August 7th, 2020 – 681

So today was pretty darn busy, but the rest of my 3 day weekend should be super chill. I saw dad which was nice, and then went to Mana to pick up my VIP Booster. I felt glad to be back but weird all the same, and agreed as I was being dumb enough to agree to open one of these things that I’d let her film it.

I got some passable commons, a couple food uncommons, and though both rares were eh, I still had use for one of them, and a friend likes elephants so I’m giving her the other. Then I saw my first topper.

Well damn. Apart from John Avon knocking this out of the park that by itself made the booster memorable, and there’s a good chance I can get it signed. I smiled, as hey I’ll still likely have to buy the one topper I super want, but this is still nice. Then I look at the other.

…Which turned out to be the one topper I super wanted. I think I cheer in the video, honestly it’s a blur because I was giddy as heck about that.

This has nothing to do with writing and I don’t care. I hit target fyi about 30 minutes ago. Book still horrible. For once, today it’s the last thing on my mind.

August 6th, 2020 – 680

Today’s scene of WAN which I finished a few moments ago proved to be harrowing even as I obfuscated the actual gore from description. I have a horrible feeling that on the rewrite I am going to have to put some of that nastiness back in, but of all the scenes so far committed, this one made me feel the most wretched. I wonder, if I ever let anyone read this story, if people will think I enjoyed writing this wretched mess. I hope not. I can at least point to this blog as evidence that I didn’t, assuming they believe me.

Got to stay positive. I get to see dad tomorrow, as well as one of my best friends as we open overpriced Magic products together. Also, I wrote 1,500 words today, meaning that we’re a big leap towards being free of this mess. I have to hang in there a bit longer, and I can at least now say I tackled this book, pushed myself well outside my comfort zone and pushed for consistent quality as I did so. It’s a shame that ‘quality’ in this instance has to be so grim.

August 5th, 2020 – 679

That was a looooooong day. Not a bad day, though I did have to sit in on a work meeting on my holiday so my mood wasn’t great going into it, but an active day nonetheless. I tried to up my rowing intensity after a few G&Ts and my head has been blaring the klaxon of disapproval ever since. On a more positive note, I have got the flat all nice and tidy again, moving boxes removed and the blockage of washing up cleared at last. It’s so easy to get bogged down by those when moving into a new space without established routines. As it is, I think I’ll need to use my calendar in some clever way to designate dishwasher/ washing machine days, perhaps in off days with each other. But all this can wait. For now, it’s nice to have clear walkways and all my gadgets set up again.

WAN continues to be more of a drag on my mood than working through the whole holiday would have been. This chapter I am working on now is where ‘All is lost’ is going to live, a critical moment in the relationship between the two main characters, and a death that is a tad metaphorical if you ignore the background bodycount. So yeah, sunshine and rainbows all around. Every day I both thank myself for ripping the band-aid off now and getting the story out of the way, and a desire to bang my head against the double glazing until it becomes single-or-less glazing. With my current self-made headache I do not take the latter prospect lightly.

I’m still neglecting WattPad and I need to cut that out. No that’s incomplete, I need to figure out what it is I want, and set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound targets, the long term and the short term in summary. I need to do this, yet continue to neglect doing so. It might be because it’ll lift the veil on the ‘you need to write more short stories to get noticed/published’ issue that shouldn’t even be an issue – I like writing them. It’ll also highlight the need for me to devote more time to researching and approaching industry people to start making connections, but I just want to write and I am so tired of talking to people I swear to god just kill me now. Ok that’s hyperbole played up for laughs and sympathy – despite not being funny – but it’s a struggle to know how and where to start, even with the good advice banded around online.

Another tomorrow problem. Or at least, a problem for ‘later’. And, another one I need to not leave quite so much ‘later’…

August 4th, 2020 – 678

Today I’ve been house cleaning! It is, well it’s taking a while and I’m still not done yet, but I have got a lot of major tasks done. Most of all is my office who h looks super nice now, and I’ve included a photo at the end of this post.

WAN continues to make me miserable, but hey in theory I am just over three weeks from being done with this damn book once and for all, so keeping positive. And – so far – I’ve not overeaten today! Yay!

