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Friday, 30 November 2007


That is my final, official word count for NanoWriMo 2007. Not even half way, though I did have 12-14 days this month where I didn't write anything at all. Taking that into account, it's not too bad for my first go.

I have not tried to write anything this big before in one go, certainly not in this time frame. Back in college a mate and I co-authored a fantasy story and then wrote our own individual back stories for our characters, but that's as close as I've gone until now. I'll persevere with this one a bit longer, I think, I've got a few ideas still rolling around in my mind for it. I might take a break and polish up a short story for submission to an online SF zine.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


A certain educational institution now requires that all enrolments are to be done electronically. The process has around 7 steps, each needing to be completed before moving to the next. The first is a declaration that you need to read and press "I agree" to continue. So I read, and press the "I agree" button (I've been told I'm a fairly agreeable person, so I figured I should continue the trend).

The screen redraws and I'm staring at the same screen again. Hmm, ok, maybe it failed the first time. I press "I agree" again. Same effect. Bugger, maybe it's an IE specific site (I run firefox, much much nicer).

I'm about to try IE when I see a rather small pair of links at the bottom of the page. One is labelled "previous", the other "next", both having text hyperlinks next to them. So I press the one next to "next" and find myself on the next step in the process.

Yes, the stupid system on each page has both buttons you must press to agree, or finalise, or "checkout" your enrollment, but none of them take you to the next step. You've got to press the "next" link to get there.

Each time the page refreshes when you press the agree/finalise/checkout button so it looks like the system has failed for some reason. It's highly counter-intuitive and bound to cause all manner or problems for people less technically literate than myself.

Add to that the fact that once you complete your enrolment it DOESN'T email you any confirmation information at all. You can print a screen and then have to hope that it's all worked. Stupid.

People must have really tried very hard to design a system as user unfriendly as this one.


Not a bad number, but insufficiently massive for success. I've now got three days to churn out 32,000 words and that's just not going to happen. It will be interesting to see what I can get it up to.

For the last few days I've been doing around 1500 or so per night, which isn't too bad. However, looking back over my progress shows 12 days where I wrote nothing at all, which at my current rate means another 18k words I've missed out on. Ah well, there is always next year.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Not looking good

My writing requirement is up to 7000 words per day, and I've no weekends left. Maybe take a couple of days off? "sorry boss, can't come in today, the computer needs me too much."

I'm not too sure that would work so well.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Mud, mud, glorious mud

A mate of mine and I headed out to the pine forest today to ride through some of the trails. It had poured rain Friday night and rained on and off Saturday, so we figured there'd be plenty of fun to be had. So we headed out just after lunch.

Now, at this point I will make it clear that I had not ridden off-road before.

We get out there, through the gate and up a bit of a track. We stop, have a bit of a look around and decide to head off again. Now, we stopped right near a fairly large patch of mud and water. He headed off through it and up the track. I figure righteo, looks easy enough. I drop into gear, take off carefully and head through the mud.

About 2 metres later the bike slides out and I'm off the left hand side and the bike is horizontal. Yup, dropped it and myself straight into the mud.

How embarrassment.

So I get up, scrape the mud off my gloves and the left handlebars and get going again. Later I notice that I bent the left hand rear indicator pretty badly, but it still works.

We spend about another hour and a half out there and I stay upright the whole time. I'm suddenly paranoid about mud now though :-)

Friday, 23 November 2007


The word for today was "easy", which was word # 13,000. Still a very long way to go, but with all the rain we've had tonight the odds of us playing any cricket tomorrow are long indeed. So I might get some afternoon writing done.

I need to pick up a new box for cricket tomorrow if we do play. I discovered that my current one got cracked on the weekend by a direct hit while I was batting. Good thing I was wearing it...

Voting day tomorrow. Time to exercise some civic duty.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


That was my 10,000th word in NanoWriMo! w00t for me. Only around 25k to go to catch up, or around 4200 words per day from here on in. A few more tonight to go.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


A good night, almost 1500 words. With a bit of luck the magical 10k barrier will fall tomorrow. I need to accelerate to around 4k per day if I want to make it, but it may not be impossible.

Now, if I could just spend the rest of the week at work writing, I'd be set. Somehow I don't think the boss would be too keen on that, for some reason.

Monday, 19 November 2007


Sigh, broke the 7k barrier then stopped. 11 days and 43k words to go.

No prize for me

Unsurprisingly, I did not win the National Short Story competition. If you follow the link you can read the winning story.

At least I can now polish mine a little more then send it off to Antipodean or someone like that to see what they think.

Sigh, I didn't write a single word over the weekend. I think that puts me somewhere around 24,000 words behind. Could be a couple of long nights ahead...

Friday, 16 November 2007


A good day, word-count wise. I'm still way, way behind, but if I can keep up some productivity like this I might get somewhat close. I've still no plot ideas really, but if you believe Stephen King then plot is bad, mmm-kay? Just let the characters loose and see what they do.

So far they are playing with meccano. In a bakery.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


It's not quite the 7000 words I was aiming for, but I got distracted playing Far Cry. Whoopsie. Still, after a slow start to the writing once I did get into it, things eventually began to flow again. I stopped just shy of midnight but I've got a fair idea how the rest of the chapter will pan out, so we'll see if I get any more done tonight.

The unit discussion board isn't open yet, surprise, surprise.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Done. Blargh.

Well, that was nasty. It's always a bad thing when you see your exam paper and it's a single sheet, the front of which is just the instructions, exam title, cheating warning etc. You know the writing will be sparse on the other side, and you've been expecting "problem" style questions. So I turn it over and see the dreaded word "Discuss" finishing most of the questions. Crud.

Double crud because we were told that we would have to answer two questions out of three, one being compulsory and having a choice of the other two, and finding that the compulsory question is worth 2/3 of the total mark. Gee, thanks for not telling us that one!

I'll pass the course, but how well is another question. Of course, the discussion board was turned off for the exam day (Tuesday) and strangely enough hasn't been turned back on yet...

Now I can set new targets. Tonight's target: reach 7000 NanoWriMo words.

Monday, 12 November 2007


Tomorrow morning, blargh. Normal service, and hopefully copious writing, will commence after that. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

3406 words

And five chapters done, more or less, in terms of study for my law exam. The cranky old sod is now in the city, and I think I've got a handle on the rule in Browne v Dunn. Not a bad night's work, really.

Monday, 5 November 2007

2748 words

The weekend was a total loss, I think I wrote maybe 20 words if I was lucky. 50k is looking a long, long way away.

The leg is mostly better, though will take a bit of strengthening now. I think I'll miss the next cricket game, just to make sure.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

1851 words

A bit over a thousand words tonight, not too bad. Of course, that leaves me a bit behind the 1667 words per day target, but the weekend is here so there is always the chance for a bit of work during the daylight hours. We'll see!

As an update, our protagonist has just got to the city gates and has been stopped by the guards. Will he get in? Stay tuned.

Friday, 2 November 2007

817 words

That what I managed to get down last night in about 40 mins, after our Operation Flashpoint gaming night. Imagine what I could do in an hour or two!