A.J. Walker


Fergie Time

Reviews, Reviewing and Deleting

Had feedback from two of the Flash Dogs on Fergie Time and have made the decision to finish it based on their comments. Thanks to those guys for their time. Once I've finished it I will have to develop the tightest disclaimer ever to protect my ass if the story is ever to be released to the wild (look these guys are real, they're obviously in a parallel universe very close to own but clearly not our own etc).

And to repay the grace of these Flash Dogs I've volunteered to review a book from another Flash Dog. The Dogs are really producing stuff right now, aren't they?


Talking of reviewing I'm getting around to going through the photographs on my computer, the damn things are clogging it up. I had over 54k photos on it, and you can see above the effect on my Hard Drive. Have deleted 2k today, but I'll need to get on top of it and aim to at least knock a third off. I mean I can't even need 30k photos can I? The 52k photos apparently equates to 195GB. It'll take ages to go through it. If I can knock it down to 150GB in the first instance I'll have doubled the free space on the HD so it's got to be worth the time.

Reading Challenge 9

With respect to reading I've managed to catch up with a few books over the last four weeks and have gone from 6 to 3 books behind schedule so maybe I could achieve my original goal. That would require me to read about a book a week or more. That could be affected of course by reviewing and writing myself and maybe NaNo if I chose to go for it. Right now I'd be happy with reading 32 or so probably. After finishing another Pratchett yesterday I've moved on to another classic writerer with a Philip K. Dick, another Oxfam buy - 'Confessions of a Crap Artist'.

Maybe, Just Maybe

Thanks to Scrivener I managed to quickly and easily convert a document into Kindle format. Woo hoo! I had chosen the NaNoWriMo effort from 2016, 'Fergie Time' for no particular reason other than it was formatted in chapters and pretty substantial (50k+). It certainly wasn't the aim to do anything with it. I hadn't looked at it for ages, but seeing in on the Kindle it looked better than I expected and reading the first couple of chapters at it with fresh eyes after so much time made me think that maybe, just maybe, there is something there.

Talking of fresh eyes I made a shout out to several Flash Dogs to see if anyone would read the first few chapters and feedback whether it was worth working on to finish it. Within about an hour each said they'd look at it and almost as quickly - these Flash Dog types are super fast and super friendly - I've already got feedback and far from disheartening too. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if it had been all negative given it was effectively written over a single month. I'd really enjoyed writing it, but with the time gone since looking at it I don't feel overly invested in it at this point. Perhaps that is about to change.

Each Dog has carried on reading beyond the first two or three chapters, which must be a good sign. The humour seems to be okay. Though some of the pointed barbs maybe need to be less pointy. And I probably need to make it less blokey. I know everyone says writing humour is hard and I get that, getting the level right for the story and not putting in funny line after funny line or throwing things out there just for a punchline to come along, or then again not having enough fun in it so you forget it is supposed to be funny... well it's not something I've really tried before.

I wrote it back in 2016 and maybe I didn't think about it enough before hand, for my story is chock full of real people i.e. named football players, managers and pundits (as well as Mary Berry and Sue Perkins). Let's face it the clue is in the name of the book. But I hadn't considered any legal issues of having real people in a fiction story. It could kill it dead in the water in terms of publishing it.

So I was in a bit of a quandary as to whether to finish it anyway, whether or not it could ever get published. Or I could spend that time on a fiction with all fictional people in it. Bearing in mind it's 50,000 words long and I reckon it'll take another 10-20 to finish it I'm minded to finish it for my own sake. Maybe I'll end up with a book that can't be used but I'd have a complete novel length story and know that I can do it. And there may well be lines, passages and ideas I can use in other projects.

The genesis of Fergie Time goes back beyond 2016 to an idea I had years before which I presented at the Writing on the Wall 'Dragon's Pen' event at the Bluecoat in 2013. The panel consisted of AL Kennedy (writer), Kate Haldane (agent), Esther Wilson (playwright) and Gordon Wise (literary agent) and it was one of the scariest things I've ever done in public. I got good feedback from them and from the audience despite my wobbly legs, but never progressed it until NaNo.

So it's gone from a Writing on the Wall project (2013), to a NaNoWriMo project (2016) to maybe just a reopened current project (2018).

Anyways, I now need to finish reading it all myself and get a notebook out whilst I do. Maybe my NaNo 2016 will bear more fruit than the 'Winner' sticker at the end of that month. Maybe I'll properly finish a whole book. Maybe just maybe.


Will It Ever Be Fergie Time?

Getting 'Fergie Time' on to my Kindle was great. Both in terms of seeing how to do it with Scrivener but also in revisiting the NaNoWriMo story from almost two years ago.

Scrivener makes it so easy to get a Kindle copy sorted anyway. Let's face it the last thing you want to do is spend lots of time messing about with formatting and importing and exporting and effing and blinding. Unless you are a sadist you want your time spent on the creative bit.

Fergie Time 300

Going to read the thing on the Kindle over the next few days and send to a couple of canny volunteers just to see if the story idea works and whether there is any mileage in revisiting and finishing it. Or whether I should just concentrate on one of my other projects and leave it as a NaNo experiment. Not expecting them to read the whole thing just the first two or three chapters.

