While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Status Report: Week Thirty-Three

I let my own writing hijack yesterday’s book festival review, so it’s only far I hijack today’s status report with a bit more about the book festival…

Over the weekend I attended two Ten at Ten Sessions. These are free ten minute readings at 10am (hence the title) every day while the festival is on. I missed last Sunday’s because I didn’t know you had to get a ticket for these free readings (to do so you incur a £1 fee, though it is a flat fee so you can get as many free tickets as you want for your pound).

Saturday was Canadian poet Gary Geddes, who read three poems. Two things have stuck with me. The first was his effort to read a set in Orkney in a Scottish accent (he managed okay, expect for a few Canadian ‘oot’s). The second was when he said: “I was at the International Criminal Court at the Hague all last week, so I’ve come from crimes against humanity to Edinburgh, where the only crimes are aesthetic.” At first I thought he was referring to the architecture, which seemed a strange thing to say since Edinburgh is widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. But then Marisa suggested maybe he meant the people. This makes a bit more sense, but still, not the sort of thing you say to get on side with the locals.

Sunday’s reading was by Sophie Hannah, who’s published a bit of everything (poetry, short stories, children’s and crime fiction). She chose to read the first three pages from her newest, as-yet-unpublished psychological thriller, The Other Half Lives (or something like that). The premise: a man admits to killing someone who isn’t dead. The first three pages just affirmed my opinion that it’s very hard to make prose written for the page work in as an engaging reading. I guess I was just unlucky Hannah chose to wear her crime writer’s hat for those ten minutes. Oh well.

Hijack over. Here's some graphs:

Week Thirty-Three – The Stats

Weekly Wordcount: 12,978 words (compared to 12,185 words last week)
Average: 1,854 words per day (compared to target of 3,001/day)
Most productive day: Wednesday 13 August, 2,411 words (the lowest ‘best’ day for any non-travelling week this year)
Least productive day: Thursday 14 August, 1,106 words
Year-to-date: 530,553 words (97,862 words behind target)

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