Countdown to completion: 35%!

It's not quite as exciting as the days left till Christmas, but still....

Those of you reading this on the QlL blog might be able to spot a new addition to the site just to the right. As of today, it indicates that 10x10x100 is now 35% complete! That's 5% more than I managed to accomplish during NaNoWriMo.

Partial success of NaNoWriMo 2011

30% more than if you don't write at all

Well, NaNoWriMo wasn't a total washout, as I had originally feared. Despite in no way hitting everyone else's target of 50,000 words, or even managing to land within the outer circle of 10,000 words (which was my own personal target) I've still composed... well, 3,000 words, or 30% of what I had hoped to achieve.


It could be worse: I could have an actual deadline to work towards.

I've been trying to take part in National November Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) this year. I think it's fair to say the results are mixed.

How Queneau took over

A quick summary of how it took so long to get here

In April 2008 I was starting to think about a new project, for Christmas that year. It was something along the lines of 10x10x100, although the exact details are difficult to remember.

This year it's all about the numbers

This website suddenly wakes up every October, like the Australian pygmy possum. Like the possum, it's also somewhat endangered.

I've been working offline on a new project now for a few months. It's the same one that got away when Exercises in Song took over my life. It involves a lot of preparatory work, which would be hard to translate to things like blogposts, although I might well try to do so as we approach the end of 2011.

The curious incident of the Dan in the night-time

6 Aug 2011

It was late spring in 1998. I was renting a college room alongside my friend Dan. Wadham College - my college - has done so much of what they call "growing organically" over the years that the room you might end up with during the third year of your degree is both metaphorically and literally something of a lottery.

Exercise in Song Queneauvian #3: End

Farewell, Parisian streets,
The gare Saint-Lazare and Cour de Rome!
I had a little wander round, in style after style,
But now I've found my way home.

My writing hand grows slow
For I started long ago,
And it just remains for me to declare
Merci! to Raymond Queneau.

Exercise in Song Queneauvian #2: Middle

Picture the rush-hour S bus,
That chap, with the long neck and felt hat,
The way he thought that everyone was treading on him,
And the speed with which he sat.

Now see, much later, when,
With a friend he walks; and then
Let's repeat these scenes in different modes,
Over and over again.

Exercise in Song Queneauvian #1: Beginning

Show me the way it might start:
A writer imagines the banal -
Two chance encounters with some chap, two hours apart -
But by now, he's in its thrall!

He sets himself a trial
That will test his strength and guile:
Tell the same tale in some 99 ways;
That's Exercises in Style!

Exercise in Song War and Peace

Show me Napoleon's war
As seen by the Muscovite elite.
As Bezukhov's good luck turns sour, Bolkonsky escapes
Austerlitz and grim defeat.

Through marriage, death and birth,
Trudging over frozen earth,
These aristocrats will come to enquire:
What was this bloody war worth?