(Week 6: February 3 – 9)

This marks the first week back at school for the Kinderbesten, and the first week of high school for the Elderbeast. Unsurprisingly, my morning routine has taken quite a hit. However, I’m going to talk a bit more about that in next week’s post; for now, let’s take a look at those January stats.

As previously covered, I stuck with two writing projects in January: a short, M.R. James inspired horror story; followed by a return to my sci-fi novella. January is typically a pretty strong month for me, and those word counts you see up there are only slightly higher than my figures for last year. One of the things that contributed to this was having a solid concept to help me power through my short story, which you’ll see reflected in the figures for weeks 1 to 3. As for the rest of the month, a relatively energetic editing spree on my novella kept the numbers flowing. I suspect the stats for February won’t be nearly as impressive.

Looking back at previous years, I do tend to start the year with a reasonable level of motivation and, often, a specific project in mind. It’s good to start on a high. One thing I’m particularly pleased with this month is that I’ve missed very few writing days; and the days that I have missed were typically ones where I had other things going on, so writing wasn’t on the cards anyway.

Something I can take away from this—other than January being an atypically productive month—is that having a well defined short story project is clearly good for my productivity. Nothing, after all, demotivates me more than floundering around wondering where the next words need to go. I think I’ll see if I can carry that approach over to my novella, and try working on each chapter as a short story project.

(Week 1) Jan 1 – 4 1284
(Week 2) Jan 6 – 11 12021911
(Week 3) Jan 13 – 1811635873
(Week 4) Jan 20 – 2506105
(Week 5) Jan 28 – 3104148
Total: 21,6863,64918,037


This week’s viewing highlight was the next entry in my unofficial rewatch of the Hammer Dracula movies: Taste The Blood Of Dracula.

These films are often less than good, but never less than fascinating. This was the fourth movie in the series, and by this time Christopher Lee’s reluctance to reprise the role was such that a replacement character was created—and even plays a significant role in the film—only for Lee to finally don the cape again.

I can really begin to understand Lee’s reticence. Despite the title, Dracula is no longer the star. He’s reduced to a macguffin in his own movie, literally skulking in the shadows and emerging for the occasional cameo appearance. He is the plot function around which all the other characters move—rarely, in fact, serving to move the plot forward in any meaningful way. In this movie, particularly, he often stands back while his minions get to do the dirty work.

Also, I’m now fascinated by the poor quality of Lee’s teeth, given the inevitable prominence they receive in numerous scenes.

Anyway: not a great movie by any means, but still a fun and rewarding experience. I’m already, perhaps masochistically, looking forward to the next one.


I finished the audiobook of Leviathan Wakes this week and ended up really enjoying it. It’s quite clearly a story in two halves, and I can see now why the first series of the TV only covered the first half of the first book. I found the second half a lot more engaging, and I’m a little tempted to return to the TV series now to see how it all comes out on screen.

While I had given consideration towards returning to IT, I eventually filled my audiobook gap with a full cast adaptation of Dracula—of which more next week.

In the ‘actually reading words with my eyes’ department, I’ve started reading a novel called The Chalk Man, which was recommended to me. So far I’m really into it—not in the least because it’s partly set in England in 1986, which is bringing back some memories of my own teen years.