NaNoWriMo – The End of NaNo14


Today I’ve written 910 words, bringing my final total for the month to 57088, and cheered many of the friends I’ve made through NaNo over the finish line. NaNo is never really easy, but it is incredibly rewarding.

For those of you who’ve written 50,000 words this month, well done – and I hope you enjoy your winners’ goodies. For those of you who haven’t, but have written every day, well done! You’ve formed a valuable habit and discipline, and you’ve far surpassed my first NaNo efforts (I gave up on day 6 that first year). And for those of you who’ve struggled, I urge you to look at your word count not as so many words fewer than 50k, but as so many words more than you had at the beginning of the month. Whether you had to stop early in the month, or life got in the way, or you just couldn’t keep writing 1667 words a day for some reason, every NaNo participant is a winner, officially or not – because we are writers now, in a way many of us never have been before.

Thank you to the NaNoWriMo team, to all the people I’ve met along the way and who’ve egged me on when I faltered, and to my long-suffering sister who has had to put up with me yelling word counts in answer to ‘how are you’ for the last month. Thanks to the people who’ve donated to my fundraising campaign (you still can!), and to those of you who’ve commented on this blog to encourage me and share your progress. I’ll be moving away from compulsive word-counting now, but the blog will certainly be continuing!

I’ll talk to you tomorrow, readers. Thanks for coming along with me on this NaNo journey.


NaNoWriMo – Day 29


Yesterday I kept writing a little after I’d blogged and got 598 words done. Today I’ve written 1306, bringing my total to… I don’t know, I haven’t checked yet. Hang on – 56178. The thing about it being a secret project, however, is that I can’t really blog about it much. Suffice it to say that it’s coming along fine. I think.

I’ve just got the edit notes back for the second of my anthology stories, so that’s something to work on tomorrow.

I’m also really enjoying my trial of Scrivener (they’re not paying me to advertise or anything, it’s just a really handy tool I’ve put off trying out for too long) – especially for scripts and screenwriting. More on that another time, as I’m about to doze off.

Talk tomorrow, readers!

Real Life Heroes


Yesterday I kept writing after my blog post and cranked out 1960 words in total – that’s 54274 so far this month. Today I only got 433 words done (54707 total), but for good reasons!

My sister was awarded the British Empire Medal today (it was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, but the ceremony was today) and after the big occasion at the Tower of London we all went for a meal to celebrate.

My lovely sister Amy, with her new medal!

She was awarded the BEM in recognition of her bravery and dedication in evacuating passengers from several buses in the Woolwich Barracks area when Lee Rigby was murdered. Amy is a TFL revenue inspector, but she was off-duty at the time of the incident and was under no obligation to do any of the things she did that day – including sitting with a woman in labour on one of the buses until the ambulance arrived.

Obviously, we’re all incredibly proud of her, and this recognition is definitely well-deserved. Well done, sister!

NaNoWriMo – Days 26 and 27


Firstly, readers, I’d like to apologise for my lack of update yesterday. I could explain my reasons, but they say a picture speaks a thousand words.

Me being sat on by a large collie

I was somewhat incapacitated yesterday…

As you may recall, I was engaged to do a bit of dogsitting for my sisters’ lovely dog, Misty. She is lovely, and as you can see from the above photo, has a tendency to stop you getting much done. At any rate, while we were looking after her I did manage to get a little bit of writing done (~980 words), as well as work through the tutorial on my special NaNo trial version of Scrivener. I’ll blog about that at some point in December, probably, when I’ve had a proper go with it – I’m enjoying it so far. But mostly yesterday was given over to cuddles for Misty.

Misty’s never been an only dog, you see. She’s always had a (small, Jack Russell-shaped) big brother to look after her. Unfortunately, he’s had some serious health problems lately and it was becoming unfair to make him suffer through them, so their owners did the responsible thing and poor Gizmo had a last trip to the vets’ last week. This is very sad for everyone concerned, but especially Misty. Yesterday she was a very mopey dog. However, we were kept on to dogsit her for a few more hours after her owners finished work… and this is why.

Adorable puppy!

Loki, pup of mischief!

