NanoJourno: Day 0


As of tomorrow, I’m on NanoJourno time. As I talked about earlier in the month, I don’t want to do long form fiction because, for me, fiction is a zero sum game at the moment. So instead, and because much like MC Frontalot I remain bound for the high road even though it looks forkier, NanoJourno has been born.  Two projects, four weeks, one me. This should be fun.


Weeks 1 and 2: Not The End of the World, Just The End of the Day: Pseudopod Essays

The first project is an e-book of my endcaps from this year’s Pseudopod episodes. These are, oat first glance, pretty much good to go. They have beginnings, middles and ends and they’re in good shape. However, a lot of them refer directly to the stories and as that doesn’t work when the essay is separate from the episode I’m rewriting those. So, if you’re new to my Chris in the Morning and geek Jack Killian style horror-tinged talks then they’re all there for you and if you’re not? Then there’ll be new stuff anyway. Because I care, that’s why. Because I care.

I also plan ahead. With the exception of a small section that I’ll be writing, along with everything else, in the next couple of weeks, I’ve got endcaps for this year done. So I can push straight through to the end of the year and hopefully get them all in good shape. There should also hopefully be a small essay about the paranormal in there and a few other things people have asked for. 52 weeks across 10 days. I do 5.2 a day, and I’ll be fine, I can even take weekends off. However, I plan to do 6 a day. Let’s see if that plan survives contact with the enemy. And by the enemy I mean everything else I have on at the moment. And also my fundamental need for tea.

However, assuming those are both conquered, by the middle of November I’ll have an e book good to go. Which reminds me, I should probably get a cover image if this thing is going on Amazon, ibooks and, I suspect by the time I’ve finished it, whatever digital book platform Disney have decided to buy. So researching that is also on the cards.


Weeks 3 and 4: Decks Clear, Sky Wide

I don’t close consistently enough. Alec Baldwin would have a problem with me. That stops in week three. I have three primary projects to close out, all of which will be done by this time in the month.  They look like this:

Geometry of Chance-My series of interviews with RPG designers has yielded some fascinating results and I still need to get a chunk of interviews in motion.


Thought Bubble 2011 Reviews-I still have reviews outstanding from Thought Bubble 2011 and that’s not fair to the creators involved. Each one will be done by the end of November, and, as I’m not going to Thought Bubble this year, I won’t immediately celebrate by cramming even more stuff onto my review list.


GenCon follow ups-I made countless excellent contacts at GenCon, talked to all of them and then the minor distractions of a transatlantic move, unpacking a house and having a case of strep throat with two weeks of associated sleep disorder sort of got in the way. Each one of those will get answered and, if possible, any projects that arise from them shut down in these two weeks.



Weeks 5 and 6: Screen Grab

Yes, I know how many weeks are in November, but this is extra special bonus time we’re talking about. If I’m in good shape at the end of the month, and it’s a big if because those last two weeks have no time scale and may end up being the death of a thousand tiny jobs, then I’ll push on and get my list of film essays updated. I’ve been writing these on and off all year and there are about eighteen in the hamper to write about. Same deal as the endcaps, once I get these up to date then I put an e-book of them out. However, because I fully intend to keep seeing movies up until the end of the year, this is less a ‘Build the book’ and more ‘Build the book and an adorable conservatory for the rest of the book to sleep in when it arrives until the guest bedroom’s ready’.


The Rewards

If I hit my targets in a week, we go out for dinner at a new restaurant. One of the beautiful things about living in a new city is how little we know about it and there are some great restaurants out there that I fully intend to spend time in. Week one is going to be a nice little French place and week two is either the local Brazilian steakhouse (They bring the meat to you, on skewers, and carve it at the table until you beg them to stop. It’s like delicious, marinated water torture) or the Soulville Steakhouse. Because frankly how could I not?

The Really Big Reward

I went round and round on this, because, initially, I thought I’d get myself a new bag, or a couple of blu rays, or maybe those beautiful Ex Machina hardbacks that are kicking around. These are all viable but what’s more viable is a tattoo. I have one already, the kanji for Fudoshin on my right bicep and this one I want on my inner right arm, because it’s a writer’s tattoo. It’s the first line of my favourite play, the wonderful Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and it’s simple, effective and, in context, very funny. It reads simply:


There is an art to building up suspense.


And if I get to that point, I’ll blog about why I love it so much. How’s that for suspense?


It’s time to get things done, time to push things forward. NanoJourno begins tomorrow. By the end of it, I’ll have at least one e-book and a lot clearer desk. Which of course means I’ll have to start looking for other things to fill it…Got any suggestions?


Want to talk to me about the article? Come see me on Twitter at @alasdairstuart or email me.

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