Only Days to Go to NaNoWriMo…

We’re into the last few days before NaNoWriMo starts (on 1st November), I’ll be setting up my blog to handle track my progress. Of course being a geek I’ve got a spreadsheet up, that provides me with a weatlh of statistics based on putting in the current word count, and the amount of hours I’ve been writing each day. Plus graphs. It’s not quite finished yet, was working on it late, and some of the formulae were getting a bit complex, (that happens a lot when I’m tired, bt easily cleaned up on a fresh day).

I’ve signed up a second account on NaNoWriMo, I’m aiming for 100,000 words this time round. I’ve know the provisional plots, and a few characters already. Hardest part is focusing my thoughts onto one story at a time.

My plan is to do 50,000 words a fortnight. Thus working the two stories seperately.

The first is a private detective story, featuring a character that has a lot of issues, but is actually reasonably young (mid-20’s). It works in my head, ihe’s a rich man’s son, and running a failing business he has no real experience in is his form of rebelling against his father. I’ve had this idea since earlier in the year, originally it was going to be my ScriptFrenzy attempt, however I never got started, it’s a good enough idea to warrant pushing through though.

The second of my stories will be a post apocalyptic fight for survival, which is actually a tale of chaos versus morality – when my protagonist and antagonist are at logger heads in humanity’s last survivor colony (as far as they know, though aside from drifters, and roving bands of people no people from outside of their area will feature). I’m not going to spoil the nature of the apocalypse, or who the characters are, and how it plays out – but I find this one really exciting., thought not entirely original of me. I’m actually reading On The Beach at the moment by Nevil Shute, it’s an absolutely fantastic book (not finished yet), and it definately inspired this idea (that and several conversations of late on similar ground).

I’m really looking forward to NaNoWriMo now, the fear of writers block has gone, and I’m sure I can plow straight in, and start banging out those pages (285.5 of them).

Block Breaking

In the words of Shirley Manson (of Garbage), "My head explodes, and my body aches," why? Because I’m trying to overcome writers block, and it takes a lot out of me. Its akin to smashing my head against a brick wall for hours at a time.

Why would anyone put themselves through that? Is it worth being a writer if you are not very good at it, and in fact can not write a blessed thing? It is without a doubt a masochistic tendency of writers to try and write through writers block. However it is worth it.

What I’m trying to do at the moment is warm up to NaNoWriMo, I’m taking on the insane challenge of entering twice this year. Two targets of 50,000 words – which I’m definitely capable of achieving, but only if I write. Indeed daily its a requirement of about 4,000 words (with room for creative breaks).

So banging my head against a brick wall ia just warm up, next month I’ll be peddling a bike at twenty miles per hour into brick walls, and clinging on for dear life in the hopes I don’t get knocked off in the process.

I’m confident though, because despite the block, the ink is flowing. It might only be hundreds of words a day, but clearly that its any words per day after struggling with none is a great thing.

Bring on the impossible challenges. Speaking of which, throughout November, to help push myself I’m going to be giving myself little challenges, characters, and scenarios to include in the stories I write. There are already some over at York & Leeds for my region. Will keep you posted on how that goes, and feel free to suggest challenges at me, the more the merrier.

A Neighbourhood To Call My Own…

Nostalgia is a funny thing – it’s always there, and so much seems better than it really was, in memory, but when you actually sit down and examine in it, suddenly it’s not so rosy. Like watching that old television show you remember as a kid, it might have seemed fantastic, amazing plots, brilliant characters – but in the light of day it was actually pretty shit. Of course, this is not always the case, and when it is not, it is a wonderful thing.

Right now, I am watching Magnum P.I., which let’s face it, is crass populist television, but at its best. I remember watching this show as a kid, and I’ve got to admit the Ferrari helped (I loved cars as a kid, mechanics son and all that), but even now it seems quite fun. It has aged better than say Knightrider.

That is not the reason for this post however, I am sure I could fire up a poem – but I ended up watching it after flicking through the channels in the mood for something nostalgic. It all started with an email, from Yahoo, they are closing down Geocities, and it was their umpteenth reminder that I should go and download my website there, or transfer it to their paid for hosting service.

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Poem on My 27th Birthday…

I’m a bit late publishing this one, my birthday was in September. I’m not very good at celebrating birthdays, they always feel like the markers of opportunities lost, and this poem reflects this.

It’s pretty short (even for my poetry), but it sumises how I feel about the event.

Ninety Percent

It scares the hell out of me,
Ninety percent to thirty gone,
Watershed is fast approaching,
Time marches with a lustful glee,
My time to shine already shone,
Growing up soon unreproachable.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

Lines on Office Work

I’ve been in London since Tuesday, four days out of the office… A blessing. I’m going for geeky reasons it’s the Excel User Group’s conference, so a room full of people even smarter with Excel than I am, hopefully plenty to learn.

Given that I’m avoiding the office for four days, what better time to post this poem? It’s about the working day after all.

Lines on Office Work
Put on the suit,
Brush off the lint,
Mental note for dry cleaning,
It’s off to work we go.

But not so quick,
Crush the war cry,
Temporal anomalies at work,
It’s a bus missed you burk.

Nut in the plural,
Shush the inner voice,
Gentle hope in the later bus,
It’s a minor tragedy.

Cut to the office,
Lush surroundings, not,
Crystal clear emotionless lines,
It’s not to be rushed for.

Strut your stuff,
Gush of fake enthusiasm,
Dental included for health,
It’s all in a days work.

Tut at mistakes,
Rush to do reports,
Bestial work striving for creativity,
It’s time to leave.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

Spider Poem

As promised, however late I am, here is my spider poem – probably not the best thing I have ever written, but I’m just grateful to be writing again. Besides, I kind of like it, I like the bumbling nature of the poem, the over simplified complex structure couple with an end rhyme that has some very stretched rules.

If you enjoy it, let me know – but likewise if you have constructive feedback I’d welcome that too.

Later, I’ll be using this poem as one of the sources for a post about editing poetry, so you never know, I may be back with a better version yet – but I still love this one.

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