Tag Archive: 2015


NaNoWriMo 2015 – Week 2

Apologies for not sticking to schedule, I was trying desperately to get to 50K last night, you know, the point at which I should be at. Yeah, I missed it by a bit. Only a bit though, I’m at 49K as of right now. Which is fine, totally catch-up-able. But, still, technically behind.

On day 7 I was on 30K, on day 14 I am on 49K. So, as you can see, I’ve definitely slowed down. They say week 2 is the hardest week, and this year I think I agree with that. It’s definitely been harder than week 1. The only good thing I that I’ve hit a bit of the story where I know pretty much what is going to happen. And I’m not quite halfway yet, so I know that there are going to be enough words in this novel to get me to 100K, no problem. I just have to sit down and actually write them. I think at this point, I’ll be calling week 3 a success if I can keep up with where I should be with my words. That means 3,333 words a day (plus an extra 1,000 of catch up), which should be fine, I know I can write that much in a day. Heck, in week 1 I was easily doing 5K a day, I just need to find that rhythm again. Or, at least, a similar one where I don’t spend an entire Saturday re-reading my favourite webcomic because he hasn’t given us a new update in over a week. Saturday was not productive, I have to admit.

I have, at least, taken all those tasks and things that I was doing and prioritised them. So now I have work, the masters degree, nanowrimo and on Fridays my allocated social time for my D&D group. I can’t give up D&D, it’s just too good to give up. But, streamlining what I get up to has meant that I am more relaxed, and hopefully this will eventually translate into more words.

On the other hand, I currently have a stomach bug. Waking up on a Monday morning with three hours sleep under your belt because your stomach kept you doubled-over a bowl all night is not on my list of fun things I want to do, nor is it on the best ways to start a week. I am at work despite it, but it’s not fun, and I have the feeling that as soon as I get home after work today, I will be falling asleep immediately, which although probably good for me, is not going to be the most productive activity.

So, moving onto my writing process. Today I am going to look at place.

Everyone has a place in which they like to write, whether that be coffee shops, a study, or outside in some weird little nook in the woods. Me? I have a study. Or the sofa, depending on how creature comforts I am feeling.

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My study is good because in there I can listen to music whilst I write, or just shut the door and tune everything else out. It’s my space, and I have filled it with dragons, books, and other things that I like, and often I can achieve the sprints, the actual blocks of time put into my work, whilst sitting there. Admittedly, I sometimes do have the chromebook to the side, playing whatever tv series or movie I happen to be into at that time as background noise. This is never something that I haven’t already seen, since the point is not for me to actually watch the thing, but rather to have noise on in the background. I find it hard to write in silence.

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Hence, by other writing place – the sofa (and yes, the dragon soft toy lives there). The sofa is great when I want to be warm. I don’t have that great a circulation, so when I am at my desk I tend to wear fingerless gloves (well you can’t type in mittens or regular gloves without distinct effort, so I go for the in-between of keeping the majority of my hands warm, whilst still being able to type at a reasonable speed) but if I am on the sofa then I can roll myself up in the spare duvet that lives on there, or one of numerous blankets, and keep myself warm all over. I’ll use my chromebook on the sofa, and inevitably the TV will be only playing something that I can vaguely watch/listen to without paying all that much attention. That, or the partner will be playing a game. Fallout 4 came out last week, and the living room currently looks like a mini explosion because he took a week off to play it. Not that I blame him, and having a game that I am only mildly interested in is pretty good from the writing background noise standpoint.

So those are my two places. Very familiar, require no travelling, and a bonus I can be wearing my pyjama’s the whole time. I do attend write ins, and I have written in a coffee shop before, but I don’t think it’s really my thing. Maybe I’ll give the library a go at some point, but right now, the sofa is calling to me.

How is every else doing for NaNoWriMo? Ahead? Slightly behind like me? Way behind and panicking (you can do it, just don’t give up!)

The two of them were side by side, sweat dripping their brows as they rounded a corner, and skidded to a halt.

“By the deeps!” Meg’s first mate exclaimed.

