Sunday, 30 June 2013

30th June – 6 months in.

Today is the official half-way point through the challenge, and as I’m sitting at 526,270 words, you’d assume I was 26,270 words ahead of the schedule. In fact I’m more than that (30,330 words to be exact) – if you check the calendar, you’ll find that thanks to February and the distribution of 31 day months, the first “half” of the year is shorter than the second “half”.

By the way, I hit 3,645 words today, so I’m well pleased with my Sunday morning effort. Since I’ve baked four loaves of bread (small ones) and we’re half way through cooking a very fragrant lemon drizzle cake, it’s been a productive morning.

When I look back at the last six months, there are 2 days at the beginning when I didn’t write (because I didn’t officially start until the 3rd January), two days when I didn’t write due to a major combination of family celebrations (parent’s 60th anniversary and wife’s birthday) and 14 days when I was on holiday and the laptop only got used to check e-mails.

So, 1 total of 18 non-writing days, when I had reasons not to write, three days when I was short of the target, but on every other day, I exceeded the 2,740 word count, on occasion actually doubling it, but more usually somewhere between 2,900 and 3,800 words each day.

Now, the big question, is how do I feel about that, and do I feel burnt out so as not to be able to continue?

To answer the second part first, no I don’t feel burnt out, if anything I feel energised by it. I recently had the very first work, which contributed to this effort, back from the editor. As I went through the edits I noticed one thing straight way – what I’m writing now is better than my writing six months ago. At the same time what I’m writing now is flowing better from the tips of my fingers than it ever has.

To answer the first part of the question, I feel great about it. That old saying about “write every day” has proven itself to be absolutely true. I now write more, with fewer mistakes, more coherent plots (except for one piece where I’ve spotted a massive plot hole) and I’m doing it much more quickly as well. The 3,645 words I managed to do today, took me less than two hours, considerably less, although I wasn’t actually timing myself. That was spread over no less than four stints, as attending to the baking meant interrupting myself that many times.

I’m sorry if this sounds smug, I’m not trying to be, I’m simply stating the facts, and one additional one. I’m proud of achieving a half mill in six months, and barring unforeseen circumstances, I’m confident of hitting another half-mill in the second half of the year, thus reaching my target with potentially December to spare.

Someone asked me if I was going to do Nanowrimo as well this year, keeping it separate from this challenge. That would mean writing 2,740 words each day on this challenge and 1,667 words each day on the Nanowrimo one. Hmm… I wonder… Although I guess I’ll make that decision at some point in October.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

June 29th – 522,625.

It’s strange sometimes how things seem to fall into place all at the same time. Nothing big, well not for me, but nevertheless, the last twenty-four hours have seen several good things happen.

Firstly a couple of things at a distance, both the Brits left in the singles at Wimbledon won in straight sets and although Robson looked a little shaky in the first set, she won the match comfortably. At the moment though she’s a set and a break down in her third round match

Then this morning a little light retail therapy worked well when we managed to find a replacement rug for the conservatory at less than half what we expected to pay for one.

Now after the second massive writing stint of the day, I can report I’m well past 4k words, in fact a total of 4,827 words flew from my fingers today, taking me past the 520k mark and this manuscript up to over 37,700 words and I’m still nowhere near the crux of the story.

Friday, 28 June 2013

June 28th – 517,798.

I suppose you could call it Wimbledon weather - we had three and a half-days of sunshine, and then the rain set in, disrupting play at Wimbledon, so I was disappointed not to be seeing my personal favourite Laura Robson play. It’s raining this morning too, but still she’s playing today, and I’ve hit 3,380 words for the day and even had time this morning to get three draft book covers out for review and comment, so all in all a very productive morning.

This afternoon is going to be a mixture of tennis and book releases, so that will be an interesting juggling of events, with both Laura and Andy playing under the roof so no weather breaks. I think they’re scheduled matches one and two on centre court, so maybe those book releases won’t get done till the evening – only joking, people, only joking!

