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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The National Novel Writing Month finishes today, and I've written 26,073 words. You can't ask for much more than that. Well, you can ask for twenty-four thousand more than that, but you're not going to get it. Obviously I'm not a winner, but that doesn't make me a loser. I prefer to think of myself as a silver medallist. I tried, I failed, but I've got something to take home and show the kids. Although whether Amelie will ever want to read the seventeen chapters I've written, seems slightly doubtful.

I don't regret trying though. I've spent the past year saying that between a fairly demanding job and a very demanding daughter, I can't write anything more than a blog, so at the very least I've proved that not to be true. On some days, anyway. On others, a three line blog post seems beyond me, never mind a novel. But it's made me realise what I'm capable of. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

I've finished this year's NaNoWriMo snowed in at Uckfield Hospital, where I've written four hundred high quality words whilst looking at this scene from the window of my room...

I don't know if it was the view that inspired me, or just the resulting cabin fever, but those four hundred improvised words feature references to stomach stapling, Satan and herring, plus one of the finest Venetian blind jokes you're ever likely to read. Although you're unlikely to read it unless I finish chapter eighteen. Give me until Christmas.

Anyhoo, having skidded home through the snowdrifts, I asked Amelie what she'd done today. She told me with great enthusiasm that she and Mummy had gone on a bus to playgroup, where she'd played with the yellow balls, eaten some beans and had lots of fun. Which would be fine if I didn't know for a fact that they'd been stuck indoors all day due to the weather. I'm beginning to think I can't believe a word she says.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amelie's back from a weekend at her Grandparents...

So she doesn't look that happy any more. I'm not sure those horizontal stripes are doing her any favours either. She looks like an untapered traffic cone.

I asked her this evening what she did at Grandma & Grandad's house, and she said "Ice cream". So I asked her what else. She said "Sausages". At the third time of asking, she said "Tomato sauce". There wasn't much talk of running and jumping, but she did ask me for some of the "pebbles" she'd brought home, so I assumed she must have walked to the beach and back. Until Lisa told me that's what she calls Smarties.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lisa and I spent most of yesterday at a lovely traditional wedding in Worthing. But enough about that - look! It's Paige from the X Factor! And I almost killed him!

Paige ViewYou know what it's like. You're driving along the seafront at lunchtime on a Saturday in late November; you've just passed the pier; you see an X Factor contestant crossing the road in front of you; you floor the accelerator...

As it transpired, I changed my mind at the last moment. There are enough stories about the show's black contestants being the victims of racism, without me running one over in my car. And besides, he was in Brighton to perform at Revenge, "The South Coast's Number 1 Gay Club", and I didn't want to be accused of homophobia too. So I let him live. Obviously, if it had been Katie Waissel, it would have been a different story.

Wagner, the X Factor's real talent, sang (and I use that term loosely) a Radiohead song on last night's show, which was slightly spooky (and indeed Creepy) because just moments after clipping Paige with my front bumper, Lisa and I drove past Hove lawns, where Thom Yorke was busy moulding 2,000 people into the shape of King Canute...

The Grand Canute of Yorke
Although from ground level, it looked like the queue for the log flume at Alton Towers. I've never seen so many cold people in ponchos. Obviously, from the sky, you get an entirely different perspective. It looks more like a cow walking up to a lamp post.

Anyhoo, our journey along the south coast might have been entertaining, but it wasn't the reason we left the house. We were actually heading to Worthing to attend the wedding of Taylor Swift and Minty from EastEnders, as conducted by comedienne, Sue Perkins...

Love Story
It was held at the Chatsworth Hotel, which is the kind of traditional, Georgian fronted, Grade II Listed hotel where you'd expect to find Agatha Christie relaxing over a cup of tea in the lobby...

Or failing that, Lisa drinking a latte.

The wedding itself featured a lot of tears, partly from the bride, but mainly from Lisa who tore a hole in the bottom of her dress with the heel of her uncomfortable shoes, and me, who nearly choked on an olive. I realise it will come as something of a shock that someone as cultured as myself could have made it through thirty-seven years of life without ever trying a stuffed olive, but having grown up on a Basildon council estate, I was lucky to get a Viscount biscuit once a week. I thought a canapé was the stripy fabric over a market stall. So finding myself in a Georgian hotel in Worthing with a plate of free olives, I naturally helped myself. Anyway, I'm not saying I didn't like it, but frankly Gillian McKeith's been through less traumatic bushtucker trials. I came close to fainting at one point. It was possibly the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. And I've eaten Lisa's scrambled eggs.

