WIP, One Year On – Day 366

It was exactly a year ago today I started this novel-writing adventure. I feel a little mixed about the whole thing actually. I mean, ultimately it’s cause for celebration (which is why I hunted down this birthday-tiramisu-with-one-candle pic…)

But it is also the day when I had planned to have the novel completed, so I have a bit of guilt around that. Could I have done better this year? Could I have watched fewer episodes of The Simpsons? Could I have spent more than a half-hour average per day working on the novel?

Yes, yes, and yes.

But on the positive side, I am still writing (wrote some this morning in fact, in celebration…) and I’m still excited about the novel. Compared to my previous track record in the world of novelling, that’s a huge success.

Right now, I think Christmas is a realistic goal. I’m into Part 3 of four sections, and the story is starting to really click together. All it takes now is sitting down and doing the work.

In other news: I got caught up in a neat little Twitter trend last night: #ClassicRockNovels. As the hashtag suggests, it is a mashup of rock songs/rock-related things with book titles/literary things.

Yes, I know. Ultimately it’s a useless exercise that’s only a few rungs up from The Simpsons in the Classic Time Wasters category. But hey, it was also a lot of fun and it got my creative juices flowing.

Here are a few of my favourites (see the end of this post for the latest suggestions):

  • 2001: A Space Oddity
  • Fleetwood MacBeth
  • I Never Promised You a Sound Garden
  • Alice Cooper Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
  • Fahrenheit 867-5309
  • Pride (In the Name of Love) & Prejudice
  • Oliver Twist & Shout
  • Horton Hears The Who
  • Ali Baba O’Riley & The Forty Thieves
  • In-A-Gadda Da Vinci Code
  • Misty Mountain Hop on Pop
  • Burning Down the House of Green Gables
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • I Know Why the Freebird Sings
  • I’m Rick James and the Giant Peach, Bitch!
  • Lady Chatterley’s Turbo Lover
  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Village People

Here are some favourites of the ones I came up with:

  • Hey Cujo
  • I, Mr. Roboto
  • Who Let the Dogs Out of Africa?
  • The Proper Order of Things We Said Today (by friend-of-the-blog Tara Benwell)
  • On the High Road Again (by friend-of-the-blog Terry Fallis)
  • The Boy from the Invisible Sun (by friend-of-the-blog Duncan Weller)
  • Jessie’s Girl, Interrupted
  • Living on a Prayer for Owen Meany*
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Maggie Mae…
  • The Three Little War Pigs
  • Jack and Jill and Diane
  • Rock Around the Clockwork Orange
  • Fight Club 54

I tried to come up with one for The Great Gatsby, but failed. It’s a tough one — there were actually a few attempts, but the best one I saw was: The Great GatsB-52’s. Not quite perfect, but not bad.

Did you see any favourites? Have a couple of ideas of your own? Drop them in the comments below!


Novel Writing Hours

Today (so far): .5
To Date: 172.75

*This one seems to have been repeated by a few others, but if someone else came up with it first, I didn’t see it before I wrote it… That’s true of all of my “entries”.

The Latest #ClassicRockNovels on Twitter Right Now

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8 Responses to WIP, One Year On – Day 366

  1. Tara Benwell says:

    Love this post and am enjoying following the tag too.

    Living on a Prayer for Owen Meany is probably the best one. Both the book and the song rock. We buried that book with my mother’s ashes if you can believe it. I guess you could say that #classicrocknovel actually tells a story from my life.

    This must have been a fun way to spend your novelversary. Now get back to writing, would you! 🙂

    • Graham Strong says:

      Love that — novelversary. I’m going to have to steal that!

      Interesting about the book and your mother. Was that her favourite? I never thought of being buried with a book before, but I like it.

      Already writing, albeit day-job stuff. More novel tonight, if I’m not too exhausted…!


  2. JenniferD. says:

    Congratulations on the 1st anniversary of your novel writing adventure!
    #classicrocknovels distracted me while on deadline the other night. It was the most fun with a hashtag I have had…ever. I am happy to see my Pride (In the Name of Love & Prejudice creation on your favourites list…I bet it was suggested a lot??

    Some of my the other favourite mash-ups I created:

    Out Stealing Wild Horses = Per Petterson + Rolling Stones
    Interstate Love Song of the Lark = Stone Temple Pilots + Willa Cather
    The Professor’s Brick House = Willa Cather + The Commodores
    Welcome To The Jungle Book
    Tales From the Arabian Nights in White Satin
    The Call of the Wild Thing
    Every Picture Tells a Story of Dorian Gray
    (You’re a) Strange Animal Farm – Gowan = Canadian content for the song
    Love is a Battlefield Earth
    Hungry Like the Wolf Hall
    Of Mice and Men Without Hats (More Canadian content, band name)
    War (What Is It Good For) & Peace
    The Red and The Black Betty

  3. Graham Strong says:

    Hey Jennifer,

    Thanks for the congrats — and thanks for the list! Yes, Pride and Prejudice was there a few times, but I think that’s a testament to how good it was. I saw a few of mine get picked up — actually, I came up with “Smoke on the Water for Elephants” literally seconds after someone else did (I retracted it… lol)

    Love the “You’re a Strange Animal Farm” though — I didn’t see that one!

    Welcome to the blog — hope you enjoy it!


  4. Congratulations on hitting the one-year mark! I’ve been thinking about this exact subject lately, as I started my novel-in-progress in late August last year. Like you, I’m hoping to be done by Christmas with this first draft. We’ll see. The last couple weeks have been laden with distractions. I love that you’ve kept track of your novel-writing hours. That’s awesome.

    • Graham Strong says:

      Thanks Laura – cool that we both started close together. Distractions are certainly a problem, though I’ve always had that the attitude that family and work has to come first. Non-essential distractions like The Simpsons — those can go on the heap (though they don’t always, sadly…)

      Welcome to the blog — I’m going to check out yours now!


  5. Hi Graham
    Been enjoying reading some of your posts and I think it’s a great idea to keep tab of your novel-writing progress. Congrats on the novelversary! Like you, I work full-time and squeeze in writing at night-time/weekends, amidst other priorities/commitments. I must ask also – what’s OTF?
    Will definitely check back – am intrigued to read more of your writing adventures.

  6. Graham Strong says:

    Thanks Maria — yes, it has been tough at times to squeeze in novel writing. I’m less stressed about that now — I’m still working on it when I can, so it is not abandonned, just in line behind higher priorities…

    OTF stands for “On the Fly” — I realized that I haven’t been keeping up my blog posting schedule either, and since I don’t have time to work on my novel, I don’t have time to write full blog posts… OTF is a good way for me to keep in touch, keep contributing to the conversation (I hope), and to let those who care know I’m still around…

    Glad you’re enjoying the blog — and welcome!


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