Day 23 – NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo day TWENTY-THREE

One week left. That’s it. One week of this crazy challenge and we have reached the end, hopefully with a rough draft of something we can work on for the future.

This is also when the thoughts come of how I am going to spend all the extra time I’m going to have in December. Somehow I always manage to find some way to fill the hours.

I have avoided writing about the story, simply because I want to keep that part separate and keep the good energy flowing. Writing these blog posts in between my other writing, really help me getting more energised for the story itself.

Despite having to take two full weekends off during this month, I have managed to stay on top of my word count so far and with only a week to go I am quite confident in finishing on time and depending on how this week goes, a day or so early, which is always a nice prospect.

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Day 15 – NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo day FIFTEEN

Today marks halfway through the challenge and somewhere around now the feeling of relief will come as you can see the finish line in the not so far distance and the numbers are closer to 50 000. However, this is also when doubt sets in and you’re wondering if you are going to make it. Is your story good enough, enticing your imagination enough for you to actually make it, or are you going to fall short on the finish line.

This is usually the time when I need write-ins the most. Places where I get together with other fellow Wrimos and write together. There are few things that are more helpful to my writing during NaNoWriMo than sitting around a table with ten other writers, who are all typing away in a 45 minute sprint. The sound from other people’s keyboards propels my story forwards. This is when I appreciate all the work the ML of London the most, for their hard work in getting people together to write.

This coming weekend is the first on my four day course, which means that there will be two full days where I won’t get very much written. This worries me a bit, because in all my years doing NaNoWriMo I have been able to clear my schedule. This year it is going to be different, but I do hope that I can still keep up and that the buffer I have so far will keep me on track. I also hate falling behind on my word count and seeing the word bar on the website below the projection.

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Day 8 – NaNoWriMO

NaNoWriMo Day EIGHT

The first week has passed and I have hit my mile stones so far. I know towards the end of the month, I need to be ahead of the official word count for the days when I’m away so every day I try to write a couple of hundred more words than I have to.

So far so good.

My trick is to promise myself treats when I hit my targets, such as take away dinners and books. It always works! The rational part of me knows that I can buy myself these things any day, but the more artistic side of my brain feels extra good when I have earned the treat, rather than just buying it anyway.

If you are participating this year. What do you do to keep yourself motivated throughout the month?

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Day One – NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo day ONE.

I stayed up until midnight last night to start my novel right as the clock stroke midnight. It has become a tradition for me to start right at midnight. It is interesting to follow the forums on the NaNoWriMo website where people are doing shout outs for how far they got on the first night or how long they have to go until they are allowed to start (the challenge works on timezones).

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Midnight snack – Sushi & Sweets

Today after work I went straight to the first write-in of the year to get as much writing time in as I could and I reached my first 1667 words (and a little more to be on the safe side).

I am quite happy with the result so far and looking forward to 29 more days of this.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? It is not too late to sign up, you can easily catch up.

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NaNoWriMo Plans

It is about a week until the start of the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge and I feel good. My mind is clear and focused, ready to make up stuff. This year my biggest obstacle is time. Sundays are usually my biggest writing days, but this year I am on a course over two weekends and I will have to push those writing days on to my already busy week.

Being true to my planner nautre, I have changed things around to make sure I stay on top of my word count. I don’t think I would be very satisfied with my effort unless I manged to write 50 000 words in a month, because I know I am capable of it.

This year I am writing a story that is somewhat technical easier to write. It has very little research, above what I have already done. Even though the plot is quite intricate and there are twists and turns that I will have to negotiate carefully, it does have a lot of introspective thoughts, that can be easily embroidered on. This year, like last, I am aiming for a strong skeleton story that I can work on in the new year.

In other news, I was cleaning up among my old NaNoWriMo stories when I came across the story I wrote in 2015 and I barely recognised what I had written. Not even when I read the first chapter could I remember how it would end. Usually when I read old stories I can remember in broad strokes what it’s about and how it’s going to end. 2015 must have been a terrible NaNoWriMo year for me considering how quickly I forgot the story. I did not continue far past the first couple of pages as the writing was too terrible and the story was not interesting at all, not even for a rescue case. But oh well, it doesn’t bother me much, sometimes NaNoWriMo is helpful to get a story out of your head, to make more space for a better one.

Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year? How do you prepare for the challenge?

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Booktube

The Internet is good for many things, research, etc. Lately my newest discovery is Booktubers on YouTube. I got hooked on Simon at SavidgeReads through a tweet from a publisher and through the wonderful world of cookies, I received more lovely recommendations what to watch next (Jen Campbell, Jean bookishthoughts etc). There are so many people out there reading good books and sharing books that don’t necessarily get talked about in mainstream media or acknowledge on the top ten best seller lists, but also the top sellers and popular fiction.

