Saturday, 28 November 2009

Final Daze

Hello all!

Monday is the last day of NaNoWriMo. Monday is the last day of this month's IndyWriMo.

I've not done well, at all. I started off really well and petered out towards the middle and completely gave up at the end. I feel bad - it feels like I've somehow betrayed myself and am annoyed by that.

But then, hardly being at home and procrastinating does this too you.

So - today is the last day of this month's IndyWriMo - I think I've managed around 18+k. Not ideal, but vastly better than a poke in the eye with a stick.

How did everyone else do?

Also - who's up for a December IndyWriMo?

Here's my thinking: the above 18k was on my YA WIP. December for me will be rewrites on Djinn. Mark and I joined an informal critique group just this week past. We each got a chance to talk about our writing with the others in the group listening. Yeah, I know - utterly petrifying.

But what came out of the first meeting was thoughts on me straying from the original mythologies I'm using and bringing in other pantheons, which is a no-no. Which makes sense. It also means killing off a character and wiping their presence from the book which after much thought made me realise that yes, this is something I can and want to do as it suddenly will explain so much more about my main character Nicholas. D'oh! And of course, my Adversary in the novel is completely miscast and with a slight flick of my wrist, hey frigging presto, personal stakes are raised and it's suddenly a different animal all together.

So, I'd like to work on Djinn as much as possible this December and January and would love the support of my fellow IndyWriMo-ers. Let me know if you'd be interested. As we said in the original post: Indy isn't just for November!

Oh, as for the illustration above: that is by Wayne Reynolds whom I love. (his initials WAR) He did the sketch in our tiny autograph book which Mark took to Thoughtbubble last weekend. Wayne is incredibly talented and erudite and it was only as I was looking for a piccie to stick up on the blogpost that I saw that Mark had scanned this into the Mac. And it suits - because in the YA WIP a young fae girl walks across the street and a pair of horns lift from her brow. And this picture illustrates her perfectly.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

November 24th - Check In

Hi guys - here we are again.

So, I'm at 13,000 which isn't great! However, motoring on today with the hopes of pushing that up some.

How's everyone else doing?

Saturday, 21 November 2009

21st November - check in

Check in time again, it comes around far too quickly!

How's everyone doing?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

How do you write?

No, I mean physically. Not HOW do you write i.e. where do you get your ideas from, how do you create your characters, all of that.

I mean, how do you write - dictation into a tape/to your fabulous assistant whilst lounging around drinking Pimms and nibbling cookies?

Do you have a favourite pen, or a style of notebooks you have to have with you when inspiration strikes?

Do you write by hand, with a quill, or do you open up your word doc or pages doc and just get on with it?

I ask this because I've found that my "how I write" has changed these last few years.

When I was younger and quite small and a bit stupid, I used to write on everything and in everything. Including my sisters' school books. Seriously. Crayons, pencils, pens, paint brushes. So that doesn't count. Unless I become JKR famous then of course these bits will be worth so much money I'll be able to afford a trip to the moon. But that's not very likely.

Growing up in South Africa I lived pretty much a computer / techie free life. Writing was always in notebooks or stolen school books. And boy, did I have loads of them! When I turned 15 my parents bought me this ancient typewriter that matched the typewriter I had at school. I took typing - thank the gods I did - and when I got home after school and after doing my homework, I would start typing stories for myself, late into the night. I was hugely embarrassed and secretive about it and NEVER EVER showed anyone what I typed. Mostly I plagiarised books I found from the library and only changed names. I know. I know. But even Shakespeare wasn't an Original!

Then I met Mark when I was 23/24...that was a bit blurry and a bit of a wild time for us as we did so much. Motorbiked all over SA, worked at the bank full time and then worked at a restaurant in the evenings. And one of our friends, Angelo, had a computer at his house...and that's the first time I electronically started writing. I wrote to keep track of our gaming escapades. I wrote snippets of stories and saved them on "stiffies". It was a revelation, learning how to navigate this fantastic tool that was especially JUST created for me. A writer.

We moved to the UK and of course, I utterly and completely became embroiled in computers. It's become a passion.

My first ever personal computer was a Sony Vaio which turned out not to have been for me. It was big, ugly and heavy. Dreams of writing in coffee shops fell flat. I gave it away. That was nine years ago and several laptops and computers later.

