Day 20, and the struggle is real! I wrote precisely 1,000 words after trudging home from the day job yesterday.
My playlist song of the day is ‘Shake a Tail Feather’ by Ray Charles, who was a favourite artist of my dad’s (along with Olivia Newton-John). This song made me fall in love with the dulcet sounds of the Fender Rhodes piano. My husband owned one. I tried to learn how to play it like Ray, but I never could do it right. Uh-huh.
Can’t seem to buy the song individually on iTunes (at least, not in Australia), but you can download the entire ‘Blues Brothers’ soundtrack on which it appears here.
Day 19! This month is flying by. I’m not exactly breaking any records here, but I’m happy I managed to put down 1,401 words yesterday. This brings my NaNo total to 23,144 (and my manuscript total to 47,872). I’m 6,856 words away from my 30K target. If I do hit that mark this week, I’ll keep going. I’ve got to anyway because this book is far from finished! I’m only just into the second act.
Here’s a Monday morning wake-up call — ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ by the Style Council. The lyrics are relevant as ever, 33 years after the song’s release.
Download ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ by the Style Council from iTunes.
Bonus track: Another of my favourite Style Council songs (I have many faves, tbh), which is similarly anthemic, ‘Big Boss Groove’.
Download ‘Big Boss Groove’ by the Style Council from iTunes.
Yesterday, day 17, I woke up with some sort of weird illness. But I pulled through thanks to a delightful French Earl Grey hot chocolate drink and a packet of peanut M&M’s that a workmate thoughtfully donated to my cause! I wrote 2,170 words by 8:30pm. Hoping to add at least another 1K today.
My playlist song of the day is Louis Prima’s live version of ‘Night Train’. If you’re a fan of ‘Back to the Future’, like me, you might remember George McFly bopping to this at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.
I couldn’t find a Louis Prima recording of ‘Night Train.’ But you can download the Marvin Berry (feat. the Starlighters) version from the ‘Back to the Future’ soundtrack here along with my other fave song from that movie, ‘Earth Angel‘.
Day 17 and I’m feeling quite unwell. I wrote 750 words last night, bringing my manuscript total to 44,300. I had planned on doing a writing marathon this weekend. Might just curl up on the couch for 17 minutes and see how I feel. Perhaps an upbeat song with slightly creepy lyrics will help me get back up to speed. Here’s ‘Babies’ by Pulp.
(‘Pulp’ might well be an apt description for my book right now. #firstdraft)
Download ‘Babies’ by Pulp from iTunes.
Day 16. Last night, I got to 500 words and then my synapses collapsed. (Have I mentioned how difficult this challenge is?) I need to get 11,177 words down between now and November 30. Weekend writing marathon, here I come! Drawing up my list of required snacks now.
Today’s playlist song is Irma Thomas’s 1964 recording of ‘Time Is On My Side’, which I now vaguely recall posting during last year’s NaNo challenge. The Rolling Stones also released two different versions of this song in 1964. Who sang it better, do you reckon?
Download ‘Time Is On My Side’ by Irma Thomas from iTunes.
Download ‘Time Is On My Side’ by the Rolling Stones on iTunes.
Yikes, halfway through NaNoWriMo already? OK, despite setbacks, I am still going to reach my 30K goal for the month. Perhaps I’ll exceed that target if I’m really well behaved.
Today’s playlist song is ‘Rapture’ by Blondie. I saw Blondie live for the first time ever in July when I was in L.A. Spur-of-the-moment thing. I was in the ‘burbs and I spotted a plain hot-pink bill on a power pole that read “Blondie, Adam Ant, Thomas Dolby, Soft Cell – Microsoft Theater”. Thought I was dreaming. So I Googled on the spot, bought a ticket, and there I was, just two days later, mere metres from Deborah Harry. Amazing gig. Best moment was when they melded ‘Heart of Glass’ with Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’. Finding out just now how much my cat loves the synths in the latter.
A newer Blondie song that’s worth a listen is ‘Long Time‘, which they also played at this gig.
Download ‘Rapture’ from Blondie’s ‘Autoamerican’ album on iTunes.
Download ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer on iTunes.
Almost halfway through the annual NaNoWriMo challenge, and I can confirm the rumours — I am a zombie. Yes. Need brains. After getting home late from the day job yesterday (I missed my train due to inattention whilst waiting on the platform), I squeaked out only 500 words. I’m now around 13,000 words away from my target for the month.
Today’s playlist song is ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Check out this excellent live performance.
Download ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight & the Pips on iTunes.
Bonus track: Here’s my absolute favourite interpretation of ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine’, also by Ms Gladys and the Pips:
Download ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine’ from iTunes.
Day 13! Today I’m hoping for better things after yesterday’s sad effort — 500 measly words. What can I say? I don’t like Mondays. As long as I don’t have too many more days like that, I can still make my 30K target for November.
Today’s playlist song is ‘100MPH (in 2nd Gear)’ by Gemma Ray, who I saw here in Sydney a few years ago at what used to be the Vanguard. Doing this writing challenge is actually a lot like going a hundred miles per hour in second gear. This vid features the last car I owned (but not *the* car), which was very quick indeed. I don’t need a car anymore, but I kind of miss it. I also miss sleep.
Download ‘100MPH (in 2nd Gear)’ by Gemma Ray from iTunes.
I wrote 2,020 words yesterday, which means I made my weekend mini-goal of 4K! I do believe at least 46% of what I wrote is stream-of-consciousness drivel, though. But, hey, it’s a first draft and it’s not meant to be perfect. The whole point of this challenge is to spew the words out, then clean up the mess later. At this point, I’m halfway to my target of 30,000 for the month.
Today’s playlist song is from 1972 – ‘Respect Yourself’ by the Staple Singers. Sublime backup singing and organ bits plus some unexpected synth sounds. Ordinarily I’d use more technical music descriptions, but I can only brain so much during NaNo.
Download ‘Respect Yourself’ by the Staple Singers from iTunes.
Yesterday, on NaNo day 10, I wrote 2,022 words, so my mini-goal of hitting 4K for the weekend is on track. I’ve plenty of snacks and beverages on hand to get me through today.
Today’s playlist song is ‘Ends of the Earth’ by Lord Huron. I don’t know a great deal about the band. This song was used in the final episode of the ‘Longmire’ TV series; it’s a little bit country. The animation and story in this video’s fabulous. Take a look!
Download ‘Ends of the Earth’ by Lord Huron from iTunes.