Talking of NaNo who's doing it this year? Doubt I will. But we'll see.

Scriv and NFFD

Not had much chance to get writing in Scrivener yet. Have actually imported the legendary "Fergie Time" into it in case I decide to get back into it at a later date. It was nice and easy to do. So now I have three projects in Scrivener with the decision not yet made on which one to go with. Hoping to make a decision on that over the next week or two; Project Jaipur or Project Sarah Hughes. I think I know which one it will be, but I'll see how a bit more writing on each goes first.

Fergie T - Scrivener
Fergie Time

Have written a first draft of a couple of flash stories for the National Flash Fiction Day competition (theme: Food). Still got a few weeks to iron them out or re-write! Will have to write a few 100 word flashes for it too at some point (closing date is a bit closer - 17th March).


Reviewing & Editing

Not a bad couple of days for reading and writing. I was asked to 'Beta' review a novel which I've finally done. Was a great read and I can't wait to see it finished. Was nice to be asked to do it and am looking forward to Tweeting about it when it comes out!

Went back today to
'Fergie Time' and through some editing, all the way through to the end of Chapter 2. I'm not sure I'm doing a good enough job on it. Maybe by the third edit I'll be doing it properly - it's my first big job as it were after all.

Project 3 edit so far: <15%

Reading. Not Writing.

In a recent visit to Henry Bohn's bookshop on London Road (by Liverpool Empire) I picked up an interesting couple of books, then on going back downstairs to pay for them I spotted some Terry Pratchett. Doh! This is when the Discworld audit list I put together a few months ago came in handy. I saw four Pratchetts but wasn't sure which ones I had... a quick shufty on to my own website so I could see my list and hey presto! Two of the four Pratchett's in front of me were Discworlds I didn't have (Small Gods and Maskerade). Huzzah!

Henry Bohn Books (old pic from website Felix Goodbody website - click on pic)

Put back one of my originally chosen books and purchased these along with a book about maps. I do like me maps.

Better get back to edit my Pratchett book list to keep it up to date (don't want to buy Small Gods and Maskerade by accident again do I!).

Then yesterday Oxfam on Bold Street and I came out with
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and The Heart of the Matter (Graham Greene).

Okay, so more of a reading time than a writing time. Definitely a time to get back on to 'Fergie Time' time. That's a lot of time which is not what I am managing right at the moment. That said reading time is never a time wrongly spent. Finished Small Gods in a couple of days and it's one of the very good ones. Most fun.

In summary, am reading and am not writing.


Project 3: It Really is Fergie Time

I said three weeks ago that I'd decided to go ahead with Project 3. Like most of this year's planned writing projects there was an element of either I do a) or I do b) - and Project 3 was Novel related. Whilst I've a few ideas for potential stories which could become novel or novella length the first thing was to decide whether to progress with the NaNoWriMo project I undertook last November.

The NaNo project ('
Fergie Time') is a comic story through a football season featuring silly ideas, stupider plans, not a few injuries, some football, plenty of drinking and periods of daft banter. I decided I would finish it, even if it is destined never to see the light of day anywhere. After all I have 52k words written, although like Eric Morecombe would say I suspect I have many of the right words, but they are not necessarily in the right order. So, I'm going to finish it and give it at least one edit and then go from there... to I know not where. It really is Fergie Time.

So far I've gone through the
first 7 pages of 155. It's clearly gonna take some time AND the number of pages will only increase.

Task Completion: <5%

Pull Your Finger Out!

Writing... Focus

Not much writing been done over the last week. I did manage a few hours work on
Project 2 last week on a day off and to enter a Flash into Microcosms for the first time in a few weeks. Other than that writing has been a bit thin on my ground.

Work hours have been messed around with - with a late start and consequent late finish it has messed things up in many ways at home and socially. And as per my last post there has been some great TV which has eaten into my time (okay, I know that is my choice). On top of that I have been reading... including The Infernal Clock.

I finished reading Infernal Clock yesterday and have given that a
solid 4 stars (why can't you give 4.5?). Some cracking story telling on all sorts of horror themes. Aim to get a review up on Amazon and GoodReads over the weekend if not before. Um, that will have to count as part of this week's writing - look I'm desperate to count everything.

Great to see that the offer to get the
FlashDogs 'TIME' for FREE on Amazon for the week has resulted in great sales (is it sales if it's free?). Good to see Flash getting out there in book form and not just on web pages. Get yourself on Amazon if you haven't already.

'Clock was my 16th book that I have read this year which is good. Still well ahead of my target. Have read more books than I've bought this year (just) which means I'm ticking off some of those long unread books on these shelves of mine. Huzzah!

Got to focus on my Projects.

Focus! I tell you. Oh look, washing up to do. Is that another Trump tweet? Oh my lord Sean Spicer. Can I just watch that again. Oh, I could watch that Firmino goal again - that was top. There's washing up to do too. Did I say that earlier? Focus, I tell you!


The Pen of Serious Decision Making

Writing Plans

Right, I'm a month and a half into 2017 and I still haven't confirmed what my
writing plans are (see blog 10.01.17) and it's not good enough. It's time to undertake some serious thinking and make some serious plans.

