Tag Archives: national novel writing month

NaNoWriMo Prep Rally!


It’s that time again folks. National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately known, is around the corner, peeping back at us from beyond the weekend. 50,000 words of first draft in 30 fun-filled days.

It can be a time of wild desperation for some, unbridled imagination for others. For me, it’s a bit of both.

People have been planning, strategising, outlining – some plot every single step of the way. Others don’t. But everyone preps in some fashion, even if it’s only in stolen thoughts of the month to come, thinking, Wow, I should have done more prep by now…

Either way, when the flag falls, I’ll be there. I’ve finished (and therefore won!) three years in a row. This will be my fourth endeavour.

It’s such a good time for me creatively. Watching a graph of your word count take on the ideal diagonal line is a statistical carrot on a stick (/whip) that drives me to succeed. It makes me prioritise my writing and rally with other authors doing the same. Everyone’s on the same side with a common goal, cheering one another on. No one wants anyone else to fail and you don’t win over the fallen carcasses of your foes, so it’s a special kind of competition with a special place in my heart. Like craps.

Publishing The Night Butterflies came out of my first NaNo skirmish, and this year I’m going to complete the first draft of the final book in my fantasy trilogy in progress, The Luminosa. There is so much work to do when the month is done, but that month is so important. It’s a battle cry that echoes through infinite fictional worlds as well as this one, and sets the intent for success.

So wish me luck! And good luck to you if you have a book of your own to bring home this November – be bold! I’ll see you on the battlefield…

A Roam With A View


Giant’s Gate Falls, Milford Sound

I’m all over the place at the moment – up hill, round coast, down dale – hitting highlights of the south island of NZ before heading to the north, and thence home to the UK for Christmas (if anyone missed the memo back there – Hey! I’m coming home for Christmas!).

Working on the road comes with its unique set of challenges – locating pockets of signal and persuading my phone to tether to pick up email the most perfidious. Often the most beautiful spots are the most out of touch, and while it’s wonderful to be lost, I can’t be too free-range or I won’t be able to afford the road user charges. Which don’t half rack up.

But despite any drawbacks, it’s a delight to embark on a life that reminds me how much joy there is to be found in the simplest of pleasures. A year ago, I couldn’t have contemplated too much time solo, but after a winter season of unsurpassable social activity, through ice hockey, snowboarding, and playing with the best pals Queenstown has to offer, I’m due a hiatus – a pause to get back to the more creative side of life and get more writing out in the world.

I love waking up smelling of campfire and dreams, and I love seeing friends after a spell in only my own company. I love exploring new horizons and witnessing the wildlife there. And I love being free. But I also love to create something out of nothing, and that’s what I’ll be doing this November.

‘Tis the week before NaNo, and all through the house….not a writer ain’t prepping and using their nouse.

For the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) involves writing a 50,000 novel in 30 days. My debut NaNo led to the publication of my debut novel, The Night Butterflies. Usually, my prep involves wishing I’d done more prep. But this year I’m writing the sequel to last year’s manuscript, Luminosa, half of which blew out the window of the van in a gale, but which I’ve still managed to look over this month (life on the road eh, you can’t make it up).

I’m a pantser not a plotter, in all walks of life. But I’m planning to succeed. And I’m looking forward to taking the next step in this story, the next step in my writer’s wanderings, and seeing what lies over the waterfall.

Are you gearing up for NaNo or just readying for the next step in your journey? What lies over the waterfall for you?