12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



August Thanks

Today is the last day of August and therefore it feels like time for a progress report.

I have just over 15,000 words of book 8 written in a delightful stream of consciousness that makes no sense whatsoever; a situation unlikely to be improved by the fact I have a full day of work ahead of me and guests staying in the flat for a few days who it would be churlish to ignore. 

I’ve been writing in first person from the point of view of several characters, and accidentally switching tenses all over the shop.  This will almost certainly make for a narrative that feels immediate and tense and worthy of all manner of high praise…  That or when I go back to it I’ll be so confused and irritated I’ll consign the whole lot to the recycle bin and try to forget it ever happened.  I considered posting an extract by way of example, but to give you a proper sense of the nonsense it’d need to be 1k +, which seems inappropriately long for a blog post.

I have mostly been writing on my laptop, which has been the case with the bulk of the project, although I did actually scribble quite a few notes by hand this month (how retro) and I also typed out a few sections on my phone in queues at the Book Festival.  To the untrained eye, I was the only loser who was playing on my phone instead of reading a book.  Little did the general public know that in a couple of years they’ll be picking up the very book I was writing on my phone from the festival book shop!  Muahahaha, etc.  Except they really won’t.  I can’t see book eight being my debut – not unless there is some kind of drastic book shortage that necessitates the publication of things that need so much re-writing it makes your eyes water. 

By way of research (it’s scifi this month, by the by) I have read half of The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross and the first chapter of Neuromancer by William Gibson.  Oh yes, I am that prolific a reader these days.  It turns out having a vast pile of recommended books did not translate into having time to look at them all – who saw that coming, after my amazing track record?!  The only book I’ve finished this month is The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein, which is a good story but doesn’t have much bearing on genre fiction.  Not this genre, anyway.

Naturally I am disinclined to take responsibility for my own actions and therefore lay the blame for this appalling lack of reading squarely at the feet of festival season.  To be fair the festival has been very distracting, although it has also been amazing in terms of making blog posts more diverse.  In fact I would like to thank Andrew BlairEmily Dodd, Ruth Dawkins, Harry Giles, Bethany Anderson and Mara from Toto Tales for their excellent guest posts; Amanda Palmer, Rod Jones and Andy Stanton for letting me interview them; and the Edinburgh International Book Festival for having me along to an amazing range of literary events over the past couple of weeks.  All of you have made things a lot more colourful around here, and generally helped to set a blogging precedent I am unlikely to maintain.

Which is nice.

Book Bloggers Unite

Do you like books?  Do you like blogging?  Then why not come to a book blogger meet up as part of the Edinburgh book festival?  Bethany Anderson is here to tell us more…

As Scots, we’re used to being left out. America has it all, and England (or London, anyway) has quite a few. But book blogger events in Scotland? Naw.

Scotland may only be wee, and OK there aren’t millions of us, but that’s no reason that we shouldn’t do something. Since no one else was, I have taken it upon myself to gather together some bookish types in Scotland.

What better place and time than the Edinburgh International Book Festival? On Thursday August 18th, book bloggers are invited to meet just outside Charlotte Square Gardens at 7.30pm (if we meet outside the entrance then we won’t be in everyone’s way).

The idea is to get to know each other – where do you blog? Why? Let’s share hilarious blogger anecdotes – like that one time you read that crap book, or the one time when someone spammed your blog, or that one time (or several) where you got drunk and did x, y, or z. I believe this is also known as socialising.

We can meet, grab a drink, meander round the gardens and pester some fellow bookish buddies. Then, at 9, if the feeling takes us, we can take a peek at the Unbound event or go for a drink elsewhere – whatever out blogger hearts want!

Hopefully, some fun times will be had and some friendships made. At least everyone should have a new blog to look at! Who knows? Maybe we’ll bump into each other more often during the festival!

Bethany Anderson is a writer who blogs about books at  She tweets as @subtlemelodrama.

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