An Unexpected Holiday

Today was a day I expected to be working… but the great morass that is childcare has used up one of my remaining one-and-a-half holidays as the council and the (new) school didn’t seem to want to do anything before the end of the summer holidays.

I debated getting up early and writing… but staying up late last night (on Tuesdays I can watch whatever I like on TV) took its toll, so I rolled out of bed around nine-ish. Now I have various chores to do (including a trip up to the old house to collect small person’s remaining books and toys) and enough to keep me busy until this evening.

That being said, this is a priceless opportunity to write tonight, as the other half will want his own TV/gaming time, and there’s nothing stopping me making dinner via slow cooker, which means that once I get the boring snoring housework done, I can get writing.

Today’s goal: 500 words. Nothing fancy, just beginning the ramp up to 2k per day #NaNoWriMo requirement, which after four (!) months of next to nothing requires some adjustment. The fact that I no longer have a job that requires a lot of typing doesn’t help (lol) so I also need to plan out the possibility of taking my laptop into the office to type on at lunchtime.
Besides not writing, I’ve been on a solid reading kick lately. I’ve just blasted through my space opera favourites, and am gradually acquiring paperback copies of some fantasies which look /so/ pretty on the shelf I might skip my TBR to reread them *slaps self on wrist*

Having moved house, and pared down the 1000+ books to … approximately 500+ books, I still have a rockin’ great TBR list, which /in theory/ will keep me nice and busy in the run-up to Christmas. In practice, well, I have a fully stamped £10 off Waterstones card, so I doubt my TBR will go without expansion in the near future.

Another development is that small person has taken to reading independently – enough that he is requesting books in the 8-12 category, which just so happens to include some of my absolute favourites. It also gives us a platform (read: excuse) to keep up with the latest offerings in that category.

My other half has said there’s a database he wants me to put together for him, which I would love to do, but he hasn’t yet deigned to give me a specification of any kind, so I’m largely sputtering in irritation at the structure of our standard app database at work. WHY are some things laid out so badly? And that doesn’t even get me started on the UI – which looks nice and consistent but isn’t remotely flexible. How long will it take them to accept a relative approach to sizing (hint: columns) instead of absolute?

What else…? Moving house, moving school, moving job… I haven’t been writing, though I *have* at least managed to consolidate a lot of my ideas and plans into a single linked file, which will be an absolute banger to move into any kind of upgradeable format. My hope is that I find the motivation to pull my finger out and develop the application I’ve designed for worldbuilding purposes… before I die of old age.

Ready, Set, Go for a cuppa!

I finished my novel outline (yay!) and got approximately nowhere with the outlining application (boo!), but I’ve managed to pick up just enough JS to track my writing… though I can’t log it yet.

From the outline, it looks like I’ll be writing a 120k-plus beast, so I’ve decided to try and write it in three months flat #likeanidiot

Added to my new job (many minutes of travel required for commute) starting next week, and the ridiculous heat (I can’t exist properly outside a very narrow climatic band, and 18°-minimum days are beginning to take their toll), and moving house (not yet; this moves glacially slow it turns out), that’s a tall order.

On the other hand, I have the most minute detail I’ve ever included in an outline, and I actually like this story (for now; no promises). My daydreamed future posits this as the first book I ever publish, so that’s a good omen, right?

For now, it looks like I just need to get going: apply BICHOK, take regular tea-and-cake breaks, and bash out a few k per day #unachievableGoals

…and maybe spend a few minutes here and there on writing an application so I don’t have a mile-long Word document. Maybe.

Two Kinds of Language

Writing an application to write my novel in while outlining my novel wasn’t the most efficient thing I’ve ever done…

So far, I’m still getting stuck on the interface. I think I need to suck it up and refresh my JavaScript, so that I can hide the divs as I finish with them. After the elements are actually in place, I can work on loading and saving, and then I can faff about with trying to put it into a desktop container so I can write to/read from files.

I know what I want it to do; I just need to write it. The amount of JS that seems to require is fairly frightening.

Is it possible to combine JS and PHP? I’m confident in my ability to produce a desktop application in the latter; it’s the former that worries me.

*some quick googling later* yes, I can. So; let’s keep it simple. JS for the page elements (frontend) and PHP for the processing (backend). We’ll see how horrifically slow this makes it after I’ve put it all together.

Looks like I will spend next weekend (I’m away this one) putting my application together.

Ironically, at the moment the actual outline is going much more smoothly; by focusing on one chunk at a time I’ve managed to avoid losing interest.