I'm giving myself
two weeks now, so I'm putting on my Specialest Writing Hat and holding tightly The Pen of Serious Decision Making and I'm going to get a plan together. Oh yeah, baby!

Er, that'll be two months in to the year before "
The Plan" is in place. But it is what it is, and so on 1 March 2017 come rain, come grey nothingness I will have it.

One of the considerations in this two weeks is whether to go forward at this time with
'Fergie Time' from last year's NaNoWriMo or whether to bin it (or at least hold off on it) to concentrate on other projects. We will see... hopefully.

In other matters, following the
Reflex Competition entered on the 7 Feb, I have also entered the Writers & Artists competition (now closed). On 'reflection' I should have given the piece a better title. But typically it was a finish on submission day job. Ho hum. If I get to enter it elsewhere following its failure in this comp at least I can rename it when I revisit it! There's a couple more competitions that I think I will enter over the next month or so. Unless they get in the way of THE PLAN!

Keep Writing, folks!

Day Twenty Eight: NaNo - We Have A Winner!

Day Twenty Eight and it's a biggy. I only needed a par day's worth of words to get to the goal. So could I do it? You betcha!

Feel the power of my banner!:

In fact today I ended up with my best word count of the month to get near to the end of the last chapter, with a 3634 words down on the ole laptop.

I'd written all the chapters as stand alone documents so I had to string them all together into one doc and then paste them into the word count validator on the NaNoWriMo site. It took a minute or two to do its county thing and when the number came up (which was the same as the one in my document) it was lovely to see. A whopping 51,961.

I've still got some more words to go to actually finish the novel. As I need to finish of the last chapter and then go back and do the 'difficult Chapter 6' properly (I'm thinking Chapter 6 to a writer, may be like the difficult 2nd album to a band). But anyway it's there. I've hit my goal. I've gone and bloody done it! And no-one is taking that banner away.

So glad I've given it a go.

Will do my best to finish the complete draft and then come back and edit it at some point in the new year (NaNoWriMo do a thing early in the year where writers promise to edit and redraft their novels, so may sign up for that - or just do it in my own time).

Would be good to carry on with the momentum this has provided me. Then again it'll be good to get back to some reading again - I've had a whole month with little reading undertaken; so I've another book to finish albeit in another way entirely.

281116 Winner Graph

Today's WC: 3634
Total WC: 51,961

Day Twenty Seven: Angry Hours

Day Twenty Seven back into work, this time Llandudno Junction. Considering Black Friday has just gone it wasn't half bad and even with an hour delay at start of day I was back for a decent time allowing me to finish Chapter 9.

I ended up writing 2135 words today and almost 2000 of them were in Chapter 9 and the other 160 were for Chapter 10. Chapter 9 ended with another pub crawl. The final chapter will more primarily involve doctors and policemen.

Pleased as punch to get to within 1670 of the target now and if I continue an even half decent start to the last chapter tomorrow then I'll get to the 50,000 words then. So I'll finish the #NaNoWriMo challenge with a couple of days to spare. Huzzah!

And for a laugh I even went and wrote another 360 words with a silly entry for Angry Hourglass (Round #117). Me, a silly entry? I know. Hard to believe, but true.


WC: 2135
Total WC: 48,327

Day Twenty Six: Na No Yes Yes

Day Twenty Six and it's my one day off for the week. The only days I haven't written at all on have been two days I had off work. Today though, so close to the end, I intended to lay down some words and I have done so I'm that bit closer to the finish now.

It was Chapter 9, the last of my cunning plan chapters, which took me to Birkdale Golf Course and a bit of hiding in the woods with a homemade lethal weapon, I've all but finished the chapter now. Will complete it quite quickly tomorrow (after work) and then start either the last chapter or go back to the problem Chapter 6. It'll probably be as well to carry on to the last chapter and then go back and fill in Chapter 6 at the end, as I've got momentum and direction which can run on into the last one.

With the chapters averaging at around 4-5000 words then even if I do shorten them it will take me over the 50,000 words aim somewhat, which is fine. I just need to make the writing time fits with the time available: 4 days left after today.

Because of the chapters I have to finish I may not actually finish the novel until the last day, although I should hit 5000 a day or two before that.

Anyway, to any of you guys doing this; good luck!

I've found the experience interesting and seeing how quickly (just) writing 1667 words a day mounts up its great. Clearly some times it's about momentum but you should never get down about missing days either. We all need to have breaks, reset and recalibrate. After writing so many stories between 100 and 500 words this has been eye opening. And I know now I can do it. Again - so, thanks NaNoWriMo!

Now I'm off to reward myself at Beer Street, a beer festival at the wonderful Tap & Bottles in sunny Southport.

Today's WC: 2132
Total WC: 46,192

Day Twenty Five: A Silver Celebration

Day Twenty Five was a working day of course. I was delivering parcels in Deganwy again on a beautiful sunny day. It truly was lovely. Cold though, but let's face it, it is towards the end of November so put on another layer and get over it.

I was working on the first half of Chapter 9 - 110% for the Gaffer and got down 1868 words, which again was spot on. Anything between 1500 and 2500 words I'm happy with now. And that leaves me with just 6000 words to go. Four days of 1500/day or three of 2000: Absolutely Fabulous!

