Planning to fail (or something like that)

Super short update today – and posting before I write anything. Why? Because I’m not writing anything today.

Or tomorrow.

Or for the next week.

It’s no secret I’ve been a little frustrated with the writing process recently. So looking for a distraction on twitter I responded to a tweet by an author (Kate Elliot) I follow…

I suspect I came off a bit down about the whole thing (possibly for a reason…). Regardless the very friendly advice (FYI – it’s awesome when authors and creators reach out to their audience, and I always appreciate the effort and time) inspired me a bit, and I spent the rest of the bus trip thinking about what my real barrier was.

I concluded that my main issue is I don’t know where to go. My writing feels aimless. I’ve got some broad ideas, but I’m not sure how to make the link from one part to another. And (like the last time I found my self at the limits of my plans), I’ve found myself frustrated.

So time to plan. I’m going to sit down with Scapple, with Scrivener, with post it notes and paper, and I’m going to try and belt out a structure to this story. For a week.

Then at the end of the week (starting next Monday), I’ll head back in and start writing again.

That’s the plan anyway.

I’m not sure if I’ll blog over this period – if I do, they will either be very brief updates on how the planning is going, or possibly non-writing related.

So, off to plan!



Oh yeah, soundtrack…I had a hankering for some oldschool tunes the other day, and remembered an awesome mixed artist album called Sharks Patrol These Waters Best of Volume Part 2 – unfortunately there is no music list on youtube…yet. So, I’m building one, and I will post it once it’s done.

Anyway, here’s a great song from that album:


The Female Man – Joanna Russ

Great review – I really *must* read this book.

Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased

This book is written in blood.

Is it written entirely in blood?

No, some of it is written in tears.

Are the blood and tears all mine?

Yes, they have been in the past, but the future is a different matter.

Bantam Frederik Pohl Selection - 1975 - Morgan Kane Bantam Frederik Pohl Selections – 1975 – Morgan Kane

The Female Man isn’t the easiest book to write a synopsis for, because it doesn’t follow a traditional plot structure, but I’ll try. It’s about four women from four very different worlds; as the characters are drawn together, they end up travelling across their different futures and timelines, which Russ uses to examine different elements of gender:

  • Jeannine is a librarian from an alternate 1969 where World War 2 never happened, with the U.S. mired in depression and Imperial Japan ruling the Pacific; she is a mousy woman somewhat damaged from past relationships and buckling under pressures and expectations to…

View original post 1,171 more words

Comedic stylings

Currently reading this book on the bus:


Early in, and it’s interesting. It’s far more like a text book than I expected, and as such it is not meant to be ridiculously funny (it’s a book about comedy, not a comedy book) – I find that reassuring, as it gives an impression that writing comedy could be a learned skill, not a talent one is born with.

Now, I like to think that I am a funny person – although I suspect that is true of most people. But I have always tended to shy away from writing comedy as it seems to put more pressure on me than writing seriously. Whilst I’m not planning any comedy novels just yet (one thing at a time), I would like to see how it’s done.

For now, I’ve been trying to work on a few jokes on Twitter, just to see how they get received. I’ll post a few below, feel free to let me know what you think (including telling me to keep my day job).

*looks back over these tweets*

…I’ll keep reading.

Daily word count: 510 (35o daily + 160 catch up)

Catch up remaining: 888

Total word count: 16,614

Daily soundtrack:

Review: Geek Feminist Revolution: Essays on Subversion, Tactical Profanity, and the Power of the Media

5 stars


This is a fantastic book of essays by Kameron Hurley, and one I’m very glad I read. Kameron approaches her essay topics with a fierceness that challenges the reader to re-examine things that many of us (i.e definitely white male me) take as default or normal. The book looks at the widening of geek-culture to include more diverse voices and the intense and organised resistance that this change faces.

It is also a masterclass in persistence and tenacity, which I found very impressive.

I used the word fierce deliberately.  Karmeron’s writing is a passionate defence of creative women’s place in the world, and is clearly borne of an underlying anger – an anger at the constant efforts to suppress her and other women’s voices. Kameron is attacking the institutions of privilege and patriarchy, but I feel it is important to say this does not mean it was an attack on men – it is not.

As I said, I am a white male. Reading this book I felt questioned. I felt challenged. I felt occasionally guilty (when I recognised behaviours or actions that I had been involved in myself). But I never felt blamed*.

Highly recommended.

*Just thinking – the fact I felt I had to say make this disclaimer is a kind of playing right into to a presumption itself. Why on earth would I assume going into a book that it would attack me for being a man?  Because I have been constantly told that feminism is aggressive and anti-man, which is, of course, nonsense. 

Quick note: I will keep an eye out for future Hurley essays and I can see why she won a Hugo (For “We Have Always Fought”). I’m also now totally committed to reading some Joanna Russ – Hurley makes mention of her work a few times, and FromCouchToMoon did a great review of The Female Man back in 2015.

Writing Update – 1/2/2017

Just a quick update folks:

Daily word count: 552 (350 daily + 202 catch up)

Catch up remaining: 1,048

Total word count: 15,752

Decided to not worry about tracking time. I’ve just get the words done. Maybe once I’ve caught up I’ll reconsider.

Today’s Soundtrack: