NaNoWriMoLax 2021

Philip HarrisNaNoWriMo, Writing, Writing AdviceLeave a Comment

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has rolled around again. If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month and thousands of people around the world take part in the challenge. I almost attempted it this year. I have my (probable) next book outlined and ready to go but my schedule is jam packed and I’ve been taking a bit of a break from writing. Adding the pressure of NaNoWriMo would have been bad for my mental health. But lots of people are attempting NaNoWriMo. If you’re one of these people then you’ve hit the halfway mark. Maybe you’re excited because your novel is hurtling along and you’re on track to finish your first draft by the end of the month (that’s a lot of your/you’re). Alternatively, you’re not. Maybe every day is a struggle and the pile of words remaining looks like an insurmountable hill to climb. If that’s you, it’s okay to abandon NaNoWriMo. You’re not a lesser writer because you haven’t managed to crank out a completely arbitrary 1,667 words a day during a pandemic. Take a break, refill your creative well then jump back onto the writing horse when … Read More

Do(ugh)nut Friday

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Five delicious donuts

I had a movie ready for this week then didn’t get it set up in time. Instead, here’s a picture of today’s do(ugh)nuts from Mello in Vancouver. Until next time. Stay safe. [Do(ugh)nut Friday by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 10th September 2021]

“I’ve got it bad for David Duchovny”

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You can find the new recording of the reboot Bree Sharp’s David Duchovny here – [“I’ve got it bad for David Duchovny” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 8th September 2021]

August (and July) Writing Update

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I definitely didn’t miss my July writing update, oh no. Definitely not. Look over there – a new David Duchovny album. Okay, you got me. I forgot to update at the end of July. And July was a pretty good month, writing wise. I hit 19,808 words and continued my writing streak. Most of that time was spent revising my new novella. August got off to a good start. I finished the novella and found a name – The Angular Bones Beneath. I also wrote a new short story set in my Serial Killer Z world – Monstro. If you’ve read the fourth book in that series, Shadows, you may remember a couple of characters called Otto and Monstro. This new story reveals how they met and will be appearing in an upcoming anthology. And then I plunged into a writing slump. I did manage to continue my writing streak and hit 11,914 words for the month but two-thirds of that time was just me poking listlessly at the outlines for my next two books. It was progress and I feel like the stories are getting better and better – the loose ends are less loose and the plot holes … Read More

Film Friday – The Gunfighter

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Eric Kissack’s and Kevin Tenglin’s The Gunfighter is tagged on YouTube as the “Best Short Film Ever” and that may well be right. There are some sexual references in this so for mature audiences only. WINNER Audience Award for Best Short Film – LA Film FestWINNER Audience Award for Best Short Film – Napa Valley Film FestivalWINNER Audience Award for Best Narrative Short – Sidewalk Film FestivalWINNER Jury Award for Best Short Film – Macon Film FestivalWINNER Jury Award for Best Short Film – Hill Country Film FestivalWINNER Jury Award for Best Comedy – LA ShortsWINNER Jury Award and Audience Award for Best Short Film – Hell’s Half MileWINNER Jury Award for Excellence in Short Filmmaking – South Dakota Film FestivalBest of the Fest Selection – Palm Springs Short FestAudience Favorite – DC ShortsHonorable Mention for Best Short Films – Woods Hole Film FestivalOfficial Selection – Cleveland International Film FestOfficial Selection – Seattle International Film FestOfficial Selection – Traverse City Film FestivalFeatured on Short of the Week – Go to for news about screenings in your area! Directed by Eric Kissack ( by Kevin Tenglin ( by Sarah PlattShot by Jon Aguirresarobe ( by Libby CueninCostumes by Kate MallorArt Direction by … Read More

200 Days of Writing

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I have a probably unhealthy obsession with tracking my writing habits. I’ve got 12 years of data about how much I write and for the last eight years or so I’ve been pretty aggressive about writing every day and tracking how many words I write including whether that’s new words, revising, or rewriting. I’ve also done a few writing streaks. My longest was over 5 years but I was starting to get burned out so ended up taking a bit of a break after that. I started a new streak at the end of last year, though, and on Wednesday I hit day 200. Word count for those 200 days was a very respectable 184,840 words. A fair chunk of that was revision but I did wrap up the first book in my new series and a prequel novella. Timing for those books is still up in the air but at least one should be out later this year. Writing streaks aren’t a good fit for everyone but they’ve certainly helped me keep up momentum. I’ve done streaks for exercise as well but not as aggressively. Run streaks are gaining popularity but there’s a physical cost to running every day … Read More