But that aside, the food was lovely. If you're going to put on half a stone in eight hours, this was the way to do it. The dessert alone must have been a thousand calories. I think I was the only person in the room who finished it. And just when everyone was on the verge of passing out from over-consumption, they brought around the wedding cake, and announced that the chocolate fountain was open. I think the event must have been sponsored by a bariatric surgery company.

On the downside, when you've eaten half your body weight in gourmet food, you do tend to struggle to make it onto the dance floor. I think I only ventured out of my seat three times all evening. And two of those were to dip doughnuts into molten chocolate.

But on that subject, if you're wondering how you eat from a chocolate fountain when you're wearing an expensive white wedding dress, here's your answer...

She's either protecting her clothes or about to throw up.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lisa and I are going to a wedding in Worthing today, so Amelie's been packed off to her grandparents for the weekend. With a bit of luck it might snow and they'll have to keep her for a week. She left at lunchtime yesterday, which was obviously fantastic news because it meant that from the moment I got home until the time I went to bed, I could spend the whole evening novelling.

At least that was the plan. In reality, I had my tea and chatted to Lisa for a bit, at which point she realised that she needed some safety pins to hold her wedding outfit together, so we quickly popped to Asda before I started writing.

At least that was the plan. In reality, we were out until 9pm, spending more than a hundred pounds on tinsel, baubles and a pink Christmas tree...

In the pink.Frankly it was a miracle we remembered the safety pins.

Anyhoo, I'd like to say that we chose that tree because it raises money for breast cancer charities. I'd like to, but I can't. It just happened to be Amelie's favourite colour, and we thought it would match our curtains.

So having spent half an hour putting away the trolley-load of food that we hadn't realised we needed until we were in Asda, we then spent another hour decorating the Christmas tree and putting tinsel around the living room mirror, before finally getting to bed about eleven thirty, with my daily word count still at zero. I'd finish my novel where it is, but I don't think I'd find the time to write 'The End'.

Friday, November 26, 2010

This was the view from our balcony at seven-thirty this morning...

Good Morning
It's almost worth getting up to go to work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Phil, you've still got five days to go. You can hit that 50,000 word target". And you're right. Obviously. But what you don't know is that I'm going to a wedding on Saturday, so technically it's only four days. Admittedly, I do have the proven ability to produce copious amounts of rubbish in a very short period of time, but I think 6,000 words a day is probably beyond me.

I haven't given up though. Well, I have given up on the idea of writing fifty thousand words before December, but goddammit, I'm going to finish this story if it kills me. I've just been hampered by circumstances. I wrote 20,000 words in the first half of November, and... um... slightly less in the second half, but that's mainly down to health issues. Amelie's been quite ill, while I've been single-handedly proving the theory that there's no rest for the wicked, by struggling to sleep at night.

It means that for the past week I've only had enough energy to last me until 5pm. I barely have the strength to turn on Simon Mayo. Which isn't condusive to serious out-of-hours novelling. I did produce a whopping 200 words in Uckfield Hospital at lunchtime today, during which I started writing the back story of one of my characters. Quite a long-way-back story. It started in 1750. And I don't mean ten to six. But by 1pm the caffeine in my tea had worn off and I had to give up for the day.

So I plan to continue into December. Possibly 2011. By which time I hope to be sleeping properly. I don't care how long (or short) this thing is, as long as it features the words 'The End'.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's my Dad's birthday today...

To paraphrase Amelie's hair, thanks a bunch for all you've done for us this year. xxx

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good news! I'd written almost a thousand words by 5pm today!

Bad news. It was all for my departmental newsletter at work.

I think novel-writing would be easier if there were more than twenty-four hours in each day. And if Amelie would sleep for most of them.

I'm getting an early night and starting again tomorrow...

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's November 22nd, and this is the scene at the block of flats next door...

Light of the World
Those decorations actually cover two different flats, which is interesting because it means there's more than one person in this world who thought that was a good idea. As Lisa's just said to me, "It's like we're living next door to the Griswolds".

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lisa's out all day today, attending the Regional Forum of AA's South East Regional Assembly. Whatever that is. It's in Burgess Hill, so I suspect she just liked the way I made the place sound on my blog this week, and wanted an excuse to visit.