Getting Stuck In

I’m tearing along outlining my next attempt at a manuscript, though it seems to be growing into a beast. Originally projected at 10k for the outline, aiming at 100k for the draft, I’m now anticipating more like 12.5k and 125k respectively. For someone whose greatest single effort so far is 70k, that’s ambitious, but then it’s for a whole story and not just twenty chapters.

I’ve definitely noticed that doing some each day improves my motivation – as does blogging about it, so I’ll be trying to resume a daily update here in hopes that it inspires me to finish my first novel.


Waiting for things to happen is hard. Making other things happen while you’re waiting is almost as bad – note that I *still* haven’t typed up all of the handwriting I did on the Edge about a week ago – and I’m in the middle of outlining the first book.

Of course, distracting myself by designing an outlining tool (and tripping up on the execution of one tiny feature which I can get around) probably didn’t help… but I did somehow get my train of thought onto a couple of stories (kind of related to the Edge) which I’ve never quite got around to writing down before.

Six of one…

Learning and Doing

It’s been a while since I made an update, so I thought I’d give another insight into my tiny brain. I’ve been up to the following over the last few weeks, my holiday to Ireland (the island) notwithstanding. Ooh, that reminds me; I need to bake some Guinness bread…

I’ve been a busy wee bee for the last few weeks, doing far too many things at once:

  • Jobhunting
  • Writing
  • Coding

Update on my work status: I’ve been made redundant, to finish at the end of this month. I am currently job hunting (and polishing my CV every few days), with all the accompanying stress of talking to recruiters. Then there’s the realisation that I’ll probably be taking a customer-facing, nippy-about role while I work on my dev skills, coupled with the fact that my settlement payment will probably get blown in one go on either clearing my debts (except the car) or adding to the house deposit.

Update on my writing: for most of the month, I’ve written next to nothing. I didn’t write a single word for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I can’t find it in myself to feel bad about that. Over the bank holiday weekend, I sat and wrote in my notebook while I was waiting for SQL server to un-fubar itself, and accidentally wrote six pages that I have yet to finish typing up.

Update on my coding: I have got off my backside and installed some dev tools on my laptop, largely because there aren’t any trainee developer jobs going that aren’t scams where you have to pay and don’t get a job at the end. In view of that, I clearly need to focus on building up my skills from ‘recognises the language when she sees it’ to ‘can actually develop apps in this biatch’ with accompanying portfolio evidence.

Overall: I don’t feel very relaxed right now, and the dishes in the sink reflect that rather well. Of course, being ordered by your seven-year-old to refrain from drinking alcohol on odd-numbered days (with the sole exceptions of Christmas and New Year) doesn’t help either: I had a *lot* of tea yesterday. On the other hand, I’ll feel even less relaxed when I’m unemployed, so that’s a dose of perspective I suppose.

Coming Down Around My Ears

Alrighty! Let’s list out the Things Which Have Gone Wrong lately:

  1. I didn’t finish my novella in March
  2. I’ve got a 7-8/13 chance of being made redundant (but as my job is so peculiar I doubt they’ll keep me)
  3. I am already behind on my Camp NaNoWriMo target

So it turns out that, along with my apparent inability to finish a manuscript even when it’s pathetically short, I am genuinely cursed in my career. It’s like this: when I approach two years in one role, something happens to change it. That could turn out to be beneficial when I’m older and have more stories to tell, but for now having only two years’ experience in something (and still no degree) doesn’t qualify me for much.

My second role lasted two years and ended because I moved a couple of hundred miles away. My second role lasted 22 months (and one week) and ended when the company split and my job description changed pretty radically. The next role has lasted 26 months, and I’m probably going to be made redundant due to yet another buyout – but if I don’t, my job will definitely change again.

Which means I’m going to be looking for a new job (in all probability) with the following things hanging over my head:

  • looking to buy a house
  • can’t take too long as I have debts to pay
  • no idea whatsoever which direction to pursue
  • badly need to do more writing if I’m ever to complete a manuscript

And look how many words I can vom out when I don’t attempt to meet a target! #irony

New Outlook

I realised last week that journalling my progress wasn’t really helping anything, so I’ve held off on that for now. My current perspective is that it’s not really worth noting anything but a milestone, which today includes reaching the 20k mark on Cost of Living!

If I can maintain 1k per day for the next two weeks, I’ll hit my target with 4 days to spare (i.e. to rest before I embark on the insanity of The Pattern Book for Camp NaNo)… And hopefully won’t end up going ‘why did I vom all this awful?!?!?!’ when I come back to it in about a year. Fingers crossed.

…I say ‘rest’, but what I actually mean is time to do something other than vom the words out: get caught up on adulting (blech), create some mood boards on Pinterest to keep me inspired (meh), or just blitz-reread something (not likely given my TBR!).