I’m trying to second guess myself in terms of my current work-in-progress too. I’m up to about 33k on it, and I’d expect by the time I reached this length, I’d be a lot further advanced with the story, in fact, I doubt I’m much more than a third of the way through the material. Given where I am in the plot, I know the pace will accelerate, and my characters are going to be moving toward the finale at a much greater speed, but still, this is going to be difficult to bring it in below 70k. Ah well, at least I’m not stretching it, nor trying to add more plot points and side issues in order to get it to the required length. The editor’s red pen will, of course, be very much in evidence.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

June 27th – 514,418

Ah well, nobody pointed out the silly mistake yesterday when I titled the post with the wrong date. Never mind, sorry, I’m not Doctor Who, or even one half of Bill and Ted, I don’t have a time machine, and I didn’t star in an H.G.Wells novel on the idea. I just got it wrong, okay? And have since corrected it.

Anyway, to get back on topic, I enjoyed anther two sparkling stints on this work in progress, hitting 3,738 words, taking it to nearly 30k and expending my lead on my timetable to almost 10 days. Given I’m feeling a bit, I don’t know, off-colour today, after a bad night, I guess that’s pretty good going.

I’ve hit the word count before lunch, so that gives me a prime opportunity to spend the afternoon watching Wimbledon. The events yesterday contained enough drama to keep anyone interested, especially watching a couple of, shall we say, no-hopers winning against top seeds. The guy playing Federer played out of his skin and Murray seems to be playing better than ever this year. We’ll see.

An afternoon of relaxation beckons, so I think I’ll say goodbye for now…

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

June 26th – 510,680.

The sun is shining, and all is well with the world. I wish, unfortunately, as ever, only the first part of that statement is true.

My wife and I are both utterly exhausted this morning, after having our grandchildren for nearly six hours yesterday while their mother went for her annual oncology check-up in Birmingham. Everything from that was good, but looking after a 4year old and a 2year old is an exhausting experience.

I did however, prove I’ve still got the touch – the little one was getting a bit awkward, and kept going where she was told she shouldn’t – something she rarely does. In the end, I picked her up and made her sit on my lap until she behaved, not using the naughty step technique, but something similar. Ten minutes later she was quiet and we checked – yep, she’d fallen asleep. Papa still has the magic touch!

Five minutes later the elder one cuddled into mama’s side and fell asleep too, so when their parents came to pick them up they were both fast off. As I said, you can still have the touch, even if it’s more than 20 years since our own were that young.

Anyway, today was been another good writing day and as you can see I’ve passed the 510k mark, hitting 3241 words and taking this piece past the 25k mark.

Time to work on a couple of draft covers and get some admin done, no rest as they say.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

June 25th – 507,439

The weather has improved again today, which is a nice change after the last couple of weeks. The sun outside also reflects a somewhat sunnier disposition after I managed to get some sleep last night.

I’d probably have written a lot more today, but I reached the end of a scene, and rather than start the next one, a pivotal one in the story, I called it a day at 3,150 words. Not a shabby achievement by any means, but after the last few days, another drop in the word count. Guess I’ll just have to try harder tomorrow.

In any case, it’s time to gird my loins and start editing today. I’ve got a pile of first drafts that need to get waded through, and start thinking about getting submitted. It’s almost reached the point where the pile is embarrassing, and I’m starting to see people ask me when some of the fruits of this labour will appear on the shelves. All in good time, all in good time. For now the target is to get them written, and then, when things start to get slow in terms of ideas or writing, or the publisher pressure starts to grow, then it’s time to get them out there. So far, none of those things is happening, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a number of them into a more polished state…

Besides that will probably mean I’ll get the itch to get the sequels written too…

Method in my madness.

Monday, 24 June 2013

June 24th – 504,789.

