Beware of NaNoWriMo Rule 9.3333

“9.3333) Reward yourself copiously for embarking on this outrageously creative adventure.”

I did as I was told, and now have a monster hangover (thanks NaNo)
Photo credit: Mike Licht, / Foter / CC BY

But I also have this:

So it’s all good



Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (Introducing The Prawn Of Appreciation)

Eric, The Prawn Of Appreciation

I’ve never done one of these Daily Post challenges before (and as you can see, I’m not exactly a pro at photography), but it seemed pretty timely as I have something to be truly thankful about so I thought why not?

Those of you who said you’d read my novel (The Sofa Whisperer) – thank you for your support but you’re all mad. I’m not even sure I want to read it. Things got weirder today – the furniture staged an intervention and then started messing with Layla’s head. It seems to be getting a bit darker than I originally intended (my characters are getting as out of control as yours, JackieP!)

But that’s not why I’m thankful. I’m here to celebrate because (drum roll) …I’ve got 100 followers! Thanks everyone!

And to show my gratitude I’ve decided to present you all with The Prawn Of Appreciation. I made him out of a drinking straw (it’s this thing I do – sort of my party piece, since I can’t sing or play an instrument or do weird things with my body). His name is Eric. I hope you like him!

Especially big thanks to:

  • Trey Montague, my first follower (aaahhh!) and very good friend. She writes SciFi and has a novel on JukePops, Five Percent, involving alien bodyswitchers and a very cool eyelens thing which I wish I’d made up.
  • Electronicbaglady, my 100th follower. Thanks EBL, you made my day – I love your site. Very quirky.

Thank you lovely blog readers/ writers and picture takers!

(Note: I’ve actually got 108 followers now, I meant to do this post a few days ago but couldn’t find the camera, then found the camera and couldn’t find the lead, then I decided to take the photo on my phone, but I couldn’t find the lead to that either. So I gave up, until I saw today’s prompt and decided I could probably find it if I looked properly and here we are. So thanks WordPress People, not only do I have a new post, I also have a very tidy ‘Drawer where stuff goes that doesn’t live anywhere else’ and it’s all thanks to you.)

The Sofa’s Gone All Chucky On Me.
Photo credit: Akbar Sim / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

It’s probably my fault for getting cocky. I was speeding along with my NaNoNovel, clocking up 2000 words a day, thinking how easy it all was. There were a few dodgy days where the words didn’t seem to come, but nothing to write home about 🙂

And then all of a sudden the words stopped coming, just dried up, disappeared, went on holiday and refused to come back.

I tried all the tricks including:

  • Forcing myself to write anything which came into my head. This actually turned out to be a very useful exercise, after 20 minutes I had a comprehensive shopping list for the next couple of weeks. No actual NaNo words though.
  • Closing my eyes and writing. I’ve been told about this exercise before, it’s supposed to release your inner thoughts. It probably works better when you’re typing rather than handwriting.  I have no idea what I wrote during this exercise, there was a word that looked like mubbleflumps, but the rest  was completely undecipherable.
  • I even tried sneaking up on my notebook (I was sure the element of surprise would work), I walked past my desk whistling and looking in the other direction. Then, just when it was least expecting it, I jumped into the swivel chair, grabbed the pen and started writing. It was a massive failure.
Photo credit: Kalense Kid / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Yesterday I gave up and asked my characters what they wanted me to write about. This was a very bad idea. The Sofa Whisperer was a mad enough idea in the first place (talking sofa, chair and footstool that only Layla, a teenage kickboxer, can hear), but 3000 words later it’s taken insanity to new heights. George the footstool has decided he doesn’t like humans, because he has to put up with their smelly feet all the time (I can sort of see his point), and the sweet, slightly pathetic sofa has turned psycho. It’s decided it doesn’t want to be ‘cured’ of its talkativeness, so it’s gone crazy and taken control of everyone’s emotions – turning them all into crazy, raging, hormonal teenagers.

I think NaNo may have permanently warped my mind.

My NaNoNovel: The Sofa Whisperer
Photo credit: igorms / Foter / CC BY-NC

It may look like I’m racing ahead with this whole NaNo thing, I’m averaging 2000 words a day and am predicted to finish well before the end of November. But every morning I wake up full of fear: fear that I might not manage to find time to write, fear that I won’t be able to think of anything to write about, fear that it’s going to stop being fun. The one thing I’m not afraid of is that my story might be a bit crap. And the reason for that is this: I already know it’s a bit crap.

I have my reasons for going with a crap story:

Firstly, I wanted something silly to write about. I figured the whole thing would be hard enough without having to get all serious.

Secondly, I wanted to use this as a trial run, and I wasn’t sure that using an idea that I really cared about would work. I thought I’d probably get bogged down trying to make it perfect and that’s not what NaNoWriMo is about.

And thirdly, by the time I actually decided to do NaNo I had about five seconds to think of something to write about. This is what I came up with. Which just goes to show that pressure and great ideas don’t mix.