Then there’s the added possibility that a procrastiscarf™ might actually prove to be a beneficial tool this time, since there’s so much about knitting that I can’t possibly get by without a visual reference. Then *gasp* for the next one in that series I need to figure out the difference between English *spit-take* and continental knitting, and after *that* I need to learn (enough to blag, anyway) about crochet! I didn’t make this easy on myself, did I?

Better In The Morning

0840 – Doing considerably better today than yesterday – first my friend cheered me up with a story idea about a sociopath trying to clear her name of murder, then my other half made me a hot toddy, and then there was Whisky. Definite improvement.

I’m hesitantly writing the scene I sort-of began yesterday, but I expect it’ll take a while to get going. I’ve also definitely messed with my plan, but not so much that I’m totally derailed.

No idea what to read – my TBR calls, but not in a way that I can’t ignore. I just don’t know! I suppose I ought to focus on finishing the ones I’m partway through…

0922 – Hit the target, not quite satisfied as usual. If I finish this early, I might just nip onto the Pattern Book before April begins. I need all the help I can get to hit *that* target on time.

Left Behind

0700 – I was all set to trot out a thousand words before leaving for work this morning, until I actually opened my laptop and realised I hadn’t synced it up. This is the other side of the portability coin; your home machine needs to be kept up to date or you’re stuck.

 1512 – Alright, I’m now convinced that I’m having a downswing today. The low this morning came back to neutral following slightly hysterical laughter, but the lunchtime one still hasn’t abated two hours later. Got a bit of writing done, but I need to do more. Tonight: not reading but writing.

Plodding On

0824 – As could have been predicted, I didn’t write last night, instead reading more of Lost Fleet. It still bothers me that they end so abruptly, but I can’t exactly fault an author for getting me to read more!

Today’s writing goal: don’t get lost and write endless amounts for the action scene that’s coming. I can always clean it up later.

1421 – Still need to write a chunk, but I’m into one of the scenes I envisaged from the very beginning so this should be fun.

Current mood: Galadriel.

Missed Opportunity

0834 – Whoops. I got used to no weekend target and kind of… forgot to write anything yesterday? This, after plotting out a story on Saturday *and* writing a proper amount. Yeah, ‘whoops’ covers it.

I must therefore catch up today, and somehow squeeze in two thousand words or thereabouts; that should be fun [sarcasm].

1252 – Not quite there yet, but well on my way. I hope to be done in time to do some more reading tonight. What is it about some books that they seem to end so abruptly? That happened three times to me yesterday as I reread The Lost Fleet… In massive contrast to Firebrand, which seemed to have another fifty pages after the end.


1645 – I love the rain. The other half complains about it but I don’t understand – it’s not too hot or too cold, there’s total cloud cover and it’s gloriously damp everywhere. Not to mention afterwards you get petrichor. Perfection.

With regard to writing, I’ve just re-planned a story I’ve been working on for a while – though from the looks of my schedule I won’t actually get to it until December. Oh, well; that’ll get me through Christmas and New Year and the doldrums of January, and probably well into February too. Since I’m aiming for a fairly hefty word count (150k) it should go a decent way towards my million, too.

Er, actually… I’ve just totted it up and that will be the thing that takes me over a million! This time next year I could be in a position to polish up a draft and start on the next very scary stage of querying…

For now, let’s focus on arriving at the end of March with a novella. *cracks knuckles* let’s begin!*

*after a quick cuppa

Working with a Book Pre-Hangover

1016 – I must hang my head in shame, for I did not finish the new book last night. I still had a hundred pages to go when I left for work this morning, and I doubt I’ll get through them all in my lunch break. Over 24 hours to read 800 pages? My eyes are lowered.*

I’m in that halfway-through-a-book** distracted state where I can’t quite tear my mind from the story, hence the pre-hangover. Protohangover?

Regardless, I have much to occupy my time once I finally reach the end – after weeping and mourning, of course. I have a trilogy and its trilogy prequel to read (so that OH will finally read Green Rider), and my enormous TBR***, and of course my writing projects. There’s not even any 6nations rugby this weekend to distract me with eighty minutes of GLORIOUS DEFE-VICTORY!****

*Wheel of Time, which my OH really needs to reread.

**Though I’m actually 7/8 of the way through, the state between haven’t-started-yet and just-finished is always referred to as halfway. ALWAYS.

***I should really count that up again and track it, or something.

****So used to Scotland’s Glorious Defeats that it’s hard to process actually winning.


Today’s writing goal is the same as before – hit the target and no further, lest I be distracted from seeking the climax of the story. Only after I have finished may I return to writing down this story of novella length.

