Monday, November 1, 2010


Last year, I saw people talking about NaNoWriMo and was smart enough to take no notice. This year, I'm going to play. But I'm making up my own rules. It's certainly not the year to add to my collection of unpublishable novels and it's almost certainly folly to imagine that I'd write something every day.

But, having had a small victory with the project I've been working on today, and having found myself with a few minutes to spare before I head out for my last Italian lesson of the year, and having noticed that it's the first day of NaNoWriMo, here is my initial contribution.

Faced with a splendid piece of written homework that I had crafted around 1962, my English teacher, Brother Monagle (who must be dead by now), told me that I would never be a writer. This encouraged me to try to prove him wrong over the intervening decades, but the record of my writing achievements seems to show that he was right. I still think he was a bit of a bastard for saying that and I'm not quite ready to forgive him for it, although I will always take some solace from the revenge I took not long afterwards involving unauthorised use of the large car that his brother had loaned him.

The prime fault with that homework was the length of the opening sentence which meandered well on to the second page before bumping into a full stop. I was made to read just that first sentence aloud to the class for their amusement. They were duly amused. I was happy that it turned out to be readable, although the humiliation of that day remains fresh.

My mother was inclined to say that I never learned. This was in relation to my failure to comply with all of her rules, something I never attempted to learn. But it's probably true to say that I have had trouble learning to reign in my long-winded story telling. I'd like to blame Brother Monagle for that too. Or my genes.

Since this post is almost content-free, I'll do the right thing and stop here. But I may be back tomorrow, or some other day.

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