I have gotten many recommendations in the last months and my never ending TBR list keeps growing. I take comfort in the fact that there will always be good books to read and many people who are willing to share their latest great read with the rest of the world.

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Another review

I usually don’t review books this often, if these posts can even be called reviews but during the summer I usually have more time to read and a few books really struck me and I wanted to share.

I picked up A general Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa because of its author’s origin (Angola) and my ‘Around the world’ project, where I try to read at least one author from every country in the world. I am currently at 64 countries (31.22%) read. I started the around the world challenge in an effort to read at least one author from every country attending the London Olympics in 2012. It is now past Rio and heading for Tokyo 2020 and I’m only a third there, but I won’t give up. And finding lots of little gems along the way.

A general theory of everything

Book Cover – a general theory of everything

A general theory is a lovely story, just the kind I like, that meanders from one story to another. Odd stories that you don’t understand at first, until a couple of chapters later when suddenly a new piece of the puzzle is presented and you understand, and smile at the cleverness of the author. It is set in the time after Angola broke free from their colonial masters (Portugal) and Ludo is the central character that everything revolves around and all the stories return to in the end.

Do you have any suggestions of authors from a lesser known country that you could recommend?

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18 before 2018

I recently created my 18 goals before 2018. This fun and helpful exercise I found out about from BohoBerry who also got me into Bullet journal some months ago. She got it from Lisa Jacobs who has done this for some years now (16 before 2016, 17 before 2017…you get the picture).

I found this to be a useful exercise for the second part of the year, when the 2017 New Year’s resolutions and goals seem very far away. The 18 small reminders will help me work to a strong finish to the year. It’s small ways for me as a freelancer to keep myself accountable to the things I have planned, when there is no immediate boss looking for results, I have to find other ways to reach this.

What do you do to keep your promises to yourself from the beginning of the year? Or do you not set any resolutions at all because you know you won’t keep them?

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NaNoWriMo research

It’s the end of September and a little over a month until the next NaNoWriMo kicks off. First I had planned to write a sequel to a historical novel I have been working on and I spent much time on researching Germany after world war two. Where I would place my Danish former SS soldier looking for a German nurse he met while recuperating in a hospital in the Russian borderland.

My interest is in these Danish SS soldiers’ life when they returned to Denmark after the war. Almost all were imprisoned for a minimum of four years of hard labour. Many were incensed that the Danish government, influenced by the Communists, punished them in this way. During the war after Germany’s occupation of Denmark, the Danish government, in an effort to avoid universal conscription to the German army agreed to let Danish citizens join the newly created Frikorps Danmark. It is of course more complicated than this, as it always is, but this is the short version.

The character I wrote about in my first manuscript, survived the war and returned to Denmark where we leave him after receiving his jail sentence. I now wanted to continue the story after he was released and what he would do.

I was knee deep in research, really enjoying myself, coming up with sub plots for the east-west divide, the allies efforts to unite or disunite Germany, when out of nowhere. BAMM! A new idea hit.

The reason this new idea is so tempting, is that it lends itself perfectly to the NaNoWriMo challenge. It is fast paced, which is good for writing long stretches at the time and there is minimal research required which could otherwise create a stumbling block to the amount of words needed to be written in a short period.

I also decided to change direction, as I realised that I am loosing two full weekends in November, attending a course, which I know will leave me exhausted by the end of it, cutting out my Sunday writing which are usually enormous writing days.

So new direction, the historical novel sequel will have to wait, not forgotten, just on hold.

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Keeping Time – a sort of book review

I read The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom over the summer holidays. It was perfect timing as I felt that I wanted to slow down time to finish all my tasks for the coming school year and still have time to enjoy some rest and recreation.

I found this quote especially poignant:

‘Soon in every nation and in every language, time became the most precious commodity. And the desire for more became an endless chorus in Dor’s cave.’ (paperback ed. p 62).

Mitch Albom’s books always fascinates me. I tried to explain to my mum once that to enjoy his books, you have to believe that somewhere, somehow this could happen. It is similar to reading books by an other of my favourite authors Sarah Addison-Allen. You have to believe that a tree could possibly throw apples at you if it doesn’t like you. You have to live within the tale to enjoy it.

As a child reading and listening to fairy tales, my enjoyment rose from imagining myself inside these stories. Even if I no longer go that far in my imagination (damn you scientific knowledge), I can fool my brain enough to play with the thought that it might just be possible. Going into one of Albom’s books with a very scientific (dare I say square?) mind would not get you very far and probably leave you more frustrated than anything else.

Have you read any of his books? What did you think of them, or that sort of writing?

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