, it seems only right and proper to not push the point.

Watch this space for more details of how Patreon may change, and what new things might be in store for the end of 2017…

All Saints Day Micropoetry

Things have been quite quiet on the prose front in November, mostly because I’m running a separate Haiku project on my personal Twitter. However, a daily poem remains on the IoW feed, with weekends off now to allow a bit more time for creativity to grow. I found writing every day was as exhausting as running or exercising, and giving myself a break is really beginning to show benefits. Here’s the first of four pieces of five separate sections, based on notable days in November.

The 1st of the month is All Saints Day for Catholics. Here are my thoughts on whether such celebrations matter in a modern context.


All Saints Day

This holy day,
Remembrance:
All those whose love
Triumphed past hate.

Understanding
That saints are made:
Demonstration
Better lives led.

This history
Presentation:
Reminder for
All those sinners.

Aspiration
To be finer:
Improve outlook
Become wiser.

This old order
Has long since passed
Religion used
To dictate life

Depressingly
For others, it
Remains a tool
For just such means.

This is unfair
A Universe
Full of knowledge
Is more than faith.

Comprehension,
Then: human saints
Allow minds that
Understanding.

This is their gift:
Grasping faith is
Made by humans,
And thus our path.

Enlightenment
Emotions give
Vital insight
To what we are.


NaNoWriMo: Day Six

Nanowrimo 2017

Firstly, apologies for the backdated nature of this post, but scheduling is becoming a bit of a lifeline, both forwards and backwards through my existence. I have, effectively, become a time traveller, which I’ve often thought would be the only means by which everything I wanted to do would get done. Amazingly, this now proves to be 100% accurate. This post should have been written on Monday, but that was the day I rewrote a ton of other stuff, scheduled a bunch of pictures and had a PT session. Instead, it’s being fitted in between more Gym time, poetry and some Instagram faffing.

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The main point of NaNoWriMo every year is to get people into the habit of writing consistently, to a deadline and to a word count. After you learn these techniques, nobody is then telling you that’s how to write everything. It is the same mentality that states there is more than one way to bake a cake, take a holiday, eat an apple or wear a shirt. Some things such as flying aircraft or splitting atoms require a very precise and well-documented set of directions. Writing, for a lot of people, is as much about instinct as principle. Once you ‘get’ what works best for you, being told this is bollocks and you have to do it this in a different manner is… well, not optimal.

The trick, as is the case with most things in life, is knowing yourself well enough to find the place and space that works for you. However, and this is vital, there are basic principles that need to be stuck to. This is the same framework that I remind my daughter of when she complains that her art teacher is being unfair when insisting she sticks to the principle of proportion and perspective. Once you’ve learnt the rules, then you get to break them. Understanding grammar, sentence structure, what’s surplus to requirement and what fiction needs to survive all have to be understood before you start fucking about with the presentation.

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If I wanted to be more mainstream, for instance, the casual swearing would have to go, but I’ve spent so many years having to put up with that restriction that frankly now I don’t give a fuck. I’m not an educational website here, this is what I am, and that includes adult language and a Restricted rating on pretty much everything I write as fiction. Once you grasp that this is simply my means of taking the rules I was taught and setting fire to them? Everything’s cool. That means that I’m here to point out that this week I’m on schedule to complete earlier than anticipated, and that I’m not prepared as yet to let too much plot into the world.

However, I will be offering some asides to the process, which includes this one. If I’m too busy writing to write about writing, it is no longer an issue to go back in time to remind you how important scheduling can be, and that nobody is perfect. As long as everything gets done, you don’t let anybody down and everyone is happy? Frankly, in my mind, it doesn’t matter what order stuff gets done. If there are things that are utterly unavoidable then you use those as your markers, and simply work around them.

That’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month.

#ThinkTober Week Three

Think-Tober

Finally, and with what is going to be a minimum amount of fanfare, here are the last 10 days of visual Haiku for October. I learnt an awful lot about myself and how my mind works best with these last images: however, we did go a fair bit off-piste with the ‘ink’ element. What this teaches me is that if I’m going to use a format going forward, then it needs to be defined a fair way in advance… which is now the plan with December’s Haiku ‘project’ which goes into pre-production this week.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BajkC7Wg0ta/?taken-by=internetofwords

https://www.instagram.com/p/BamLKY9ggzF/?taken-by=internetofwords

I like writing on things, not just pieces of paper, making items props: whether its the crisp packet whose contents I then ate or the Butternut Squash that became dinner, I’m also keen on recycling whenever possible. I’d also want to find more interesting means by which the Internet can be utilised, especially where video is concerned.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaooWB5AaDt/?taken-by=internetofwords

https://www.instagram.com/p/BarfOSGlQ90/?taken-by=internetofwords

There was a temptation just to use squares or rectangles for text. There’s gotta be more shapes, especially if it is Christmas.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bat6m69FYxj/?taken-by=internetofwords

https://www.instagram.com/p/BawuWy5F5YJ/?taken-by=internetofwords

Also, I gotta stop being embarrassed about doing stuff in public places. THIS IS ART AFTER ALL.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BazD3Y9lBuS/?taken-by=internetofwords

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba1pWNKFIUN/?taken-by=internetofwords

Of all the pieces I produced, this is probably my favourite, as it combines music and a real, tangible emotion of utter grief. I still miss David Bowie every day. This album has become my soundtrack for so many things and provided the perfect artistic backdrop for me to make Blackstar part of what I am. I hope he would approve.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba4lNEclgZE/?taken-by=internetofwords

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba63uaPlkjo/?taken-by=internetofwords

By the end of the month, something significant had altered within me. This project was liberating, and enlightening. I truly showed what I was, and what was possible as a means of expression. I’ll absolutely be doing this again, in various forms going forward, quite possibly on a bi-monthly basis.

