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Well, it's a gazetted holiday here, for reasons too petty and political to go into, which means that people either stay home and vegetate or go out to the Canberra racetrack and spend far too much money. No more Melbourne Cup work parties, which were a lot of fun (when I was working).

Me, I'll be driving a cab, as usual. But I'll be on Rate 2 for the whole shift, which will be nice. I'll also be making pots of money because from the moment I finish my shift, there will be thousands of people wanting taxis. As there are only hundreds of taxis available, there's going to be delays for passengers and boom times for cabbies.

The downside is that last night was dead dead dead. A lot of workers took a day off to have a four day weekend, so instead of my normal afternoon rush, there was nothing. Some revelry in town after midnight from people celebrating the day off, but not enough to push me over budget.

I've been working a bit on my NaNoWriMo project. I've been falling behind while I puzzle out what the plot is and who the characters are, but I've got a good idea now, and let me tell you, it's not going to be anything worth rushing out for. It involves things I know: BookCrossing, taxidriving and travel, with a bit of murder and romance thrown in, though I'm not yet sure who's going to die and who's going to fall inlove. Maybe both. Dunno.

And I'm including that silly Dream Cafe idea as a way of generating wordage.

The whole thing's going to be corny and contrived, but that's the only way I can have a flying chance at getting the thing done. For what it's worth, it's a work in public progress at

And why do i want to get the thing done, despite having zero if not negative time to do it in?
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I've signed up again for NaNoWriMo. Call me stupid.

I won't have the time or energy, but I'll have plenty of inspiration. There will be a constant stream of passengers climbing in beside me, and trust me, my passengers can be pretty inventive! Call me mad.

But, I'm looking forward to it, I have a good idea of how I'll tackle the task, and I'm aiming for greatness. Call me inspired!
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I've been thinking of NaNoWriMo. It's always a lot of fun, and I've been re-reading the blog part of Manly Books which was perhaps my best effort.

I wrote that in ten days and I did it by writing blog and BookCrossing entries, which is what I do anyway, so it wasn't as much trouble as writing out a big slab of text each day. Perhaps the best part was that I got to make contact with all sorts of BookCrossers who took an interest. BookCzuk, for one, who always has the capacity to make my day sparkle.

That was 2004. 2003 had been a convoluted tale about an incident in the Civil War and I spent rather too much time researching and not enough writing. I got the wordage done, but it never ever added up to a full novel.

2005, I wrote a novel based on "the dream cafe", which was a whimsy. Good idea, but I can't say that I handled it well, especially when I procrastinated to an astounding degree.

2006, I had a half-hearted go at a novel, but realistically, I never got the time. I had just started taxidriving, doing six twelvehour night shifts, and my mind was on the job, with a lot to learn. Writing 1 700 words a day just wasn't possible, not if I was to produce something halfway readable. And sleep and have a life.

Well, I'm working fewer hours, I'm more comfortable with my job, and maybe I've got a better idea of what makes a good novel. Fewer characters, for one thing - my second last attempt got lost in a tangle of relationships. Another thing is to stick with a format that feels good for me, which is first person narration and a blogging type of presentation.

Listening to Shane Maloney speak last week at the Australian BookCrossing Convention gave me a few ideas. Would anybody think that a taxi-driving private detective working the night shift is feasible? Not a dick for hire, but just someone who solves the murder mysteries that turn up. Heaven knows I can write a book just on the sleazy or classy things that happen to a night cabbie, and juggling the real-life episodes into accommodating a murder mystery shouldn't be too hard.

I've been making notes, probably perplexing the day driver as he looks through the Moleskine journal we use to keep track of passenger pickups, and sees a bunch of notes on blank pages.

I'll think about it some more.


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September 2010

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