Also the Guinness punch a colleague brought in is doing wonders to improve my mood. Though it would be pretty buoyant in any case, as I always enjoy having two additional computers running on my desk.

1127 – I hit my target, though I’m not really happy with either of those scenes.

1356 – Finished the book! Let the actual book hangover commence… While it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, and there was a surprising amount of stuff after the climax, I’m pretty happy with it. You know, except for the fact that it’ll probably be about two years before the next one.


1451 – I have a tale to tell; a tale of a near miss.

I went home at lunch, having already received notification that my books had been delivered.

As I pulled onto the drive, I noticed that the recycling bin seemed to be in a different spot from where it had been this morning; I duly checked inside and, finding it empty, pulled it back into its usual place.

On opening the door, I found a card from Amazon. When I read it, I almost had a heart attack:

In recycling bin as it has not been emptied yet.

Striving not to panic, and failing miserably, I rushed to the black bin – just in case.

Within, well beyond normal arm’s reach, were my parcels. The relief I felt was incomparable; I almost wept as I retrieved them. Finally, I thought as I opened it, It’s here!

1456 – I’ve hit my target for the day – and as you can see above, my evening is going to be spent with a brand new book. 😀


0932 – I think my other half is mad at me. I’ll live, though it always seems utterly horrid at the time – something about his actual anger makes him seem a stranger, which is why I’m glad it’s rare. I need to focus on getting the wording down, which should at least present him with something new to read?

Had a totally new idea this morning – it deviates from everything else I’ve got, which is good for creativity and bad for my schedule 😀

1437 – I read furiously at lunchtime, finishing BV! Now I just need to slog through MS (leaving the interesting stuff at the end* for tomorrow) and I’m ready to leap right into Firebrand!

*the last two? chapters, I think. The only part that really sticks with me, anyway.

Also – I have now written down that idea I had earlier, and inadvertently started narrating it… which seems to indicate I’ll need to actually plot it soon. Pants.

1620 – so I vommed some good words. Action scenes tend to flow right out without a great deal of effort, whereas anything where people aren’t in danger takes some work. Could be worse, I suppose; I could be incapable of… of… writing at all?

Wow. Total mental cessation for a minute there. Rare are the moments when my mind is not racing to escape its cage.

Not Enough Hours

1322 – It seems I can only choose between (reading OR writing) AND (housework). Doesn’t seem fair, but I suppose that’s adulting for you: nothing quite goes your way. Ah, well; if I hit my writing target that’s an achievement, as opposed to a reread that isn’t going to change anything except when I finish reading the new book…

Also the fact that it’s Pancake Day today means I don’t have to cook dinner! Woohoo! Just about the only time the other half volunteers to do it is for pancakes or steak. Then again, I’m not sure about the nutritional value of tonight’s meal 😀

Now, to focus on the target. All I have to do is complete this one measly scene, already begun, and I can rest and pretend I’ve done loads today.

1405 – I broke 10k on Cost of Living (out of 34k) – with a load of waffle I’ll almost definitely be paring down. That said, there are a few areas I think I’ll be expanding, as there’s lots of room for additional detail. Especially of the sensory kind. Either way, I’m free to read with impunity (except for adulting) tonight. Woot!


0826 – I’ve maintained a minimum pace for about five days now, and the fact that I managed to do it over the weekend tells me I’m onto a winner. Now, the important part is to keep going. Keep going until I’m done with this story – and onto the next one.

I do love it when I get a new idea, too; especially one in a totally different genre/setting from whatever I’m working on. It keeps me from getting bored with current projects as I need something to distractimicate me (attention span of a gnat).

[Just in case you were wondering, it’s a dystopian/cyberpunk setting for a retelling]

1056 – It’s getting gradually richer and more interesting, watching these characters grow and build, though I need to be careful about not introducing too many; this *is* only a novella.

1523 – A little more done; I’ve moved onto the next scene. There’s a wealth of stuff to keep track of now, which could prove a problem later. That said, I think the main problem is going to be imagery. I don’t think I’m getting across what everything looks and smells like…

1703 – Must remember to work on imagery another day; GR reread to do tonight (I’ve got to get the remaining 80% of FRC done tonight, followed by at least 20% of HKT, followed by the rest and BV tomorrow, then MS [roughly 80%] on Wednesday, so that I can go straight from MS to Firebrand on Thursday. After which point I’ll have a massive cumulative book hangover, which if nothing else should have me focusing on my writing until it fades).

Also, I added a load of scenes to the Pattern Book plan, which is definitely too big to complete in April unless I disdain something like food (or possibly just ignore my family over Easter weekend and write around 10k per day).

