It’s Mostly Happening!

I’ve had a couple of bits of good news lately, one of which is quite exciting: I had an email from Mslexia magazine today to say they loved my pitch to be one of their bloggers and they’d like me to start next month!  My pitch was that I’d be blogging about Mark and his gender dysphoria and how living with this has affected me and my writing.  Finally, gender dysphoria pays off!  I get paid for this too – not a fortune, but something; plus it will raise my profile and that of this blog.  So watch this space…

I’m up to 14,000 words in my NaNo journey, which is bang on schedule.  I realised if I’m going to make 17k it has to be over 3,000 per day so I was falling a little behind.  I’ve also been getting a poetry collection together, mentoring Graham in his poetry journey (there’s one of his coming up in a day or two) and signing up for a gig at Embrace Arts.  This is the start of a series of Twilight Performances which involve music, poetry and storytelling and begin at 5.30 in the evening.  So if you work in town and want something to help you wind down that’s SO much better than alcohol, come along.  I can’t upload the flyer, sadly, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  More on this nearer the time…

Back to the laptop-face…

Kirk out


3640 Words!

It’s my first day doing NaNo and I’ve done 3640 words!  It’s flowing quite well at the moment and I’m over my limit of 3000: I’ve planned 3,000 words a day in order to achieve 75,000 in a month.  So I’m quite pleased with that.  I work best in short bursts; and I usually work office hours: nine to five or thereabouts with a break for lunch and another for tea.  I’m not a midnight-oil person, nor am I a scribbling-at-3 am-person: over the years I’ve found that this pattern suits me best.  And I don’t work weekends: my brain needs the time to digest what I’ve done and come up with more stuff to do.

It has come to my attention that some people are attempting to write the whole 50k in one day.  This strikes me as very extreme and quite foolish, like trying to run up Everest or do six marathons at once, because merely climbing the damned mountain or doing the one marathon just isn’t enough.  Why?  Why would you do that?  I am very mistrustful of all these extreme activities.  Where does it get you?  At the end of it all you’re likely to have are, let’s face it, 50,000 words of gibberish, and it’ll take you all month to get over it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and a novel wasn’t written in a day either.  A novel needs time and space to grow – and that’s why I give myself space in between working days; to let my mind digest what I’ve done and come up with more.

Things that grow need time, people!

Kirk out

Long Story Short – NaNo Begins!

I wasn’t intending to start NaNoWriMo officially until Monday but I was seized by a sudden inspiration and yesterday morning I wrote my first paragraph. So I now have about 200 words under my belt and will begin properly tomorrow.  If you work every day in November it boils down to about 1600 words per day, which sounds a lot but then again if you just write without editing it takes most people about 90 minutes, so that’s not bad at all.  When I was writing my memoir I did about 1500 words per day and finished after about three hours (with some editing), so I know it can be done.  However, I am planning to produce 750,000 words in November which works out at around 3000 per day – about 10 pages – so I’ll have to try a little harder.  The reason is that I want to end up with a full-length novel, rather than one which, after editing, looks more like a long short story.

I don’t know how the people did who were planning to write 50,000 words in a day.  In a day!  I had never heard of such a thing but to me that comes into the same category as running up Everest; bonkers and frankly pointless.  Why rush?  Why do people do these extreme things?  It can’t be good for you.  Slow and steady wins the race, after all…

Kirk out

PS I’m getting a little tired of Captain Kirk – I think I may need a new sign-off.  One came to me in the middle of the night but it’s gone now.  I wonder what it was?


Yes, it’s that time of year again and this year more people than ever seem to be doing NaNoWriMo.  In case you’ve been hiding in a bunker for the last ten years, NaNo (as we afficionadoes call it) is short for National Novel Writing Month.  It takes place in November every year and during that month ONLY we try to write a novel of at least 50,000 words.  That’s a very short novel, almost a novella, but still it’s a great achievement in only 30 days (or 25 days in my case, since I don’t write at the weekend).  I am going to take advantage of NaNo this year to write a novel which has been bubbling under for years – a modern take on Dostoevsky’s ‘Idiot’.  It will be called ‘Idiota’ in order to denote that the main character is female, and the name will be explained by some sort of Spanish connection, since idiota is the Spanish word for idiot.  If you haven’t read Dostoevsky’s magnum opus, it’s about a Christ-like character who is naive and gullible and doesn’t understand what’s going on.  He’s a sort of Luna Lovegood character who floats around in an otherwordly bubble, except that he is deeply empathic and distressed by other people’s troubles.  It’s a loooooooooooooooooong book but well worth the effort, though I have to say I don’t enjoy Dostoevsky as much as Tolstoy.  Plus, I have terrible trouble with the names, because you don’t only have to learn their first names and family names but the patronymics as well, and I can never remember which patronymic goes with which surname.

Mine will be much simpler and about one-tenth of the length of his.  No, maybe not a tenth, since that would bring it down to about 80 pages, but let’s say a fifth.  I aim to write 75,000 words during NaNo since that will give me a decent length novel to work with and submit some time next year.

Good luck to all NaNo-ers.  If you’re taking part please let me know what you’re doing and we can encourage each other.

Kirk out