stapsdoes101things: detail of a hymnbook page showing hymn no. 101, tune 'St Bernard' (101music)
28 January 2012

- Running a BookCrossing challenge for LGBT History Month. Nobody seems to have released anything yet, but it's early days, and I haven't managed to release anything either, so I can't talk. I have, however, begun to gather some goodies together to make prizes for the lucky winners.
- Having another go at writing 1001 words every day. The same rules apply as last time: journal entries, on or offline, and additions to my own writing projects, will count towards this; comments on other people's posts, or forum posts, won't.
- Seeing how far I get with the family guitar and a book entitled 'The Right Way to Play Guitar'.
- Going to see Richard III.
- Taking a packed lunch to work every day. (This is the one most likely to fall by the wayside, mostly because I only really decided to go for it today. On the other hand, this really is the time of year to make a big batch of soup in the slow cooker and take in a bowl's worth every day.)

Choosing such a short month as February to complete some of the 'Do X every day for a month' does feel like cheating, but it is at least a longer than average February. It's also a relatively quiet time work-wise and family-wise, and I think I've got a better chance of getting these goals done than I would in a lot of other months.
stapsdoes101things: detail of a hymnbook page showing hymn no. 101, tune 'St Bernard' (101music)
1 November 2011

One is terminal; one is temporary. I am not working myself up over either of them, because I can see a way to make progress on both.

Firstly, I've crashed and burned on the 1001-words-a-day in November thing. I did ten days straight writing 1001 words, most of them on the Prisoner of Zenda fanfic (which needs a title, incidentally, quite apart from the other ten thousand words and a large chunk of plot). Then I made significant progress on another goal - walking thirteen miles from Halling to Maidstone and crossing the Medway with my mum - and that took the whole of yesterday. Usually I'd write on the train out to my starting point, and (if I wasn't too exhausted) on the train back from my finishing point, but we drove, so that didn't work. As a result, I wrote absolutely nothing yesterday, so that puts November out of the window. I will keep trying to hit those 1001 words, though, because that 10 December deadline isn't going away, and because the more I write now, the more of a habit I'll have got into when the time comes to retry this goal.

The other one I failed a long time ago, and somehow didn't manage to tell you about. This is goal 76: spend an hour playing my cello once a month. It was difficult right from the get-go, for this reason: I find playing on my own dull in the extreme. I managed December and January; in February I had a friend staying, and she brought her flute down and we did some Handel duets, and that was much more fun. After that it really fell by the wayside.

In July I went home for a week. I went along to a rehearsal of the Isle of Wight Scottish Fiddlers, with whom I used to play cello. And my goodness, was I jealous. I wanted to be playing. I wanted my cello. So, you see, it's not that I don't really want to do it. It's, um, that I'm disorganised, and lazy, and playing alone simply isn't motivation enough.

Next Saturday the Scottish Fiddlers have their silver anniversary party. I'm going. I'm taking my cello. In fact, my mother took it with her when she left today - and, as we were loading it into the car, one of my neighbours came past and said, 'Oh, another cellist! I thought I was the only one!' We got chatting, and it turns out that she plays at one of the churches in town of a Sunday night, and would really like someone to play some duets with. So, yes - eek. I had better get playing again.

I know the answer to this. It's probably 'cheating' to change a goal you've already failed, but I am pretty sure that if I change it to 'find a group near me in which to play cello' I will end up taking a step towards the original, unstated, aim: 'play cello more and get better as a result'. And that will be better than abandoning the entire thing.

This will still be a significant challenge. I don't drive, and we don't have a car anyway, so it will be difficult to get to rehearsals. Where there's a will, however, there's a way, and if I could carry my cello up the second-steepest hill on Exeter University's Streatham Campus every Tuesday, I can at least walk into the centre of Woking.

Wish me luck, everybody.
stapsdoes101things: A sculpture of a Wellsian Martian Tripod; text '101' in corner (101woking)
23 September 2011

All over the world, November is National Novel Writing Month. I don't know why they haven't made it 'International Novel Writing Month' yet - perhaps it's just not as catchy. Anyway, I'm not doing that this year. Originally I intended to use it to complete goal 16, 'Write first draft of "The Slowest Elopement", or another novel featuring Phyl Merrick'. I'm horribly busy, though, and, while that wouldn't usually stop me, I've got another big writing project already on the go, with a rather tighter deadline than 'when I get round to finishing it'.

Said project is the Femslash Big Bang over at LiveJournal. My story is a crossover featuring the illegitimate daughter of Irene Adler and Rupert of Hentzau, with a plot just about as full of cross-dressing, swashbuckling and intrigue as you might expect. I've been working at this on and off over the past few months, and have almost 3000 words down and a vague idea of a plot. The minimum wordcount is 20,000 words, which feels about right for this story. It's due in early December. I've joined the picowrimo community for general cheerleading and encouragement, and to keep myself vaguely accountable without boring my regular readers to death. That's what I'm doing this November, then.

But, so that 101 Things doesn't fall entirely by the wayside (oh, I know this would count towards goal 63, but it does seem a little over the top) I'm making November my 'write 1001 words a day' month.

Goal 64, in fact.

Those 30030 words will not all go into the Big Bang. Some of them are going into this post. Some will go into other posts on here (I've got a few things to write up...) and then there's things like Yuletide. I'm still dithering over whether to sign up for it; based on past form, I probably will, but it does rather depend on when nominations open, when they close, how I'm getting on with this big project, and whether other, offline, things kick up.

Things I'm counting: fiction (whether fanfic or original - because you never know, I might revisit 'These Three Remain' if I'm running short of inspiration on other things); blog posts (here or on my main journal); things that remain hidden on (more on that later) or in my private journal.

Things I'm not counting: anything to do with work; comments on blog posts; forum postings; letters or emails to friends - that sort of thing.

How am I keeping up with it? I mentioned This is a site to which [personal profile] adelheid introduced me when I was making my 101 list and first thought about this goal. The intention of this goal is to get me into a habit of writing something substantial every day. That's the idea behind this site. It's very low pressure; it just gives you a space to write and tells you whether you've done your 750 words or not. (This number was chosen, allegedly, because it's about how many words you would get onto three sides of A4. I haven't tried this.) I went for the slightly higher goal of 1001... because I came up with the goal before I heard of the site, and because it fits better with the overall project.

It's been a while since I logged on, so I can't remember whether there's a way for you to track how I'm getting on. I know you can't read my actual words, and I'm not sure you can see how many I've written, either. I'll fiddle around later and see if I can work it out. At any rate, I'll be giving you regular updates on this 101 blog. Not too regular, though - I know how irritating it gets when everyone on your reading list is doing NaNoWriMo and is telling you their word count every five minutes. You can also track me on my Health Month profile (why yes, I am counting writing as a healthy exercise; why not?) which will at least tell you whether I've done my 1001 words. Perhaps I'll get one of those ticker things, too. The possibilities are endless...
stapsdoes101things: '101' superimposed on a stylised picture of a teapot (Default)
Why do I want to do this?

I've won NaNoWriMo three times, so this ought to be easy. However, in each case I won it by writing stupidly large amounts on some days, and stupidly small amounts on other days. I'd like to get into a better rhythm, though I'm under no illusions that this will induce good habits.

How will I know I've done this?

For a period of thirty consecutive days, I'll have written 1001 words every day.

This can be tracked at, when I've played around with the settings a bit so that you can see them. Or I might find some other widget to do it.

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