Done and Dusted

Done. The first pass is complete for The Spiral Tattoo. Yes.

It’s a bit short at only 57,000 words. Apparently the normal length of the type of novel I am writing is about 80,000, so I am a good 23,000 words short, but I am not too worried. In the second pass I am sure I will be able to make that up.

So where to from here?

Firstly, I need to run a second pass over the manuscript. This will be looking for major inconsistencies, typos, and expanding on underwritten sections. That should hopefully only take a couple of weeks. The I will get the E.I.C. to edit. Poor her I will owe her a couple of chocolate fish or two 🙂

Then I will need a couple of test readers, before I do a final third pass.

After that I will investigate making it into a podio-book and trying to get it published.


50,000 Reasons

All things come to an end, and the first pass at writing my first novel is rapidly coning to an end. Last night I passed a psychological milestone, as I cracked the 50,000 word mark. That means I have already written the bare minimum amount of words for a story to be considered a novel. It was a bit of wrestle to write from 47,000 to 50,000.

It means that I think I am only about 15,000 away from finishing the first draft. It’s still a bit short then, but expect to add another 15,000 during the second pass.

All that means that by the end of next week I should be done. 🙂



I received a dangerous gift for my birthday… It was a rain gauge… 🙂

The terrible truth is I get compulsive in watching stats, counting numbers etc., so a rain gauge could be seriously distracting 🙂

On the first night we had 3mm of rain… Today we had already had 4mm… This is all good for our trees and water tank…

Except I have visions of me in tweed, with leather patches on my elbows, and every day checking the gauge and entering it into my spreadsheet 😆

And then I can keep track of the water in the tank. Evidently we get around 1 litre into the tank for every 1mm that drops on every square metre of roofing. We have a 110 m2 foot print, so with a sloped roof we would likely have 120 m2 of roof surface area.. That means for every 1mm of rain we should get about 120 litres into the tank. So the 7 mm should have given us around 840 litres…


The Madness Of Writers

It is time for the late night birthday blog… 🙂

I’ve had a good birthday. My presents including a rain gauge and an old World War era army great coat. While we no longer have the trenches dug around the house, I can put the coat on if we ever dig some more, and film a WWI home movie 😆

I can also calculate how much water we have added into the tank. 🙂

Also the E.I.C. took the T.B.T’s down to the river to float a boat the built from wood, which was lovely. 🙂

We had a weird experience yesterday though. We are selling our caravan, and this chap rang up from the other side of the island. He spent a good couple of hours getting here, looked at the caravan and then decided it wasn’t for him, so off he went. It was a little disappointing, but what was really unsettling was he was really rude.

Anyway that has nothing to do with the madness of writers. Yes the title of the post actually had a point, and wasn’t a random title. Often in fiction, and in biographies, it is mentioned that writers are a little mad. Usually characterised by a habit of talking of their characters as if they were real people. The characters won’t let them do this. Or the character didn’t like that. While I have not yet descended into that level of crazyness the cracks may be appearing. 🙂

Often in my writing I tend to a certain level of floweriness, and a verbose turn of phrase. I have found in my latest story than the main character Gurt who narrates the story won’t let me. Sometimes it’s almost like I can hear him saying “I don’t think I would say that.” or “You think I would think that, don’t be daft.” The characters have also led me down some divergent paths to the story plan. I start writing a chapter in which X is going to happen and before I know it something different has happened or it has happened in a different way.

I think you should only be concerned if Gurt pops up and writes a post here 😆

Family · Writing

Birthday Prep

Tomorrow is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me 🙂

Writing-wise I have not reached where I wanted to be, but I am not beating myself up over that, as it has been really busy…

A happy evening spent as the E.I.C. and I have decorated my birthday cake… She created the pink dragon 🙂

My cool cake
Note the cute dragon

A Smelly Tale

Warning. This post contains details of an unpleasant sort.

One of the joys, if you can call it that, of living on a rural block, is owning your own septic tank. Or in our case a waste treatment plant. All that messy stuff that gets flushed own the drain and off to where you don’t want to think about when in town, end up somewhere near to your front or rear door. Buried for sure, and unobtrusive, but still there. If nothing goes wrong then you needn’t think about it except once or twice a year, when you call someone in to service.

