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Monday, 27 January 2014

Target April fool Week Three Report


#targetalprilfool #writing

It’s the end of week three and I have written over 5000 words. I did not reach 30000 words, but I’m okay with that.

Here is how the numbers broke down
Start of week three 19/1/14 24101 words
Finish of week three 26/1/14 29131 words
Total words for the week 5030

I’m no longer concerned about reaching a specific ‘5000’ mark, but just in getting enough written each week to achieve the end goal. I’ve increased the word count every week so for, but I’m not expecting this to continue as my work life gets busy again with schools restarting.

February is going to be a real challenge. All the things that have been on holidays will kick back in and I’m running a 30 hour training course on top of all my regular work and stuff. I make it through February the novel will be in the bag.

What I have found to be the biggest aid to getting good chunks of writing done is setting aside blocks of time in which I set myself a amount to write. This is working very well for me, particularly when do it with other writers at the same time. I find the weekly writing race run on Facebook run by the The Australian Writers Marketplace Online a real help, even with it being just once a week. Through this writing race I've just met Tamyka Bell who's been inspired by the weekly race to the point where she is hosting around two races a day. I've no chance of making them all, but having the set times there to use is really valuable. 

The end goal remains, that by week 13 (1st April) I have finished first draft of my first novel, Lonely Susan.
Can I do this? I don’t know, but I’m going to try really hard.

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

I Went For The Ride


Book Review: Have Wormhole, Will Travel


By Tony McFadden

I’m not sure how to start this review except to say I went for the ride. Have Wormhole, Will Travel is a, mostly, light hearted soft Sci-Fi book. It has a lot of flaws, but I really enjoyed reading it. I would even consider reading it again. I will certainly read any sequels.

Having said that I really liked it, do feel the need to warn readers that there are problems with this book.

The biggest problem for me had to do with repeating scenes. That is times when the same scenes just seemed to be repeating over and over. In the first half the book, the two alien characters seen to get together a lot and just go over how bad the problem is. They act like there’s been some new revelation that has to be discussed and I just couldn’t see it. In the second half it’s the girl characters who meet up a lot. One of the girls, Jackie, is the one calling all these meetings. They are always somewhere to eat or drink and Jackie always pays! Jackie really seemed to have a lot of money! This did not seem to fit with her job as a fitness trainer. I kept expecting it to be revealed that she had a filthy rich daddy. This all (and other stuff) stuck out at me while I was reading, but did not stop my enjoyment of the book.

For me Tony McFadden is a very good story teller who is still learning to write.

Have Wormhole, Will Travel really shines as a story, but has real flaws as a book. So, I say read it for the story and let the other stuff float past your eyes.

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Monday, 20 January 2014

Target April fool Week Two Report


#targetalprilfool #writing

It’s the end of week two and I have not made my 5000 word mark. I fell short by 899 words, which is a lot.

Here is how the numbers broke down

Start of week one 13/1/14 20139 words
Finish of week one 19/1/14 24101 words
Total words for the week 3962

However, there were some positives. I wrote more words in week two than I did in week one. Last Wednesday I wrote more than 1000 words in one day, a first for me.

Also, I am finding that writing every day, even after just two weeks, has really helped me to write faster and with more confidence.

My aim is to make it to 30000 words by the end of week three.
The end goal remains, that by week 13 (1st April) I have finished first draft of my novel, Lonely Susan.

Can I do this? I don’t know, but I’m going to try really hard.

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Something Different; Something good.


Book Review: River of Bones
By Jodi Cleghorn

Super Natural thrillers (or horror stories) are not my thing. However, I’ve met Jodie a few times and some people I know highly recommended this book, so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad that I did.

This review is a bit long in coming; I read the book months ago. It’s one of a number of books I read, and want to review, last year. The good thing about ‘River of Bones’ is that the story is still very clear in my mind. That is, the story is memorable, in a good way. It is also thought provoking.

The story starts with a typical setup for a Super Natural/Horror story. Mysterious happenings in a small isolated town, followed by a group of young people stranded in said town. However, the story does not follow the typical path from there. The truth is that it took such interesting turns that it lost me once or twice. I found myself rereading some section before I understood what was going on. The good thing about the story is that I wanted to know. I never lost interest. I struggled to put it down and finished it in record time, for me.