It means that Amelie and I have been left to self-medicate for the day. To be honest, I'm a lot better now, but Am's still at death's door. You can gauge the seriousness of any Ammy illness by the list of foods she refuses. When well, the list is non-existent, but as things stand right now, she's turning away biscuits, toast and - I kid you not - chocolate. It's currently 2pm, and all she's had today are three smokey bacon crisps and a couple of Fruit Shoots. Gillian McKeith would be turning in her jungle grave.

In addition, Amelie's feeling so sorry for herself that she refuses to let me put her down for a nap, and will only drop off to sleep if I'm underneath her. Which makes it difficult to get on with anything. Left unattended, she's generally capable of going for a maximum of five seconds without bursting into tears and asking for a cuddle, so novel-writing's pretty much out of the question. This blog post's taken me three hours.

I did make the decision that if I couldn't get near a keyboard, and was going to have to spend the day on the sofa, wiping snot from the face of a distressed two-year-old, then I should transport myself away mentally, and take the opportunity to completely plan out the rest of my novel in my head. Which is a good idea in theory, until you try doing it in front of CBeebies. I challenge anyone to think of anything remotely productive whilst listening to a couple of llamas singing about health & safety.

Not that my day has been entirely unproductive. I have had a hand in the creation of a masterpiece...

I've speeded it up, so that you can see her nose running at four times normal speed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

She might be ill, off her food, and running a high temperature, but she can still do a mean Incy Wincy Spider...

It's a good job Chloe's not arachnophobic.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Excuse #327:

I'm ill.

And it's not just me...

Flaked Out
Chloe's looking a bit peaky too.

And as for Amelie, don't even go there. If she's not flaked out on the bed, she's crying in your arms, leaving snot on your shirt and refusing to do anything. It's like having a mini version of Lisa.

But the worst thing is, she's given it to me. We've both spent the day feeling sick and congested with a splitting headache, but while she's stayed at home sipping Calpol, I've been forced to go into work. For a couple of hours. And eat chocolates. To be honest, it could have been worse. If you fancy joining me, click here. Apply now and you can cover for me on Monday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I had an e-mail earlier this week from Chris Baty, founder of the National Novel Writing Month and Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light. It was a deeply personal message sent exclusively to me, and to the 185,586 other people doing NaNoWriMo this year. In it, he offered these words of advice for the stalling novelist:

Incite change. If your story is losing momentum, juice it up by inflicting some major changes on your characters. Crash the spaceship. End the marriage. Buy the monkey.

It made me realise where I've been going wrong with my novel. I don't have a spaceship or a monkey. I do have a marriage, but I've already ended that with an unexpected tortoise-drowning incident. So I've embraced change today. During an unusually productive lunch break, I wrote 800 words in Consulting Room 10 of the Park View Health Centre in Burgess Hill, and metaphorically crashed my spaceship into Monkey World. Although I think that's already been done with 'Planet of the Apes'. Anyway, I think it's a plot twist that works. In fact I'm tempted to claim that I planned it from the beginning.

Unfortunately, I didn't actually make it beyond those 800 words, because I received a distressing e-mail from Lisa this afternoon. It read:

Disaster. Am's left Po on a bus. She's very upset.

I was upset too. Mainly because I read that as 'poo', and thought I was being asked to clean it up.

So instead of rushing home to write Chapter Sixteen, I drove from Burgess Hill to Toys R Us in search of a replacement Teletubby I could palm off as the original. I eventually found one, and having got stuck in a traffic jam in Hove for half an hour in the pouring rain, I finally made it back an hour late, walked in, and told Amelie I'd found Po at a bus stop. She took one look at my purchase, called it "New Po!", and told me to go out and look for the old one. It's not easy fooling a two-year-old.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I took this photo yesterday morning, just before seven, from the balcony of our flat, to symbolise a new dawn for my stumbling novel...

House of the Rising Sun
It's been raining ever since. Mainly in my heart.

I need to get a grip. This novel's in danger of expiring faster than the bottle of milk I bought in Lidl last week. I think it's because I've reached the point in the story where I literally have no idea what happens next, and I'm basically treading water until somebody tells me. Let's face it, chapter eleven was only written because a patient asked me last week what an orthoptist is. I need to meet someone inspirational. Not spend three days in Burgess Hill.

But I need to crack on, regardless. I've got to stop spending my lunch breaks e-mailing pointless jokes to numerous people. There's only one place for pointless jokes, and that's my novel. It's already 8pm, but I'm not going to bed tonight until I've written chapter fourteen. It could be a long night...

