It’s been one of those not-a-bad weeks I sometimes have. Work is still being maddening (of course), but as I’m not last in God’s great chain of creation at the moment (thank you Ben Elton), I’m not looking around for an earwig to persecute – though I am spending large chunks of my day not doing a great deal because of waiting.

So far (at least) this hasn’t actually led to productivity of another sort, but as my boss is out of the office tomorrow, I may be able to dodge in some writing between hands of solitaire (!).

For those who don’t follow me on Facebook (I figure there’s an off chance there’s one or two!), I’ve set myself a goal for April of writing at least 7k words a week. So far this week, I’ve managed just a shade over 1k (no writing last night), which is not a bad start.

So far, what I’ve written isn’t coherent (in the sense that I have the start of three completely separate scenes from within the same overall story) but the three scenes are a challenge in their own way. One is an action piece which (tentatively) I’m leaning towards being the opening of the whole story. One is follow up on the action piece (which doesn’t sound like a challenge until you realise that I haven’t actually nailed down all the details of the action sequence – though doing the reaction sequence actually helps on that score). And the third…the third is a scene written from the point of view of the character I’ve been actively developing for nearly four years now. The challenge here isn’t just keeping her back story straight (because my sainted aunt has that ever changed!): she’s essentially blind. Remembering not to just casually write “He nodded” is an obvious point, but there are other visual cues that just automatically creep in to your writing – things like colours and shapes – which are more of a challenge. And working out what else she would pick up on and how in the heck to describe smells and feelings and…


At the back of my mind, I’m conscious that I don’t want her to end up as either a caricature  or an offensive stereotype so sooner, rather than later, I may be looking for someone (or several someones) to take a look over this scene. Volunteers welcome!

The other thing I’ve been doing this week, is going back to my roots – musically speaking. A couple of weeks back, I started building a playlist of the music that, for me, was seminal in shaping the way I listen to music. The only criteria were:

  1. Either released between 1986 and 1999 or
  2. Something that was played at/to me in the same period
  3. Should be something that fits into the rock genre

Beyond that, anything’s been fair game – although I’ve tended to gravitate towards the stuff that got played heavily rather than the one hit wonders (so no Stiltskin, then!). The end result is (so far) a Spotify playlist of 57 songs of a reasonably eclectic mix. There’s some Metallica, there’s U2, there’s Deep Purple and The Who and Guns n Roses and ZZ Top and Tom Petty. There’s not as much Def Leppard as I wanted (they’ve only got either their most recent stuff or live albums available) and there’s no Chris Rea (ditto) but I found Albatross and Bat Out Of Hell and Money For Nothing (all of which bring back memories of long car journeys in the back of my father’s cars). And Queen, of course, because Spotify play lists are like cassette tapes – no matter what you do, you end up with Bohemian Rhapsody* on there somewhere. (Thanks Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for pointing that one out!)

It’s not earth shaking, it’s not radical, but listening to it feels like a reset button’s been pressed – and we all need a reset, sometimes.