Loki is in no way a replacement for Gizmo (a tough act to follow) but a whole new pile of lovely. Misty was a little unsure of him at first – mostly because he wouldn’t sit still long enough for her to get a good sniff at first – but by the time my fellow dogsitting sister and I left this morning, they were curling up together and being generally adorable. Misty stayed by his side all night, rather than sleeping on each and every person in the house by turns, and we’ve since seen video footage of them playing. Misty’s got her work cut out as a big sister – Loki’s only ten weeks old and isn’t even housetrained yet – but she’s taking to it very well, no doubt remembering what Gizmo taught her.

As for Loki, he’s adorable. He picks up his own poop without being asked (unfortunately, but the thought was sweet) and remains cute immediately after peeing on a sofa-sleeping auntie at 3am (thanks, Loki. Appreciated.)

So I’m pretty shattered today, and have written about 890 words of the secret project (it’s a screenplay, so it comes slightly less naturally to me than novelling, which I do more often) but not done much else. That is why today’s blog is a dog blog, rather than a writing blog. Normal service should resume… er, probably on Saturday, actually, as there’s a family event tomorrow to take precedence.

Until I write next, take care of yourselves!

NaNoWriMo – A Post-Victory Break


Today I’ve done a little bit of outlining for the ‘secret project’, but for the most part no writing has got done. I’ve been a bit caught up in the basic necessities of life today, and now, at the shamefully early time of 8.30pm, I’m admitting defeat and going back to bed. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, for various reasons, and tomorrow I have to be up ludicrously early to go and dogsit a border collie princess.

I do plan to take my laptop with me and get some work done, however, so tomorrow I should get some of that screenplay going even if I have to do it all with a dog on my chest. I anticipate the odd break for face-licking and general adorableness, but hopefully there’ll be time for some writing – and she’s slightly less likely to sit on my keyboard than the cat. At least, I hope so – I’m not sure the laptop would survive it!

So, I’m counting this as a day off (or at least a day of significantly less writing) to celebrate my NaNo win and get my thoughts on the secret project into line, and I should be back to writing daily from tomorrow! It’s a habit I’m hoping to keep as much as possible – and yes, I said that last year, but that time I didn’t have a tight deadline right after NaNo ended.

Talk to you tomorrow, readers!

NaNoWriMo – Day 24


Well, everybody, I’ve written 3044 words, which means I am a NaNoWriMo winner!

My winner's certificate

I won! (That font, by the way, is ‘Dragon is Coming’ and I found it on – yes, I filled in my details in MS Paint, don’t judge me.)

Anyway, that was brilliant, but equally brilliant was the feeling two hours later when I finished my novel at 51112 words. Of course it’s only a first draft, but it’s nice to have it under my belt. If anyone particularly likes to back a winning horse, I have now won so you shouldn’t worry about tootling over to my fundraising page and throwing a pound – or a dollar – in the pot if you feel so inclined.

Now, an evening off and then… on to the secret project! Obviously, I can say no more about it, but I’ll only be working on it for a couple of weeks and then I’ll probably be back to The Perfect Garden until I’m ready to edit The Cold Light of Day with fresh eyes.

Still, that evening off beckons, so I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

NaNoWriMo – Day 23


Hello, folks – this one’s a bit late but that’s because I was writing right up to the wire, so it’s a good reason, isn’t it?

Today I’ve written 2868 words, bringing my total to 48068 this month! I’ve only got 1932 words still to go until I reach the 50k target, so I guess Cold Light will go the distance after all.

I’m absolutely thrilled to have exceeded my fundraising goal again – two more friends have contributed and my total funds raised stand at $43. I’m not going to officially raise the target again but if anyone does fancy contributing even a dollar to try to get me to a nice round $50 raised, I’d really appreciate it. The link’s here. I’m serious, if you’d contribute so much as 60p ($1) or less if the website will let you, I don’t care how much it is, I would be so grateful.

That said, I’m grateful to you all anyway for reading my blog and cheering me on. I’m hoping to complete my 50k challenge (and perhaps even my novel!) tomorrow, at which point I’ll be moving back to constant multitasking on about three different projects, one of which is absolutely top secret until… probably January. That makes it sound far more interesting than it is, doesn’t it? Oh well. Anyway, thank you for reading, wish me luck, and I’ll see you tomorrow!