It’s not a long story; great for something read on a quiet afternoon or while commuting.

If you are looking for something a little different, something good, River of Bones by Jodi Cleghorn is worth buying.



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Monday, 13 January 2014

Target April fool Week One Report


#targetalprilfool #writing
So, after seven days I did not write 5000 words, which would have been nice. However, I did make to the 20000 word mark, which is what I really needed to do.

Here is how the numbers broke down
Start of week one 6/1/14 16646 words
Finish of week one 12/1/14 20139
Total words for the week 3493

So now all I have to do is hit the next 5000 mark each week.
Which looks like this:
End of week 2 = 25000+
End of week 3 = 30000+
Etc.
Until the end of week 13 = 80000+ and a finished first draft.

Can I do this? I don’t know, but I’m going to try really hard.

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Monday, 6 January 2014

Target April Fool


#targetalprilfool #writing

The one thing I really want to do, writing wise, this year is finish my first novel. To do this I need to finish the first draft quickly. So, I have come up with a plan.

I estimate that I have about 65000 words to go to finish the first draft. I have decided to try and finish it by the 1st of April this year. It is exactly 13 weeks from today (Monday 6th January 2014) to April 1st. This is 5000 words a week, and on average, 715 words a day.

Based on previous experience, this is an impossible task for me to achieve. That is why I’m calling it Target April Fool. I’m going to finish the first draft by April 1st or be an April Fool.

Each day I’m going to tweet the progress, even if it’s no progress, and use that as an incentive to reach the goal.

I hope you and come on this journey with me.

Today’s progress report is:

Lonely Susan word count

6/1/14

Start Number: 16646

Finish number: 17409

Total for day: 763

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50 Years Old and what do you get?


First off, Happy New Year. A few days late maybe, but still well meant.


I’ve entered 2014 as a 50 year old; my birthday is late December. As I have always believed that I will live until 100, I see 2014 as a half-way point in my life. Something significant maybe? However, before getting into the whole midlife crisis thing, the year past & the year to come.

2013: Last year was not a productive one for me. My writing was limited to 1½ short stories, one flash fiction story and a couple of thousand words of my novel. On the positive side my short story ‘Crossroads’ was published in the ‘In Fabula-divino’ anthology release back in April; one of my flash fiction stories (written in 2012) was published at AntipodeanSF. I also moved from Sydney to the Central Coast and had a major job change.

2014: This year I’m going to finish my novel, but more about that in my next post. I’m also going to put effort into getting the short stories I’ve already written. This means submitting them over and over until they are accepted. Hopefully there will not be too many overs.

Now, about turning 50. As I’ve already said, I’ve always believed that I will live to 100, making 50 the half-way point of my life.

For the first 10 years of my life I could not read. First, it was discovered when I started school that I was deaf (juvenile deafness, my hearing is mostly good now) and was fitted with hearing aids. Because of this, apparently, I was left to my own devices by my teachers until year 4. I’m told I was allowed to just do whatever I want and no real effort was put into teaching me. However, in year 4 it was discovered that I no longer needed the hearing aids (I’d lost them both in a sand pit, and they tested me for new ones.) My year 4 teacher actually tried to teach me and determined I had dyslexia. A test was done, I was classified as a non-reader, and I was sent to a special class at a school several suburbs away. I was there for years 5 & 6, after this it was decided I could read well enough to go to a regular high school.

I also went to a special reading tutor. The tutor got my mom to read to me; with me following the words. I made her read me The Hobbit.

It was then that I decided that I wanted to write. I even started a story in year 6. It was about the first manned space flight to Mars. My school teacher was so excited about this that she got some man to come and look at it. He said that it was good and that, when I’d finished it, he would see about getting it published. I never finished it. I just dreamed about being a writer for 40 more years.

Now I’m 50, planning to live to 100, and I intend to spend as many years writing as I did dreaming about it. So, if by 90 I haven’t managed to publish a novel I’ll give it up.


Maybe. 

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