Words done this month: 5,800

Total Word Count: 24, 360

Current Mood: Splendiferous

March Low Point: Nothing really to single out. Just need more discipline in writing.

March High Point: Adding up my word count and realising I’d done more than I thought.

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 Let’s start with a story that actually happened. Just the other night actually.

 Some friends and I were in Newcastle for dinner, and on the way to the restaurant we passed a man standing in the street in a very fine purple suit. His hair and beard were unkempt and he walked with a bit of a stoop. He carried with him a mobile phone and a suitcase.

“Dyhvatime?” he asked us as we walked past.

We stopped.

“Dyhvatime?” he inquired again. “Thatime?”

‘Oh the time!’ I realised in my head that he was Scottish and very much the worse for drink.

“Yes,” I said, looking at my watch, “It’s five past six.”

The man in the purple suit looked shocked, and for a second intense confusion could be clearly made out, even under all that beard. And then, in his drunken Scottish drawl he asked something that rather startled us all.

“Mornin’ or evenin’?”

“Evening,” I said.

We stood there, us and the drunk, staring at one another, both in states of disbelief. And then, because there was really nothing else we could do, and because our bellies were rumbling, we left the drunken man in the fine purple suit to walk on into his brand new evening.

Time is a funny thing, and whether or not you’re so off your head you lose all notion of its passage, it is very easy to let it get the best of you. At times it drags, at times it soars past you, and always at the points you want it to do the very opposite. Einstein had it right: sit on a bench with a pretty girl and an hour will feel like five minutes. Hold your hand on a a hot hob for five seconds and it will feel like an hour. 

After the true ‘hand on hob’ disaster month that was February I resolved to make March a good month. March was when every challenge was going to be faced, every put off thing put on; everything was going to get done: romantically, financially, creatively and businessly. And it was. What I remember of it. Because I really don’t know where March went. It really did speed by, and I was only drunk for part of it. Maybe it was because I was doing the stuff I liked; writing, cartooning, setting up my business, waiting for the new series of Doctor Who, that everything passed so quickly. I’m not sure. I’d certainly like to think it was that, and not just my addled, pun-crazed mind making me believe it. March certainly has felt like the month for sitting on the bench with the pretty girl. I’m glad of the change: my hand was starting to smell like bacon.

 So as a result of this fast-forwarded March and it’s many distractions that needed tending to I actually thought my word count was going to be low, but was rather surprised by how much I’d done. Not a massive amount but more than expected and enough to keep me on the very loose target I’ve set myself. Apparently I got some writing done on that bench.

 I think that the higher word count wasn’t just as a result of a more positive attitude, but because I was writing sections that really excited me, and which I’d been dying to write from ages. Real pulp action stuff. Outrageous, word-spilling fun like Spring-Heeled Jack bounding through London, crashing on top of Hansom cabs and leaping back onto the rooftops while gunfire bends the air around him. Or tense moments where an Inspector manages to trick an answer out of a suspect with some clever wordplay. It’s been immense fun, and as Chris and myuself have said many times before, writing should be fun. The day it becomes a chore is the day I’ll think about becoming an accountant (again). And thanks to the fun things are really picking up plot-wise. The story is taking more definite form, characters are fleshing out nicely and a good dose of intrigue has been added. And now that some textual chaff has been cut out from the literary wheat in the editing process I’m a lot happier with what’s been done.

What will April (described as ‘the cruellest month by Eliot) have in store? Well my Smedley Senses are tingling. A change is gonna come, some hands will be on hobs, and it’s not going to be the easiest of months to navigate, but there’ll be time – hell I’ll make the time – to write. And yes, an entire quarter of the year has gone, and I’m as terrified by that as anyone (seriously, a whole three months? Where’d that go?!), but there are three quarters left, and that’s a lot of writing time.

 And in the end, at least I and my opponent are aware of the time we have left. Unlike a certain man in a purple suit…

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