Always quirky, sometimes sweet speculative fiction

Tag: NaNoWriMo 2012

Nothing Beats Feeling Like A Winner

Nothing beats feeling like a winner.

Here’s my winners certificate from NaNoWriMo.


I’m a little sad I hadn’t come to a decision on a proper title, so the working title is what’s listed, but there are worse things in this world and others.

The shameful part however is that after passing the 50,000 word mark my pace dropped right off. I’ve barely done 5,000 words in the last few days – though China Mieville is partly to blame since I started reading Un Lun Dun.

A quick list of tips for anyone trying to pass the home stretch with NaNoWriMo. These tips are advice I used. I hope none of them horrify any of you so badly that you never visit this site again.

Put down the books for a few days. It’s tough, I know, I thought I might die, but reading time became writing time.

Who cares about house work! As long as it wasn’t actual filth (because that is wrong) just clutter and toys all over the floor I let it slide and just cleaned once a week for an hour or two block instead of every day till it looked shiny. This also avoided the craptacular feeling when Xander would promptly up-end his toy chest or a box of cookies (that I have no idea how he got a hold of) all over my fresh cleaned floor.

Minimise internet time. I had a strict 15m on facebook for morning and evening, a ban on Pinterest and since I wasn’t reading pretty much ignored Goodreads. The only internet I didn’t cut back significantly was blogging, though I did skim read my RSS feed more viciously.

Typing one handed while cuddling Xander. This may sound horrible, but Xander still enjoys being cuddled to sleep, and I am an indulgent mother, so he would snuggle up, I’d throw one arm over and type with the other hand. I want to ensure any horrified readers that this was the only time I multi-tasked his care. We still went to the park every non-raining day, went to swimming lessons, played in his sand pit, read books together, built things, blew bubbles, practiced with his shape sorter ect ect and I was fully engaged with him those times, it was only nap wind down time and when he was actually asleep that I did this.

Interestingly, because of Xander’s sleep patterns this month, I couldn’t use the getting up early and staying up late method which helped me write 65,000 words in two months earlier this year. He did have lovely big naps in the middle of the afternoon though which gave me one and a half to two and a half hours each day.

So, with what I’ve learned from my first NaNoWriMo it is clear next year I need to intentionally set a higher goal so I don’t peter out at the end, and that I should hire a cleaner next year.

Now, off to finish that first draft that NaNoWriMo has helped me start.

Ten Things I Love About Writing

Oh Yeah!

As followers of my facebook page would know, on Monday I hit the legendary 50,000 words in my NaNoWriMo novel. As awesome as that is, in my plotting I projected the novel would actually be 100,000 to 120,000 long, typical epic fantasy stand-alone length, so I’m barely half way through, so I’ve got to keep up the momentum.

The other day, on The Vixen Gamer’s facebook profile I found the following task set by Ray Bradbury for writers. He suggests you write down ten things you love about writing and ten things you don’t really love. Here’s mine:

I like:

1 – The feeling when the story just flows and I can write for ages almost without pause. My husband says I can write faster than he reads and that makes me grin so much there’s no space left on my face for my cheeks,

2 – The way that even if I have to drive a long distance by myself, my characters and scenarios just play in my head and keep me company, also works for boring periods at work and menial tasks around the house,

3 – The feeling when you write a sentence that sings, and you didn’t even try!

4 – Re-reading my work and getting wrapped up, excited and emotional – even though I know what’s going to happen

5 – Creating characters and making all their scars, complexities, dreams and fears, even though I don’t get to share it all with the reader – those bits are my little secret *Cheshire cat-style grin*.

6 – I write far better than I speak, I’m more articulate and communicate more easily,

7 – The swell of excitement I get when I write a new idea down for the first time and it just keeps expanding on itself,

8 – Being able to write a character that may make a real person feel good about themselves or smile when they identify with them,

9 – Making magic systems, races, cultures, creatures, entire worlds – I must have a god complex,

10 – Having an awesome excuse to research fun things (like medieval inventions and Greek mythology) and calling it work.


1 – Stopping at ten for the ‘like’ list,

2 – The fear that people will be enraged or full of hate (for me or the character) at my portrayal of ‘different’ characters,

3 – When I desperately want to keep writing, but either my son needs me or the housework is overdue to be done or I have to go to work >.< also the guilt that follows the ‘I’d rather be writing’ feeling,

4 – When my personal mood differs from that in the passage I am writing and that feeling begins to seep into the scene but doesn’t fit at all

5 – When I NEED to stick to the current story but another idea just keeps banging on the door like a salesman that just won’t give up,

6 – Pressure to live up to the expectations of certain people who seem to think one book published and I’ll be JK Rowling or Stephen King,

7 – Writing ‘rules’ that make you second guess yourself,

8 – That there is never enough time to write everything I want

9 –?

10 – ?

I couldn’t quite come up with ten dislikes. Oh well, a good sign I guess.

