Nano towel throw

It’s official. I’m throwing in the towel.

pink towel on black floor
It’s November 30th tomorrow, the final day of Nanowrimo, and my word count stands at a little over 30,000 words.
That’s a Nano fail.
I feel kind of bad about it.
I was so sure I could make it happen – I even wrote a rather boastful (in retrospect ) post about how I could handle everything family life threw at me and still make that word count.
How little did I know.
My Nano novel started out like this….

See that lovely clear path.
Straight as an arrow.
But, oh yes – up on the horizon there – see that? That’s right. A great big, tangled, old wood – all dark and forbidding.
And that’s what my nice, clear cut little Nano novel did to me – turned all dark and nasty and tangled.
I couldn’t make sense of it. Characters were rushing here and there with no clue what was going on, and speaking atrocious dialogue while they were doing it. My healthy 1,700 words a day habit was under attack. The manuscript was all CAPS LOCK, which is my way of adding a note mid- write.
Yikes. There was no write. It was all NOTE MID-WRITE.
But I ploughed on. Just slower.
I guess that’s ok.
It feels like a fail, but there are 30,000 words of a new novel sitting on my hard drive that didn’t exist a month ago.
I’m not giving up on it. I’ll probably finish by Christmas. And then I’ll hide it in a drawer until I can bear to look at it again.
Kristen Lamb has a great and inspiring post called Nanowhat now where she talks about exercising self discipline. Basically – small steps and build on it. Nanowrimo by its very nature flies in the face of that good advice. You need big steps, and lots of them, to make 50,000 words in a month.
If I learnt anything in November, it’s that I’m not ready for big steps yet. But little steps, five days a week?
That I can manage.
How about you?
Are you a Nano winner? What does that feel like? And are you happy with what you’ve written?



Sorry, can’t cook tonight, the dog ate my wooden spoon……oh, and I’ve just murdered your flask.

Family life this week….

Firstly, I killed a flask.

These are the beautiful little remains – kind of like the bottom of my Christmas bauble box (no matter how well I wrap the little suckers up!)

broken flask, broken vacuum flask

It’s not the first time I’ve murdered a flask, but it’s usually by sloppy flask-care, dropping it from a height and such. This one I killed by over cleaning, thereby proving the point that there IS such a thing as TOO MUCH CLEANING, and a flask exploding in your kitchen first thing in the morning like a firecracker could be the result.

And when I say over cleaning, I wasn’t even being particularly vigorous, just pushed the long handled brush in there a couple of times and …..BANG!… dead flask.

shattered flask

It later transpired that the BANG! and my scream of surprise was heard by Plumber Husband and both daughters.  Eldest and Youngest daughter assumed that since I was still standing there in the kitchen, (albeit in shock), that I was okay and no further action was required. Plumber Husband assumed that since I hadn’t called for help, I didn’t need any.

Me: “And what if I’d just been electrocuted or something?” 

Plumber Husband: “That’s okay – You’d finished my sandwiches.”

No flask of tea that day, though, MWAH HA HA!



Later on, and not to be outdone, our Bertie killed a wooden spoon.

This was a special spoon: seeped in juicy Jalfrezi sauce from our evening curry; not too hot; still a little meaty; and given to him while I was out doing my taxi driving stint. When I returned from dropping the non-paying customers at one of their many activities….this was what I found.

wooden spoon chewed up by dog He even brought it up to me.

Like a stick.

Which he doesn’t get.

Because I know how dangerous it is to give dogs sticks.

And so I had to watch him like a hawk to make sure he wasn’t sick, and the next day too.

He’s fine BTW.

black cocker spaniel, english cocker spanielAnd despite these little upsets, and the piles of laundry backed up from our week away in London, and the back log of paperwork etc etc etc…..despite all this – I’m still on target with my Nanowrimo novel. Thus proving to me that:

a)      I can make time for writing.

b)      I can make time for writing – even if family life throws a few crises my way

c)      Too much cleaning is not good for you – and might end up backfiring in your kitchen first thing in the morning!

What about you? How do you find juggling family life with writing?



Sadly, I’ve had to disable comments on this post. The spammers LOVE it! Those guys! Louis Vuitton, Raybans,those guys love me! Hope I’m not forgetting anyone!

Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Rebel

NaNoWriMo starts in 3 days, so strictly speaking, no one should have started their novel – and yet………

Nanowrimo rebellion

I’m a first time NaNoWriMo-er, and I really, REALLY want to succeed. But the first 4 days of November are family time – it’s half term here – and so the seeds of rebellion were sown….

I did 4 days writing last week.

And on the 1st November, those wordcounts are going up on the website to count towards my total.

In some ways this is WRONG WRONG WRONG, and some might even say…shhh…’s cheating.

But then I came across Margo Berendsen’s blog post saying she was going to bend the rules too – and not only that, there’s a whole load of us NaNoWriMo Rebels out there, with our very own forum. Yay!

The only prize with NaNoWriMo is knowing you have written a novel in 30 days. I don’t really care if 4 of those days were actually in October. I hope you don’t either.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo? Anyone else planning on joining the Rebellion?

Making Time for NaNoWriMo- or why kids know better than us.

how to make timeWith NaNoWriMo just days away, we could all use a bit more time.

But we have full lives: we have tasks to juggle, schedules to keep, children to ferry around.

There is no more time.

And that’s when you need to see things from a child’s point of view.

I was walking my daughter to school, late (again), when we came across a  friendly-looking  cat. Of course, my daughter wanted to stroke it, but I rushed her along saying, “Not today, we don’t have time.”

My daughter, being my daughter, didn’t listen, and as I marched on, she stopped and took the time to pet the fluffy feline. Moments later, I heard her running to catch up with me, out of breath, saying , “See. I did have time.”

And the thing is – she was right.

She made time to stroke the cat.

And then she ran to catch up.

We all have choices to make in our day, or tasks we could do faster or smarter. Currently, I’m choosing to spend 40 minutes every night watching The Vampire Diaries box set on our BT package. Now that’s a straight swop, 40 minutes viewing for 40 minutes writing (since I can’t watch and enjoy The Vampire Diaries on fast forward!).

But other things in my day can’t be sacrificed – the family needs to eat, I need to get the decorating done before Christmas, the laundry’s piling up – and this is where I need to do my running.

So, come November, I’m using the timer on my phone, setting a 30 minute alarm, and I’m racing through all those mundane but necessary tasks. If I don’t get the jobs done, I’ll write for an hour, then set the timer,  and race my way through it all again.

I think, by the end of November, I’ll be exhausted. But I might have my 50,000 words.

How are you going to make time for NaNoWriMo?