That’s not the only one – I’ve planned out Flicker (May/June project), which will carry me over to the second Camp NaNo (Steel Fist rewrite) in July.

Getting There: Planning Edition

0839 – Spent Far Too Long last night syncing up my laptop to the cloud files I work on away from it – serves me right for doing masses of reorganisation on a different machine, I suppose. Didn’t write last night; I’ll have to do some tonight, instead.

1543 – Will have a quiet night in writing tonight, I think. I want to charge through and get as much done as possible while the plotting is still fresh. In addition, I’ve realised that I don’t have to rewrite Rav’n! I mean, I do, as there are elements which I haven’t planned, and others that need tweaking, and I’m mostly annoyed at the pacing, but I don’t have to rewrite anything to take Knitting into account! The virtue of not having much of that in it, I suppose, as opposed to the stories where I will need to seriously rethink major plot points as they no longer fit…

Curse my enduring need for consistency!

Also, this (fourth? fifth?) plotting method seems to be working for me. Will discuss once I’ve actually managed to complete a manuscript.


0820 – More in the sense of the lack of winds than any glumness* – I’m waiting for the weekend so I can begin my reread, and it’s going to be difficult. I read a new book last night – good but odd, and I doubt I’ll go looking for the sequel, but it’s left me thinking (since it came from my TBR) that I need to actually start *reading* some of the books I own.

But I really want to do some rereads! I’m just about ready for Codex Alera again, and (same author) I think it’s time to redo Cinder Spires. Then there are the other Valdemar ones (I may also have pre-ordered a different one which will be out in a couple of weeks), as well as *all* the standalones (and presumably, series starters) that sit waiting eagerly to be picked up next.

…I think I just guilted myself into reading my TBR.

*not least because Storm Doris is currently blowing a hoolie** outside

**Manx expression, should be fairly clear what it means***

***unlike ‘skeet’, Yessir

0920 – TFW you wrote 5k in a location and never bothered to mention its name once. Why did I do that? Why??

1121 – I’ve written my daily allowance, but I don’t want to stop. It’ll have to wait; I’m venturing out into the Weather later for stationery…

1256 – Fist pump! I love it when I get something tricky right the first time! Even when it’s only address label mail merge and printing. 😀


0829 – Oh no. I think I’m about to abandon my draft of Ice & Earth, as I’ll have to rewrite swathes of it to conform to the new standard of magic.

I could turn straight to redoing Steel Fist, or begin on The Pattern Book, but maybe I ought to have a break from fantasy and work on something that will never depend on magic. Whatever I end up drafting next, it needs to be plotted before I begin; I think I’ve finally found the method for not getting completely bored of what I’m writing.

How I Write (Apparently):

  1. Plot in broad strokes
  2. Break down into scenes
  3. Name a few characters
  4. Put scenes into template spreadsheet, also the names I have
  5. Write a bit against a scene according to my timetable
  6. Put it in order (will mostly be right in the spreadsheet)
  7. Put scenes into single file in specified order
  8. Review


0828 – I didn’t get much written yesterday, though my plotting triumph remains an achievement. I’ve now got a reading problem: the new Green Rider book is out on Thursday next week**. Rereading the series (working back at the rate of one a day) will commence on Saturday. Problem is, I’m going to finish Calamity today, leaving three full days without something to read*. My other half suggested a reread of Warbreaker (he’s a Sanderson fanboy, in case you couldn’t tell) but that doesn’t cover more than a day, and I really ought to make a dent in my TBR.

Cue grumbling as I yank out the two things I haven’t finished yet. Bah.

*The horror! This is not to be borne!

**Danged transatlantic releases, making me wait two whole extra days for a book, even if it does have a waaaaay nicer cover

1634 – I’ve hit my writing target and rearranged my Uber Nerdy Calculation Word Count Tracking Sheet (again), this time to reflect a) more realistic word counts, b) my second draft of Steel Fist (replotted for Knitting {haha; *wipes tear from eye* as if I’ve *actually* taken that into account yet!}) and c) the expansion of Hidden Purls into a four-part series.

Mental plotting: I’m on about the tenth revision of one crucial scene in Leonora; I can’t decide exactly where it should take place, but I know exactly what must happen in it… when will this be done? Usually writing one version down is enough to make it congeal in my head! #whingewhinemoancomplain

Angry Bunny

1059 – Extremely Cross with the current state of my work laptop – it keeps crashing on me!?!?? This, after my mouse battery died so I’m on the trackpad and keep reaching for the mouse #fml

1206 – People with no sense of urgency despite copious explicit warnings are a source of aggravation to me.