June Writing Update

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Oooh ooh, we’re halfway there! Oooh oooh <cough> <cough> Ahem. Okay, that’s enough of that. We’re halfway through 2021 and it’s hot. Not as hot as a couple of days ago when Vancouver reached 40C (about a billion F) but still pretty toasty. I’ve never been so grateful for the air conditioning in my apartment as I was this week. It’s been heartbreaking to read about the loss of life and I’ve been getting worried emails from family in the UK where Canada’s lethal heatwave has been making the headlines. I wish I could believe it’s a once in a lifetime event but I can’t. That air-conditioning has meant that I’ve been able to keep on writing and with it being too hot to run, I’ve largely been inside, poking away at the my latest manuscripts. June’s total wordcount was 25,107. That’s slightly up on May’s total but still short of the 30,000 I was aiming for. I also got my second Covid shot and the associated side-effects, though, so I’m taking it as a win. That brings my total for the year to 166,100. It’s a respectable number and I’m well on the way to making this my most … Read More

Film Friday – Leading Lady Parts – BBC

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This comedy short, written and directed by Jessica Swale, takes a sneak peek backstage as the cream of British acting talent step forward to audition for that dream role. They are primed to take on the role of a lifetime, that complex woman, the strong woman, a woman for today. A lady part who is more than just… lady parts. The eclectic, award-winning cast includes Gemma Arterton, Gemma Chan, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Tom Hiddleston, Felicity Jones, Katie Leung, Stacy Martin, Wunmi Mosaku, Florence Pugh, Catherine Tate and Anthony Welsh. The hear her campaign aims to give free reign and the opportunity for normally unheard women from across the UK to tell their stories and give their opinions on all matters ‘women’. It aims to elevate these honest and uncensored opinions to make them un-ignorable. To discover more visit [Film Friday -Leading Lady Parts – BBC by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 25th June 2021]

The Wasteland You Call a Mind

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As I write this, I have just finished the first draft of my next book. This one has been a bit of a struggle. I started it on the 2nd of February 2019 and apart from a break between April and October of that year have been working on some form of this story pretty much since then. It’s been rewritten multiple times and this version is actually a combination of the original early drafts and a prequel novella. All that work has netted a first draft that’s 134,043 words. That’s a good 30-40% longer than even the longest Serial Killer Z book. All those words mean I’ve got a lot more revising, editing, and proofreading to go before it’s ready to see the light of day but I’m happy with where it is at the moment. It’s a good story with an interesting setting and a main character that I have a lot of fun writing. I’m planning this to be a series. Each book will be a complete story (no cliffhangers) but there are ongoing plots and the relationships between the characters will evolve. There’s plenty of meat in the world I’m creating and although I’m not quite … Read More

Sunday Snippet – 20th June 2021

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A quick unedited (and context free) snippet from the currently untitled first book in my new series. Memories surged around Tessa. Heart-wrenching loss entwined with stomach-churning fear. Night terrors wrapped around movie-style theatrics. Faces peered at her from the bleakest recesses of her mind. She cried out for Eli, desperate for his strength of will or just to hear his voice. The demonic presence in the room grew stronger. She felt the nightmares crowding in around her. Despair clambered through her mind. It was a cancerous thing, black and bitter but it brought with it the promise of relief. She’d already lost, all she needed to do was accept it and it would be over. No more fighting. No more pain. Just the merciful release of oblivion. The blackness filled Tessa’s mind. She clung to every memory of Eli she could find. His smile. His dumb jokes. His pitiful attempts at juggling three multi-colored balls she’d bought for him from a street vendor.The despair corrupted them all. His smile became a disdainful grimace. His dumb jokes turned spiteful. The juggling turned to an angry outburst, the balls now mugs hurled across the living room to smash against the wall. None … Read More