NaNoWriMo Update

So, eleven days into NaNoWriMo and I haven’t given up yet. Admittedly, besides that, working and sleeping I also haven’t got much else done. I’m so far on 26,000 odd words, which for less than two weeks is feeling pretty good. As for the content, well… it’s interesting. Challenging you might say. Taboos are being broken. Bad things are being discussed. Isn’t that what writing is for, though?


So, having avoided it for some years now, this year I’ve committed myself to doing NaNoWriMo . Considering that on my last book I managed to work the fastest I’ve ever done and produce about 10,000 words a month, it feels like it’s going to have to take a bit of a leap in  my creative abilities to do 50,000 in November. Am I concerned? Not exactly. I’m just doubtful the product will be much good.

As it stands I’ve got no real idea what I’ll be creating. In some ways I think that is preferable. I’m reluctant to “waste” any of my existing stuff on this, likely as whatever I work on is to become shit. Anyway, the way that I work, I don’t plan/draft/sketch out characters etc. before I start the actual writing. Most of my stuff gets written because I sat down and wrote a chapter of it from cold without knowing where it was going, and then looked at it later and decided that I had a novel there.

I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do with the product of this fevered period. I’ll have to judge it when it’s finished. It is likely to contain a fair amount of fucking though. In case of creative fallow periods, it’s either people fucking or spontaneous outbreaks of random violence to get things moving again.

Howard Marks Aftermath


So, now this is up and running I really ought to start posting shit on it. I just left a Howard Marks gig, in the Globe in Cardiff. It’s a small, weird little venue that can apparently hold 300 but in my experience could only manage it if they’re a terribly intimate 300, y’know, like the ones that fought Xerxes, that spent all day fighting and all night making friends.

For me, the timing was suspiciously perfect. I was supposed to see him at Guilfest in 2008, but I foolishly assumed that being the top billing in the comedy tent meant that he would be doing his thing late night. As it was I was mistaken, as I discovered at about 6.30pm when I was wandering off from having completed the necessary negotiations for the purchase of an elaborate soap-stone pipe I wandered past the tent, on my way to see somebody who doubtless seemed terribly important at the time but I now can’t remember. Maybe I’ll look  it up in the edit. Regardless, I caught the last half minute or so of his set purely because the strength of his accent made me turn round. I can’t tell you if it was a good set, but he got a decent round of applause from those that had seen more of it than me.

Tonight, I was in the venue for much longer than he was. However charmingly small and close to my flat it may be, they do have a bad habit of opening the doors at 7.30 for a gig that isn’t starting until 9.00. I really ought to have learned by now, but we didn’t have tickets and instinct had told me that it might sell-out. As It was, we spent a long time in a queue, then an absurdly long time drinking and being cramped before he came on. The place was crowded, loud and sweaty and the floor had that disconcerting stickiness that’s so often present in venues.

As for the man himself, well, he’s just one of those people. Of course he’s a good speaker. Of course he’s an interesting character. Even if for some reason you aren’t interested in the most famous supplier of cannabis that the UK has ever had, he’s worth your attention because he’s a good raconteur and what I will regretfully lapse into cliche for long enough to call a lovable rogue.

He’s been doing this kind of bit for enough years now that he makes it look easy. Stand on the stage with drinks lined up in easy reach, talk bollocks, ride the laughs, complain about the smoking ban, repeat until all and sundry are drunk.

Shortly after the above I feel asleep, so whatever other brilliant observations I might have written are lost to the ages. In fairness, it was pushing 4am by that time and the bottle on the desk was long since empty.