I did a bunch of writing and plotting yesterday, but I don’t feel as though I’m going as well as I could; there’s basically a whole story to plot before 1st April for Camp NaNo, and I don’t think I’m going to achieve much of a word count unless I mystically spend most of march finishing my current draft.

I also planned a full rewrite of my 2015 NaNo, which will hopefully become a properly readable story. You know, when I get to it. Which will be ages. It’s a pain that I’ve decided to make all of the magic cohesive, since it’ll mean rewriting everything, but since there aren’t any properly finished drafts, that’s probably not as big an upset as I feel. Though redoing my 2016 NaNo isn’t going to be pleasant…

…or the one I’m currently doing, which was actually kind of the inspiration for the change in the first place, indirectly.

Making Life Harder For Myself Since 1990.

Also, I need better working titles. “Ice and Earth” is unique, but not interesting. I think they should be at least indicative of something that happens in the story…

It’s a toss-up whether I get any writing done today, what with all the adulting I can’t seem to stop doing* and reading I need to do**; why don’t I have a job with shorter hours? Working full time in an office is bleh.

*please send help!

**I agree to ‘swaps’ with my other half; I’ll read one (series, usually) of his if he’ll read one of mine. This one isn’t for anything I’m gung-ho about, but the next one will finally get him reading one of my faves! *dancing in chair*

Also I’m pretty certain what my next tattoo will be – keeping it smol this time (so I don’t have to save up for months to get it) and significant. After that, though, what about a Generation Snowflake? The only way to make people shut up about that stuff is to own it, after all…

1544 – Happy Bunny!

I love my best friend! Just reading over our convo from yesterday was enough to inspire me to plot not one but *four* stories for Hidden Purls! I now add the tag… *drumroll*

The Pattern Book.

Yay! Plotted out by chapters, with characters named and threads forming; I’m on a roll 😀

Impotent Fuming

1012 – I was doing so well this morning! Then I encountered a bug in Word: opening a file apparently automatically closes the one you’re working on… which is particularly annoying when you’ve written about a thousand words since opening it. Thank logic for autosave, but I still lost a few paragraphs. Bah.

1049 – finally made it to the end of that scene, nervously saving every paragraph. 1600 words today, yay! Now to attack something else this afternoon, after I do the boring boring shopping…

Definitely Not At Home Here

1038 – I’m off work this week, currently visiting the other half at his very looooong course in Pompey, having seen Stonehenge and Scotland’s loss on Sunday. We didn’t do much of anything yesterday (except go and see the next best thing to Deadpool in the cinema*) and today looks to be similarly relaxing except for the whole I’m-actually-going-to-crack-open-my-laptop-and-do-some-writing thing.

*No, it definitely wasn’t 50 shades anything; it was clearly Lego Batman

In other news, I appear to have begun the writing bug [snick snick] in my small person; he is embarking on a HP fanfiction entitled ‘The Chamber of Objects’. If all goes well, he can commiserate with me on the writing process by the time he’s about eight :). Then again, does seem to be holding his attention as well…

Speaking of coding, it’s been a long time since I did anything but tinker with html, and I’ve been thinking about dipping my toes back in to turn my EPIC SPREADSHEET OF DOOM!™ into an application with database instead of a Great Enormous Beast which will fall over if I keep making tweaks to it.

Probably not worth doing at the moment; I’m also toying with doing some knitting (partly because of the Knittingverse and partly because there’s this one lace scarf pattern I did once which was Wonderful and I can’t find it for love nor… well, I haven’t actually tried money yet, but I can’t find it on the internet.

So, probably going to console myself with rewatching movies of men in skirts and sandals (Troy, Gladiator, 300, etc.), rewatching LotR (much better than the Hobbit ones, despite excellent British cast in latter) and writing.

Pants, I should go and do some wording while Small Person is languishing over his bath.

1110 – 825 words later, I feel as though I’m allowed to go and look at a different story now.

A Good Yarn

1041 – Yesterday’s aside of knitting-related magic spawned a whole new approach to my entire world setting, as well as SIX new stories. That’s fun, and nice, and all, but I was 1k from reaching 2% of my entire planned word total – and now I’m 12k away! Bah.

On the other hand, I’m still on track, and have done a wee bit more wording today; enough to hit my target at least. I’m slightly concerned about the way the target drops off; the one big weakness of Writetrack is that if you get up above target, it doesn’t project a finish date at current rate.

Also, expect knitting-themed puns for a while.

Insidious Knitting

0921 – It seems I’ve inadvertently made knitting a thing in Ice&Earth. There’s no particular reason for this, though I ought to point out that I myself am a knitter [awkward AF for a lefty], but I think I’m going to leave it in. There’s not enough epic fantasy with mundane activities traditionally assigned to women…*

…and now I have two images to convey: the grandmother (probably in a war-room) whipping out her knitting during a break, and the fishermen who knit their protective ‘jumpers’ between sailings.