Knowing today was a day full of interruptions, I knew I’d be struggling to match yesterday’s massive word count. But there again, I didn’t have the same impetus or goal to achieve – you only hit that half-mill point once after all. With blood tests, grocery shopping and a guy coming round to give me a quote on some outside work (small maintenance stuff - but it all needs doing) and another half dozen or so errands later in the day, I had to hit the ground running to prevent life intervening and making me follow a good writing day with a sub-standard one.

I can’t claim 3,417 words today as a sub-standard one, far from it, even if it is some 1,800 words short of yesterday. There is no doubt in my mind, now, that I’ fired up with this work in progress, the first draft is now well past 19k and going strong.

I guess today, the blog entry is an anti-climax, well, it was always going to be.
Ah well, still a good day for writing.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

June 23rd – Five hundred thousand words!

Stupid, stupid, just stupid. No, not you, me. I was so pleased with hitting almost 4,500 words yesterday putting me in the position where hitting the same word count today meant I’d pass the half mill mark, that I couldn’t sleep properly.

As a consequence, I was awake at a very early hour for a Sunday, and unable to drop back to sleep with the plot of my current work in progress eating into me, I eventually rose, leaving my wife asleep and moved through into the office and started writing. Consequently by eight o’clock this morning I’d beaten the day’s original target by passing 3,000 words before I was prised away from the laptop to go and have breakfast.

Straight after breakfast, and a quick burst of bread making (and no we don’t use a bread machine) I was back and at twenty to ten this morning I passed 5k, stopping at 5,231 words, and well past the 500k mark for the year! The word count total is now 500,872 words, and with my current w.i.p. having hit 16k in very short time (4 days actual, although in elapsed time it’s a little longer as I wrote the first scenes a couple of days before I picked it up again). My fingers are itching to keep going, but as I said, I have other things to do.

Now though, it’s not yet eleven o’clock and I’ve hit my writing goal for the day. It’s a good job I have other things, non-writing and writing, to do, otherwise I’d be bored by lunchtime!




Half way there

7 days to spare, although the way the calendar works I’m nearly 9 days ahead of schedule.

1 novella and 7 novel written (2 of them quite long for their genre, and all of them at draft stage).

Several more books started including the current w.i.p., a steampunk novel and two historicals.

I’m stoked but tired. Need I say more? LOL

Saturday, 22 June 2013

June 22nd – 495,641.

I’m trying to work out cause and effect, but I’m struggling between two possibilities. Either I’m so excited to be closing in on the half mill mark that I couldn’t stop writing this morning, or the current work in progress, only in its third day, has such a compelling story line I’ve been unable to put it down.

In either case, the effect is straight forward, I am now within touching distance of the half-way point, and if tomorrow is another day like today, then bingo, I’ll hit the target then, if not, Monday. The opposite way around from my opinion yesterday.

It’s not yet noon, and since I was up early, and had three writing stints, I passed the day’s metronome at about twenty to ten, broke for an hour and a half, and just brought the writing to a stop at a massive total for the day of 4,466 words.

Yesterday was the longest day, and last night the shortest night so I guess that was the reason I was awake so early – too much daylight too soon in the morning. Given that it’s now officially the height of summer, it is of course our normal weather conditions rather than bright sunshine – overcast and windy. Still at least it isn’t raining.

We’ve all managed to shake off the bugs we picked up a couple of weeks ago, but now by youngest granddaughter has gone down with a sickness bug. We, of course, want to go round and cuddle her, but we’re not allowed to in case she transmits the bug. Maybe that’s the reason I couldn’t sleep then – worrying about little Abi.

Friday, 21 June 2013

June 21st – Through the 490k barrier.

Today, I had to pick up another piece, having sent the one I completed yesterday for a full critique to determine the direction it should take. Three days ago I’d quickly written around 3k on a new concept, and so that was the one I picked up to develop. Just before a slightly late lunch I hit 3,130 words for the day, and that nicely pushed me past the 490k point to hit 491,175 words for the year so far.