Any you agree/disagree with? Anything you might add? Are there ten pros and cons for your dream job?

Geek Out With Your Freak Out – Brisbane Supanova 2012

Supanova is on this weekend in Brisbane and for the very first time since the convention came to Queensland I am not attending. 🙁

Stupid lack of finances. I hope everyone else has a lot of fun and shares their photos, videos and stories with me. I’ll be super jealous, but it might cheer me up somewhat.

On the plus side, I hit the 30,000 word mark in my NaNoWriMo project last night – woohoo! I never realised I could write this fast. Because I forgot to update my word count on the right days the last few times my word count graph looks a little odd, but who cares. I’ve been forgetting the bestiary with my updates here, but does anyone care?

Please link me to pictures and stories of this Supanova!

Halo 4 Launches & My Word Count Skyrockets

Don’t bring me down Boromir

Halo 4 launched yesterday, so I spent the whole day working. Yep, got to the store a 7:30 for an 8am open and then was roped into closing because no one else could, so didn’t leave the store til after 5:30pm. My feet were killing me. On the other hand my lunch break was super productive and somehow, during that crazy day yesterday, I managed to pass the 20,000 word milestone in my NaNoWriMo novel. I can’t help but feel stoked about that.

That’s right, Boromir, one does not simply write 20,000 words in the first six days of NaNoWriMo. Indeed no, one busts their ass to write 20,000 words in the first six days. They take every tiny scrap of opportunity they can, they ignore the housework most days, delegate the cooking to their poor neglected husband and even type one handed while cuddling their toddler son to sleep.

How far would you go to prove you can do it? Not necessarily writing, but any great goal or dream you have.

The Bestiary Begins

The first day of NaNoWriMo was super productive for me. I wrote 4,000 words in the novel and an extra hundred into the bestiary. Today was not quite so good, I was at work all day and forgot to bring my computer along. There’s still a bit more night, I hope to pound out a thousand at least.

To liven up my word count updates I thought I would welcome you all into my novel’s world a little. The story is set in a semi-medieval world rife with bizarre beasts, some cute, some dangerous. So as we meet new creatures I thought I’d post them here in a bestiary for people to read along with my word count, more fun right? I hope to have a chance to sketch a few even.

So what new beasties did we meet these first two days?

Fair-haired Volements: Also available as spotted and shaded volements.

A rabbit like creature in face and body, no ears and a small cat-like tail. Sharp claws that retract like a cat’s and broad flat teeth like a horse’s for the consumption of grass, twigs and bark.

Ridged Herrback: Also can be found in hairy ridged and smooth.

Bi-pedal, dangerous and carnivorous. Human eater. As tall on back legs as a mounted man. Hunch backed, dull tan leathery hide (fur covered in ‘hairy’ breed). Four eyes, two a side. Large ridged brow (smooth in smooth variety), large mouth with sharp fangs. Large claws on hands, smaller on feet. Territorial. Blood is muddy brown in colour. Thick neck to hold its massive head up.


So a cutie and a man eater. Sadly you have to have the cuties so the man-eaters exist in numbers large enough to be seen, but without being a threat to all mankind.

Oh, and if you’re looking for an excerpt check out he snippet I uploaded to my NaNoWriMo page.

One Day To NaNoWriMo

Happy Halloween too! From the Black Canary.

Oh, and it’s Halloween today too, so Happy Halloween all! I love dressing up and cosplay, but sadly have not made a costume this year, so I’ll reminisce about when I could pull off the Black Canary’s sexy outfit. All I have is blurry phone shots though.

With one day to go til NaNoWriMo I thought I should update you as to where I am on the NaNoWriMo checklist I put up when it was ten days to go.

1/ Finish my final read through of the altered Storybook Perfect so I can be submitting it while I work.  Done! Though the first agent I want to submit to likes a one page (longer)synopsis and my longer synopsis is two, so I’ve been tinkering with it and am almost happy enough with it to send it off.

2/ Pick my story. Certainly have done this! I was decided before I posted it actually.

3/ Set up plot outline in Scrivener. Yes indeed, if the plan is perfect (which it probably isn’t) it should be around 19 chapters.

4/ Set daily word count goals. Did it and even was so generous as to share it. The calendar is fairly simple, just a basic Excel spreadsheet, but if you’d like to use it go to this post for the link.

5/ Pre-prep a few blog posts as back up for when I’m just too busy. I’ve got a few back-ups and also a great idea to make word count posts a little more interesting. This story involves a LOT of dangerous animals, so I’ll post a mini bestiary of all the creatures met since the last word count post – does that sound like fun?

6/ Complete my other submissions for various journals and competitions since a few are due in November and early December. I’ve done one, but have one more to complete, but there are still a few more hours until bedtime.

So yay and phew, I’ve done the whole list. Now it’s just a waiting game…

I can’t wait to get started!

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