Magic system where you knit the thread into the shape you need and then cast off… visual of a battle where the magic is ‘cast’ as from a fishing rod… pants. That’s a new idea I need to write down.

{you just read a prime example of the way I come up with new ideas; never know when that might be useful. But knitting fishermen and grandmother generals are MINE!}

*counter-examples wanted: comment or message me. I want to read these things!

1120 – Aaand I told my best friend and now Hidden Purls is my NaNo 2017 project. Unless I cave and do it over a holiday or something.

1155 – OK, what did I do with my backups?!? Where have my backups from the last week gone? Eep!

UPDATE – they’re apparently safe and sound but not on my USB stick. *heaves giant sigh* at least my paranoia is paying off…

A Burst of Enthusiasm

1048 – Hit today’s target [more than] twice over, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Unfortunately, Leo keeps yanking my attention – especially when driving to and from work – so I need to start plotting that out soon or risk total distraction from IAE.

Admittedly, my main issue with Leo is that {in my head, at least} the entire cast has regional British accents (from Nirish to Geordie), which are beginning to leak over into Aelyn’s family. It’s only a matter of time before they all start doing it – and then where will I be? Struggling to write dialogue, that’s where.

1248 – Broken 2k, and not even really on purpose. I sort of took it as a challenge that my by-scene average word count was so low and have apparently begun to increase it… and in the process have laid the groundwork for later Plot Points.

1313 – Almost at 3k – we’ll overtake my (non-)draft of the Edge soon. This is kind of fun…

1449 – broke 3k, no longer have any begun scenes under 500 words. Not bad; now to write some which haven’t been started and keep that base number up. My scene average is 1080, which is nice but doesn’t get me to my target.

I’m Probably Lighter Than I Was Last Week

0718 – So I was ill yesterday, following a visit by my parents over the weekend. It’s at least twice as bad when one’s other half isn’t around to at least offer sympathy, though honestly mine isn’t very good at that. At least I didn’t irritate the bear by clambering over him as I dashed to the loo to throw up. [I am now largely devoid of digestion, hence the title]

I can keep drinks down now (I haven’t braved food yet), so it’s back to work today. Fingers crossed there’s nothing too strenuous to handle… though there’s a solid chance I’ll have to cover a couple of interviews.

I (obviously) didn’t get any writing done over the weekend, and yesterday I just slept, basically. Which puts me behind by two days, as well as full of a headache *whinge*

Today’s goal: write to the target. Nothing more. At least I’ve done enough housework that I shouldn’t have to run around adulting until tomorrow at the earliest 🙂

0923 – I’ve hit my target, and my head feels like I’ve been hit. Make it stahp! *sigh* Anyway, back to work…

1504 – I’ve successfully kept some food down! Yay! Just need to manage some adulting tonight, do a weeny bit more writing, and I’ll practically be back to normal. Won’t be touching alcohol for a wee bit though…

1702 – I love writing. I get to collect lines like ‘necromancy and probably human sacrifices’. Also [warning: sappy] I realised today that there are several megs’ worth of Completely Unique Content on my laptop – stuff that literally doesn’t exist anywhere else but inside my mind. That, more than anything else, is why I do this. [end sappy]

Totally A Grown Up (Not!)

0945 – I was reduced to leaning on my seven-year-old this morning for the required logic and reason to find my keys. Despite doing Boring Grown Up Things last night, I still somehow managed to put four completely different pillowcases on the bed [I maintain that’s not my fault; the other half has clearly been hiding them] and wake up late this morning. Snakebites notwithstanding…

Today, I have almost reached my target on I&E, though it feels a bit like I’m wittering. I still need to flesh out more of that one plotwise, but I keep going off to Leonora in my head. It doesn’t help that I know the plot of I&E backwards but am still kersploring where Leonora will go.

Fingers crossed I manage to tidy the house enough tonight – and eat something. And change small person’s sheets. Crowning throne! Why is it that people always want to visit when/right after my other half has abandoned me for training?

Oh – in case it wasn’t clear: I refer to my various stories by their working titles because a) The One With The Thing That Happens has already been done and b) that would give the plot away and c) there are Simply Too Many.

…OTOH, titling an epic fantasy something like The Thing That Happened To The Main Character might be an interesting way to go.

1014 – I’ve hit the count AND have a much better idea of where I’m going at the moment; all to the good.


0822 – I’ve literally done more adulting this morning than in the last three days. I’m *exhausted*.

On the other hand, I’m also woefully behind on writing, so I need to make sure I get as much of that done as possible today.

