Thursday, November 25, 2010

Statistically speaking

I've just discovered Blogger Stats on the design page, and had to stop writing (no really I DID) to have a good rummage around.

Quite illuminating - if you've nothing better to do. It tells you which of your posts has been looked at the most during a day, week, month or of all time and rather surprisingly my most popular post isn't about writing or anything remotely profound - not that I've written anything remotely profound.

It's this one called Turkey Fatigue, which has been viewed 3628 times to date, and is being viewed by 48 people at this very minute.

The magical Blogger Stats informs me that all these visits have been referred by people searching for turkey cartoons. But why? To my knowledge turkey is only ever relevant at Christmas and Thanksgiving - not on the 3rd of June. It makes no sense.

Second most popular post - understandably - is Cally Taylor and her Writing Highlights with 682 page views. Quite a lot less than the turkey I think you'll agree. I have absolutely no idea what this means.

In third place, with a paltry 86 views is Celebrity Morph, in which I turn myself into a male actor by means of some internet jiggery-pokery. I'm not doing a link, because thankfully it doesn't work any more, plus it shows I was clearly bonkers at the time and I'm much better now thanks.

All rather disturbing and proof that, as my dear old gran used to say, there's nowt so queer as folk.

Friday, November 12, 2010


This month I decided I'd 'secretly' take part in NaNoWriMo as a way of motivating myself to get the first draft of novel 2 finished. Boy am I glad I didn't make a song and dance about it on the blog, as I've done naff all. Well, a few thousand words, but not the 20,000 or so that would be required by now.

It's weird, because external deadlines I'm brilliant with - I'll stay up all night writing if I have to and get the work finished on time, but when I set my own it hardly ever works. This is when RT (Resistant Teenager) takes over.

The second I woke up on November 1st she said, in sulky tones, "Sorry but I can't, like, do much writing today, like, 'cos I've got, like, other stuff to do and that. Innit."

One of them involved forcing me to bake a cake in the microwave (no, the kitchen still isn't finished). It wasn't a success. Ever tried eating a rubber chicken? My maths isn't good but I know I could have written a lot of words in that time - especially as I forgot to put an egg in the first batch and had to start again.

The next day she insisted I spend an inordinate amount of time turning up a pair of trousers for work, only to discover that one leg was shorter than the other when I'd finished. (Trouser leg that is.) Naturally she made me unpick the hem and start again. I wouldn't care, but they only cost a fiver from Tesco's in the first place - I could have just chucked them away. More writing time down the drain.

Over the past fortnight or so she's had me scouring charity shops for a particular kind of clock, teaching myself how to light the fire properly in our front room, filling in a couple of holes in the wall in the porch, staring at the leaves in the garden with a view to raking them up, and experimenting with my hair-style. When I could have been writing!

Right now she's forcing me to write this when I had every intention of opening up the work-in-progress and adding to the meagre word count, and in a minute I know she's going to insist I put the kettle on again and scour the internet for hot men I can picture as the hero in my novel polish the door knobs.

Ye Gods. I'll be glad when November's over and I can get back to writing normally.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ooh I Say!

I’ve a short story in this week’s Woman’s Weekly called Private Dancer which is, ahem, a little … saucier than my usual fare. I’m not talking full on raunch, because as I’ve mentioned on here before I’m absolutely no good at s-e-x scenes – plus I wouldn’t want the readers to choking on their coffee and going all unnecessary.

I’d challenged myself to rustle up a story that was, shall we say, hot-blooded but subtle, as I’d never tried it before, and I must have done something right as the editor said she liked it - a lot.

It was fun actually, and it felt good to write something outside my comfort zone. I won’t be taking it any further than that though – my blood pressure couldn’t cope.

My daughter steeled herself to read it, saying she hoped it wasn’t ‘pornographic’. I reassured her that I'd never had an impure thought in my life, but even so she could barely look me in the eye afterwards. “It’s good Mum, but it’s weird that you wrote it,” she said sidling past, and went to wash her hands.

I considered taking offence, then imagined how I would have felt if MY mum had written it.*


*Don’t get your hopes up if you’re tempted to read it. I’m not talking Jackie Collins here, and this IS Woman’s Weekly remember.