Then it was down town for a pint in the Fly, Hard Times & Misery and the Dispensary. A good Friday. Though it did become a black one too.


Today's WC: 1868
Total WC: 44,060

Day Twenty Four: Hours from Deganwy

Day Twenty Four was another working one, and one with not a bad day at work. Got back okay to do some writing mid afternoon, which was good 'cos I wanted to meet me da for a pint or two. Huzzah!

After four successive days writing more than 2000 words a day the pressure was off a little, but I needed to finish off Chapter 8, if I could. And I did.

I've now got three chapters to go until I finish - Chapters: 9, 10 and yep, 6. With six days left that's two days per chapter, which is certainly doable. Thankfully I think the last chapter will be shorter - we'll see - so should fit okay.

Today my suspect Google searches were largely confined to 'ketamine' and 'roofies' - such larks!

Ended up completing Chapter 8 with 1877 words this afternoon and in the process creating mayhem in the straight at Cheltenham racecourse.

Racing 300

Today's WC: 1877
Total WC: 42,192

241116 NaNo

Day Twenty Three: Forty Thou

Day Twenty Three was another working day in sunny north Wales and a day for my writing group meeting too. I wanted to keep my numbers up on Fergie Time, if I wrote around 2k again it would look pretty good for getting to the goal some time next week; maybe a day or two early. Getting to a point where five days of 2k words would take me to the finishing line would be spot on.

Today I ended up writing in two blocks. One in which I wrote about 1800 words in the early evening and another late on when I wrote another 1100. With this I ended up with my most prolific writing day - with some 2946 words of Chapter 8 done. Got probably less than a third of this chapter to go to.

Shame to miss Poised Pen meeting tonight (it was for a valid reason and not just because they were not having the meeting in a real ale pub tonight), but getting the best part of three thousand words down seems like it was well worth it. Especially as it means I've <10k to go now (or to put it another way I'm 80% done!).

The set up is all done and the remaining part of the chapter involves an attempt of administering some illicit drugs during the Cheltenham Festival to an unsuspecting individual and another even less suspecting individual becoming the centre of attention as farce once again prevails. And thanks to Gary from Hounslow with or without insider knowledge from a Far East betting syndicate our intrepid hero dressed as a waiter becomes suddenly rich... because you can do that if you're writing this stuff.

LFC Signing 300
AJ Signing at LFC (never made an appearance; they don't know what they've missed)

Today's WC: 2946
Total WC: 40,315

Keep Writing Folks!

Day Twenty Two: Of Butterflies, Doppelgangers and Chip Shops

Day Twenty Two was another work day, like most days. The weather was much kinder and I got back a bit earlier than yesterday from Deganwy. I wrote in two 'bursts' (or more correctly one burst and one stutter). Once in the late afternoon when I just about finished off Chapter 7, and then much later in the evening, when I did finally finish off the chapter and then started (just) Chapter 8 - Champagne Supernova.

To be honest I could and probably should have written a lot more. I wrote about 1800 words in the first stint and should easily have been able to write another 1000 or maybe even have doubled my output for the day. But I got diverted, after feeling good about achieving the 1667 words in one fell swoop, by treating myself to watching part of a box-set I had recorded on my set top box which I never got around to watching (from over a year ago!). I proceeded to watch THREE episodes of Boardwalk Empire (final series). I have only two episodes to go now, but really hope I don't come to regret not putting a few more words down when I had a bit of momentum. Still, I've ended up writing 2,308 words today which is 'above a par' score so I needn't be too hard on myself. It's just that so close to the end if I miss any days or get stuck on any I don't have that many days left to play catch up with!

Basically now with 8 days left I've got just over 12,000 words to do. If I did miss one day that would mean I need to be writing 1800 words a day (or just 1580 if I write each day). That said, the last four days I've written over 2000 words a day. If I can do that I'll finish with 2 days to spare! In short then, if I keep up what I've been doing I should be getting there. Not 'there' yet, so I'm not excited. This time next week though... ask me then.

Today I have been writing about Doppelgängers (such a fab word) and an hallucinating football player trying to catch butterflies or faeries on a pitch during a match. Tomorrow it's a story of champagne and horse racing. Cheating, gambling and more unlikely shenanigans in Cheltenham and Liverpool.

There maybe some football in the chapter, who knows? Not me, and I'm writing the bloody thing.

And I've still got the 'difficult Chapter 6' to go back to. I may have an idea. Or a germ of one.

Talking of germ; they bombed our chip shop. Erm, either that or I need to start thinking about the redraft and editing.

Today's WC: 2308
Total WC: 37,369

Day Twenty One: 21Up!

Day Twenty One and I was aiming for another 2000 or so words to keep on track with my NaNoWriMo - staying on par with the 1667 per day. First things first it was a bloody awful wet day in north Wales where I was delivering and although it was slow and laborious I was still back at a decent time: last week's Stress Test was over.

Back home it was back on to Chapter 7 - and the whole accidentally drugged winger thing. It went well. For me, if not the winger.

Not quite finished the chapter today but it'll be sorted tomorrow in a jiffy (in theory). So today I got myself 2214 words down. Huzzah!!

