NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 30

Yes, that is correct. I managed to write my 50,000 words this month, and with a whole hour to spare!

It reminds me of my undergaduate days, I don’t think I ever started an assignment until a day or two before the deadline, and I pumped out that assignment just before the deadline every time. Although it did also explain some of my less than excellent grades. I think the main thing is that I got to spend more time drinking and playing guitar than I would have if I had worked diligently. What good is a Bachelors degree if you don’t have a huge education debt and alcohol induced memory loss?

Fortunately I love writing, so I can do it any time, not just when I have a deadline.

Words Written: 1,740 (per day average)
Total: 52,204

Of course, my goals weren’t just to write 50,000 words this month. I also wanted to achieve a few other things. So how did I go?

1) Write daily.
Failed. But I did write most days of the week.

2) Get into good writing habits.
I think I’ve moved towards this. Regular writing, thinking about what I want to write and laying out scenes in my head prior to sitting down; all good habits. I got some good tips here.

3) Use writing as an excuse reason to stay up late and sleep in.
Success.

4) Put off household chores to write.
Success.

5) Get a large chunk of first novel written.
Success. I’m still a long way from finished with Overturned Stones. It is a thriller (synopsis below) and I now have the first third and the last third written. Another month and I should have a good first draft ready for rewrites.

I suppose that will be the next challenge on my path to becoming a novelist: rewriting. Whilst most of what I have written is pretty good, I did find some sections that are very bare on details. Some chapters are almost completely dialogue, with very little exposition. That may have been my intention initially, but I have a feeling that when read with fresh eyes it may not communicate all that I was hoping.

NaNoWriMo has been good fun. I’ll definitely be signing up again next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have a rewritten, edited, designed and ready to publish, manuscript.

Overturned Stones Synopsis
You never expect to stand trial for the murder of your wife, let alone if you didn’t do it. When you find out that your wife may not be dead but rather kidnapped by human traffickers for sexual slavery, you could be forgiven for being a little annoyed. Proposing lead therapy for the traffickers in an effort to help them reform and free your wife isn’t appreciated, by the traffickers, the police, or potential future employers. Can one man, dubbed “The Husband” by the media, take down organised crime, avoid the police and traffickers, and keep his gun loaded? http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/tyson-adams

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NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 27

Okay, I’m so close I can taste victory. What doesn’t help is that I happened to write 1200 words on a different project today and yesterday I had a great idea for another story that I had to get the basic synopsis written down before I forgot it.

Regardless I have hit 42,000 words and this last week of writing indicates I can have NaNoWriMo conquered on my first outing. This is, of course, assuming my procrastination fairy doesn’t arrive with a hilarious site filled with internet memes.

Hope everyone else is having fun with their writing. For those of you who are just plain old readers, I hope you’ve been laughing heartily at your writing pals. Remember to tempt them with time wasting activities from now until the 30th.

Words Written: 1,502 (per day average)
Total: 42,068
Remaining: 7,932 – very doable.

In financial trouble? Play dominoes!

Yes, bookstores may be generally declining, or doing their impersonation of climate change deniers, but apparently it can be solved by playing dominoes.

I reckon it is worth visiting this store for two reasons.
1) They made this pretty cool ad.
2) This looks like a store that would have just about any book you are looking for.
3) Someone needs to beat up the hippie playing guitar cross-legged.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About This Blog

This blog has been running since the middle of February this year. One hundred odd posts later, and a few thousand views, I’d like to share some information with all of my friends here.

10) Despite my lack of a second language – unless you count being able to do a passable Scottish accent and order a newspaper and a sandwich in French – a fifth of my friends here are not native English speakers.

9) This blog has not been assessed by the FDA.

8) Only 17% of my friends here are Aussies. The rest of you are all honorary Aussies at heart!

7) This blog is 99% fat free.

6) 77% of you really have to question why you are using Windows OS. All the cool people are using Mac (10%), Linux (4%), iPhone (3%) and iPad (1%).

