Monday, 21 April 2014

Getting it written, Chuck Wendig style, and Dvorak style

Chuck Wendig 350 words a dayChuck Wendig wrote a great article a while back, worth reading, about getting a routine going for writing. The thrust of the argument is sit your arse down and write, motherfucker, write 350 fucking words five days a week, and you'll get yourself your own novel in less than a goddamn year (maybe I'm paraphrasing, but he does swear a lot).

At the beginning of the year, I came up with an idea for a series of historical novels. I set about the research (despite having taken an interest in my chosen period for over twenty years), joined an academic society focusing on my chosen time, wrote a few pages... and then faltered. I've not really done much work on it since, although I've had the historical events going through my head for over two decades. Perhaps it's the prospect of the huge mountain to climb, a climb at least 80,000 words high, which caused me to grind to a halt with this, but I knew I wasn't going anywhere soon with it, despite setting myself a deadline with it.

Then I remembered Chuck Wendig's article. So I set about reviving my flagging project by pumping just 350 words into it each day. Things started moving again, but it still lacked some momentum.

At around the same time, I also remembered an article by Holly Lisle. It was back to 2000 when I first read it. The article is still there, and it was about the Dvorak keyboard layout.

To channel the spirit of Chuck Wendig, I thought (swear words alert): "Fuck it, let's do it." So today, I took the plunge and I am trying Dvorak. I have been typing much, much slower than normal, and although I only got approximately 500 words done today, in the process of typing much slower, I feel I have been more productive. With each and every word, I have had to not only stop and think about the location of the letters, but also in doing so, I have been able to think more deliberately about the development of the story.

Dvorak keyboard layout

My story has come on a pace to a point where I'm happy with the progress I'm making, thanks to the 'Chuck Wendig 350 daily words, motherfucker" method, and thanks to Dvorak. Although I'm making lots of mistakes with Dvorak, I'm making fewer than I thought I would. All in all, it's definitely a fun experiment, even if I decide to go back to the old QWERTY keyboard layout. In fact, I'm typing this using Dvorak keyboard layout right now.

It's also given me some insight into what my son may be experiencing at the moment. He's of an age where he's learning to write, and he spends hours and hours joyfully writing his name over and over again. It's a bit like that, like learning my letters all over again.

So in conclusion, I have a happy paradox: by slowing right down and only having tiny (350 words) goals, I am actually becoming more productive.

For more information on Dvorak keyboard, click here and here and here.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

SpeakEasy Worcester, 10 April 2014

SpeakEasy Worcester, 10 April 2014. At the Old Rectifying House, Worcester. 7:30pm. What a night it'll be! I'm actually on the bill this time, and it's an event I'm really looking forward to. Since its launch, SpeakEasy has gone from strength to strength, and continues to attract a wide variety of performers and talent. I'll be performing some of my most recent poetry, and some old familiar work too.

Why not come and join us?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

National Poetry Month (US)

This month, I will be attempting to write one poem (or more) each day for the duration of April 2014. Why? Because it's (US) National Poetry Month, and I like a challenge. I have a theme I'm working on, but won't go into detail until the month is finished. All I'll say is that April 1st is an important date for the start of this project....

I plan to collate the poems into an anthology for release later this year.

It should be noted, the National Poetry Month is April for the USA. Here in the UK, National Poetry Month is in October. As I've already started this poetry project for April, it looks like I'll have another chance to celebrate a month of poetry later on this year!

In the meantime, look out this summer for an exciting poetry book, which I am currently writing with the goal of getting it complete in one month!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

42 Worcester, 26 March 2014

It's the big one! It's probably the most important dates in the genre poetry and prose performance calendar for the year. 42 Worcester celebrates its third birthday, with a Zombie theme night. Of course, I'll be there, reading my poem "A Zombie's Lament".

42: when is it? 42, the premier Worcestershire gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy event, returns on 26th March 2014. Held at Drummonds, The Swan with Two Nicks, 28 New Street, Worcester WR1 2DP on the final Wednesday of each month, 42 Worcester starts at 19:30.

I'll see you there!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Shave the Scottish Beavers Selfie

Damon Lord with a Bic razor
Apparently if you post a selfie photo, awareness is raised for or money goes to a good cause, depending on what you read. People have posted pictures of themselves in or out of make up, and now they are appearing in socks. I've even seen pictures on Facebook of people with beer bottles. I am posting this picture of me with a Bic razor to raise awareness of a cause that is close to my heart: Shave the Scottish Beavers. Beavers are being introduced into the wild in Scotland, and it is my firm belief that they would be able to move quicker through the water without hair/fur. Join me in proudly supporting Shave the Scottish Beavers.

Please note: some (or all) of the above text may be bullshit.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Black Pear Press book launch, Kidderminster

Black Pear Press book launch
If you've got nothing to do this Sunday (or if you've got something else to do, you can cancel it of course), get along to Kidderminster to the Boar's Head on Sunday for one of the most exciting literary events you'll enjoy so far this year!

Unfortunately due to family commitments, I can't attend, but someone will be reading an extract from one of my stories.

The press release reads:

In December 2013 Black Pear Press launched its first publication, Short Stories from Black Pear: an anthology reflecting the diverse talents of people living and writing in Worcestershire, the Black Pear County. It was the run up to Christmas, so it's just possible that you were double booked that day and you've been kicking yourself for missing it. Well, here is another chance to catch some real writers reading the stories that they … err … wrote. If you're impressed by what you hear, you might even want to buy a signed copy of the anthology.

You are invited to Short Stories from Black Pear, 4.30 - 6.30 pm, Sunday 16th March at The Boars Head, 39 Worcester St, Kidderminster. (Entry is FREE).

Black Pear Press ( ) is a small, independent publisher based in Worcestershire. It will regularly publish novels, poetry and short stories, with some of its publications originating from the Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe.

Contributors to the anthology will read a short extract from their work. Following the readings, there will be book signings and the chance to buy copies of the anthology. We hope you'll relax and enjoy a chat with all who've been involved :)

There will be readings from stories by:
Mike Alma
Kevin Brooke
Tim Butler
Alan Durham
Tana Durham
Rod Griffiths
Tony Judge
Andy Kirk
Damon Lord
Alison May
Andrew Owens
Dunstan Power
Polly Robinson
Suz Winspear

We hope to see you there.

If you can't make it, and still want to buy a copy, head on over to Amazon.

SpeakEasy, March 2014

Damon Lord, reading "Sunday Morning Drive"
I found myself landed yesterday with another short spot this month at SpeakEasy Worcester, back in its regular venue of The Old Rectifying House, Worcester. I really gave a rousing performance this month with a strong, loud poem called "Sunday Morning Drive". I was only on stage for two minutes, but I was sure to leave an impression!

I've also been invited back for next month, to do a full reading slot! That will be exciting, so will you be there?