And just in case you don’t believe it can possibly be as bad as I say, here it is: a short synopsis and a very brief extract from my (slightly daft) NaNoNovel.

Title: The Sofa Whisperer

Synopsis: Layla is your average teenage kick-boxing, angry bundle of hormones, until the day she discovers she can talk to furniture. Confused by this development, she sets off on a quest to find her mother, some answers and a footstool called George.


I’ve located the source of the sobbing, sort of. It seems to be coming from the sofa. I wonder if there’s someone trapped in there, maybe one of the delivery men. I didn’t pay much attention to them but I’m pretty sure I saw them all leave.

I dive into the sofa anyway, pulling the cushions off and piling them up on the floor. There’s nothing there and I feel a bit stupid for checking. There’s not even any room to hide anything. Anyway, the sound’s stopped for now.

The doorbell rings and Dad must’ve peeked out the window from his study because he calls down,
‘It’s the postman. Can you get it?’

‘If it’s bills, can I kick him?’ I yell up the stairs. I’m only half joking. I haven’t kicked anyone in ages and I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms.

‘No kicking, Layla,’ Dad says, ‘That’s what got us into this mess to start with.’


34,000 words in, there’s a proper (if slightly insane) story in there, complete with hippy mother, ninja triplets and a girl who makes origami when she gets nervous. I’m really enjoying it. There’s about a hundred plot holes, a few characters who’ve been abandoned on the way and some seriously cringe worthy sentence structures. The whole thing is totally unpublishable, but that’s okay because I’m having a laugh and I’m writing. And if it’s true that your first million words don’t count, then at least I’m closer to some that do.



Best of luck to all NaNoNuts out there. Keep tapping away at that keyboard!

Word Of The Day: Soul
Photo credit: h.koppdelaney / Foter / CC BY-ND

You’re probably wondering why ‘soul’ is my word of the day. Is it because of its many religious, philosophical and psychological meanings? Is it because it is the animating and vital principle in all humans? Is my interest in this word borne out of a deep love for soul music? Or, perhaps because I am a cobbler who spends all day mending shoes (and can’t spell)?

Nope. It’s answer D: None of the above. The reason I truly love the word ‘soul’ today is because it’s my 25,001st NaNoWriMo word!!!!! (Cue party poppers, trumpets, joy and merriment in abundance).

This means I’m into the second half of this rollercoaster writing ride (try saying that, Jonathan Ross), so tonight I’m celebrating with a nice cold beer. And tomorrow I’ll start thinking about the other 24,999 words.

Cheers! (And best of luck to all the other WriMos 🙂 )
Photo credit: Wen Nag (aliasgrace) / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

NaNoGuilt: What’s That All About?
Photo credit: canonsnapper / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

I don’t normally worry about the state of my house. Not ever. Housework is way way down on my list of priorities. So how comes that’s all changed now it’s NaNoTime?

On Sunday I wrote 2000 words then cleaned my front room from top to bottom. As a sort of penance. I even did the skirting boards, and anyone who knows me will know that I don’t do that sort of thing. The skirting now thinks that I’ve been bodysnatched by some alien or Stepford-wifed into some kind of robot; the door to the front room keeps eyeing me nervously wondering if it’s next.

It’s the same deal with the kids and husband (who all come much higher on my list of priorities you’ll be glad to hear). I’m making extra efforts to do stuff with them when this is the one month in the year when they’ve agreed to let me have some space. What is wrong with me?

On the plus side, I might come out the other side of November with half a novel, a happy, well-balanced family and a very very clean house.

I have to go now, I’ve written 2,800 words today and must atone for my sins by washing up.

Anyone else experiencing this? Or better still, anyone have a cure?

NaNoWriMo: Ten Things I Know Now That I Didn’t Know Before.
Photo credit: so lets hang out / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

It’s day four, I’m on target and I’m gaining a lot from this experience. Here’s ten little snippets I’ve learned so far:

  1. My NaNoNovel is not the greatest novel of all time. There’s a few bits and pieces that are really nice, and I’m enjoying getting to know my characters, but it’s not the best piece of literature ever written. That’s okay though, because it’s NaNo and it’s all about the wordcount.
  2. Writing fast and under pressure is exhilarating, intense and liberating.
  3. I’ll be cutting half of that exhilarating, intense and liberated writing come December.
  4. Most days, there is no time for blogging! Not only no time, but no creativity. My creative juices are squeezed dry by the time I’m done writing and thinking about writing and planning my writing for the next day.
  5. Talking of planning, I should have done more of that before November. A lot more.
  6. I can write 1667 words in a day! In fact I can write them in a relatively short space of time. I tend to spend about two to three hours a day on the actual writing, and so far I’m over on the word count most days.
  7. Resisting the urge to research is really hard.
  8. Resisting the urge to edit is even harder.
  9. Resisting the urge to surf the net is harder still. There’s a button on my computer which turns off the internet. I know it’s there and I know what it does, but there are strange forces at work which stop me from using it. I don’t understand how. Why can’t I just press the button and kill the net?
  10. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and sometimes that’s not enough.
Photo credit: / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND