Monday Metrics – 1st September 2014

Philip HarrisMetrics, WritingLeave a Comment

Can you spot when I took Mary Robinette Kowal‘s short story writing workshop? The workshop was an incredibly valuable experience and I came away with a whole new understanding of various aspects of the craft of writing, new tools for my writer’s toolbox and the inevitable boost in motivation. I also ended up with several new short story ideas (and one that could easily be a novel) that I’m itching to get to once I get my current workload under control. If you’re a writer and you get a chance to be taught by Mary at any point – jump at it. Not all of the weekend writing was for the workshop. I managed to squeeze in half an hour or so of work on The Zombie Book each day – primarily so that I didn’t feel like I was “cheating” by keeping up my streak (now sitting at 428 days) with workshop exercises. Yes, that makes no sense but there you go. So, 8,726 words, 2,989 of which were on The Zombie Book. Very happy with that. And…spoilers…I had a very productive writing day today as well – a boost from the workshop without a doubt. [Metrics Monday – 1st September 2014 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st September 2014]  

Five Things I Learned Last Week

Philip HarrisChatter, Five ThingsLeave a Comment

Having just spent the weekend in a writing workshop with the wonderful Mary Robinette Kowal, I could have filled the next couple of months of Five Things posts with things I learned from her. But I won’t. That would be cheating. I will say you should check out her books and, if you’re a writer, her intensive short story workshop is well worth the price of admission. Author, Candace Mountain, is posting a picture of a cat every day this year. And she has to take them all herself. Tom Hanks has released an typewriter app – HanxWriter – I’m not convinced he wrote it himself. Montreal is using shipping containers to create ‘Parklets‘ – temporary parks that convert parking spots into public spaces during the summer months. Apparently, there’s also some in Vancouver somewhere. John Scalzi (and a bunch of other authors) has a very short story on the Popular Science website. The DoubleClicks have recorded a cover of The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love. And they’re currently on tour and have a new album you can buy here. [Five Things I Learned Last Week by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st September 2014]

Buenos Dias

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Stories, WritingLeave a Comment

On Wednesday, we got back from a holiday at the Hacienda Cerritos near Todos Santos, in Mexico. It’s the first time we’ve been to Mexico and we had a fantastic time. The Hacienda Cerritos is in an amazing location with stunning views and a very nice beach. They could do with a new set of pool balls though. The Hacienda Cerritos, Mexico We were planning a very laid back, relaxed holiday so I was hoping to get some serious writing time in. That didn’t quite work out, but I did get some serious reading done and finished a whole bunch of books (thanks Mr Kindle): Red Shirts by John Scalzi The Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere A Short Stay in Hell by Steven L. Peck The Dervish House by Ian McDonald Pantomime by Laura Lam Filaria by Brent Hayward Yes, I read too fast but some of those are pretty short books. That’s a lot of great fiction but the highlights were Mary Robinette Kowal’s poignant science fiction novelette, The Lady Astronaut of Mars (which you can get for free from her blog) and Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House – a dizzying mix of Istanbul, … Read More