With a new one, like ours, you don’t think you’re going to have too many problems.

Well think again. Just four months in and it started to smell. Imagine if you will the worst smell from the worst public lavatory. Now imagine that smell sitting outside your door. Windy days are a blessing as it blows the odor away. We have been “blessed” with a lot of lovely still fine days. Hot still fine days 😆

So we rang the install people with whom we have a service contract some four weeks ago when the smell started. Someone will be with you soon they said. Don’t worry they said.

Well finally after more calls and emails the nice man turned up to check the tank out this week. We were worried we had put some wrong chemicals down the drain, which had ruined the, ahem, culture of the tank.

No he says, opening it up and looking in. It all looks nice and healthy in there. It’s just the crust isn’t thick enough yet. Apparently it is meant to form a thick crust which stops the gases escaping. Our timer on the pump in the system needed tweaking as it was pumping to much and not letting the crust form properly. 🙂 Who knew?

So now the smell is fading, and hopefully our septic tank will get suitably crusty. Its not a visual image I really want to dwell on. 😆

O and more good news, we have rain… Happy water tank and plants… 🙂


Birthdays, Gifts, And Lovely Children

The E.I.C.’s and my birthdays are close together, and coming soon.  We are both quite big on birthdays, well the celebration of rather than the recieving of gifts.

Our eldest T.B.T. has been plotting and planning and this year he decided to use his own pocket money, rather than raiding our pockets. What a proud parental moment. So of he went on his own to do his first solo shopping trip. The parents waiting anxiously in the car. We were probably more nervous for him than he was. We only snuck in a couple of times to make sure he was OK (and we didn’t peek honest). He was just fine having asked the nice staff for help. He had decided to get us a joint present.

Even though the first birthday isn’t until the end of the week he couldn’t wait to give us what he’d chosen, as he was so nervous about getting it right and that it would work…  So we said he could give it anyway as an early present… Otherwise he would spend the week winding himself up into little knots…

His choice? A new CD player as ours had long died, and three CD’s…  What a lovely lad 🙂


Poi E

There is a movement to get Poi E to number one in the music charts on it’s 20th anniversary. Go Poi E!

And the lyrics:

Te Poi !
Patua Taku Poi Patua Kia Rite
Pa Para Patua Taku Poi E !

E rere ra e taku poi poro-titi
Ti-taha-taha ra whaka-raru-raru e
Poro-taka taka ra poro hurihuri mai
Rite tonu ki te ti-wai-waka e

Ka pare pare ra pī-o-o-i-o-i a
Whaka-heke-heke e ki a kori kori e
Piki whaka-runga ra ma mui-nga mai a
Taku poi poro-titi taku poi e

Poi E whaka-tata mai
Poi E kaua he rerekē
Poi E kia piri mai ki au
Poi E-E awhi mai ra
Poi E tāpeka tia mai
Poi E o taua aroha
Poi E pai here tia ra

Poi… Taku Poi E!

Repeat solo a cappella : Chanted by lead female Kaea.

Patua Taku Poi Patua Kia Rite
Pa Para Patua Taku Poi E !

Verse & chorus repeated again, same sequence.

Instrumental break, usually poi percussion.

Then key change : repeat chorus on key change.

At end of song :
POI… TAKU POI E ! 4 times

Then everyone chants at song’s end :
Rere Atu Taku Poi Ti Ta’ Taha Ra
Whakarunga Whaka Raro Taku Poi E!


Inchworm, Inchworm, Measuring The Marigold

I had to nip up to Hastings today to measure the garage. The new second hand garage requires a raised nib to be sited properly, so we couldn’t just lay an extra large concrete pad, and plop it down. The garage we have chosen is cool, but I am a bit worried since we need accurate measurements. We couldn’t afford to pay the builder to go do the measuring, so I had to do it myself. The blame will be all mine 😆

I did the measuring myself, which lead to some interesting solutions.

On my own, how do you get the measuring tape to stay in place?

Cooll shelves, and lovely wood.
Still needs a little water blasting...
The Workbench... Lots of Projects foreseen