Flames covered the tunnel in front of them, dancing, writhing, the heat rolling off onto them, and more sweat dripped down and out.

“We’re going to die. Trapped in this bloody magical cave. We’re going to bloody die.”

Meg backhanded him, a smart slap on his cheek. “We are not going to die Hector.”

“There’s a fire in front of us, and a flaming monster behind us! Not literally flaming, but it might well be when it catches up to us!” his arms were gesturing wildly, his hair failing out of it’s usual neat ponytail.

“Trust me.” Meg held out her hand to him.

“With what?”

“That,” she nodded to the fire in front of them, “we’re going to walk through it.”

His eyes went wide, and his mouth slack, “Are you mad?”

“A little, aye.”

“What makes you think that we won’t just roast to a crisp?”

“A badly worded trade and a bit of gut instinct.”

Hector ran a hand through his hair, pacing the short distance of the corridor. A roar echoed back from where they had come through, and he threw a glance that way.

“To hell with it, I’m a bit mad too,” Hector reached out and took her hand.

Meg took in a deep breath, and stepped through into the fire, leading her first mate behind her. It was probably only ten paces of so, but the warmth of the fire as it surrounded them was immense, almost no air for them to breath, but the fire didn’t burn them as they stumbled through and out the other side.

Hector took a few paces, and then collapsed to his knees, shaking all over, “I don’t know how you did that cap’n, but I ain’t complaining.”

“Like I said, badly worded trade. You should never really trust Djinn’s.”

A roar echoed from the chamber, closer than before. The two pirates looked at each other, and then pushed to their feet and started running again.

“Some days, I wonder if this is what normal pirates have to go through.”

“Where’s the fun in normal?”

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Week 1

Wow, I have a lot going on.

Probably too much, if I am being honest. I word 30 hours a week, I’m doing a master degree and have been given my third assignment (when the other two are not yet complete), this novel, and I am trying to keep up with my social life and support my boyfriend in running a game. One of them is going to give (if I am honest, the game is probably going, and the social life gets cut back at lot for November). We’ll have to see, but I can feeling myself getting more and more stressed, only saved by some good friends and generous applications of hugs.

I got off to a good start with NaNoWriMo, and at the end of day 7 I am at 30K. However, I have been slowing down, and I didn’t manage that 10K day one that I was aiming for. But, having said that, it was still a good first week.

My rhythm seems to have been a bit disrupted by…something. Not sure what, but I sped to 27K, and then really just slowed. This weekend has been really busy, I had to work Saturday (really hate Saturday shifts) and Sunday was IoD, so a full day of gaming (having just completed the game, I can now say, that I have packed it in, that was my last game as a ref, and I am so happy to not have that stress anymore), more than half of which I was intrinsically involved in, so couldn’t not go.

But, still got a lot of time to go. I’m pretty sure I’ll make it to 50K. Don’t know if I’ll get to my goal of 100K. It would be nice, and hopefully by just sitting down for an hour each day I’ll climb over that wall.

So, now that I’ve told you a bit about the actual words I’ve put down, I thought I would share with you my process.

Today is technology. This year, I am writing through an online software called Novlr. It’s something I discovered in it’s really early stages and I’ve been backing it (the kickstarter didn’t fund, but they continued at it anyway, just slower) for a while. I really like it, I mean I’ve discovered bugs, but I’ve been with it since alpha, and they are really good at picking up the reports. The main software is really good now, and they’ve been adding in lots and lots of features. You can now have multiple books, they have statistics pages (including a NaNoWriMo word count!), and a really minimalist UI, so you just focus on the words on the page. I’m not trying to sell it to you, just highlight why I like it and have decided to write my novel in there this year.

