Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nanowrimo progress

It's been a rough start to the month, writing wise, but the whole point of NanoWrimo is that you churn out the daily words whether you feel like it or not.

For the past couple of weeks I've been building an ambitious shelving unit for DVDs, although that's just something I do in rare moments of spare time. (I design and build my own bookcases, each more elaborate than the last. I start with lengths of pine from the local timber supplier and and up with exactly what I want, most of the time. I've been doing this for years, and most of the accessible walls in our house are now covered with bookcases.)

Apart from tinkering with the DVD shelf I also squeeze in 42 minutes on the exercise bike every day. Why so exact? Because I built a laptop shelf for the bike, and 42 mins is the length of most TV shows once they hit DVD. Yes, that's 18 minutes less than watching them on TV, which is the subject of one of my very first blog posts. I can cycle 11km in 42 mins, which is plenty when you're doing it every day.

Anyway, enough of the ancilliary stuff and back to the writing. Last Thursday night I was up until 1:40am and had to get up at 7 the next day, which left me zombie-like from lack of sleep for the whole of Friday. I can scrape by with 7 hours for a couple of nights running, but 4 1/2 is nowhere near enough. I still managed 1500 words on that day, but I daren't re-read them. You need to be fresh to write well, which is rule #1.

On Saturday we took the kids to a local agricultural fair at 11am, got home at 2:30pm zonked out after rides, sideshows and various sugary treats, and then had to rush the eldest daughter to a birthday party for 3pm. Picked her up again at 6pm, and rushed her home just before the inlaws arrived for dinner. Had a good meal and chatted & played games until 10:30pm or so. Kids to bed, and I managed about 1000 words afterwards. It was a good family day and the kids had an absolute riot but it's not one you'd highlight as an example of getting words on paper. Got to bed around 12:30. You need to be single and living in a monastery to write lots, which is rule #2.

Today I pulled out all the stops and wrote 2239 words, which got me back on track. My running total is 8317 words and that's just 183 behind my self-imposed target of 8500. Sometimes you just have to shut the door and get to work, which is rule #3.

Apart from the writing I also applied the last coat of varnish to my DVD shelves and scavenged a full length mirror the neighbours threw out, took it apart, stripped the old paint and helped my eldest daughter apply three coats of navy blue acrylic to the bare timber. It was dry in no time so I gave the glass a good cleaning before putting the whole thing back together. I fitted it to her cupboard door, and while she's not the fairy princess type, is she happy with that mirror or what? Sure, we could have gone out and bought one but it was a whole lot more satisfying to do the job ourselves - and that's rule #4.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


James said...

Well, your about 8317 better than me at the moment. I'll see how I go when I'm back home on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

It's great that you're teaching your daughter to restore old furniture. I too am raising future scavengers.

I'm at 2900 at this point, as I had to plan an annual awards banquet last week in addition to the usual long list of commitments. Thank goodness that's over.

Keep up the good work!

JB said...

Pine, huh?

Simon Haynes said...

I go over it with 3 coats of walnut stain and then 3 coats of varnish. It doesn't look like pine when I'm done.
Wood here in WA seems to be either pine or Jarrah (hardwood) and the former is about 1/5 the price of the latter.

jb said...

I wouldn't see it as a problem for the dvd shelves, but do you find the pine sags for the bookshelves?
It's probably not significant once you've done a cost/benefit analysis... That Jarrah doesn't sound cheap, which is surprising to me since you live where it grows.

I learned something new today. Cool.

Simon Haynes said...

The stuff I use is 1/2 inch thick, and if I have to go over 1.5m I use a vertical strut.

Bear in mind nearly all my books are A-format (181 x 111) which is the most common size in the UK and Australia. I built some really heavy duty shelves for magazines, non-fic, hardbacks and my UK comics collection.

James said...


Simon Haynes said...

Mainly Tiger and Roy of the Rovers, although I do have a load of Beanos for the kids. And my prize possession - a complete set of Krazy comics from issue 1 (1976) to the very last in 1979 ;-)