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12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it

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journalism

How To Be A Deranged Poetess

In case you missed the simple pleasure that was the #derangedpoetess hashtag kicking about on Twitter, I shall briefly summarise. Last week, a journalist called Oliver Thring wrote what can be read as a pretty sexist piece for the Sunday Times about poet Sarah Howe, winner of the T.S.Eliot prize. Some fellow female poets then tweeted to suggest the language he used was somewhat crass (this overview by Katy Evans-Bush details that line of thinking). Thring responded by saying he was being harangued by ‘deranged poetesses’. Continue reading “How To Be A Deranged Poetess”

Taking Stock

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Peanut butter and chocolate cake. Oh yes.

I recently had a birthday, which was pleasant.  I saw my family and some friends, added to my ‘to read’ pile and my gin collection, and I made a cake that induces a sense of euphoria and remorse that I like to call euphorse.

The only trouble is that as I get older, birthdays are beginning to feel a little bit like markers for everything I haven’t done yet – not least because mine falls at the end of the month, where the deadlines live.

Continue reading “Taking Stock”

A Progress Report

Today being the 27th of the month, I am remarkably close to the half way point of the whole 12 books in 12 months fiasco (unless you count book 13, I suppose, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Unfortunately this happens to be the point where progress has slowed down an embarrassing amount.  I ought to be basically done with book six by now, yet I’ve only written about 10,000 words.  Almost all of which is background and characterisation that I foresee myself editing down to maybe a few paragraphs in the final book.  It’s the type of stuff that it makes sense to know as an author, but probably feels a bit long winded and boring to the reader.  Pottermore, rather than the material a gripping plot is crafted from.

Continue reading “A Progress Report”

Book Six Excerpt

This is an excerpt from what I’ve written for book six, but it’s really just background characterisation and I don’t think I’ll end up using much of it in the final draft.  Still, thought I should point out I’ve written something…

Nicola woke up with her face stuck to the cheap plastic keyboard of her work PC.  She rubbed her cheek to get rid of the indentations, but knew from experience it would take a while to return to normal.

The monitor in front of her stopped playing its screensaver, revealing a too-white document that was a mess of m’s and 8’s and ‘hn’s.

Still, at least she’d saved her story this time.

Continue reading “Book Six Excerpt”

A Day In The Life of Book Six

This has been a procrastinating sort of day.  I’ll tell you for why.
Continue reading “A Day In The Life of Book Six”

Journalists Wanted

Are you a journalist?  Have you ever known or worked with journalists?

Then I need your help.

My sixth book this year is about the staff of a recently shut down local newspaper deciding to start up a zeitgeisty current affairs stroke gossip website, probably called something like ‘Michty!’ (the genre for this one is Scottish), and getting it terribly wrong.  With hilarious consequences, of course.

I am hoping to gather some anecdotal research, which is where you come in.

Continue reading “Journalists Wanted”

Not-Quite-Half-Way Evaluation

Last night at around 11.15pm I decided that it was time to call it quits on book five and get myself some sleep.  I battered out a few paragraphs to remind myself what I wanted the last couple of chapters to entail, and set about organising my packed lunch for work.  Tuna salad, for those who are nosey about such things…

The word count stands at 30323, and I think it’ll end end up around 36,000 by the time the first draft is finished.  This means that overall this year, I’ve written 165,585 words of fiction across 151 days.  That averages out at 1096.6 words per day, although there have been days when I haven’t written anything at all, and a few when I’ve done 10k in one go.  Averages, dear reader, are relative.

Continue reading “Not-Quite-Half-Way Evaluation”

A Side Note

If you’re at all interested in what I’m doing when not writing about Caligula, this post is for you.  I wouldn’t want you to get the impression I’m doing nothing but faffing about on Wikipedia trying to work out roughly when each of his senators died under mysterious circumstances (although the timeline is taking up quite a lot of time and effort at the moment, and it’s making my brain feel sad).

Until the end of February I am blogging about song lyrics on my ‘professional‘ blog in support of UNESCO’s Let’s Get Lyrical campaign.  So far I’ve mentioned the lyrical stylings of The Smiths, Justin Timberlake, Willow Smith, Amanda Palmer, Sisqo, *NSync, Razorlight and Avril Lavigne.

I try to write about something or other daily on my personal blog, often television (particularly Scottish soap River City) and things that have annoyed me in my internet travels.  This tends to involve a bit of backdating.

This week I’ve also been conducting interviews and writing articles for The Broughton Spurtle and The Edinburgh Reporter, which are both hyperlocal news sites in Edinburgh.  And I’ve gotten involved with a new page of satirical Scottish news stories, called I We Two Three.

It’s good to vary one’s output.

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