Quite happy if not delirious about the chapter and at least it's better than err... that damn Chapter 6 issue. Still ain't had chance to decide what I'm doing with that one! Got a week at most to decide on that. Thinking hat on.

To be on par I'd be on 35k... and guess what? I only am. Get in!

Upto date 2111

Today's WC: 2214
Total WC: 35,061


Day Twenty: Angel Dust and real ale

Day Twenty and it's another day off. Yes, I have had a weekend! A rare and beautiful thing to have two successive weekends. After writing some 2000 words yesterday the challenge was to do a similar amount today. I also had to pick up on a new chapter after finally finishing Chapter 5.

So Chapter 6 next, obviously. Well, maybe obvious to you, but not to me. I've had to skip to Chapter 7! What? Well, my idea for Chapter 6 is quite well formed but I have a stumbling block in it that I haven't been able to roll out of the way yet. So rather than puzzle that out I'v skipped straight to the next chapter - as I'd struggle to write Chapter 6 with the problem not fully resolved. I'll have a think over the next few days in quieter moments and I'm sure I'll come up with some cunning plan for it, but in the meantime it's onwards and upwards with Chapter 7 - 'A Sprinkling of Angel Dust'

It's another chapter that's seen my Google tracking take an unusual course. So MI6 or those guys in the Pentagon will be wondering about what this AJ Walker chap is up to. Recent internet searches: 'bomb making' 'drones' 'PCP' 'bazooka' 'remote controls' etc

It's an idea that has been easier to run with than C6, and I've got the main character, Joe, finally telling someone what's going on in his life. The dialogue was dead easy to write and I reeled off 2188 words in double quick time.

Hoping I can finish the chapter tomorrow and get fully back on par. Another 2150 words tomorrow would put me bang on track.

Keep writing and keep rationing your Twitter (or FB) use. I'm of for a pint of real ale down the newly reopened Lion Tavern. Huzzah!

NaNo Update

Today's WC: 2188
Total WC: 32,847

Day Nineteen: Like a Bird on a Wire

Day Nineteen and it's a day off. Woo hoo! Last two days I had off I ended up - not unsurprisingly - not writing at all. Naughty! Had a full day at work yesterday and had no time to write as I battled through the hail and storms to go and watch Low Anthem at Leaf on Bold Street in the evening.

I've seen Low Anthem a few times now - the Deaf Institute gig ranks as one of my Top Ten ever gigs (probably, maybe I need to write down a top ten and see what I come up with... a job for later) - and they've changed. First gig I've been to for a while, and I'm not sure having been there that I can even call it a gig. It was more a performance piece. Certainly not a hits show or sing-a-long. Although they did get us to sing with them at the end on Like a Bird on a Wire. Enjoyed the performance piece. Even my shushing was fun. Shhhhush!

Anyway, to the writing. Having not written yesterday I'm a little behind, but not that far. I've got to make up those 1667 words up over the next few days. Shouldn't be a problem. I managed it last week after all.

This morning I've gone in and finally finished Chapter 5. Was beginning to think that would never happen. I'm now thinking I may split it into two chapters actually, we'll see. The Christmas Crawl could probably stand alone; even if the protagonists can't stand at all by the end of it.

Anyway, I rattled off 2000 words in just over a couple of hours. Chapter finished. Decent word count.

Happy with that, Charlie Darwin? Yup!

Writing hint of the day: TURN OFF TWITTER!!

Today's WC: 2030
Total WC: 30,659

Day Seventeen: Stress Test

Day Seventeen and another work day. It's actually been a strange few weeks delivering stuff for Amazon. They've been busy getting loads more drivers in and part of that has resulted in all of us having really small routes before the Xmas rush starts in earnest. It's meant I've had loads more time than usual to do things like... well NaNo. It would have been impossible to do this last year (we've over 50% more drivers now). Should mean it's better for the holiday period. The new guys after a few weeks of half days (or less) though won't know what's hit them shortly.

As part of the build up to the madness we started a three day 'stress test' to see how everything and everyone will do with the bigger routes. Meant a more usual finish for me (5:30pm). Losing that two or three hours I've had lately in the afternoon definitely impacted on the writing. I got down 1760 words eventually in the late evening. And still have some more to go - I'm still on Chapter 5! which I feel is probably a tad bloated now. Just need to finish it and move on. The bloatedness can be reviewed and it can be gutted at a later date.

In general I'm still on track. About 300 words ahead of par.

Part of the stress test is giving people something like 3x what we've been doing lately, which means that on one of the three days I'll be given off - as there are correspondingly less routes. So if I don't get any writing done tomorrow (I've a Low Anthem gig to attend) I'll have to write twice as much on Saturday or Sunday.

Anyway, time for sleepzzzz. More test of stress tomorrow.

Keep writing.

Today's WC: 1760
Total WC: 28,629

Day Sixteen: Magnficent Seven

Day Sixteen was another work day. It was nice to get back on track yesterday after a weekend without much productivity. To some extent the pressure was off - and If I wrote anywhere near 1500 words I'd be on track still.

And yes I was relaxed about it, so much so I watched a film rather than write in the evening. Shock! Horror!!

But to be fair it was The Magnificent Seven, which shouldn't need an excuse anyway but does have one, for it features - a bit - in my NaNo novel. So my couple of hours of film buffery was down to research. Okay?!