August 3rd, 2020 – 677

70 words off of 60,000. If 85,000 is the rough final total, that means I am less than 25 days away from that, assuming I don’t chain bare-1,000 word days. Resentment at the novel is replacing itself with gradual, even sluggish progress towards excitement for what comes next. I’ve got whimsical stories, or a more serious tale that comes next in the series cannon and has a feel not unlike TSS. Whichever I choose, and I am expecting it to be the latter, it’ll be a welcome change from this story. Apart from anything I’m looking forward to this blog no longer being where I go to whinge about how much I dislike this one character.

It’s gratifying all the same to see how much faster I’ve become in general at content generation, even if I’ve had a lull as I settle back into my own flat. I hope by the time WAN is done, I’ll be getting into a 1,300 word rhythm that increases my turnout to 4,000 words or so every 3 days. At that pace writing a novel every two months becomes an achievable goal, though I do think I’m still a short way off of that being sustainable. Even having it be a possibility that I can mull without the idea sounding absurd is a great feeling to have. The knowledge that I will also have this novel done on or around the 700th day of 1K, bringing me to 6 novels that I’m willing to polish and share is a fantastic milestone, even if the latest book can go die in a fire.

I’m starting to slip in my diet, but not for the reason I expected to. I imagined resisting take out would be my greatest nemesis, but in terms of frugality I’ve managed to keep spending to the essential, and that VIP Booster… But that’s essential in that, no, no it’s frivolous, but at least it’s supporting my LGS. No the way I’ve slipped on diet is my toe. I managed to bruise it quite bad, and going on longer walks seems to make it a lot worse. Couple that with my loosening willpower to resist extra food, and I’m at risk of gaining a lot of weight back from stress alone. Just gotta keep rowing and hope that heals up soon. I miss when I used to get 6,000 free steps a day just going into work…

August 2nd, 2020 – 676

So I’ll start by explaining what happened yesterday.

I have a small bubble, one I’ve kept to my mum’s side of the family – though I am still seeing dad when I can at a distance – and two other friends who are otherwise in close to total isolation. Every other week I meet one of those friends – haven’t met up with the other yet – and help her food shop, then go back to hers to watch YouTube and pretend for a little while the world is ok.

On her setting off to drive me home after this yesterday, our car made what I can only describe as a noise of imminent death. She tried to drive through it but after barely 200m we both agreed that the 15 miles ~ to get me home was not happening. She was super sweet about it which given its her car that was the issue and might have a nasty bill coming up reminded me just how much this world doesn’t deserve her. She dropped me at the station and it seemed the drama was over.

I haven’t been on a train in close to half a year. As such, I’m, a bit out of practice. But I got my ticket, donned mask #2 of the day and walked to the platform. At the barrier I accidentally tried to use my receipt not my ticket. I laughed it off to the attendant thinking hey, where’s life without a few rough edges. And besides, the train arrived 3 minutes early and less than 30 seconds after I got to the platform! Neat. 21:47, 16 minute journey and a 25 minute walk.

I made it home two hours later.

The train not stopping at Hampden Park was annoying but hey, workable. I got my first taste of others train behaviour and may I just say WEAR YOUR GOD DAMN MASKS YOU IMBECILES. OVER YOUR WHOLE FACE TOO. Ahem. I got to Eastbourne, waited for a train stopping at Hampden Park, got on, silently judged the people not wearing masks/properly and…

…and watched as the train skipped Hampden Park.

13 minutes or so later we arrived back where I started. Thankfully, the rest of the journey went by without incident, but it’s around then as I was coming into the station I wrote yesterday’s post. So hopefully you can see why I wanted to wait and convey it properly. I also didn’t want to tempt fate by saying “but hey at least it’s over now” before the train derailed itself out of spite or something.

So tonight, I’m knackered and need sleep. But I still need to write. WAN is getting towards the third act which is where it starts to get really unpleasant, so my mood is somewhere between the gutter and bedrock. Closer to the latter. Imma churn out 1,000 words of passable prose and take a few shots of bourbon; the joys of no work tomorrow. Here’s hoping nothing blows up and means I have to enter work mode from the blue.

