2013 was an incredibly challenging year for me. Leggedon was like a grenade being thrown into my life
So, after a year where just getting to the Doctor’s was a challenge, I wanted 2014 to be my year of adventure. It was a theme that stayed with me the entire year, and what an adventure it was.
New Fantasy-Faction Article – 5 Reasons You Didn’t Fail NaNoWriMo
At this time of year we hear so much about people completing NaNoWriMo. It’s all high-fives and bragging about your word count. But what if you failed to hit 50,000 words? In this article for Fantasy-Faction I talk about the reasons why NaNoWriMo has benefited you, even if you didn’t hit the 50k target. be sure to check it out!
New GPSTrackLog Article – 5 Things They Never Tell Newbies About Trackables
My latest Geocaching article is now live for GPSTracklog and this month I look at trackables again. This time, though, I look from the perspective of a new geocacher and list five things that never get told to newbies. If you’re new to Geocaching and trackables confuse you slightly, be sure to check out the article!
Fantasy-Faction Article On Collecting Writing Data
The year seems to be in a hurry to end as I have calendar dates I think should be weeks off which I’m then told are later this week. The last couple of months have been a blur and as part of the chaos of writing and getting the house set up I missed notifying people about this article I did back in November for Fantasy-Faction. It talks about collecting data on your writing and how you can use it to help you plan your projects and write more efficiently. It’s certainly not going to suit everyone but it’s an interesting topic, so be sure to check it out.
There’s this misguided impression some people have that once you reach the status of semi-professionally published, writing a novel becomes a mundane affair. Some people think that once you conquer the mountain that is the novel, all subsequent novels will be a piece of piss.
This is absolute horseshit.
Gosh, has it really been that long since my last blog post?
November is always a busy month for me. First, there’s NaNoWriMo which I make a point of doing each year even if my participation is just limited to further work on whatever book I’m currently writing. Then every couple of years there seems to be a World of Warcraft expansion released around this time. And this year there’s the added complication of having moved the contents of a 60 foot storage container into my new house and having yet to unpack all the boxes. I’ve also upped my swordfighting training to twice a week. It’s no wonder I have little time to blog.
If there’s been one thing that’s been grinding my gears lately, it’s some of the anti-NaNoWriMo sentiment out there. Apparently there’s only one way to get stuff written (who knew?) and it isn’t NaNoWriMo (apparently). Those pieces that aren’t just clickbait will tell you that NaNoWriMo is a waste of time and if you were cool, you shouldn’t be doing it.
There’s only one absolute rule of writing and that’s in order to get published you have to complete work. That’s all. Get the words down and then worry about everything else from there. How you do that, how you go from having no words done to having all your words done is up to you. The internet is full of advice, and by all means check it and try it out, but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not for you.
Look at this way, to be a runner, you have to run. People don’t go around telling runners that the fact that they run down to the shops and back every night doesn’t make them a ‘proper’ runner. It’s not the speed or the distance that makes someone a runner. It’s not how they run. Oh of course, there’s always some guy; some guy ready to tell the world that unless they run exactly like he does then you can’t call yourself a runner. But you, I and the rest of the world knows that this is bullshit and the guy is just an arsehole.
No, what makes people a runner is that they run regularly. They go for runs. By the same principle if you write, you’re a writer, and whether you are a pantser or a plotter, whether you find NaNoWriMo works for you or not, doesn’t enter into it.
So if you’re worried that you want to NaNoWriMo but think that if you do, it’ll somehow ruin your career, you can slap that shit right out of you now. Likewise, you’re under no obligation to do it. Doesn’t make you any more or less a writer as long as you get the work done.
For my part this year, I’d hoped to start Thunder of Crows but I’m feeling that I’m behind on Thieving King (this book is HUGE and despite a lot of hard work I feel like I’ve made no progress). I need to really push on with it. So for my NaNoWriMo I’m just hoping to get more of it done. Is it cheating? Actually no, but I couldn’t care whether it was or not.
New Article At GPSTrackLog On Souvenirs
My latest article is up at GPSTrackLog and this month I take a look at Geocaching Souvenirs – What are they? How do you get them? And why you should consider ‘collecting’ them.
Be sure to check it out!
The last month has been a whirlwind. Time has done that weird thing where it seems both an age ago and yesterday since I moved house. I still have boxes everywhere and don’t seem to have a free moment to unpack many of them, and I’m going to bed mentally exhausted as I work through a mountain of a ToDo list.
I have found time to get out though. I’m sword training twice a week at the moment and that’s going well and last weekend I went to the Torro Autumn conference to hear about the latest in tornadoes and their research.
As regular readers of this blog know , I’m a big fan of tornadoes; not the destruction they wrought but the mere act of nature. I’ve even chased in the US (and been in the outer edges of a mile wide EF2).
But what surprises me (constantly) is how little we know about these acts of nature and how little research has been done. What’s all the more surprising is the research that has been done has often been done not by academics but by knowledgable amateurs with an interest.
As much as I am like Benny from The LEGO Movie, “shouting “Tornado, tornado, tornado” instead of “spaceship, spaceship, spaceship” I have a real and genuine interest in the science of tornadoes. Therefore travelling to the conference last weekend and hearing all about research on things like topography and tornado formation was genuinely riveting.
I enjoyed my day and am determined that the idea for a research project of my own should be moved forward. I need to find ways to source some historic weather data but it’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of it.
The last time I went to a Torro conference I was a few weeks away from going on my first chase. Now I’ve been out to the US and experienced tornadoes I’m even hungrier for information. We’re a long way from being able to predict tornadoes but there’s an army of academics and amateurs studying these things and trying to learn their lessons.
New Article At Fantasy-Faction On Scapple
So this month over at Fantasy-Faction I’m taking a look at the companion product to Scrivener – the mind-mapping programme called Scapple. If you’ve ever wondered what mind-mapping is and how it could possibly help you or have looked at Scapple and wondered what it does, be sure to check out the article.