As for the writing the remaining half of Chapter 5 comprise a pub crawl of the group of lads through Liverpool (uncannily there are seven of them, though not one is Yul Bryner). I know some Liverpool pubs. And I have heard tell of pub crawls before. So a quick piece outlining an increasingly drunk wander through some of Liverpool's best pubs shouldn't present a problem. And er.. won't.

Whilst I didn't finish the chapter or pub crawl off I did get 1740 words down (I got up to Pub 7 of 10, in Chapter 5 of 10). I reckon another 1000 words to finish the chapter and then I get into the next daft month. That'd be January and Chapter 6 for those not following.

Todays WC: 1740
Total WC: 26,869

Day Fifteen: Glass Half Full

Day Fifteen and that means I'm half way in days to the end of NaNo challenge. Of course the challenge is 50,000 words in 30 days so all things being equal to be around the 25k mark would be a laudable goal. And you know what, I've done it: Huzzah!

It was another working day, but an early finish meant I could get stuck into it late afternoon. By the end of the day I was still working on Chapter 5 (of 10) but I should finish that tomorrow. But I've got the word count up with an impressive 2839 words today, which is pretty much up there along side my best day.

This chapter is a bit sprawling (two Christmas parties and cunning plans will do that) and I'm sure it'll take a hit when it comes to editing, whenever this story gets revisited, but I've got my ideas down, some okay narrative and hopefully the right amount of jokes, farce and downright scary realism.

'Jokes, farce and downright scary realism' umm that sounds a bit too much like this year's elections. But there's no politics involved. Promise.

Chapter 5 is set in December and the season of football club Christmas parties. My main protagonist fails to take out TB Fergie despite a detailed and all too cunning plan that could not go wrong - until it did - predictably, but it doesn't end well for Carlos Tevez and it ended even worse for Joey Barton.

And as for the pink negligee, well the less said the better.

Todays WC: 2839
Total WC: 25,129

NaNo WC 1511

Day Fourteen: Playing Catch Up

Day Fourteen was my first day back at work after a whole 2-day weekend. Saturday involved an ale trip to Leek and Macclesfield. Leek was excellent, Macclesfield less so. And on Sunday it was birthday central in my family and a lovely meal in Auberge in a less than sunny Southport. So writing took a back seat this weekend. Still, I did manage to write some notes on Saturday on the coach (before the ale) on Chapter 5.

Today after work I first had to write an article about a pub in Liverpool for BEER magazine. It was 450 words and it took me a while but I got there. Still need to dig out a few photos for the article too. Hopefully be in the Spring edition of the magazine.

Now that is out the way - barring photos and any revisions - I've no excuse. I got to write 1710 words today on Chapter 5 and hope to get to be close to finishing that tomorrow. That said that will be a tallish order. Finishing the chapter should leave me at half way in terms of both chapter numbers and total word count. It is a bit of a complicated chapter. Or it is the way I've started it at any rate. So we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, good to get some writing done again today.

WC: 1710
Total WC: 22,290

Keep writing dudes.

Day Eleven: Wing Dingers

Day Eleven was another work day, but an early finish meant that I could get some decent words down in the afternoon; in fact I managed over 2000. Then in the evening I watched the England v Scotland match on the telly which was very poor despite the score line suggesting otherwise. And don't get me started on why Scotland were playing in Pink... Blue doesn't clash with England's white kit, just play in blue! England ended up somehow winning 3-0 but their performance was poor with so many loose passes and poor interceptions. From a Liverpool perspective I was pleased that Sturridge and Lallana both scored, but was more pleased that they didn't get injured.

Anyway, back to the writing. I had more to do and reeled off a rushed ending to the chapter with another 850 words.

All in all today's word count was 2913, very much a record for me. Huzzah!

That said, I am dissatisfied with the way the chapter ended and it'll need a fair bit of work when I get back to editing it sometime in the months to come.

At least I got the set play rounded off, after a fashion, and hospitalised a major Welsh International in the attempt to nobble Fergie. Next time TB, next time!

Not sure I'll get any writing done over next couple of days. Maybe a few hundred on Sunday? We'll see. If I write nothing over the two days it won't be the end of the world, I'll just be some 1100 words behind par which is easily catch-up-able.

Tatty bye. And keep writing!

Today's WC: 2913
Total WC: 20,580

Day Ten: Revolution No.9

Day Ten of NaNo. Firstly you may have noticed that I kind of skipped Day Nine. I think a lot of people may have struggled yesterday with events in America going off like little bombs everywhere.

Well, I didn't skip the project or the city (despite the bloody Trump nightmare). I'd printed off the current chapter I'm working on (Chapter 4) and took it into town with me when I went for a beyond needed haircut. After said smartening up I went through the chapter making some minor changes and additions by hand before making notes on the remaining parts of the chapter.

I didn't have time to make all the changes before midnight yesterday. Indeed I only typed up a few of them, so my sum total of words added yesterday was 51! Like I said though I'd actually done a fair bit more and done the planning for today's writing.