Now I have a top of the range iMac which is glorious. I love its size - 21.5" - and its clarity. I love its keyboard and magicmouse. I love how when I sit in front of it, I feel enveloped in it. It makes me WANT to write. It makes me want to be creative. I feel like a writer. It's challenging and it makes me want to not let it down.

I still have my love of journals and notebooks though - especially Moleskines. I also a selection of truly gorgous leatherbound journals made for me. These I love to look at and hold and touch but I can't bring myself to use them. Then, on the other hand, I flirted for a long while with the notebooks from Paperchase too. In fact, in this respect I am pretty much a bit of a tart - if it's pretty, and funky, I'll buy it. I'll buy it for making notes, scribbling down ideas, words, conversations, snippets, thoughts.

As much as I love writing by hand - my third finger on my right hand (counting from the thumb) has this deep dent from my days in school from writing by hand - I'm definitely a computer writer. Writing for me is seeing my words rapidly appearing like insane ants high on sugar, on that blank page on the computer screen.

So, what is your writing implement poison?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

November 17th - Check In

Hi guys, that time again.

So how are we all doing?

I'm now at 10000 - hoorah for that but still way short!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

November 14th - Check In

Next check in time. I'm not sure why November is going so fast, but I need extra days!!

So, how are we all doing?

Monday, 9 November 2009

9th November - Check In

Hi everyone, check in time.

How's everyone been doing? I've done a little over 3000 since the last count. I'm a bit vague as I've been away and have resorted to pen and paper and haven't typed it up. I'll be conservative and say that my count so far is 5089.

I always swore I'd never write by hand again as typing it up becomes editing so I'll probably leave that little job until 1st December!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

So proud!

Guys - you are all simply amazing - the writing has gone so well for practically everyone, even if we are all trying various bits of procrastination!

My procrastination is: leaving my memory stick with Vassilly's Daughter at work.

This however means that I have no idea what I'm on as I managed to get some words down yesterday at work - I know, right? Aren't I supposed to work at work..well, if no one else is in, and I have nothing to do... ;-)

I have all of tomorrow - Sunday, to get some words down as Mark is going fishing. He's getting up at FOUR IN THE MORNING to do this. That's insane. *snuggle further into duvet*

So, I get to write my "Send in a man with a gun" scene. Which will kickstart the physical violent and hopefully gory action. Yes, uhm, I am writing a YA. (hee hee)

Oh, the picture above is of female boxer: Danyelle Wolf - find her website here. I love her look and her build. She's a perfect match for my main character, Nika. I hope, if Danyelle or her coach finds this, that they don't mind me nabbing the picture!

Oh! (snaps fingers as idea hits) I know what I'm doing next, searching to find a picture of Thorn and then one for Alex - that means everyone of import has a face. Oh, sorry, procrastination!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

3rd November, check in

So, how did you do?

Was it a good few days or aren't we talking about it?

Next check in is: 8th November!

Procrastination & Butt In Chair

I'm the queen of procrastination, a reigning monarch in the art of do-everything-else-but. Hence, here I am doing IndyWriMo - quite simply I need something like this to help prevent my book getting stuck halfway through. The best article I've ever read about this is by the magnificent Maggie Stiefvater entitled, "The Giant Butt-Kicking How to Write a Novel Post."

This helped me realise what I was doing which has basically been along the lines of admitting to myself that I desperately needed to do at least 1000 words today right after I'd sorted out the limescale on the shower or got that dog fur up from the kitchen floor. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting any of use should live in squalor for the whole of November. I found that just deciding that I'm already a writer and therefore had to find time to write virtually every day went a long way to getting things done. Sometimes it's just half an hour, other times it's half a day. I believe exercises like IndyWriMo has the potential to help me get a better writing ethic, just by simply doing it every day and of course the vital contact with other writers (yay for that).

But mostly I'd just like to beat my procrastination into a small ball and tidy it away, without limescale of course.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Today was hopefully everyone else's first day of IndyWriMo.

How did it go?

I spent some time re-reading what I had written before on my newest WIP which is a YA called (working title) Vassilly's Daughter. Then Mark and I sat down and wrote furiously for a while, the mp3 player plugged in to thrill our ears with tunes, and Sparrow tucked under the table (farting) on his blankie.

It was a happy creative fug. ;-)

I hope all went well with all of you! Remember, if you've not started yet, there is plenty of time to catch up. Best of luck!

Oh, as for the picture above. That's my inspiration for Uncle Yuri, Nika's (my protagonist's) uncle.