12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Mixed Feelings on IQ84 – A Book Review

Today I will be talking about IQ84 by Haruki Murakami, a book I finished at half past midnight and have mixed feelings about. This blog post will contain **SPOILERS**, so if you haven’t read it and are planning to do so you may wish to bail. I would offer you this counsel before you head though: if you’ve never read Murakami before, maybe don’t start here.

Continue reading “Mixed Feelings on IQ84 – A Book Review”

Salad Seems To Be The Hardest Word

It was the sort of morning that fills you with resolve to be better at life. You know the type of day I mean – the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and you’re walking through a leafy green park with your tunes blasting through your headphones. It’s a Thursday, which means the working week is almost over, and this weekend you are definitely going to go for a jog – or at least a long walk – and stock the house with vegetables, and write at least 5,000 words of your work in progress, and maybe even do a blog post. Continue reading “Salad Seems To Be The Hardest Word”

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

I spent my last post bemoaning the fact that my printer was behaving like a total helmet, thus preventing me from printing out my latest magnum opus (or 26,000 word nonsense for 8 year olds, if you want to be pedantic).

Now, it’s quite often hard to know who is reading this blog (assuming anyone still is aside from the spam bots, who are as vocal as ever – shout out for my home boy Ben Sherman Shirts, Great Prices). Since I finished the initial ‘write 12 Books in 12 Months’ thing, the site has been a strange mixture of stuff aimed readers, stuff aimed at writers and amateurish attempts at photography. But the ‘my printer needs to stop being an arsepiece’ post provoked the most tangible response I’ve ever had, namely that one of my best pals got in touch after reading it to ask if I want a new printer for my birthday next week. What a result!

I swithered about this for approximately ten minutes before deciding that the post, rather than a childish rant, must subconsciously have been my equivalent of Amanda Palmer’s TED talk about asking for help – and replied saying YESPLEASETHANKYOU.

The upshot of this is that I have now printed out a nearly readable first draft of a bookish piece of writing I’ve been working on for more than a year, and I’ve even started scribbling edits on it (using a schmancy Parker pen gifted to me by another friend. Thinking about it, I’m pretty lucky that they all humour me in this way…).


To explain why printing is important to me – I’m not sure if anyone does do edits onscreen, but I can’t work that way myself. I get to the point where whatever is on a computer screen seems to be written as I meant to write it, but as soon as I have a printed version the typos (and plot holes) make themselves known much more readily. And now I have such a print out, hooray!  Or boo, because it means no excuses for procrastination…

My aim now is to finish these scribbles and transcribe them back into the word doc before I head south for the Birmingham Beer Bash this Thursday. This timeframe is probably slightly over optimistic, given that this morning I put my alarm on the other side of the room to make myself get up at 7am to edit before work only to get up, switch the alarm off, and go back to bed again. Oops.

Still, last time I blogged I was despairing of even getting this far without an expensive trip to an Internet cafe, so maybe the mere act of writing this statement of intent will be enough to make it happen. After all, blogging can change your life. It says so in the header!

(If you still need some convincing, how about this story from the BBC about how starting a blog changed someone’s life in a much more dramatic way than mine..)

P.S. Thanks again Jo! x

Operation Stop Pootering And Write (day 3)

I think we could call today a write-off, although not in the sense that I actually wrote anything.  Well, actually I wrote quite a lot but none of it was creative. I did eat some mushrooms, though, so that was pretty rewarding.

I’m not going to berate myself for my lack of actual writing, though, because I did a lot of thinking about writing – and wanky though this might sound it was probably necessary.  I’ve been thinking about what I need to do to make my current project better (in brief: a lot), and about how to approach that in a sensible and constructive manner (ie not creating another whiteboard of shame situation).  And tonight I am going to go to bed at a sensible time so that I can get up early in the morning and start putting that thought into practice.

In the meantime, here’s one of those Vines I keep making instead of writing anything proper…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

This week’s photo prompt is ‘lost in the details’, so here’s a close up of some details in one of my notebooks.  I have been working on this story since last summer and tweaked the first few chapters (including the paragraphs in the photo) approximately a bajillion times – because I get lost in the details every time I re-read it.  That’s right, this picture is some sort of amazing two for one – aren’t you pleased you came?  Course you are.  Now go look at the other entries.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (late!)

A belated entry for the last weekly photo prompt – this week I’ve been busy editing and formatting this charming eBook every spare moment I have (worth your pennies, proceeds go towards supporting children’s theatre) and it slipped my mind, but I actually have a bit of a thing about photographing reflections so I wanted to share one before going onto the new prompt!


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