So Day Ten. A day that saw the candidate endorsed by the KKK going in to the White House to meet the US's first black President. When you see the story lines of 2016 it makes all our NaNo efforts seem a bit pointless in comparison. Truth stranger than fiction; unfortunately the current happenings would seem to lie in the horror section of any bookshop (although maybe it's an Alternative History, Horror & Black Comedy mash-up).

Anyway enough of that stuff, back to my NaNo. I've managed to catch up some but not all my lost words from yesterday's short effort and written 2,606, which is my best single day so far. Over the last couple of days that puts the average at 1325 then, about 350 short of the daily aim. In short, not too bad at all really.

I've still got one more day to write up this chapter and hope to finish it tomorrow. After that I may not get writing done until Monday. But you never know, some words must be a possibility.

Total WC: 17667


Day Eight: Please God, Not Trump

Day Eight of NaNo and it's been another working day. I've so far managed to write every day. As I've said I'm aware though that I've probably got at least four days when I won't be writing - or at least not writing more than low hundreds if I'm lucky. So at some point during the month I'll either have to get ahead of the game or play catch-up. I suspect it'll be the latter but even if I just write a bit more at this stage, and get a hundred or two down on the 'non-writing days' it will be less daunting towards at the end.

I've done 1826 words by 7pm which is pretty much par again for number done per day so far. The chapter seems a bit rambling to me and I've found it quite hard to get down, but I've only really got the last third of it to do now which as a 'set play' type of event should be easier to write once I get into it. I hope!

Today for my brief Google research I've mostly been searching for electrical 'accidents'. Ha ha!

My hero, for want of a better word, is off to cause mayhem and it won't end well. I know that, even if he doesn't.

May get a few more words down later. In fact if I can get down another 250 or so that'll put me a full day ahead i.e. leave me okay for one of those 'days off'. Now if that's not an incentive then I don't know what is. Anyway my word counts (for now) are:

Today's WC: 1826
Total WC: 14,758

Updated this website with the ability to track it on GoSquared and added Comments from Disqus. Flip I used to know this stuff. I've had to learn about it again. And it'd changed. So will see if I've sorted that right or not...

So only added another 252 words to get up to 15,010.

Tomorrow will try and finish the chapter...

now I'm off to bed and will fall asleep listening to the BBC and the news on well.... Please God, Not Trump.... Sleep well folks - it's worse than Halloween this.


Day Seven: Bitty By Bit

Day Seven has proved a bit bitty. I completed Chapter one... ish. I'm not sure about the end of it. But it's done for now. It'll not be revisited for a month I dare say. And that was another 900 words or so.

I then uploaded a photograph of me to go on the NaNoWriMo page, as I felt obliged with my flashdog NaNo buddies all having photos up already. All three are veterans so they may have been up for years - so I felt it was appropriate to put an old pic of me up.

And then I sketched a quick cover for it. Yes, I have a cover. I thought it'd be nice to have something up there even if it's a *ahem* bit basic. So here it is. 'Fergie Time: the cover'. Take 1.

Fergie Time 200

Later I went back to the writing and wrote another 900+ words for Chapter 4: 'A Winger and a Prayer'

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Would be nice to get a couple of days above 2000 down this week - particularly as I know I'll be doing little or no writing this coming Saturday and Sunday. Eek!


WC: 1910
WC total: 12,932


Day Six: Ten Thousand

Day Six and I've made it to 10,000 words. That's a milestone that is. Never written anything with this many words in before. If I had a hat on I'd take it off and say 'well done my good fellow'. But I don't. And it would be a bit weird so I'd probably creep myself out a bit doing that. It's at times like this that I'm glad I don't have a hat.

Have gone back to Chapter 1 to create the scene setting (largely football fans drinking in a pub - no idea where I get these ideas from!?) and introduce the characters. About half way through the chapter I think, so I hope to finish it off tomorrow. Gonna print today's words off now and take it down the pub, where I'll be watching the Liverpool game. So may well get a few more words down later. We'll see. And hopefully see Liverpool go to the top of the league!

Cheers folks. Keep writing.



WC: today 1671
WC: total 11,022

Day Five: Four One

Day Five and after work I managed 1963 words in Chapter 3 to go with the 520 which 'came in over night' so my best day so far with 2483 words. That gives me a current running total of over 9000. Woo hoo!

Now, I'm not saying they are good words. And there lies the rub, or some of it. At some point I'm going to have to print off a few chapters and read the damn thing. I know it's not going to be great. But it's a thing which I have down on paper which I didn't have before. Something to work on.

And one of the questions must be whether it is good to start going back over it early on or else get to the end first. I can guess the answer already; 'Different strokes for different folks'.

We'll see.

Tomorrow I think I am going to do Chapter 1. If I can finish that then maybe - just maybe - a quick shifty through the three chapters will be in order by Monday. But could it do more harm than good in halting the momentum?

Tomorrow I've also got to start writing an article for BEER magazine (really). And who know... Angry Hourglass is back for its second week of this run.

Anyway, happy writing you guys, whatever you be writing on.


Today's WC: 2483
Rolling WC: 9351

Day Four: Four Two

Day Four brought me on to Chapter... wait for it....