Or a short chapter. My money's on the latter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm not sure I should have written yesterday's blog post. I already felt a bit rough with a slight cold and a dodgy prostate that had been hassling me all day, and by the time I'd tapped out a blog and hit 'Publish', the well of creativity had run dry and my brain said it was bedtime. Despite opening up my novel five minutes later, I failed to write a single word. Actually, that's not true. I did write a nineteen-word sentence, but I soon realised that I have no idea how to successfully trap a five-legged man-eating cow, so I deleted it, pending some serious research, and gave up for the day. I don't think I'm well enough to write a novel in a month.

To be honest, today hasn't been a lot better. I have, however, written almost 3,000 words on this blog in November (most of it excuses as to why I'm not writing my novel), so I'm tempted to add those to my total. Give it another week and I'll be counting e-mails. And if I get really desperate, shopping lists.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today's the halfway point of NaNoWriMo, so as we speak, I should be on the verge of 25,000 words. Needless to say, I'm not. I'm actually on the verge of having my tea and checking what time 'I'm a Celebrity' starts. But the good news is, it's not my fault.

I had an e-mail on Saturday morning from my old cyber-buddy Captain Fargon, who set out to single-handedly disprove the theory that no good decisions are ever made in the middle of the night, by suddenly deciding to send me a link to an iPad app at 1:45am.

The program in question is called 'NanoStudio', thereby cleverly convincing me that it had something to do with NaNoWriMo, and ensuring that I clicked on the link. As it transpired, it was nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with distracting me from writing...

It's actually a portable recording studio, sequencer, sampler and music creation powerhouse, and may very well be the first thing I've found that actually makes owning an iPad genuinely worthwhile. Although, as previously mentioned, it does have useful babysitting properties.

The bizarre thing, however, is that two or three weeks ago, before diving headlong into the insanity of NaNoWriMo, I actually sat here for an hour, browsing music creation software on Amazon. I'd decided that if arthritic fingers are going to spell the end of my glittering career as a guitarist, then I should basically become the new Basshunter. At least until RSI stops me using a mouse.

Unfortunately, having become bogged down in the pros and cons of expensive software packages with manuals longer than the Bible, I decided I didn't have time for a new career in music, and I should write a novel instead. I didn't tell anyone about my brief flirtation with electronic music production, which makes it all the more spooky that a fortnight later, Captain Fargon e-mails me with a link to exactly what I was looking for. Frankly, we should be going to see him in January, not Psychic Sally.

Anyway, I decided that at just £8.99, NanoStudio would make the perfect post-NaNoWriMo treat for myself, and resolved to buy it on December 1st, as a reward for completing my novel.

I then held out for six hours, before deciding I couldn't wait, and downloading it on Saturday night. When I'm still on 20,000 words at the end of the month, it'll all be Fargy's fault.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Every great novelist needs a break now and then (preferably a lucky one), so in an effort to clear my head (and not just a blatant attempt to procrastinate), I took Amelie out for a walk yesterday. We ended up at the Marie Curie shop in Kemptown, where I splashed out 50p on a cuddly Boo from Monsters Inc...

Growing up on a council estate.
I must admit, as I was doing up her toddler reins, I did start to wonder if they were getting a bit tight, and now I look at that photo, I think the answer's yes. Frankly it's a miracle she could still breathe. No wonder she started panting as we were walking up the hill. That lamp post's the only thing keeping her upright.

As it happens, Amelie had never heard of Boo, or Monsters Inc, when we bought it, and I spent most of the journey home thinking it was Dora the Explorer, but having noticed that the teddy bear in her hand had only one eye and six limbs, I put two and two together and hit the jackpot. Frankly it's the best 50p I've ever spent. Amelie and Boo have been inseparable ever since. They spent most of Saturday cuddling on my computer chair whilst watching Boo's Best Bits on YouTube. It's ten minutes long, so I only have to play it six times an hour.

To be honest, I'm glad she had company. Lisa went out at 5pm to chair an AA meeting in town, and Amelie found it a little distressing. She kept telling me she wanted to "go with Mummy", and insisted on keeping the curtains open so she could check for her return. I spent the evening trying to distract her by any means possible. At one point she had Maisy Mouse on the TV, Boo on the computer, Pocoyo on my iPad, and I was reading her The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And she still asked me when Mummy was coming back.

