Football Weekends Feature (February 2016)

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I have a feature published in the latest issue (February 2016) of Football Weekends. It details a cold, but enjoyable trip to North Wales to watch a couple of games in the Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup.

It was also accompanied by a number of photographs that I took during the game. That’s a first for me, the first time that I have had photographs published in a national magazine.

Football Weekends is available online or in most WH Smiths.

Thirty days later…

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For the second time in two years, I have just completed the November writing challenge, Nanowrimo. Last year was a bit of struggle, as I battled the norovirus to complete it, this year didn’t throw up (pardon the pun) any challenges of that scale but it was still quite difficult to achieve the target given my increased commitments this year.

The reason that I wanted to do it this year, more so than usual, was for the usual challenge but it was also to get a head start for the module of the MA that will see each member of the class present samples of their work in progress. As my course is three years, I am ahead of the game as a result of the last month, given the final year is about writing up the 60,000-word novel.

For this year I had a theme that I wanted to write about – it was always going to be something relating to my interest in music. Right up to the start of my course, I didn’t really have an idea what I was going to do but that wasn’t a problem as I had a few weeks before Nanowrimo came around and I could knock something into shape by then. Thankfully inspiration struck me on the way driving home from the Induction event.

The challenge now is to go back and edit what has been written so far and shape it into something approaching how a novel should look. This has sadly not been the case with what I produced last year.  I think I will have a few days off from it and get the red pen out and get to work and putting a workable draft together. So far, I would say that this is draft 0.5 because I know it is littered with typos, literals and other horrors that I would be embarrassed to publish.

No matter what state it is in, the position I’m in now, highlights the benefits of Nanowrimo, with the fact that I am 30 days along from having a blank page, to have written over 50, 000 words that can now be deleted, extended and corrected as I see fit.

Though I am rather tired now, I can look back on the last month with some satisfaction. Given that the time is now 1am on Friday night/Saturday morning, God knows where I found the energy to put together this blog post, I suppose it shows that with the discipline of non-stop writing for a month, makes it easy to write when you need to.

Nanowrimo 2013

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Given that I have signed up for a creative writing course, so far my writing has been minimal to say the least. For that reason alone I have decided to get my act together by signing up for Nanowrimo again.

Last year, I successfully completed the challenge for the first time; this was despite going down with a vomiting bug in the last week of the month-long challenge. That draft remains unfinished but will be returned too in due course. For now I have decided on a new idea which goes under the working title of ‘Difficult First Album’ a concept that until now has been a title in search of a plot. That may be the case when the month is up.

Ironically the plot/plan was formulated on the way home from my first session of my MA. I was jolted in to action hearing how the other students had already written novels and had work published. The idea almost came to me as I walked back from the pub. In case I forgot it all, I jotted notes on my phone before I drove home.

Most of those ideas I will be looking to develop as I draw together a plan for November. I am making use of a rare day off work – I’m on strike today (an official one I might add). So I have put the day without pay to good use by getting this together.

So here’s to another month of nonstop writing and the same result as last year – minus the vomiting bug hopefully.

Nanowrimo 2012

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Well thirty days have passed and despite the last week being laid up in bed with the norovirus, I have stumbled over the line and completed Nanowrimo. It was a good job I was ahead of the word count before the bug hit, otherwise I would be writing about another Nanowrimo failure. I didn’t post anything at the outset as I was in two minds whether I would it again this year. I also didn’t want to herald another failure. At the last minute I decided to do it. Thankfully I did as I have now a draft completed.

At this moment I have a feeling of elation, tiredness, and weakness (as a result of the illness). The first draft stands at 50, 067 words, though a quick scan of the finished draft suggests that some of that will be cut from the final version.

The story arc is complete but I now need to give it a thorough edit. Given that it has been written at speed, my pages are awash with green and red squiggles that Word kindly uses to indicate the error of your ways.

This is a long way from being publishable which I am under no illusions at this part of the process. I see this as the something to edit stage. This is more than I had at the start of the month. Which I suppose is the point of the exercise with Nanowrimo.

Here’s to the editing process. Which I am assured is just as painful as sitting down to writing a novel.

 

 

 

 

 

No no Nanowrimo

A recent blog post mentioned Nanowrimo and how I had set myself the task of writing 50,000 words in the month of November.

Today is the halfway point and I should now be bragging about my achievements so far…Well the dog ate it, I left it on the bus… blah blah blah! excuses ad infinitum.

This year, like last year, I was probably a little presumptuous that the work situation would have calmed down by November. That has not been the case, if anything it has become increasingly busier. So with great reluctance I have decided to wave the white flag and give up. The novel that everyone supposedly has in them (so the cliché goes) will sadly have to wait for another year.

Though I have written 5,000 words for an academic paper in the last few days – though I doubt that will be able to count towards to the Nano word count.

Nanowrimo 2010

Today is the first day of Nanowrimo and like last year I have tentatively signed up to it. For those that don’t know Nanowrimo is a novel writing challenge that sees you write a 50,000 novel in 30-days. Easier said than done? Well last year for me it was, as I struggled to make it over the 25,000 barrier. This year after much delaying and dithering, I have signed up to it again.

Tonight, if I was on course I should be signing off with a daily total of 1667 – so far I have done everything else other than what I was supposed to be doing. Already my idea, one that I have figuratively blown the dust off for this year, is looking like it may be discarded for something else!

It’s still not too late to join in the fun, you will no doubt catch up with my not be revealed paltry total so far. I can be found here on their site (I need to update this too).

If you are still undecided here’s an interesting article on why it is a good idea