This is the most fun I’ve had making stuff for myself since my mid-teens.

NaNoWriMo: Day Three

Nanowrimo 2017

Today was an unexpected day with company, as my daughter was given a day off school. That gave me a chance to play some games, relax a bit into the writing and sort out some outstanding gubbins. Mostly, the major task was prepping protagonists to meet for the first time. I almost got to the start of the chapter where that happens, but fatigue has told me it is time to stop.

Word Count at present is 7283, which is maintaining the over 2k a day. I’m planning to be at 50k by the start of week four so I can do the extra I need. I’m looking at 60k for the finish line. If I can keep this up, it is totally doable, but that will depend on me being disciplined and making time every day. Assuming nothing untoward happens with the rest of my scheduling, it is totally in the bag.

I’ll spend some time tomorrow to give you a better idea of exactly what this story is all about. For now, time for some much-needed shut-eye

NaNoWriMo: Day One

Nanowrimo 2017.png

I decided to go all stream of consciousness on your arses this month. Clearly, I’m saving all the best words, the biggest words and the strongest words for the novel, because YOU KNOW THAT’S THE POINT. This morning there was unexpectedly satisfying yoga pre-session, which amazingly helped with the formation of the opening salvo of action. I have my plot laid out: the major protagonists are already placed, their lives are drawn with more accuracy than has normally been the case.

I’m trying to imagine what everything would look like if this was a movie. I write my best work when it is clear and precise in my head, and in that regard, the opening feels the strongest of any I’ve written. Hopefully, there is enough mystery to keep potential readers engaged, without the need for further exposition. The main thrust of the action takes place in East London, which was where I spent a lot of very happy times as a child and where one of my best friends still lives. It’s a rich backdrop that works well with the incongruity of my real stage.

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This is a story which, from page one, asks you to accept a completely different worldview than the norm: in that regard, messing with your head is one of the best things to do with words. I will completely screw you up, readers. It gives me an intoxicating sense of control that would never be possible in this bland, uninteresting reality. This is also a disaster story… homage to all those brilliant movies where you know what’s going to happen… except who survives to the end.

The plan each day is to keep going until I a) run out of time or b) get bored, because that never makes for good content. I’m certainly not sticking to a strict daily count either. If the urge takes me, away I’ll go.

This is the best start to the month I’ve ever had.

All Change

NaNoWriMo 2017

Okay, there’s no avoiding the inevitable. With this being the last day of October, NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I have my official site blurb all edited and uploaded, there’s a book cover made and we are ready to roll.

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Starting tomorrow I’ll be doing some changes to this site, all in line with the proposed changes you’ll see on the Patreon. Don’t panic: if you’re a Patron, you’ll have an opportunity (starting on the 6th) to have direct input on how you’d like things to move forward. There is other stuff too, but a girl has to hold some surprises. They’ll also be a reasonably regular flow of content here apart from talking about my novel, and writing about (talking about) my novel.

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I’m also encouraging people to come and cheer me on: I’ll be posting this year exclusively using the @InternetofWords account, in the vain hope it might get some new followers. Feel free to come along and join me.

This journey will be the best one yet.

I Love You

30 THANK YOUS 2

I’ve been looking a way of thanking those people who have helped me get to this stage in my life: ultimately, my best work is with words. Therefore, I’ve spent the last year giving back to friends and RL people who I have a real and tangible bond. These gifts have taken several forms: hand -decorated letters, real-life statements of intent and poetry for those people without whom I would simply be less than I am. Then, I realised there are a bunch of people, many who have followed me for years, that I’ve never truly thanked for their contribution to my existence.

That’s when the #30ThankYous Project was born.

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Every day, starting on November 1st, someone will be gifted a Haiku. I’m very intentionally not going to release a list of recipients: this is not about anything other than surprise and genuine gratefulness. It’s not being done to make a point or impress an audience. These are 30 people without whom I would simply not be what I am. All of them give their words and time freely and without expectation of thanks too, and that is what matters the most to me. Everybody will get an image and a hand-penned poem, just for them.

everheard

Someone, I can absolutely guarantee, will be annoyed they never made it on the list. This understanding was almost enough to derail the entire project before it began until I grasped that this project is an approximate metaphor for Social media itself.  Whatever I do, regardless of the intent, will eventually upset someone. I accept this and still feel the task is worth completing. In fact, looking back on what I’ve written, this is some of my best haiku in action. When they’re all done, I’ll archive them all on Flickr for posterity, so if people want a physical copy they can print off a high-definition version.

The first one will be published 9am GMT on Wednesday morning, on my @AlternativeChat Twitter feed. I’ll see you there.

 

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