Friday, October 31, 2008

Helpful NanoWrimo links

This year marks my fourth NanoWrimo, and barring any disasters I intend to maintain my 100% record. For those wondering whether Nano is any use ... Hal Spacejock No Free Lunch contains a lot of ideas, characters and actual writing from a couple of my earlier Nano efforts, so the answer is yes.

The benefits of Nano are many, from thirty days of mad writing with no worries about the quality of the prose, to the understanding of family who you'll finally hear saying things like "No, he can't come to your election victory celebration. He's WRITING this month."

So, on to Nano 2008. This year I've plotted Hal 5 and will be writing a substantial chunk of the first draft. I've not written a word of fiction since Nano last year (in itself a damn good reason for me to sit down and do it again), so I suspect it's going to be a bit of 'right you, into the deep end' for the first few days. I'll live.

Enough of the pitch. Now I want to share a few links:

My Nanowrimo daily progress forms, Nano tips and the unique one-day-catchup form are all here.

yWriter4 for Windows is here. (Your mission is to install it and learn how to use it before the 1st. Ha.)

The Nanowrimo forums. They usually melt down for the first 5-7 days, but after that about 60-70% of Nano hopefuls have packed it in, and everything moves smoothly again.

Once you've signed up for Nano (and you'd better hurry), the Regions page allows you to specify your geographical location, and will then give you a link to a forum where you can meet up with nearby Nanoers. E.g. my region is "Australia & New Zealand :: Perth :: South", and we're already planning meet-ups and word wars with "Australia & New Zealand :: Perth :: North"

Finally, my NanoWrimo profile is here. If you want to run a word war widget with me, just copy and paste the following to your blog/website, replacing the [ and ] with < and >, and the ID with your own NanoWrimo ID (number, not name. It's the last part of the URL when you access your user page on NanoWrimo's site.)

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See you in November ;-)

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

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nano '08

I worked my way through the Hal 5 plot over the weekend, and managed to escape without changing more than 95% of it. This was prompted by the ever-closer NanoWrimo 2008, which starts in just over 10 days.

I didn't quite get yWriter 5 ready for this year's NanoWrimo, but yWriter 4 looks like it's popular enough already:

I'll be using yWriter 5 myself during November, ready or not, and will use NanoWrimo '08 to write a large chunk of Hal 5 and also debug yW5 at the same time. (No coding allowed until after the daily wordcount is complete, of course. That's my reward #1. Reward #2 is GTAIV PC, which is coming out mid-November.)

Anyone else participating in NanoWrimo? If so, feel free to add me as a writing buddy/contact/virtual punchbag/word war opponent:

See you on the 1st!

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008


With her permission, I'd like to share a self portrait my eldest daughter has been working on for the past couple of days:

1. She used the Gimp open-source art package
2. She drew it freehand with the mouse

(She usually works with pencil and pastels, never directly on the PC.)

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

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hal Spacejock 4 review

This one slipped past my search filters somehow. It's a write-up/summary of Hal 4 in the Sept 2008 Midwest Book Review. (It's on their site under the Internet Bookwatch and Wisconsin Bookwatch sections. Hal's a slippery fellow ...)

Anyway, the review starts as follows:

With his gift for satire, science fiction author Simon Haynes is the Australian Terry Pratchett.

Cough splutter blush.

In evidence I submit "No Free Lunch", a rollicking SciFi showcasing the adventures of that square-jawed, square-shooter spaceman Hal Spacejock.

That's part's right.

"No Free Lunch" will leave science fiction enthusiasts eagerly looking forward to the next thrilling, quirky, and humorous adventure of Hal Spacejock, interplanetary entrepreneur!

Which is a problem, because the books still haven't been picked up by a US publisher. So, you can look forward to them but you can't actually buy them in bookstores and such.

Looks great, wonderful reviews, but You Can't Have It.

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