Tag Archives: November

Midnight Freight

The clatter of keys grows silent. November is over and NaNoWriMo is at an end. A typhoon of tortured tales grows still, their limp and pallid forms lie mewling on the dusty ground, their hurried and unnatural births now over. Deadlines and targets are a thing of the past. Some will be counting themselves as winners, having managed to put together 50,000 words. other will count themselves as losers, having fallen short of that lofty goal. I however, have been up to other things. Spending my evening in quiet contemplation, making soup and watching sci-fi from the early 2000s. When it comes to NaNoWriMo the distinction between winner and losers is at best moot and at worst erroneous. I learnt long ago, that the only winning move, is not to play.

39 - Nov 2014 - Midnight Freight Continue reading

November’s Pictonaut Challenge

The ghost have been blown away on the wind, the bats are back in their roosts, the vampires are safely stowed away in their coffins and the skellingtons have been packed back into their closets. Now it is November, a time of flame, fireworks and dangerously large amounts of writing. Yes, once again NaNoWriMo rears its bestial and hoary head from the wordy loam in which it has slumbered. It has let outs its keening howl to call writers to arms. It is a call which I have once again responded with: “No! Not again! You can’t make me!” Once is enough. I turned my will upon the task and triumphed once. never again, I am not strong enough to survive another attempt and the looming spectre of possible failure.

That is not to say I won’t be writing in November, I am always writing. It is required. It is mandatory. The Pictonaut Challenge is so much easier to manage, and requires a much, much smaller investment of time. Should you feel that NaNoWriMo might be just a little bit too arduous a task, then you should join me, join me in exploring the wonders and mysteries of “Midnight Freight.

39 - Nov 2014 - Midnight Freight

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November ends. It ends with the sound of buzzing razors and clattering keyboards.  It ends with the sudden realisation that no one looks good in a moustache. It ends with the realisation that perhaps spending a whole month writing 50,000 words wasn’t the best use of your time. The end of November is a time of shames and regrets laid bare. A time of rising panic and encroaching festive malice. The end of November is not a lot of fun. But I am here to ease your woes and salve your hurts with another batch of wordascopes.

27 - Nov 2013 - Regent (Dishonoured)

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November’s Pictonaut Challenge

And so we find ourselves on the home straight of 2013. The days evaporating away into the æther only to rapidly condense into the sticky and turbid liquid that will become 2014. November is a silly month. Scores of you will now be desperately trying to grow a manly moustache (and almost certainly end up looking like a prat.) Others of you will be hammering away at your keyboard like it has dishonoured you and your ancestors, as you vainly try and churn out 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. These 50,000 words will almost certainly be purest, unadulterated dross. But for those of us who are follically challenged or don’t much fancy the idea of chaining ourselves to our desks for a whole month, I have an alternative. For as ever, the Pictonaut Challenge rumbles ever on with Regent; with gunpowder, treason and plot (Adjust proportions to taste.)

27 - Nov 2013 - Regent (Dishonoured) Continue reading

The Grid

And at long last November limps its way to the finish line, finally collapsing to the ground. November is dead. Stone cold dead and along with it many other things. The latest pandemic of winter-writing-fever should now be in remission and this years flock of moustache’s wither and curl beneath the ministrations of the razor blade, gone until next year’s season. The end of November sees a return to normality, we are now safely out of this autumnal twilight zone. The normality we now enter is of course a sham. For the normality we now embrace is that of tinsel and snow and cheery faces, of panicked buying and dashing hither and thither to find just the right material expression of our love to foist upon family and friends. With such a prospect in store part of me will miss November.

The end of November brings with it the close of Pictonaut Challenge number 15, the sci-fi bonanza of The Grid.

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November’s Pictonaut Challenge

November is a shambling odd-ball of a month. Were November a person you wouldn’t really like them. You’d suffer their presence quietly, hoping against hope that they’d just go away and leave you alone; you’d treat them with a  passive-aggressive meanest that wouldn’t quite have the necessary understanding of social nuances to “get.” The sort of person who, the moment their back was turned you’d bolt for the nearest exit with a speed and urgency you didn’t realise you were capable of.  November would have a bad moustache and no one had quite had the heart to inform them that it really didn’t suit them. November is forever going on about “their book” and how it’ll be amazing, yet no one has the heart to tell them it’s just as awful as their moustache. Add to this a distinctly pyromaniacal bent and you have the makings of someone who really should not be allowed near children.

So basically fuck November.

Perhaps I’m just bitter. I can’t grow a decent moustache and my body betraying me with maladies, plagues, facial twitches, heart-burn and fatigue has left me rather incapable of joining in with the NaNoWriMo fun. I can however still enjoy exploding showers of highly excited metal ion compounds with the best of them.

Now I’m sure many of you are embroiled in the NaNo frenzy, losing yourself to the 30 days of literary abandon. But for those not quite up to the colossal NaNo commitment I’m here to offer you an alternative. A quick jog round the park instead of a full-on marathon. It’s the start of November, it’s time for a new Pictonaut Challenge. It’s time for The Grid.

The Grid - Darren Douglas Continue reading

November’s Pictonaut Challenge

So November is upon us. I’ve never been entirely sure about the month of November. It’s a distinctly unremarkable month as months go. There’s no major festivals or celebrations. Sure there’s Bonfire night, which has fireworks and we all love fireworks I’m sure. But at the end of the day that, unlike July the 4th or Bastille day, isn’t about throwing off [perceived] shackles of oppression and embracing the glories of freedom. It’s essentially a celebration of one man’s complete and resounding failure to achieve just that. It is a testament and historical memorial to shoddy workmanship, poor planning and the inability of some people to just keep their mouths shut. My friend Mick goes as far to swear November to be a foul and cursed month, frequently espousing declarations of “nothing good happens in November.” But we get fireworks, large fires and jacket tetties wrapped in tin-foil and baked in the untempered fury of a ten foot high pile of blazing wood, so at the end of the day who gives a shit, we’re all happy. Except Guy Fawkes of course, damn he got a right going over.

So musings on the nature of the November beast aside, there are a few things happening this month which are worthy of note.

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