Roundabouts and milestones

Queenstown by Tom Walter copy.jpg
Wakatipu Heights, Queenstown by Tom Walter on Flickr

The Starbucks in Queenstown is my favorite Starbucks. There’s a tiny bench with stools at the front that gives you a 225 degree view onto Mall Street, Ballarat Street, and Camp Street, the main cross street in town. There’s no better place for people watching, even when its been raining non-stop for a week, like it has been since I got here. And it’s always exciting, because the intersection of Ballarat Street and Camp Street is a roundabout.

Apparently not many countries use roundabouts instead of traffic lights, although they’re faster for drivers, and even Americans are finally getting in on the act. Trivia of the day; roundabouts were originally called gyratory circuses, hence Piccadilly Circus, in London. No elephants, only traffic.

With roundabouts you’re supposed to give way to traffic on your right. That’s it. No light will tell you when to go. The driver judges for themselves when it’s safe to move. You look, you see; when it’s clear, you drive on. Time it right and all the traffic can move together, in a perfectly executed spin.

Add in 90% tourists and it doesn’t work quite the way it was intended. I watched fourteen near misses this afternoon in two point five hours. Drivers approached the roundabout and just kept on going, apparently not noticing the huge rented four wheel drives approaching at 50 kph on the drivers’ side. But I didn’t see one smash. Good reflexes, guys. I approve.

While I was sitting there I uploaded a book to Amazon and achieved a goal I set in January 2014 that I classed as ‘Audacious’: write nine stories (including Kraken) by December 2016, while working full time. Possibly I’m cheating? I hadn’t considered a few factors when I originally set the goal. I included co-written books in my count, short stories, and also stories published on Goodreads but not released on Amazon, like Char (although I do still have plans to rewrite Char and release it one day.) But I didn’t count my fic on A03, because it’s only a drabble.

Also – and this is important – my goal was about quantity, not quality. I’m a huge fan of both Andrew Grove and Bruce Mau.

Grove says, “Make mistakes faster.” This is my life motto, which is good, because I’m ace at screwing up. Luckily I’m also excellent at picking myself up after the debris has come to rest, and dusting myself off just in time to make a similar – but never exactly identical – error. Failure is not to be feared.

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Mau advises, “Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.”

So that’s what I’ve been doing, and what I’ll continue to do. I’m writing. When it’s crap, I keep writing. When it’s good, I keep writing. I forget to read reviews now. It’s about the words on the page, and working improve to my capabilities. I’m enjoying playing with a variety of genres and pen names.

I thought I was aiming high beyond all reason when I said I would write nine stories, but I can do more before I hit my deadline. It’s only May: I have another seven months left in the year. I’ve got a book to release as soon as I get the cover through later in the month, and two big stories in progress. I have to write the sequel to my March release, and the rest of the series for the story I uploaded today, and I’m hoping the BDSM group will do another story event, as I’d love to contribute again. I have a lot left on the year’s plan, but unlike January 2014 now I have every confidence I can do it all.


6 thoughts on “Roundabouts and milestones

  1. Make mistakes faster is great advice! It reminds me of my favourite writing advice; the best way to improve your writing is to write more. I forget where I heard this, but I suspect Joanna Penn was involved.

    Gyratory circus is the most amazing expression!

      1. The speed limit on Iron Mountain Road isn’t a suggestion, either – it’s more “if you exceed this speed you will hurtle off the edge and die”… which is probably very Game of Thrones, too.

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