Well, yes, wait for it indeed. I got diverted from NaNo and ended up first entering a story on the Microcosms flash fiction challenge site (300 words). Not sure if that was a good idea. Let's face it if I ended up being a few hundred words down today on NaNo I'd have been a bit peeved with myself. But hey, couldn't help myself. And as ever on Microcosms I didn't spin!

Anyway, back to NaNo and I was to begin Chapter 3. This is my 'Great British Bake Off' chapter.

I had the main character variously watching crap footy, drinking down the Midden, cooking Victoria sponge and ordering chemicals from a catalog. Oh and watching far too much (aka any amount of) 'Homes Under The Hammer' and 'Bargain Hunt' too.

I managed to bang out 1680 words in a couple of hours in the afternoon. I had to dip in and out of Google to research a variety of things relating to real events and people and potential cake-based incidents. Quite fun. I'm sure my searches will have resulted in me now be being monitored from Cheltenham, if I wasn't already.

Late on in the evening, after 11:30pm, I wrote another 520 words. But as it got finished gone midnight these words have fallen into Day Five on the NaNoWriMo website. It's a shame as having done 2200 words in a day sounded really good. Now having done 520 for the following day this last spurt of creativity doesn't sounds quite as good. Anyway either I'll 'just' write 1150 tomorrow after work to take me up to par or I'll try and do another 1660. We'll see. I'm off Sunday so the pub may call me after 1150...

Anyway, time for sweet dreams of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and a bizarre cake based accident which may not entirely be an accident.

Night night.

Day Three: Na No No Yeah

Day Three of NaNo and it was a question of getting in and trying to finish of the chapter. I've actually started on Chapter 2. The reason being I can plough straight into the story while Chapter 1 is more a bit of scene and character setting. I'll get back to that between chapters at some point.

The whole book is planned (and I use that word in the loosest sense) to have a round TEN chapters - I think - which is damn handy as far as planning is concerned. If I can write ten 5000 words per chapter then I am there, aren't I? If I'm short or need to finish off the story beyond I may find myself with an Epilogue as a hand word dump *ahem*. It is all go with the flow, aint it?

The first chapter is going to be short though, I am sure, so I'll be needing words elsewhere but it's too early to see how closely the sections will match. Some chapters/events will be more complicated than others.

In terms of word count today I've come in under the 1667 words again, with an almost round 1450 but that's okay with the extra words yesterday the average over the three days is just about spot on at 5188. Hallelujah!

It means I can get me usual Thursday pint in and not worry about falling behind with each word not typed. As I'm commuting for my beer I could print out the 16 pages (?!!) and see how it reads. But it may be a bit early for self criticism and editing...

BTW I realise I haven't said what the 'story' is about yet. But I'll post stuff about it over the coming week or two. Don't you worry.

See you tomorrow - for a new chapter (1 or 3? We will see.)


Day Two: NeNa NaNo

Day Two was another working day, and not as early a finish as yesterday but I didn't do bad in terms of word count. Not quite finished the chapter hopefully get to finish it tomorrow. I don't know when to get around to reading it to see how rambling and incoherent it is. I'm guessing best doing that later rather than sooner in terms of carrying on and getting the bulk of the story down.

After spending sometime yesterday putting an iTunes Playlist together and listening to it a bit whilst working, today I started of with a bit of Mozart and then largely worked without music at all. I think 'wordy' music or even music that gets my head nodding may be okay before being in charge of a keyboard and a story with its whims and random acts of chance, but during it those song words may get involved with the story at some point. I think I may give Sigur Ros an hour or two at some point during the month rather than silence. Will be useful to know what really works best for me.

Anyway I managed 2213 words today, which after being a little low yesterday (1435) happily brings me back on track and gives me the knowledge that I can do 2000 words in a day. Even a working one. Woo hoo!

I even had time to update my website a little and - obviously - write this blog.

See you soon! x

It's Here!! NaNoWriMo

Day One of NaNo (that's what I'm calling it from now on, live with it) and it was a working day like most of the month will be, but the working part of the day was short and okay. So I managed a few hours of writing late afternoon (3.30-6.30pm) and I've got myself an okay start - 1435 words.

Assuming you get to write every day you would need to write 1667 words per day to get to that magic 50k. That's a big assumption - I've already identified at least three days I am likely not to contribute many more than a few hundred or do a little re-reading/editing. So, say four days not writing at all that gets you up to 2000 words required a day. Um, that means I'm behind already. Okay, let's not go there. I'll have days above 2000 - possibly.

It's a question of getting into a groove and seeing how the story writing flows and hoping it doesn't stick much. I've already had to pop in and out of the writing to google research on silly little phrases and ideas.

The story is set around a Liverpool supporter with a cunning plan and so of course I had to create an appropriate Liverpool Playlist before I started the typing. Cue: La's, Bunnymen, Real People, Amsterdam, Space, Beatles, Boo Radleys, Johnny Cash (Ring of Fire), Gomez, Beta-Band & Steve Mason and Alun Parry.

It'll be fun this.

- I think.


Hiya! It's been a while. Okay, it's been never. Not on this site anyway.

It's a blog. A writerer's blog from me, A.J. Walker. Thought I should get one up and running so I can a) put up my progress on my first ever NaNoWriMo during November 2016 and b) explain the reasons for the lack of progress on a).

Nice to meet you!