I can almost taste it now, the half-mill is within reach, 2 but more probably 3 days away.


I’m close to that half-way point and I’m going to hit it with about a week to spare, and having got the main family holiday out of the way already in the first half of the year, it should be a downhill race from here on.

My biggest concern when I started this, was whether I would have enough ideas to write about. The simple answer is, I now have more unfinished manuscripts, or simple notes, or even unwritten ideas than I started with. Hell, if I keep this up, I’ll be starting a new blog next year, talking about beating this year’s target! And quite possibly 2015 after that, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

June 20th – 488,045.

Phew, that was a rush! In a good way I mean. I expected to finish the last manuscript yesterday but the black moment scene, kind of doubled in on itself and took more words to write than I expected. That meant I spent the whole allotted writing time on it instead of writing both the black moment and the HFN ending.

The sudden extra helping on angst in the middle of the black moment and the resulting extra scene meant I had an extra resolution to bring about, not that it was hard, but difficult to keep believable and then write the happy for now ending. I got so into it that as I wrote the last words I looked up at the clock and saw it was only a quarter past ten and I’d just written 3,935 words!

I’m keeping the extra angst and tension in the book, because the sequel is going to be much stronger as my heroine continues to develop one relationship while dealing with the fallout from the almost relationship of the first book.

At over 56k the book is a little longer than intended, and I need to think about what I’m going to do with the two scenes I’ve decided to change. But, with 6k excess to play with, I can probably cut a lot of words there and still have a book of the length I wanted.

As I said, what a rush!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

June 19th – 484,110.

It’s only just gone eleven o’clock and I’ve finished my writing stint for the day, hitting 3,591 words. I haven’t, however, finished the manuscript as I intended to do, that will now have to happen tomorrow. In fact, I’ve twisted my black moment into a nice double black moment, which is my heroine’s fault for putting herself in a vulnerable position by drinking on an empty stomach. Don’t worry, I don’t write those kind of scenes, but it’s going to leave her scarred and scared for the next few days in story time.

Then she will find out the problem that started it was really all in her head, so that will open the way for a glorious HFN ending. I don’t think it’s telegraphed particularly either, although it is nicely foreshadowed earlier in the book. There’s something about long distance affairs that strikes a chord with me, despite the fact I only started working away from home after we were married. But that’s a different story.

Ah, well all to the good, I’m enjoying this story, and it’s going to take at least another book to bring it to a final conclusion.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

June 18th – 480k Mark.

Today was down to determination. I wanted to get this manuscript through to the point just before the black moment, and then spend tomorrow writing the black moment scene, and the climax and HFN ending to the book. That meant I didn’t quite get finished before lunch so put the finishing touches to it in the last twenty minutes to hit 3,721 words for the day. That takes me to 480,519 words and past the 480k mark.

This story has built very nicely, and I’ll finish the first draft tomorrow, taking the manuscript past the 50k mark too.

My publishing partner and I discussed the story concept last night, at length, debating whether this book will get a new pen name or not. In the end we decided not, but still to go ahead with the revisions on the story to rewrite two scenes, which will nicely take the book from its original genre into a more mainstream one. That then gives me the chance to make this book fit the profile of an existing pen name who has been a little dormant for the last year or so. Although it will be a departure for her, it will definitely be something she could write. I think strategically, that’s a good move for this manuscript, so I need to go back over those two scenes and work out where to go with them. One of them is quite easy, the other not so easy, however even as I’m writing this, I can see how to achieve both. The problem is, that solution could give me a word count problem, as I don’t want to drop below the 50k mark. Decisions, decisions…

Monday, 17 June 2013

June 17th – 476,798.

I did as I said I suspected I would and sat down today with a blank document to get a scene, or as it turned out, two scenes and a cut scene, written for the new idea that’s been steaming away in the back of my head for the last couple of days.

