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Thursday, November 25, 2010

#NaNoWriMo Winner


Normal blogging will resume when I come back from holiday next week! For now I am off to eat, drink and be merry! Good luck to all my #NaNoWriMo pals who I have met along the way and thank you to everyone for their support and cheer-leading skills over the past month!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Twitter: How to Edit Your Profile - selected as October Best Article!

I have been wanting to blog about this since I found but have held off until the formal newsletter announcing the three best articles was out!

When How To Books ran a competition back in July for the best article that month I entered How to twitter: basics. I was delighted when it was accepted and it spurred me on to do some more writing in the social media arena. After that I wrote a further article on navigating twitter and planned to submit this to how to books. Shortly after finishing the article twitter announced some planned changes so I held off completing it until I had become familiar with the new version of twitter.

It was a rather happy co-incidence that How To Books announced they would be running monthly competitions after the success of the July competition. Having familiarised myself with the changes I re-wrote the article but with so many changes on twitter I decided to break it down into two articles. They are How to Navigate the New Twitter.com and Twitter: How To Edit Your Profile.

I viewed writing them as really good practice and I was very happy to learn they had been accepted. So imagine my delight when I got an email from Nikki Read informing me my article Twitter: How to Edit Your Profile had been selected as one of the three best articles.

I have a book proposal with them presently and this has been an excellent way to demonstrate my writing. I have some more articles planned to write up for them in the coming months and I recommend having a go.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Probationary Member of The Society of Women Writers and Journalists

I've just received the news that my application has been accepted and I am now a probationary member of the SWWJ.

I have mentioned before that I planned to apply and I have already been to one of their events. So I am very happy to hear I have been accepted for two years. With any luck after those two years I will be a full member!

Anyway shortest blog post ever - better get back to NaNoWriMo!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm a #NaNoWriMo Hard Nut!

So I'm over the halfway point and I have managed to keep up! It's been a pretty hard task as expected and I have been keeping a diary of sorts which you can find here.

I feel I have neglected the blog a bit without my usual number of blog posts. Don't worry they will resume as normal in December. To prove how dedicated I am to #NaNoWriMo I have had some new tattoos done! Thought I would share my new 'sleeve' of arm tattoos with you (see below.)

Okay, okay I admit it they are not real! Could you tell? They come as part of a donor pack and they were sent to by my writing buddy, Fiona Kendall. I thought she would appreciate seeing them and it was a good excuse to blog. Apologies for the quality of the photo but had to do it on the camera phone as our camera broke the other day.

Now onto another fifteen days of hard core NaNoWriMo writing, see you on the other side!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eight month review

This is the fourth of my two-monthly reviews. It was initially a way of me double-checking how I have got on with goals. It also serves as a way of reminding myself what I have been up to. The past two months have been amazing and I think I have got further in the past two months but not without the six months of hard work before that. So these two months have seen me get up to:


  • The results of the Writing Buddies Anthology came in and I was super pleased to find I won 1st place in Drama and Flash Fiction and 2nd place in Flash Fiction and Non-Fiction filler.
  • Put together a non-fiction book proposal and sent off to publisher.
  • Submitted two short stories to Writers News competitions
  • Written two other short stories - they need to be edited and then submitted. 
  • Applied to join the Society of Woman Writers and Journalists (SWWJ)
  • Attended an SWWJ event in London on Non-fiction with Wendy Hughes
  • Starting doing some admin and marketing for Writing Buddies and Penny Legg
  • Adapted a short story and had a rejection!
  • Letter printed in Slimming World magazine
  • Revamped this blog and Writing buddies blog
  • Set up Writing buddies on twitter
  • Signed up to #NaNoWriMo
  • Continued writing the shortlist - word count had increased by 15,000 ( 5000 + of this has been through #NaNoWriMo)
  • Attended a panel discussion on publishing at The Bournemouth Literary festival
  • Submitted 2 articles on twitter to how to books website; both have been accepted and more news on this soon!
  • Continued attending Writing Buddies and Writers in Southampton.
The past two months have been amazing and I have met lots of wonderfully helpful people along the way. So much has happened it has left me feeling a little dizzy. In terms of my goals it is just two large projects to complete. These are coming on well but I still love doing other projects as well and will continue to do this. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

#NaNoWriMo Diary of a newbie

Monday 1st November

National Novel Writing Month is here! I only decided to sign up to NaNoWriMo a few days ago and feel rather unprepared but I do have a vague storyline in my head so I am just going to push forward. I have linked up with some other writers aiming to complete the task and I think this will be what makes the task achievable. This blog post is going to be a series of entries during the month to let you know how I am getting on. I do plan to blog as normal but they will be less frequent. Wish me luck - I think I may need it, alongside large amounts of caffeine.

Tuesday 2nd November

First of all I just want to say thank you to everybody for their encouragement with regards to taking part in NaNoWriMo. It is rare in a writing project to have support in this kind of way and it is part of what makes this event unique.

I hand wrote most of yesterday's efforts and then discovered when typing up this morning it was short on the daily target. I'm happy to report I have managed to catch up today. I also had some very exciting news as well and I will do a blog post on that when it is officially announced.

