On NaBloPoMo 2015

Look at that. First of November. Like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve been thinking there’s something I ought to be doing. So here I am. *blows cobwebs off the blog*

What’s been happening since, I dunno, two years ago? To start with we moved. Back to Moscow. This summer, actually. Well, I say ‘we’ but actually I mean me and the kids. B is still stuck in the UK dealing with Things.

Anyway, I find I have things to say about this, so here we are.

And the first thing to say is, check out the GIANT pumpkins they have over here!

Pumpkin Halloween 2015

Pumpkin 2015

On New Year’s Resolutions

So here you are nearly at the end of NaBloPoMo month again, and so far you have a blog post for every day this November.

This’ll probably jinx it, of course.

You don’t think this is your finest BloPo. That was 2010, despite the fact that you missed a day there. Technically. Too many rather lightweight postings and not many of the meatier posts that are still half written in your head. There just isn’t enough time in the day.

Some nice stories though. That’s the good thing about not blogging much for the last year. The kids do the funniest things. You are glad you caught some of those moments, finally.

Thing is, just posting every day for a month isn’t enough any more. You have decided that you need to try a little harder with what you write.

This is tricky. Trying hard isn’t something you do, as a general rule. You have a tendency to slack off without deadlines and someone cracking the whip. Self motivated you are not.

Just like your son. Oh dear.

So as a pre-New Year resolution you are going to give yourself some targets for next year-until-November. The hope is that a schedule will mean you don’t just let t’blog and your ability to type languish, but that you can’t just get away with dashing off 500 words of lightly amusing this is what the Star did today, and isn’t the Comet just darling too. All the time. You reserve the right to do just that when they are really really cute though.

Firstly, you are going to write some entries for h2g2.com. Broadly speaking, this is factual writing, but it is a Guide not an encyclopedia, so there’s quite a lot of scope there for making the pieces interesting. You find it difficult to be interesting and broadly factual without becoming anecdotal, so there’s challenge in that. Plus, you get feedback from fellow h2g2ers, which is always a good thing if you are trying to push yourself.

Topics identified so far are:

Urban fantasy as a genre of writing.

Mummy blogging.

How to celebrate with food Russian style.

How to make borscht and schee.

VDNKh – my favourite place in Moscow.

How to collect Soviet medals (with B).

In addition, you really enjoyed writing the toddler’s Guide to… series of articles, so you are going to commit to a bi-weekly column in h2g2’s newspaper, the Post. If they will have you. You haven’t actually asked yet. This is just for fun really, but there is something interesting in trying to remember the point of view you are writing from, at least for about half the time.

You are also going to try not to neglect the blog too much. A post a week as a minimum and more trying to enter in the yeah write challenges. You have totally failed to hit the target the last two times, so this will require effort. Good. There are some great blog writers participating in the project too, and so if nothing else you will have plenty of examples to live up to. You would say, make sure you participate every two weeks, but it really depends. At least once a month though, and you can certainly hang out on their coattails the rest of the time.

Finally. You have been dying to have a go at NaNoWriMo now for years but aside from the total lack of time, you also had a total lack of really workable ideas. It’s the whole plot thing. You are no good at plots. However, you had an idea recently which came built in with something of a plot and it might work for 50,000 words or so. Certainly you could have fun researching it a bit and playing around with some related fiction writing, and as this is something you hardly ever do, it would also go towards the goal of stretching yourself. Whether or not you will actually do the novel writing thing next November remains to be seen, but at least you will have a pleasant day dream for the rest of the year.

There. It helps to have a plan.

On going out.

Today you have been out. Across the breadth of London. On a jaunt. With other people. To eat food. To eat vegetarian food.To eat vegetarian food arranged in a very chefy manner on the plate. Which you completely forgot to take a picture of because the other people were so much fun.

Nyah nyah nyah nyah.

On NaBloPoMo again again again

OK, so here we are at the end of October and there is a certain inevitability about the fact that I am about to announce that I will attempt NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month again. Yup that’s 30 posts in 30 days. Don’t all laugh at once, I’ve done it before. Not last year, admittedly. I only managed two weeks of lacklustre one liners that time. But previously I have been mostly successful.

However, just to up the ante impossibly, as well as NaBloPoMo, which is supposed to be an Internet-wide thing despite the fact that it seems to have gone to ground at BlogHer these days, I am also going to do NaJoPoMo, which is the h2g2 Nation’s Journal Posting Month. The difference? Well, it’s a community thing, and I really like finding out more about people in that community, especially the ones I don’t usually run with.  Also, since most hootooers aren’t bloggers, they tend to have an entirely different take on the idea. This year, people seem to be deciding to give themselves themes to work around this year too, as if posting 30 days straight isn’t enough. Plus it is a writing site, and there were some astonishingly good journal entries last year.

Not that the same isn’t true of the NaBloPoMoers I’ve met before. Really, if the whole Internet would just join h2g2.com, my life would be a lot less complicated.

Anyway, I could get away with posting the same think on there and here except… I’m not going to. Or at least, I’m going to try not to.

There I am going to be doing a series of posts around the idea of a toddler’s guide to London. Here I am just going to catch you all up on the amusing things my kids have said and done in the last year or so. I also have many, many holiday pictures saved up. You lucky, lucky people.

Anyway. I’m back and I’m blogging. For a few days at least.