This idea has got legs, as they say, because I’ve been able to quickly dash off 3,183 words without even stopping for breath. In fact I managed the last 2,000 words in a little over 20 minutes, so that’s a good indication that the story has gripped me and is ready to roll.

Taking a breather from my existing work in progress is no bad thing either. The style of this piece is changing a little and although it was targeted at one pen name, its style is different, and I’m thinking this might be the time to break out another new name. There again the overhead of setting up another persona on line isn’t something I was looking to do. If I do decide to go that route, then I’ll have a problem with one scene about a third of the way through the book, which will need rewriting, to remove a secondary character’s influence on the story, but other than that it’s morphing in an unexpected direction. We’ll see.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

June 16th – 473.615.

I seem to have hit my stride, timing wise again. Each day I manage to sit down and get the writing done in the morning, sometimes only by the squeak of my teeth, but still done by 12 noon.

Today was no exception, finishing 3,132 words by 11:45 and then getting on with something else, non-writing related. Today is Father’s Day in Brit-land, and for the seventh year in a row I won’t be seeing either of my children, let alone my grandchildren today. They have their own lives, and to be fair they both gave up a lot of time for the family celebrations last weekend, and I couldn’t expect Russell to make a 500mile round trip just to say hi. My daughter leaves much closer but isn’t well and doesn’t want to risk giving her mum the bug. I guess it’s just the fact I haven’t seen them on a Sunday in min-June for 7 years makes it a downer.

In the meantime my sub-conscious and imagination have done it again. I have a red hot concept for another story bouncing around in my head, and by tomorrow the heat from it will burn through the determination to finish the current w.i.p. first, and I’ll have to get a scene, or a couple of scenes on paper.

This is of course on top of downloading the Nuremberg Trials transcripts for research into another book. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

June 15th – Cracking the 470,000 barrier.

After yesterday’s burst of speed I expected things to go slower today. They did, but by such a small margin it was almost too small to be measured. By ten o’clock this morning I’d hit 3,007 words for the day pushing me through the 470k barrier, and on to a grand total of 470,483 words.

Perhaps the total word count wasn’t as high as the previous few days, but I reached the end of a scene and also had to write a newsletter, so when that came to an end as well, the writing stint came to an end too.

After a couple of weeks of good to brilliant weather we seem to have settled back into the kind of weather pattern we Brits love to complain about – changeable, cloudy and raining a lot. In fact it rained very hard last night resulting in large puddles and a well soaked lawn this morning. Ah well, as those of you who know me well enough already know, that is a great excuse to indulge in my aversion to gardening.

So with my writing well out of the way, and since I can’t do the garden (my excuse and I’m sticking to it) I can concentrate on other things.


Friday, 14 June 2013

June 14th – 467,476.

Today I think I just broke my speed record. At 11:25 I checked my word count and realised I needed another 1200 words to hit the target for the day. It is now 11:59, some 34 minutes later and I’ve written 1600 words in that time, and indeed in the last couple of minutes I’ve updated my spreadsheet metronome and opened this document to start work on this blog entry, so more like 32 minutes to write 1600 words. That’s a speed of 3,000 words an hour.

Remember I always say, words written and good words don’t always correlate, and words written on first draft don’t always make it through to the final published version, but I suspect the scene I’ve just written will stay. It highlights a very important stage in the character development for my heroine and I can’t see the book working without it. That is of course, not to say that once the editors get hold of it, it won’t get torn to shreds and rewritten – but that’s an occupation hazard for every scene in every book, hopefully by every author.

So, today’s word count total is 3,217 words, and I’m happy to close in on the 470k mark and it would appear that despite missing 2 days out of the last 20, I’ve actually managed to get close on 60,000 words written since my holiday. Of course in 16 days’ time we’re hitting the half-way point through the year, and thus through this challenge, so I need to get that 32,524 words written to get me past the half-way point of the challenge and at the moment that seems doable.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

May 13th – 464,259

Good news today, my head cold is receding, although I’ve had to put off a visit from the granddaughters because of it – I’m not prepared to consider passing this bug onto them. I may well not be contagious, but why take an unnecessary risk.