July 31st, 2020 – 674

It’s amazing how police sirens cause anxiety. I heard them just outside my window and it sent my spine on edge, for as far as I can tell no reason besides the worry of something happening outside the building. Ok, I am planning on going out for a walk almost right after this post, but it’s not as if I can hear anything now. In a way it’s gratifying, because it confirms at least for me what I’m hoping to convey in WAN – that innate dread that the Wanderer gives off is akin to that which even boring goody two shoes like me feel when we hear the police nearby. That when I came up with it years ago wasn’t quite the main headline topic it is today, and I do not know how to feel about that.

I managed to write a lot earlier today than yesterday, which is good because my annual leave starts at 5pm and it means this evening belongs to me alone. No idea what I’ll be up to but I imagine it’ll involve video games, which I’m starting to get back into in a big way, a situation I’m pretty chuffed about. I also put in my order for a VIP Booster this morning, and I’m picking up my custom made Cube box today too. So yeah this has been a good day. Productive too, as I got a lot unstuck at work that I’d had lingering for a while, as is tradition for the day before annual leave. Again, such a stereotype.

Anyway I’m going to do a bit more work now, and then go on my walk and go into email response mode. Here’s hoping nothing large lurches out of the darkness to unfoot me and see me working until the small hours. Again.

July 30th, 2020 – 673

Ok so a bit later than yesterday, but I do have everything all done and wrapped up so I’ll be going straight to bed after writing this. Work wasn’t too bad today, but I think my fatigue is beginning to peak. Just one more day and then I have a nice stretch of holiday, a chance to take stock and regain a bit of control over things. I’m hoping by August 10th, I’ll have a tidy flat, an almost finished novel first draft which should be on the verge of the 70k mark, and a lot less tiredness.

Good news is I’m picking a cool new doohicky tomorrow; friend of mine is getting into 3D printing and he’s built me a cool insert for my Magic Cube box, and for a great price too. I’ll also be dropping a considerable amount more – not a fantastic price but still a cool product – for a VIP Booster of Double Masters. It’s not worth that price tag, but as of the 39 special cards you get two of, there’s only one I don’t want and one I kinda don’t want, it’s a pretty reasonable gamble I’ll get something I do; odds of 1 in 1,600 I get both, and by then it’s worth just the ‘what are the odds’ story. The odds are 1 in 1,600, kinda a short story.

Time to go pass out. Cya.

July 29th, 2020 – 672

I’m having one of those ‘why is it I never try and publicise my blog’ dillemna moments. I’ve heard that a newsletter is the best way to reach your audience, and that building up a list of emails is the backbone of a successful literary career. Indeed, I know if I could say to a publisher that I have a mailing list of Xk readers who could become potential customers. that reduces the risk of them taking a punt on me. Of course that’s audacious; I’m not exactly fighting off the crowds yet with my work, but it should be a goal I have in mind.

So what’s that got to do with here? Well, besides my books themselves wherever I host them, this is my prome advertising space. I already intend to redesign the landing page so that it’s more of a portfolio of my work, once I have WHT up and I’ve done my detailed edit of my flagship trio of books. I’m also thinking of sticking them on Amazon once I have some updated covers that are more buyer friendly, which is going to be a costly investment. But when all that’s done, I’ll still be blogging every day, and this is my chance to show myself as human and, I hope, likeable.

Except, that’s not what this blog is for. If you’ve read the Action, Accountability & Reflection post I did on I believe day 500 of 1K, you’ll see I note that this blog’s main purpose is to signpost that on the previous day, and in most cases that day too, I have kept the chain of a thousand words every day up, minus the blog itself of course. It’s a functional habit building tool, not a marketing tool. Sure I wouldn’t mind if I woke up and 10,000 people read my blog – assuming it’s not because I’ve somehow offended Twitter – but going viral wouldn’t affect what I wrote on here.

Ok that’s a lie I’d spend like 10 days writing posts going ‘holy £$%@ I can’t believe that happened’, but in terms of how I write, and who I write here for – nobody bar myself – I wouldn’t change. But is that me being defiant for what I want, or squandering an oppotunity to speed up a writing career? There is a reason that this is far from my first dillemna on the subject, and I still don’t have the answer there…