Perhaps writing down the scenes from other stories might encourage me? No, you say – it will just distract me? Pants.

0853 – So my subconscious, ever-present desire to avoid wording (kind of) has Paid Dividend: I have discovered that my book list [which details pretty much every word I’ve ever written] is woefully short on counts I’ve done on some stories. Including one, which I’ve semi-drafted already, at 23k and climbing as I add in the files I’ve got. Fingers crossed I locate more words on more stories as I go through; this is the tracker I’m using to see when I reach the coveted million.

1130 – I’ve written a few hundred words on Leonora {thbpbpbpt} and updated the word count for The Edge [it’s over 40k!!!!], and am determined to get *something* done on Ice&Earth this afternoon, though it may only be a couple of c. Very impressed with my tracking spreadsheet now, though it does put me in mind of needing a program. If I’m not careful, I’m going to end up with a spreadsheet for each story, the master sheet, and fifty hundred million* text documents with the actual writing in, as well as the original I’m-just-vomming-my-story ones. You can see why an application might be a good idea, yes?

…then again, maybe just an organising web page. Much less hassle. Though how I’d automatically add a link to each file…? Help!

*it could get that big. Text files (by which I mean Microsoft Word documents) are only a few kb each

1403 – I’m really very proud of myself – it turns out I’ve actually written over 300k so far!

Not that I’m anywhere near my targets:

That’s pretty rubbish progress (rate is a % btw) – but I’m still celebrating the total word count. Woohoo!

Add to this I actually went home at lunchtime and did the adulting I told myself I would do [and then some], and you get a fabulously productive day.

1728 – I’m actually even further on than the above! Look:

This includes one with about 3k written which I hadn’t even added to the list! So excited right now…

2005 – partway through year 2 homework, a pile of washing up to do, and I’m finally getting around to Grand Tour – I live a rockstar life. Yeah, I’m not getting any more writing done today.

Need More Words

1534 – I wrote a massive amount yesterday, but that doesn’t give me any breathing room since I’ve still got a very long way to go. I will attempt to hit my target for the day, but I suspect I’ll be scrabbling to catch up on Monday [which I have off; woohoo!].

I’m still in dire need of artwork (interim is acceptable) and a proper title – any ideas? Or does that part come right at the end? {Regarding artwork – I’m thinking for internal use only; in the extremely unlikely event that I reach publication with this, I will throw out whatever art I have in favour of a professional}

Tonight – Eurovision: You Decide. To choose between the lesser of ‘who cares?’ – let’s be honest; Britain’s entry is usually terrible. We ought to do a proper contest for selection, the way the Swedish do.

Routine Approach

0836 – Once again, I spent my weekend reading and not writing. Perhaps I should allocate my targets to take that into account? I got some done on Friday, though I neglected to blog, and I’m sure today’s goal will have jumped a bit again. I need another vomming to reduce it – probably tomorrow.

0840 – adjusting my target weights to remove the weekends has pushed my daily target up by 250 words… so I will definitely need to vomm tomorrow.

1406 – I’ve hit the day’s count now, and have no idea how I’m going to maintain this pace… unless I make a concerted effort to do a whackload one weekend. Bah.

1659 – It kind of feels like cheating when you include stuff from a year ago in your current draft count – but then again, I *did* write it and it *is* for this story, so… fair enough?

Push On

15:40 – I’ve hit my target for today’s word count (and broken 1k as well, thank goodness {AND broken 20k on Ice & Earth}), but it wasn’t on any new scenes; this was all extending the too-short ones. On the other hand, I’ve achieved this without resorting to doing it all at the end, so that’s a plus.

Today is the small person’s birthday, so the early evening will likely be dedicated to cake, candles and his choice of activity. Later, since my lunchtime reading was once again set aside by the demands of, you know, the job, I will be frantically reading Blood Mirror in hopes that a) I will finally be able to associate one of these books with its own title, b) I will finish this and be glad, and c) potentially [read: not a chance unless I stay up waaay past my bedtime*] get onto Closer to Home.

Other Things I Need To Do: still washing up {snore} and yet more laundry {yawn(yawn[yawn**])}.

*When I was 17? Midnight. These days? Circa 9pm.

**<Hippo Yawn>


10:41 – I’ve hit my target word count for the day (a paltry 1047), so I can focus on other things, like getting a birthday card for the small person {whose age necessitates both a large number and a badge with the card}, wrapping presents, and chipping away at the monumental amount of housework which still needs doing.

*sigh* Adulting is hard.

*double sigh* I’m only about 40% through the fourth Lightbringer book, which means I won’t be able to leap straight back into Valdemar tonight 🙁