That has left me with oodles of somewhat unplanned, unexpected writing time so I’ve had a couple of great stints today, even though I spread my creative juices over two different manuscripts.

My main work in progress benefitted the most, gaining 3,172 words, while I managed to get 716 words written on my courtroom drama.

I have solved my problem in respect of the court transcripts I wanted, having found the Library of Congress holds the entire English transcripts of the Nuremberg trials. It even holds the French and German translations, although not the Russian. The PDF files are massive, well over a couple of gigabytes to download them all, so I’m doing it a little bit at a time so as not to upset my ISP. They don’t seem to be so intent on slowing your access down these days, but as I can’t possibly read all that in one sitting, it doesn’t matter. Two volumes down, forty eight to go, and then once I’ve completed the blue set, I can start on the green and red sets! (Which I gather are supporting documents.)

Since my manuscript parallels Nuremberg rather than being about Nuremberg, and has nothing to do with Germany or the WWII era, I won’t need the detailed source documents and photographs, for which, if I’m honest, I’m thankful for.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

June 12th – 460,371.

Struggling with a head cold is not the best condition to write in, but write I have. In fact a very good stint after lunch (I had to go out this morning) saw some 2,000 words written I n an hour, and my final stint of the day took my total to 3,470 and that total surpassed the 460k mark on the overall challenge.

I returned to my main w.i.p. today too, leaving the start I made on a new story, yesterday, to gather a little moss and mature before I touch it again. Mind you the research for that book will be an enormous undertaking – the specific reference book runs to nine volumes, that’s right nine volumes, and I’ll need do quite a lot of creative anthropology too, so that’s going to be fun. I’m hoping the books I want are available as iBooks too, it’ll be so much easier to get at the bits I want than it is on the Kindle, where I know they are available. If all else fails I’ll resort to the Kindle reader on the iPad but I prefer the iBooks app if I’m honest.

The current work in progress is building nicely too, and if it was a screen play I suppose you’d call it Act IV. However, the plot doesn’t split into equal sized sections, Act IV will constitute something close to half the book, so four twenty minute Acts it isn’t. Turning it into a theatre play isn’t an option, the sets would need to be too big. Hmm… Maybe film? Hollywood pitch anyone?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

June 11th – 456,901.

It’s been a difficult day for writing today. Not for any external reason but the issue has been the severe head cold that set in last night. I feel like I’m writing in, and for that matter on, cotton wool and that is not conducive to good writing. I’ve made several starts and then given up, before stopping what I was doing and starting something brand new in the hope it would spark things off for me.
At least I’ve now ended up with 3,053 words on this new piece, effectively setting the scene, although I hate actually doing that, or reading books that start off that way. As an editor I tend to want to delete those scenes, but I needed to nail it down. I’ve not written a courtroom drama before so this is a radical departure. Now I need to bone up on a lot of different laws and issues, some of them going back to the 1940’s, so I might not get a lot done on this piece for a while, but I think the story has got legs.

That’s all for today – I’m going to go and pretend it’s man flu, and lie down. Talk to you all tomorrow.


Monday, 10 June 2013

June 10th – 453,848.

Well, sorry I haven’t posted since Friday, but as I said it was a monster of a family weekend and that impacted on my writing. Did I care about that? Well, maybe, just a little, but not to any great extent.

On Saturday we celebrated my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary, and that had to take precedence. They had a great time, and the highlight was definitely the congratulatory card from the Queen. Even the postman who delivered it (Special Delivery, of course) was excited to be handling a card from Buckingham Palace and we were delighted they received it. They were both very proud at that moment.

The celebration was quiet by most people’s standards but they didn’t want a disco or loud music, so we had a great family time, with close friends too, swapping stories about events, both large and small, of the last sixty years.

