More shipshape verb than shipshape noun though.

Not feeling fit for much but crossword clue allusions to the state of things.

In a bid to shift a bunch of assorted notebook writings that look like they should be doing something more coherent, this November The Mortal Bath is undertaking National Novel Writing Month.

National Novel Writing Month is also called NaNoWriMo, for brevity and hashtags’ sake, I suppose. There’s #NaBloPoMo from and for BlogHer writers as well. This wordcrush phenomenon is a bit Teletubbies, in some ways, and I can’t stop thinking of Chief Wiggum and the hounds.

Oh, you know. NaNoWriMo is sort of a writer support group raising money for charitable writing projects, which is fair enough, although it could be seen, uncharitably, as another of a growing number of ‘something to do for the month’ forced jolly charity annoyances. One might bristle at the thought of doing Movember simultaneously.

Also, while I’m carping, I could happily go through life never having to receive an email purporting to be from “Your Novel” suggesting it has a hot date for “Us” on a Saturday.

It looks like you're trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

It looks like you’re trying to be a serious writer for once. Shall I introduce some personification to make it e a s i e r for you?

Just like that. Still! There’s nothing like a deadline. I recall reading that Anthony Burgess, at the age of 41, thought he had a terminal illness, so set himself a target of about 2,000 words a day of ‘good copy’, to get out a million words, 10 100,000-word novels, in a year.

“I was not able to achieve more than five and a half novels of very moderate size.”

And I may be misrecalling, but I think one of them was A Clockwork Orange. Almost certainly I’m unlikely to manage that, but I can at least state that the exercise beats playing Civ2 ’til 3am on a school night.

The Book seems to be actually going quite well, so far, although (in the grand tradition of distraction reading) I just saw this PD James BBC advice article thing about writing books, so, following Point 9:

I never talk about a book before it is finished and I never show it to anybody until it is finished and I don’t show it to anybody even then, except for my publisher and my agent. Then there is this awful time until they phone.

…that’s all I propose to say on the matter for now. Apart from me meh ma mo, me mu mah may.

A great – and terrible – thing about the internet is that you’re only a few clicks away from complete distraction. Two corners turned from the road you were on and you’re enjoying a coffee in a little speakeasy you had no idea existed. Or suddenly in a park you used to frequent, sat on a bench inhaling the smells of summer and feeling that the universe is a kindly place with designs on making your life good.

Then, like an episode of the Twilight Zone or a book in the Chronicles of Narnia, you rise and return to your original route to discover that hours, days, years have passed and all your friends, family and those you hold dear are ages gone. Time has wasted.

“Civ II. We meet again.”

Lordy. Nearly 10 years ago, I was getting through university with the aid of marathon Civilization II sessions. Attempting to best the Romans, Persians, etc. Developing metallurgy, unleashing barbarian hordes, quelling civil unrest in Laudanum or Boventry (Dear me, such metanerdery… I always liked to give the towns whimsical Pythonesque/Asterixish names). So, in a quick series of links this Saturday last, I found myself sat in Red Lion Square, trying to remember what I’d popped out for. Someone, it emerges, has been sustaining a game of Civ II for 10 years.

Apparently, it all goes wrong. Well, it’s bound to. It strikes me as just a reflection of one’s life when one installs the game.

Reader, I downloaded it. There may, possibly, be something written here in the next few years. I expect it will be “Create entertainers.”