I can see how this challenge could be a struggle and I am hoping to have days when my word count is more than the minimum but I am happy just to keep up for now. The difficulty is when you notice errors and the temptation to go back and edit is strong. I realise if I worry about that though I will never make it to the daily word counts. So I have been strong and ignored them. Now I just have to wonder when the National Novel Editing Month is? #NaNoEdMo

Wednesday 3rd November

Third day in and surprised to discover I am keeping up. I have to confess the quality of the work is probably lacking and I am doing far more 'running on the spot'writing than I would normally but the whole process is rather enjoyable. I tend to plan quite a lot with my writing and in this case I just haven't so any plot twists and turns are a nice surprise. I have already turned to chocolate though. Using NaNo as my excuse!

Friday 5th November - Playing catch up!

After a busy day yesterday and only managing about half the daily word count I am now playing a bit of catch up. I've caught up as much as I can today and it leaves me only 500 behind now. Thankfully I have the weekend to finish catch up. But considering it is past midnight it is now time for sleep!

Sunday 7th November

7 days in and I have to admit I am quite enjoying this! I know it is not for everybody but it is a fantastic excuse to just get on with your writing. Admittedly the plot is flawed and I have made some technical errors but these are things I am aware of and can fix later. For now I'm just enjoying the fact that I have a story in my head and I am giving myself the opportunity to get on and write it. At the moment I am not struggling with what to write. I think this will change in a week or so but for now it is going okay.

Tuesday 9th November

I'm still managing to keep up although really wanted to scrap something I just wrote but stopped myself. Even though the telling of the story is not 100% this process does push the story line on. Even if you are not completely happy with the idea (which happens quite frequently with writing) you continue with it all the same. It then gives rise to new twists and conflicts as you move on, the bland bits or badly written bits you can deal with later. My husband now asks "You managed your word count for the day?" on his return from work.

In other news I lost 2 and a half pounds at slimming world and for the first time received the Slimmer of the Week award. This is surprising as over #NaNoWriMo I have taken the advice to stock my house with chocolate and wine. I have both and have partaken in both over the past week. Okay so I have still been mostly good and used my syns towards the wine/chocolate moments but I did not expect to lose quite so much. I tend to lose about a pound each week so this is impressive for me. My main theory is that the increased word count has increased my level of finger exercise and thus I am burning more calories!

Thursday 11th November

Argh! Hit a busy patch in life and need to sort out plot! No time to blog, must got on with #NaNoWriMo!

Saturday 13th November

So after a couple of days panic I am now back on track. I have changed the plot slightly as I didn't like what I had written. It means that a small amount will be scrapped almost immediately but in the meantime it still gets included in the word count. I am now up to 20,000 words which is still slightly behind but not by much. I have a three day weekend and what better way to spend your annual leave other than writing. I do have to say a big thank you to Fiona Kendall who has been supporting me through #NaNoWriMo with very helpful emails and post! It has certainly helped me get over this glitch and will certainly help power me through the remaining seventeen days!

Monday 15th November

Half way through and I have survived! Very much hoping it is like a downhill race from now on and I won't even need to break out in a sweat. Nowt like wishful thinking!

Wednesday 17th November

I have hit the 30,000 mark and am slightly amazed I have managed it! It has become a force of habit to just spend a large chunk of the day writing and I'm beginning to wonder why I haven't treated writing like this before. Okay so in it's present state I am not delivering a spectacular novel. But this has forced me to write and for the most part I've actually enjoyed it. Most of what I have written will need a lot of work but some of the good parts will remain. It has helped develop the characters without me trying to come up with it all before starting, instead I have discovered them on the way. It is now less than 20,000 words to go and I am slightly ahead. I need to get more ahead now seen as I am heading out the country next Saturday and need to finalise my work count on Friday! So glad I have the next two days off work and no one at home to disturb me.

Sunday 21st November

Argh - where has the time gone? I am at the final push and it has got harder. The story line is there but writing fatigue has set in and I found myself going into first person by accident and the work is generally more tardy. This doesn't matter for the purpose of #NaNoWriMo but in normal circumstances I would take a bit of time out at this point. I have about 11,000 words remaining and five days to do them before I head off on a much needed holiday. This bit will be a struggle as my calender is quite busy with work as well. With any luck (or a loss of sleep) I will make it!

Wednesday 24th November

Only 4000 words to go now and I'm beginning to think I might actually finish not only in time but slightly ahead ready for holiday time! I have to admit to now checking my word count far more frequently and the writing quality is slightly poorer - BUT I have nearly made it! Tomorrow I will be setting my alarm early in a bid to finish! That's alongside a Rheumatology appointment at the hospital, meeting my friend for lunch and going to work for five hours. I'm rather determined to get it done and still have time to pack my bags - even if it does mean losing sleep!

Thursday 25th November


It's done! It's been an effort, especially getting finished ahead of time, but I managed it. I will do a proper blog about it sometime in December but for now I need a glass of wine and an early night!