Then, Sunday was a non-writing day too, and I can’t complain about this one as it falls on the same day every year. Please tell me, how anyone could expect me to get any writing done when it’s my wife’s birthday? Come on, I don’t have a death wish – I’m not going to shut myself away in my home office to write on her birthday, am I? Nor will I give out her age, but I will let on she is younger than me!

So, since I hadn’t written since Friday, I needed to get my mojo back on today, and I’m happy to report that in a total of three stints, I’ve hit 3,700 words, taking me to the total count above. That extra of almost a thousand words went some way to filling the gap from the weekend, and I am still 4 ½ days ahead of target, so I should easily hit the 500k, half-way point before the end of the month.



Friday, 7 June 2013

June 7th – 450k Barrier breached!

Yep, I did it. I managed 3,304 words today, taking me through the 450k barrier (just) to a grand total of 450,148 words for the challenge.

It was, if anything, harder than I expected it to be, taking several stints, surrounding household chores and a baking session (brown bread and cheese straws). At times it felt like wading through treacle, yet I’m excited about the plot and the way it’s developing, and has been developing. Still I’m 25k in, it’s close to the mid-point of the book (at least in terms of the plot, although I expect the word count to come will overshoot that, taking it to around 60k). How’s that for a bold prediction?

Today has been a beautiful day too, sun shining out of bright blue skies with hardly a cloud in sight. Even with the fan on, and the door open, the temperature in the conservatory hit 35C in mid-afternoon, bakingly hot, and too hot for me.

Luckily the sun is now on the back, and I’m on the front of the house, well not literally, but you know what I mean so I’m cooler but the conservatory is still warm. In fact it’s so warm I think Marion’s decided the lounge is better for her – and compared to me, she likes it hot.

Tomorrow may well be a relatively fraught day, with little chance of getting any writing done. With Sunday being Marion’s birthday I’ll be under orders for then too, so don’t expect any updates for a couple of days, unless the cards fall my way.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

June 6th – 446,844

Well it looks like the target of 450k will be within reach tomorrow, and I’m now more than 6 days ahead of the metronomic schedule, which is a good thing. After tomorrow, we have two big social events in the calendar and I’m not sure how much writing time I can conjure up around them.

Still, a stint of 3,100 words today is good progress and I’m still happy this work in progress is developing along the right lines.

The weather has been a tale of two halves today too, starting off cold and grey like the whole of yesterday, but now fine, bright and sunny just like Tuesday. I wish it would make its mind up. Hot and sunny is good, but not for slaving away at a hot keyboard, and let’s face it a laptop keyboard can get warm. We now have perfectly clear, bright blue skies with not a shred of grey or white cloud in sight. In fact, I think I’m going to close the laptop down and go and enjoy a nice ice cold drink. After all the French Open is fast approaching its climax and nothing beats watching women’s tennis, iced glass in hand.

Not that I quite understand what all the grunting is about.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

June 5th – 443,744 words.

The weather changed overnight, and although we haven’t had any rain, it’s been gloomy and overcast compared to the brilliant sunshine of the last few days. The temperature has dipped too, and that would have made sitting at the laptop much more comfortable than yesterday – if only I’d had the time to sit and put in a concerted effort.

Today has been one of those days where writing time has been a few minutes here, a few minutes there, snatched from the jaws of other demands on said time. I think it took six attempts before I managed to surpass the target a few minutes ago, hitting 2,826 words and inching me close to the 450k barrier. I’ve also taken this work in progress past the 20k mark and the story has got enough legs to expand past the end of a single book.
In other words, I’m at it again, not sticking to a story that evolves to a sensible conclusion within one book, but rather expands into sequel after sequel. This one though will have a very different flavour when it gets to book two – my heroine cannot be so naïve in the corporate jungle after her next promotion. At the start of book one, corporate politics strip away that naivety in a brutal fashion, so she can’t be caught that way again. Fear not, the machinations of the plot for the second book are churning around in my subconscious, and she won’t need to be naïve – I’ll find other hurdles for her to climb in her attempt to break through the glass ceiling into the boardroom.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

June 4th – 440,918.