The particularly big reason I’m using it is that’s it’s online cloud based, so as long as I have an internet connection, I can write to it from any computer. And it has an offline mode, which blends seamlessly back into online mode when it reconnects. Cloud software is really, really good in my opinion. And I have the option to back it up to Google Drive, so everything is backed up without me doing anything 🙂

So, cloud software means that I can write on any computer. Which means work, desktop, and chromebook are all viable options. I prefer my chromebook out of all of these of course. I mean, it can’t do much, but it does internet really well, and really fast, it’s small, and light, and I can stick stickers all over it.

chromebook stickers

I’ve got a lot of NaNoWriMo stickers, and that isn’t even all of them. I like stickers. And I do like to advertise that I’m a writer.

So that’s my combination this year – Novlr + Chromebook (at least when I’m not at work).

How is everyone else doing? Both fellow NaNo writers and those of you who don’t spend November in a frenzy.

88 – Pain

The air up here was thin, but just about breathable. For humans anyway, the dragons had no problem with this height. Wisps of cloud washed over her helm, as the ascended just a little higher, listening to the muffled noises coming from their target ahead.

Just a little further, she passed to Ryuu.

The airship they were tracking was just in front of them now, it’s bulk visible as a dark shadow in amongst the clouds. They pair of them glided up, hoovering above it, as it slowly moved through the misty clouds.

Tuning into Ryuu’s sharper vision, she could see the figures on the deck, including a number of them beneath an awning, trying in vain to keep the wet fog from the table they were using. And on the table, was the artefact that they were tracking. Rachel knew it was a compass, but it certainly didn’t look like any compass she had encountered, here or back home.

Ready? she asked her dragon, and felt his chest rumble, as she drew his wings in, and they fell silently out of the sky.

Their precision was impeccable, as Rachel detached from Ryuu’s back, landing on the deck a few short paces from the awning. Short sword out, she slipped in, rolling over the table, scooping up the compass before they had registered that something was happening.

Dodging round a deck hand, she had to bring up her sword to deflect the blow of a guard. Spinning him round so that his back was to the awning, a step wrong on his part sent him tumbling back into the table, over the deckhand she had just avoided, papers and objects flying everywhere as the table overturned. Beautiful confusion.

She sprinted towards the other side of the deck, where Ryuu was flying round to. From her left, came another guard, she was almost at the edge, all she needed to do was jump. She sidestepped, raising her sword to parry the blow, but this guard was good, he caught her parry, twisted her sword away, it clattered to the deck and she heard more than felt the ripping of her flesh.

Ryuu’s scream echoed round the ship, his clawed hind legs grasping onto the side of the ship, splintering the wood. His flame spurted over her head, as Rachel sank to the deck, one arm clutching the compass, as the other pressed against her stomach.

There was a crunch, as she could taste blood and bone in her mouth. She reached out, and felt Ryuu’s scales, and managed to find the strength from him to push up, clutching onto his side and she clumsily swung up and over, a hefty streak of red splashing against his dusky scales.

As soon as she was on his back, he leapt off the ship, his claws taking a chunk of it with him. Rachel sank onto his back, laying against the rough scales, gasping for air as the pain set in.

Your pain is great, Ryuu’s head swung round to sniff at the wound.

Hospital. I need a hospital.

In your world?

It’s bad, I don’t know if they could fix it here.

Can you bear the jump?

Rachel struggled, but removed her helmet one handed, putting both that and the compass into a saddle bag, I’ll have to.

She gritted her teeth as Ryuu drew in his wings, diving at a shallow angle to build up speed, a ripple in the sky ahead marking their portal. In mere seconds, they were passing through, and the pain exploded in her side again, whiting out her vision.

87 – Food

Rana laughed as she slowed Duchess down, walking her as she looked around the place. “Over there, that looks like a good spot. You brought a picnic right?”

“Snuck out from the kitchens fresh this morning.”

Rana laughed as they walked the horses over and gave them a drink of water. They let the horses graze as they set up a blanket and Caleb spread out what he had stolen from the kitchen’s that morning.

“So, you’ll stay in touch right? I mean, there’s not a range on these amulets is there?”

“No. They should work over any distance. I’ll keep in touch, although I think it’s just going to be a lot of travelling. It’s going to be fairly boring without you there to keep me company.”

“Yeah. You know, I could just come with you.” He gave her a sly look.