I finally put her to bed at 7 o'clock, and she went straight to sleep, cuddling Boo. But forty-five minutes later she suddenly woke up in tears, calling "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" over and over again. Obviously I was sad that she was upset, but I was also secretly pleased that she wanted me.

So I opened her bedroom door and said "What's wrong, darling?"

She stood up in her cot and said "Mummy's gone."

I told her to live with it, and walked out.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's day 13 of NaNoWriMo, and it's definitely unlucky for some. If I'm going to be standing here with a 50,000 word novel on December 1st, then I should have written 21,667 words by the end of today. I'm currently on 16,547. Frankly it's not going to happen. I already feel like stopping for lunch, and it's only 11am.

There is one thought which has been entering my head repeatedly over the past week though, and it's this:

What the bloody hell was I playing at in 2004?

Six years ago, I had no job, no daughter, and a girlfriend who lived 130 miles away. I only had to rub her feet at weekends. The rest of the time was my own. I had literally nothing better to do, and I still barely scraped home with 50,000 words on day thirty.

This time I'm getting up at 6:30am, driving through floods, seeing patients all day, writing in my lunch breaks, and trying to think of plot lines whilst looking for a plastic giraffe and drawing cows with crayons for Amelie. And I'm only a few thousand words behind. I'm baffled as to why 2004 was so challenging. As I said in August "If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it". I'll probably fail, but I'll give it a damn good go.

In other news, I've had a few words of encouragement from Russia this week. I received this e-mail via my website:

My best wishes to you!
I am Marina 21y.o
I am looking for man to have a strong family.
And you?
I am on-line now, let's chat?
My profile and new photos are here:

I'm not sure I like the way she says "And you?", as though I might be looking for a man too, but I do like the fact that there's a website called 'Boob Dating'. They've clearly had a long hard look at things like personality, compatibility and prospects, and then stripped it all back to what's important in life. Lisa's going out at 5pm. I'll let you know what it's like.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The thing about patients in the National Health Service is that sometimes they want the shirt off your back. Take the lady I saw yesterday. I only made her wait for about ten minutes, but she spent that entire time sitting outside my consulting room, telling her husband how much she liked my shirt, wondering where I'd got it, and telling him he should get one too.

When I called her back in, she asked me if I'd bought it from Gresham Blake. I told her I'd never met him. She informed me that it's a shop in Brighton which sells "shirts to die for". I duly looked them up on the internet, and she's not wrong...

Dead GorgeousI'd certainly die if I had to wear that. It's a 'Bond Girls' shirt, which is currently going for £95 on the Gresham Blake website.

Anyway, I told her mine was from Next. I didn't tell her I'd got it in a charity shop. She then informed me that someone with my good taste in clothes should be shopping at Gresham Blake, and proceeded to give me full directions on how to find it. I was beginning to wonder if she had shares in the company. Her directions started at the Theatre Royal, so she obviously recognised that I'm a bit of a culture vulture too. I didn't tell her we've got tickets for Sally Morgan in January.

Anyhoo, having given me the kind of detailed instructions that would make a sat-nav jealous, she added "Their shirts cost about a hundred pounds each, but if you go in the sales, you can get three for seventy-five". I decided not to tell her that my entire wardrobe cost less than that. She might have realised I'm not a doctor.

Monday, November 08, 2010

If there's one thing I like to do at the weekend, it's to lie on the sofa in my pyjamas, looking at photos on my iPad.

Unfortunately Amelie always beats me to it...

When I was two, I knew the words 'cat' and 'dog'. Amelie knows 'iPad' and 'e-mail'.

Oh, and I apologise for my mistake after 7 mins 45 secs. When she insisted it was "not Amelie any more", she was right and I was wrong. I basically have no idea what my daughter looks like. Let's face it, I only ever see her on a two-inch LCD screen.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Back on 24th July this year, when Amelie had chickenpox and I'd just written my 2,000th blog post, I bought two tickets for me and Lisa to go and see the 'Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble', who were due to cause a commotion at the Brighton Komedia on 1st November.

That was Monday just gone. You're probably wondering why I didn't mention it. It's because I forgot. Not to mention it - to go.

I was sitting here at 11pm last night, wondering if Lisa was going to make it home from a hen night in Worthing without being mugged for her tiara, and I was idly playing my guitar for the first time since we got married. It seemed like a good way of avoiding writing my novel. Anyway, I was trying to decide which was hampering me more - my arthritic fingers or my wedding ring - and I was reminded of the way Lloyd Cole's acoustic guitar kept banging against his belt buckle the last time we saw him play live.