This morning has been exceptionally productive, and given the plans for this afternoon, that’s a very good thing indeed.

Not only did I manage 2,897 words in not long over 80 minutes, for once in a sig le sitting, but I also managed to produce (from scratch using the e-book covers as models) the print covers for two books and send them to the authors for approval. Then just to cap it all I worked my way through the torturous labyrinthine processes at several web sites in order to reduce the price on two of our books.

And did I happen to mention – I also baked four loaves of bread (albeit small ones), again from scratch.

Why was I so busy?

Well, the simple answer is I’m out this afternoon, giving a talk to a writing group, and taking along two boxes of books to sell. Nobody at this group has heard my talk on “Finding the stories in the cracks between the paving slabs of history” before, so I’ll be using that one again, giving it another airing.

So, wish me luck, or in theatre parlance, tell me to break a leg – hopefully someone else’s.

Monday, 3 June 2013

June 3rd – 438,021.

Today has been another glorious sunny day – so far. We’re beginning to think we picked the wrong fortnight for our holiday, but, oh well, you can’t dictate the weather, and we did go in early to mid may, as opposed to “flaming June” so we got the weather we deserved. It odes mean I won’t be spending much time pounding the keyboard today, so my writing stint this morning produced a quick-fire, in fact a very quick-fire, 3,337 words taking me past 438k for the challenge. It really feels like the halfway point is now within sight, although it is of course, still over 60k words away.

Marion has mastered her new toy (the washing machine) and it is performing to, and even beyond, expectations. Hopefully in the very near future we will both get over the fascination of having a machine with so many quick program options, the fastest being 14 minutes for a very light load, and get back to what supposedly would be more economical full loads. Having said that, if you did 5 14 minute loads, (i.e. 70 minutes) for 7.5 kilos of washing, would that be less economical than doing 1 full 160 minute cycle for the full load? I know one thing, it uses more detergent this way, unless we change from tablets back to powder, but Marion can’t manage to measure the powder. Ah well, such trivial decisions simply mean we’re rather blessed not to have too much strife in our lives at the moment.

I think I’ll keep the strife confined to my works in progress if you don’t mind. An extended peaceful idyll beckons, one where I just might get a lot of writing done.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

June 2nd – 434,684.

Well, another warm day, and another set of social obligations, so only one writing stint this morning, and no time after that to indulge in the process. In fact, I’m having to grab the time to write a rather short blog entry today in between visitors.

So 3,121 words written today, taking me close to the 435k mark which puts the 440k point within reach for tomorrow, or more likely the day after. This work in progress is going nicely and I think the plot is going to develop at the right pace too.

I really thought the holiday would break up my rhythm, but I’ve settled back into it, and the addition (to write) is as strong as ever.

More detail tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June 1st – Over 43% through the challenge.

Well, today is the start of another month, and the sun is shining, so this stint, this morning, is the only writing I’ll get done today. I hit 3,142 words, taking me to a grand total of 431,563 words in one day over five months. Actually if you count the fact I didn’t start doing this until the third day of January, you could say one day short of five months, but that would be splitting unnecessary hairs.

Today’s post will be a short one after the long one yesterday, but nevertheless, I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. This work in progress is progressing nicely (as a first draft of course), and at over 8k it’s demonstrating a lot of potential.

My head is still bubbling with ideas, and I’ve changed the working title of this piece for one simple reason. By changing that one word, it gives me the chance for an easy set of sequels, each one following the heroine in her career. So, as ever, not only am I writing, not only do I have the plot for this book in my head, I’ve started thinking about the second and third books in the series. I’m not sure if I should shout out in celebration about that, or in frustration.