(Week 9: February 24 – March 2)

Feb 1 – 8603295
Feb 10 – 15506644
Feb 17 – 22396470
Feb 24 – 287980
Total: 3,7122,3031,409

The good news is that the New Morning Routine is so far working out pretty well—or it least it would be if I hadn’t gotten sick halfway through the week. I managed an average of 400 words (written) for each of Monday and Tuesday (not my best, but not my worst either) and then used Wednesday to catch up on my blogs (for which I don’t bother counting words any more). Then I got sick and declined to get out of bed on Thursday and Friday.

The also good news is that the short story ideas are starting to flow again, and plot points and scenes for my novella are coalescing nicely; a sign that my brain is on board with this new routine.

I’ve put my February stats up above. As predicted, they’re a whole lot lower than January. No commentary required here: February was all about getting back into the new getting-the-kids-ready-for-school routine and working out what (and when) time was going to be left over for my writing. No surprise that there wasn’t much time left over for writing, or much writing. Fingers crossed for March!


I watched bits and pieces of Star Trek: Discovery and Russian Doll this week, but I’ll save writing about them for a later post.

Consequently the main viewing report for this week is Night Of The Comet (which was my choice for Fridate horror this week). Firstly, this isn’t really the ‘horror’ film I remember—I remembered lots and lots of zombies, and in the end there are about one and a half zombies (ah, the Two And A Half Men spin-off we never knew we needed unit now! Three Men And A Zombie, anyone…?).

Anyway, the fact that Night Of The Comet isn’t really a horror film doesn’t reduce any of its charm. It’s an eighties movie through and through, but with a solid core of the kind of dystopian science-fiction conspiracy stuff that was more common in the seventies. It’s also potentially the world’s only apocalyptic thriller with an upbeat shopping montage right in the middle.

Night Of The Comet is fondly remembered in cult circles, but never quite broke out. I suspect this is for two reasons. Firstly, the budget doesn’t quite match the ambitious vision (which might explain the limited zombies)—that being said, the film looks incredible for the most part. Secondly, it’s not horrific enough to be a horror film, nor sci-fi enough to be a sci-fi film, and it’s a touch too grim to be sold as a classic eighties teen movie—in short, it’s a bit on the unclassifiable side, which makes it hard to market.

Overall, a good watch, with enough style and substance to make up for any rough edges that remain.


This week I finished a book, which is always a momentous occasion. It was a novel called The Chalk Man, which I friend of mine recommended last year, and which I only got around to starting a few weeks ago.

Overall I enjoyed it. On the plus side, the plot steered off in a few directions that I didn’t expect, and avoided a few potential cliches on the way that would have had me tempted to put the book right back down. I also enjoyed that the plot was split across two times (1986 and 2016). It was good to see this working, given that my sci-fi novella adopts a similar structure. It was also mildly nostalgic, given that I was a teenager in the UK in 1986, which was exactly the case for the novel’s main characters.

There were, however, some things I found distracting. The book was marketed as being ‘in the style of Stephen King’. In the end I found it too self-consciously Kingesque—a bit like It-lite. The dialogue scenes were often completely tag-free as well, which removed a fair bit of detail from those scenes. Both of these issues will be things I’ll start scrutinising my own work for, as I suspect I’m just as guilty of them.

Finally, while I enjoyed the plot, I came away thinking that it was more of classic thriller with a few horror scenes bolted on. In fact, you could remove all elements of horror from this novel and it wouldn’t affect it one tiny bit.

Ultimately, a book I’m glad to have read (and the fact that I finished it is a pretty good compliment these days), but could probably been a truly great read with a teeny bit more focus.