At which point I had a sudden realisation of horror. A quick look at the envelope marked 'Tickets' in my Box of Important Things, and the worst was confirmed. We'd missed the gig by five days. That's what happens when you buy concert tickets three months in advance and a week before you move house. I think we'd already packed the calendar.

Needless to say, we're both gutted. Lisa's missed the chance to see one of her musical heroes, and I've lost forty-two quid. It's a double tragedy. Particularly for me.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Right, I need to stop faffing about and get on with it. I'm letting life get in the way of my novel, and it's just not good enough. The faffing and the novel. For a start I need to stop taking photos like this when I should be writing...

There's an app for that.
That's Big Sis teaching Amelie to use an iPhone instead of reading her a bedtime story.

Anyone who's been following Big Sis's march across Europe, will be under the impression that she's been yodelling in Salzburg since September, so the sight of her on my sofa in Brighton might come as something of a surprise. In reality, she got home weeks ago. She just can't be bothered to write about it.

Which brings me neatly back to my novel. I need to pull my finger out. Out of the many pies into which I have fingers inserted. Lisa's Mum had tear duct surgery at the Sussex Eye Hospital on Wednesday, so naturally I couldn't resist going round her flat to see her looking like a pirate. Lisa then stayed the night there in case her mother sneezed and bled to death, which meant that I barely slept on Wednesday night. Not because I was worried about the mother-in-law, but because I missed my newly-wed wife, and can't drop off without her knee in my back.

Thursday I felt like death warmed up, and still had to go shopping at Asda, and then on Friday Big Sis turned up to play with my iPad. If I hadn't taken my laptop to work, and spent my lunch break tapping away in a health centre, I'd barely have written a thing for three days.

So there's my list of excuses. The rot stops here. If I haven't doubled my word count by the end of the weekend, you have permission to shoot me.

Quiet! Genius at Work.
Oh, and I'm taking Lisa to Worthing today. Just thought I'd get that excuse in early.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

We had a menu delivered through the front door yesterday from 'China Town 2', a quality establishment in Upper Lewes Road which offers "Fish & Chips and Oriental Cuisine to Take Away". I've never been there myself, mainly because I tend to be disappointed by sequels, but I was intrigued by the statement on the back of the leaflet which reads: "Dishes which are not shown on the menu are available on request". That widens your choice quite considerably. If not infinitely. So I checked when they're open...

I have so many questions about those opening times, I don't know where to start. In fact I've spent so long trying to work it out, I've barely written a word of my novel today.

But still, at least China Town 2 is more welcoming that the leaflet which arrived today from the bizarrely named 'Eshna's Nutrition' in Coombe Terrace, "the only Curry & Tandoori people in the UK with your health in mind". Here's their opening gambit...


I've heard less threatening language from the Mafia.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When I said that Amelie always laughs at my posts, this wasn't quite what I meant...

Wot No Tears
Somewhere out there, there's a wall missing a chad.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day two of NaNoWriMo, and needless to say, I'm already failing to meet my daily targets. Lisa's also announced that she doesn't like "monstery things", so I may have to work on adapting chapter two into a frothy romance. But while I'm attempting to increase productivity by firing my inner editor, the good news is that the BBC have just started linking to this blog.

I think I'll gratuitously mention one of their shows in my novel, and see if they'll plug that for me too...

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010Ok, it's the first of November, and in a decision of unprecedented stupidity, I'm going for it. I'm taking part in this year's National Novel Writing Month. Although, judging by my work rota, if I make it through the first week, it'll be a miracle.

My strategy basically involves coming up with a ridiculous title, and then writing a novel to fit it. It's a method employed by virtually no successful writer in the history of literature, but I'm not letting that put me off. In fact I'm positively buoyed by the news (discovered by chance on Facebook) that Annabel Giles is taking part too. She only lives around the corner. Or did, until we moved house.

Admittedly, she's probably living off Midge Ure's money, so can afford to feed the world, and probably has plenty of time to write, but it's nice to know there's a kindred spirit down the road. It'll give me a handy focus for my anger when I fail and she doesn't.

In the meantime, I'll be posting chapters of my novel online. Assuming I get as far as whole chapters. You can read them by clicking here. Although I reserve the right to reverse that decision if it gets too embarrassing...