Rana looked at him, and then pushed him away with one hand, sticking her tongue out at him. “Your parents would flip out. And you do have things to do here.”

He sighed. “I know, I know.” He raised his hand defensively. “It’s just I wished I could come with you. Even if it’s just fetching a book for Gaius, it’s still an adventure.”

“I’ll try to no have too much fun without you there.”

“You really think it’s not going to be fun?”

“Not really, but I’ll still try.”

“Liar.”

“I know. But what can we do? I mean, I want you to come with me, but I know that your duty has to come first.”

Caleb sighed. “Yeah, duty. I want to be a good prince, but I just don’t get a lot of time to do my own thing, you know? I’d love to come with you for a few weeks and just camp out under the stars every night. That sounds amazing, even if nothing else happens. Just to be out of the city for that long.” He sounded wistful as he talked.

Rana reached over and squeezed his hand. “Maybe some other time. And at least you’ll still be in range of a warm bed and good food. I’ve got travelling rations, which look dire at best.”

“Enjoy this picnic while it lasts then.” Caleb said as he handed her a dish full of fresh fruit.

They lingered over the food, talking to each other until eventually they had to part as the sun was moving through the sky. Caleb gathered up the remains of the picnic, and they both mounted up. Turning Duke back towards the city in the South, Caleb said his goodbye.

“See you when you get back. Try and be in time for the ball, okay?”

“Sure. Caleb?” She walked Duchess up to Duke and leaned over to kiss Caleb on the cheek as he turned to her. “Try not to get into too much trouble without me, okay?” She said as she turned to the North and clicked her tongue to get Duchess into a trot.

She forced herself to not look back at Caleb, who had raised a hand to his cheek, looking utterly confused at the parting gift.

The click of the door finally unlocking was so soft they almost missed it, blinking sleepy eyes open as a figure exited the room and closed the door behind them.

Their fiery red hair was obscuring their face, but her shoulders were hunched, tight muscles and dried rivers of blood down the arms betraying the pain that she was in.

“Is the prince…alright?”

“As well as he can be. Don’t worry, he survived the change.” Her voice was soft, low, but there was something behind her words. Something barely contained.

There was an awkward moment of silence, and then Willow turned away from the door, footsteps leaving bloody smears and drops as she went. The two wolves that had been on guard duty had to suddenly scramble up from the floor and make haste to keep up with her.

“Should you be moving? I can smell-”

“Don’t worry about me,” again, in her voice, was that barely contained emotion.

Flint gave his pack-brother a glance, but Rhys just shrugged at him.

Willow strode through the corridors, ascending the stairs until she reached the main level of the castle, and weaved through rooms, ignoring both people that fled her path, and the mixed looks she received. She didn’t even slow when she entered the throne room, startling the royal family.

“Willow, is Adam?” The queen half rose, fist clenched at her throat.

“He’s fine,” Willow said, closing in on the trio, “No thanks to you.”

Fast than the eye could see, she grabbed James by the throat, and tossed him onto the table, a heavy slam reverberating around the room.

His blue eyes looked shocked, but the wrong kind of shock. The shock of being found out. They met hers, and a little bit of fear crept in as he realised that her eyes weren’t green anymore, but were blossoming with the red of her fire element.

“Tell me why. Why would you change you own brother into a vampire?”

85 – Spiral

“Seven. It’s all about the number seven.”

“But there are six labyrinths.”

Sage pulled a piece of paper towards her, dipped the quill and started to sketch out the continent. “The number six represents to sum of all humanity, man and women, heavens and earth, fire and water, it’s balance. Seven means that you add in the soul, so as well as everything material, you also represent the spiritual.”

“There’s that much meaning behind numbers?”

“There were for the progenitors,” Sage’s hand flicked the ink over the pages, the land now recognisable, as she drew in symbols for each of the labyrinths, “They didn’t build these on a whim you know, there are reasons and meaning behind almost everything that they did, even if they are not obvious.”

“And is that what you’ve been doing? In labyrinths for all these years? Looking for the mearnings?”

“Technically, they’re mazes.”

