My favourite health and fitness app measures how many steps I've taken each day and how deeply (or- most often- not) I've slept each night. It calculates the balance of the calories I've consumed, and gives me a helpful nudge if I've had too much salt, sugar or saturated fat. It sets me targets, and gives me a virtual pat on the back if I meet or even exceed them.
In the process from script to screen sacrifices have to be made. One of the scenes we were all delighted with was a ménage a trois where a woman ends up in bed with one man dressed as the Bristol Rovers pirate and the other as Bristol City's confusingly-named mascot Scrumpy the Robin. Unfortunately neither football club would give us permission to desecrate their poor mascots.
Lights in the sky are one thing, near misses quite another, and as much as the MOD is happy to publicise the dubious (and often humorous) reports from members of the public, they aren't nearly as forthcoming as to remind us that the National Air Traffic Control Services detect around one unidentified flying object every month.
It's a good job Forrest Reid didn't write to be famous. Almost seventy years after his death, his novels gather dust in libraries: unthumbed and unadmired. Highly thought of by friends like E.M. Forster and Walter de la Mare during his lifetime, the Ulster writer has since fallen into obscurity. Until now, that is.
Fifty one years ago, Blowin' In The Wind was adopted as some kind of clarion call for an energetic, shackled and questioning youth to stop relying on their elders for answers, to open their eyes to the unfairness around them, to strive to find a different path at the end of which truths would miraculously materialise.
So how will I do this? How will I achieve 50,000 words by late evening on Saturday 30 November? The short answer is, I do not know. I could plan everything to the literal letter, but that would feel too much like a military operation to me. My plan is to write, simply write. I intend to let my imagination run wild and hope to write something every single day of November.