Anniversary Time!: The Number of the Beast


If you’ve hung around me long enough, you’ll already be aware that, unlike most bloggers, I have an unusual method of counting off landmarks. I do not count in hundreds, but rather in Nelsons, and this little blog is my sextuple-Nelsonth post. Yay, me!

For those who are not avid cricket fans, and have missed any previous explanations from over here, Nelson is a cricketing term denoting 111 runs, or any multiple thereof. Why is such a score known as a Nelson? Because Horatio, Lord Nelson, had only one arm, one eye, one… well, we’ll not go further into that, shall we?

So, the mathematically minded amonst you will have already worked out that this must be my 666th post. Actually, technically, it’s more than that: a number of posts, usually in relation to expired Lulu offers, have been deleted, so this is actually only the 666th post accessible to you, my highly intelligent and much-valued readers.

Of course, there are those who will have drawn back, askance. For is it not written that 666 is the number of the beast? He that is Fallen, Lord of this World, Lord of Misrule, the cloven-hoofed one: Lucifer Morningstar, the Light-Bringer. When we celebrate his number, do we not call upon him, invite him to us?

No, we don’t. To us card-carrying Atheists, the Devil is as fictional as is God, the Creator. Though we have been known to relish his appearances in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and in his solo series as written by Mike Carey, about which I may one day be tempted to write.

I have no fears about this post, any more than I had about the 555th, or I will about the 777th (apart from the usual bemusement that I’ve a)actually had that much to say and b) that you’re still reading after that much verbiage here.)

As this is an off-shift weekend, I hope to be a bit busy this weekend and post another couple of things before work resumes plaguing me on Monday. I’m also still advancing, however slowly, with last year’s un-named NaNoWriMo novel. The first draft has expanded to just over 101,000 words and I’m hoping to finish on about 125,000. And by the beginning of November if I can, to at least give myself the option of entering NaNoWriMo 2014. So I gotta work.

Thanks for listening to my slightly self-congratulatory ramble: see you for the 777th?

Personal note: 11 July – Triple-Nelson


Back in February, I announced to a social site I no longer use that I had just gone Double-Nelson on this blog.

The announcement met mostly with indifference: the one person who responded was not a cricket fan and so was baffled by my cryptic reference. For those of you who are not devotees of the greatest game, Nelson is a score of 111 runs (after Lord Horatio of that name: one eye, one arm, one…). Double-Nelson is therefore, obviously, 222.

And this post is Triple-Nelson, or 333 runs, or, to be more precise, this blog’s 333rd post (not counting that handful of posts that have been deleted).

It also means that in the five months from mid-February to now, I have posted 111 blog articles. Prolific little bugger, aren’t I? At least no-one’s yet gotten round to calling me boring.

It seems that cranking out posts with the speed and alacrity that I’ve been doing has had its positive effects, as I’ve seen the average number of daily visits to this site increase fivefold since this time last year. The baseline having been fairly low to begin with, I’m still not batting as high as I could, but a start is a start, and I thank you all who come and read here, especially the regulars – Jim, I seriously appreciate the sheer number of posts that you ‘Like’.

It’s only fair to warn you that I may have to cut back on posting in the near future. A lot of my time over the last few months has been taken up with two time-consuming projects, the second of which is more or less done. Paradoxically, this is not going to mean more time for blogging but probably less: I want to get on with another novel, something I’ve had in mind for a good while. It’s not likely to be so simple as diverting the time given to the private projects to the movel. I strongly suspect it’s going to demand a lot more of my mind than a compiling exercise required.

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On a different note, I had a very pleasant day out yesterday, meeting an internet friend that I only occasionally see IRL. There were supposed to be three of us, but our mutual friend is currently unwell – best wishes, Wendy – so we switched to Carlisle and had a great time talking non-stop.

My friend is an aspirant writer, with the ability to be a success, but she’s much younger and had a lot to ask about aspects of writing, especially when it comes to fiction. She doesn’t think she has the imagination for it, though I have every confidence in her. I was the same at her age, and not as developed a writer then as she already is.

The point is that she asked if I’d ever done any sort of writing tips/experiences on this blog, which I haven’t. I find the process of writing to be absolutely fascinating: how ideas start, how they develop, what you do with them, etc. I’m well aware that these things could be much less fascinating to others than they are to me, but then I’m a very intuitive writer. Books are an organic process: I begin with something that interests me, a character, a setting, a twist that I’ve never seen before, and once I have enough to begin with, I start writing. And I let the characters reveal themselves to me, whilst their actions and reactions develop what happens to them. I don’t formally plot ahead, though I used to.

So, at Emily’s request, I’m going to do some occasional posts about writing and the processes that occur when trying to pull out of yourself something that hasn’t existed before.

I mean, who else has written a story about Time-Travel and Cricket?

Hopefully, this will be of interest. And I’d love to hear back from writers out there about their practices, in response.

Something more soon.