Reagan rolled his eyes, “We are all aware of that. However, we are not all aware of a seventh labyrinth. Maze. Whatever, how on this earth could there be an unknown labyrinth?”

“Remember what I said about the numbers, humanity and spirituality,” Sage drew in the last symbol for the seventh labyrinth, in the middle of a continent, and then drew in a dotted line between all of them, “heaven and earth.”

She held up the drawing so that Reagan could see.

“A spiral. The labyrinths make a spiral.”

“But you wouldn’t think it, unless you knew about that seventh labyrinth, the one that represents-”

“Earth. It’s underground, isn’t it?”

Sage gave a rare smile, “Maybe you scholars aren’t all as idiotic as you seem.”

Vesper slipped a dagger between the door crack, gently raising the latch on the inside of the door, before slipping into the room.

There was the soft sound of a quick scuffle, a muted “What the-?”, and a flump. Adrianna paused for a count of five, and then slipped into the room herself.

“Did you kill him?”

Vesper was kneeling beside the body, two fingers on his throat. “No, I merely knocked him out. That should buy us enough time.”

“Did he see you?”

“Not enough to recognise me.”

“Excellent,” Adrianna said, rifling through the pile of papers on the top of the desk. Vesper stood up and started from the other side of the desk, looking through the untidy mound before starting on the drawers.

“Here.”

Adrianna reached over and took the paper, with the seal of office flashing from the corner of the page, and skimmed the contents, her brow furrowing as she did so.

winter-fantasy-landscape“Not what you were expecting?”

“No. It isn’t,” she folded the paper over and slid it into her dress.

“I thought we weren’t going to steal it?”

“Origingally no. However, I have no desire to be left out in the cold, and this document would assure that I would be.”

Vesper’s mouth twitched into a wry smile, “But you don’t feel the cold.”

“That is entirely beyond the point.”

83 – Heal

She leaned over the sink and spat, bloody spittle covered the white ceramic of the basin.

Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, another dark smear appeared, causing her skin to prickle as it dried.

Fucking asswipe.

She narrowed her eyes, clenching her teeth and taking in a deep breath through her nose. Gripping the sides of the basin with her hands, the trembled ever so slightly, and just around the edges of her eyes, a corona started to glow.

The slice across her chest stopped bleeding, the edges becoming smooth rather than rough, and slowly, as in a special effects show, it started to close together. Zipping together from one end to the other, soon it was just a harsh red line, as bruises and scrapes across cheeks and knuckles yellowed and scabbed, before fading away to pristine skin.

Kali let out a breath as the wound on her chest, which a mere minute before would have been considered traumatic, faded away from a scarlet line, to a thread’s width, to nothing.

Her hands unclenched from the side of the sink, and she looks at herself in the mirror, rolled her arms in their sockets, and bounced on her feet. Nothing like a little healing to make a girl feel good as new.

She turned around, stepping out of the bathroom, pulling on the cord to switch the light off. The main room was only dimly lit, which made the multiple pools of blood on the floor almost look simply like odd shaped rugs. Or, they would, if there wasn’t another body lying there, still bleeding.

Kali walked passed it, only pausing to deliver a short kick to their chest.

“Dickhead.”

And with that, she kept on walking, out of the room, and out of the building.

NaNo Prep Month 2015

I did it! I chose my novel!

2015 Participant Banner

Okay, when I say choose, I mean I put up the five ideas I was thinking about on facebook, and 8/10 of my friends pointed at one in particular.

So, drum roll please. This year I have decided to write….

Eidetic!

Labyrinth

Yes, I am finally going to be writing the entire novel about Sage, the Labyrinths (mazes!) and her family. I’m looking forward to it! And the insanity of trying to balance work, masters degree, nano, and sanity.

#MILLENNIALLIFECRISIS

I dont have the answers, just a lot of questions.

Growing a library

Is everything about bums on seats?

littlebookcornerblog

“I don't believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” ― J.K. Rowling

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams

My self-publishing journey and other literary moments

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Bringing the thoughts in my head into the light

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.