5) This blog is currently being tested as a cure for cancer. I’m hoping to make Chuck Norris cry from laughing so hard.

4) This blog’s level of awesome – measured in nanofonzies – has been increasing over time. Your little bit of cool helps us all, thankyou!

3) This blog post is mostly a procrastination effort when I should be knocking out the last 15,000 words for NaNoWriMo.

2) The opinions and reviews expressed in this blog have not been paid for, no bribes have been received, nor does this blog receive any sponsorship. Please email me to rectify this situation.

1) Being a friend of my blog and I entitles you to one free business class flight to Perth, Australia*.

* Tyson Adams is unlikely to actually pay for your flight to Perth, let alone business class, so it would be a miracle if being a friend of his and this blog would ever eventuate in you receiving that free flight.

12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music

I had to share this list with everyone, mainly because it says a lot about quality being arbitrary.

  • 1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

    Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

  • 2. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

    Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

  • 3. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

    Ke$ha's “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

  • 4. Flo Rida’s “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”

    Flo Rida's “Low” has sold 8 million copies – the same as The Beatles' “Hey Jude”

  • 5. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

    The Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

  • 6. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

    Celine Dion's “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

  • 7. Same with Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”

    Same with Shania Twain's “Come On Over”

  • 8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

    Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

  • 9. Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

    Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

  • 10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus’ album “Some Gave All…” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

    People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus' album “Some Gave All...” 20 million people. More than any Bob Marley album

  • 11. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

    The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than the Beatles

  • 12. This guy exists.

    This guy exists. That is all.

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 18

All of the NaNoWriMo masochists are 60% of the way through challenge 2011. I have just disowned one of my writing buddies for having already passed the 45,000 word mark.

1667 words a day didn’t seem like that much of an effort at the beginning of the month. Now I’m realising it is quite a demanding effort to be consistently creative when you have a day job, travel for work, and a lazy streak wider than a truck. Being a professional writer is no easy task, I have even more respect for them than ever.

So with 12 days left to write ~23,000 words I’m still confident, but know there are some big writing days needed. Also I may just start taking the advice of many and just write and give up on that silly idea of making sure flow and research are complete. Not that I’m blaming the internet and its plethora of interesting information for my slow writing progress, that would be rather shallow of me. Instead it is proper to lay the blame at the feet of my dog, curse her and her need to sleep on my feet in such a cute way.

Words Written: 1,505 (per day average)
Total: 27,097
Remaining: 22,903

How has everyone else fared so far?

Book Review: Climate Change Denial – Heads in the Sand

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the SandClimate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand by Hadyn Washington and John Cook
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

It takes a while to read a book during your lunch break at work. It can take even longer if the book you are reading is filled with interesting tidbits of referenced information, which then inspires you to read the original research paper. I suppose that is the best thing about Washington and Cook’s Climate Change Denial, it is filled with interesting research and arguments, all concisely expressed for anyone with an interest in the future of our planet.

Usually I have an issue with non-fiction books. Often times the non-fiction genre is filled with work that lacks credibility or validity. Non-fiction is also prone to the shouting polemic, which is all doom and gloom, and short on any solutions. Climate Change Denial is the opposite, with a very well researched base of information, well rounded and reasoned arguments and an entire chapter devoted to the solutions for both denial and climate change.

What interested me was the mindset of denial. I’ve done a lot of reading of the peer reviewed literature on climate change (hint: the world is getting warmer, it’s our fault, we need to take action now) and have been frustrated with the same debunked arguments arising time and again. Now I understand why, well, aside from the massive fear and smear campaign waged by denier groups with oil $$. I also appreciated the candid debunking and slaying of the red herrings (e.g. we need to adapt) and white elephants (e.g. carbon capture and storage) often associated with the climate change debate.

This is a great book for the climate change extension people, for those who are undecided on the topic, and a must read for politicians (this book has been given to every Federal Government minister in Australia). Those who read it now have the job of converting the deniers, logic and science will prevail, but it would be nice to have that happen sooner rather than later.

Also worth reading John Cook’s fantastic site.

View all my reviews