Monday, November 30, 2009

Nanowrimo Wrap-up Week Four

Keeping it simple at the moment, because it feels like bits of my brain are crumbling off like wet cake (thanks, Bernard Black). I am making good progress with the revisions, but there is SO MUCH to do, and a lot of client work on top of it, that I am going slightly mad. The cold weather doesn't help. Curse you, Christchurch weather! Curse you!

Anyway, on to more important things. Congratulations to you all! So many of you have won Nanowrimo, and I hope you are feeling suitably impressed with yourselves. I only made it to 42,000 this year, but I'm actually feeling pretty happy with that.

I am so sorry everyone, but I am swamped with work this week and don't have time to go through and list links as usual, although I have been following your progress. Instead (if you would like), please leave a comment saying whether you finished Nanowrimo, and how you feel about your end result and the experience in general! If you would like to post a link to one of your blog posts, please do so. As the comments come in, I will transfer them to the main body of this post, so that everyone can read your thoughts here. Thanks, and congratulations again!

The full list of group participants is here.
Amber Lough

I technically have an hour left, but I couldn't possibly write any more. I made it to 33K words. I'm pretty happy about it, even though I didn't "win." Without NaNo, I wouldn't have written nearly as much this month. I discovered that when I really mean to, I can write and write and write, even if I don't "feel like it."

Yay everyone!

Now I'm going to sleep.........


This is my first year ever doing NaNoWriMo.........and I WON!! I'm so proud of myself, because I was able to prove to myself that just because I am a 14 year old high school student in small-town-nowhere doesn't mean I can't do things.

I've never written so much in my life, and I think I could probably fly right now!


I'm still a bit amazed that I actually finished this year. Well done for getting as far as you did with so much other stuff on your plate - I had nothing to do but write and I still didn't make the 50,000 until the 29th!


I made it to 50K, and I'm so proud of myself. I had such a fabluous time. Thanks Andrea ^_^. And I'm not stopping either. I've started spell/grammar checking and plan to do corrections in Jan.


I only made it to 14,000, but I feel that it has given me a good inroad into what writing fiction entails. I've managed to work in writing times into my everyday life and so on. I think that I have a good base to move on from! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Juli Ryan

I made it to 50K, and I had a great time. Now I'm going to print out my book and leave it in a drawer for a while. Thank you for inspiring me to try this challenge, and for organizing the NaNoWriMo group. I learned that I can write a little bit every day and make lots of progress. I can't wait to do it again next year. Loads of fun!


I have to say that when I got to 25,000 words (it might have been earlier than that, even), I already felt proud of myself - it's 25,000 words I hadn't written before, and a start of something that I might want to revisit next month or next year. All word counts, I think, are impressive.

That said, I am amazed that I won. It feels wonderful to have 50,000 words of this novel written and I have continued to add to my word count, hoping to reach 100,000 words by the end of December.

More than word count, though, NaNoWriMo snapped some of my bad habits out my writing day - the words come much easier now that I'm not constantly in "must edit it all" mode.

Thank you, Andrea, for organizing this group, and for all the inspiration you all have provided. Can't wait til next November!

Lola Sharp

Yes, I "won", and am's over! ;o)

Okay, seriously, I am excited to have completed the word count goal in 30 days, but now I can write "properly" ( and fix my "cheats").

By that I mean:
I can take the time needed to fill in with research, proper time lines, flesh the plot lines out, and make sure they collide properly... and just generally "pretty it up" that one has no time to do when churning/speed writing.

I can fill in my "cheat-ish" drop downs.

This began as my usual genre of literary fiction, but quickly evolved into a political suspense/thriller. Which I have never attempted before, nor ever wished to, but my characters took over and had put me through hell. I know nothing, zero, zip of computer technology, the CIA, real governmental politics,stalkers, the secret service, gun laws by state, privacy laws, spyware, or the Patriot Act. But that's where the story went. And so my time spent yesterday at the library was lengthy.
I am also quite sure that I am now "flagged" by some US govt. task force that watches for people checking out the types of books I needed to check out...which would be ironic, since that is not too distant from how things got rolling downhill in my novel. Life imitating art imitating life. Or something like that.
(Of course, their time would be far better served watching out for who is actually invited to attend their White House parties and other such minor details.)
Anyway, more on my writing escapades on my blog.

Let's get to the fun stuff...

CONGRATS to ALL of YOU who either WON, or at least feel good about how far you did get and what you learned in the process!!! Woot Woot!!

To the 14 year old ( sorry, I forget your name, but I enjoyed checking your blog out)--CONGRATS! Muchos Awesomeness!!! On top of school and homework and keeping up a blog...totally rocks. I hope you have a lit teacher giving you school credit for accomplishing this major feat.

Andrea, Congrats on hitting such a high word count on top of all your other tasks, projects and deadlines. And for still finding time to shower, dress so adorably and look so darn cute. Not to mention posing and posting a photo daily for us. (some days I'm lucky if I get a shower or even get out of my sweats when I am on deadlines. I'm guessing no one wants to see me post those daily photos. eeek)

Lastly, I invite everyone who is planning on continuing their Nano-WIP and polishing it for publication, to please leave a message on my blog so I can link us and we can all make sure to keep up with each others progress, cheer each other on.

Much Love,


I made it to a little over 40,000 officially, but to over 48,000 in actuality. The last time I went to upload my numbers, even though they showed time on the clock, they had disabled the upload. Still, I am thrilled with either result, and did not think I would even get that far. It was a great experience, and I am looking forward to the next round. Thanks very much for hosting this group!


4,200 words.

I'm not upset, life happens.

resolute twig

I also made it to 50k and I am really excited. This is the longest piece of writing i have ever done. Now I just need to finish the story!
It's also great to have completed a goal, something that I really wanted to do, but that at times felt completely out of reach.
Thanks for introducing me to NaNoWriMo!


I actually won, although I was shocked I did. I spent most of the month fearing I would not finish. Anyhow, I am happy with what I wrote, even if it is hack work that needs a lot of reworking! Anyone wanting more details can read my post on it.


I was right on track with my word count until my husband arrived in Germany and spent my birthday and Thanksgiving with me here. I wrote exactly zero words for each day that he was with me. But we're spending this year apart and I didn't mind for a second giving his visit my full attention.

So I finished NaNoWriMo with a word count of 32, 646. I am very happy with that though. I may not have won by reaching the 50k word count goal, but I now have about 63 pages of single spaced narrative and a really exciting story idea that I will by no means abandon now that the month is over. NaNoWriMo and the support of other writers (such as all the great people in this group) really inspired me to do something I never thought I'd have the time or ability to do.

Valerie Storey

Hi Everyone! Late as usual. I work fulltime and I write fulltime so it is difficult for me to comment as much as I would like. Congratulations to Nanowrimo winners--and even if you didn't make 50K, no matter, you have a new story to keep working on and that's what really matters. Two things I got out of this year's Nano: 1. I want to turn my story into something very experimental with collaged artwork, even if it's just for me, and 2. I love to write more than I thought I loved to write. Going to my story every day was a pleasure not a chore. Maybe because I didn't care or think about "the market." It was fun to think of writing with you all too. If anyone would like to link up to my blog, I would be very happy to list you there. Yesterday I put up a "revising Nano ms." post that you might find helpful. Keep writing! Thinking of you all even if I'm a lousy commenter. And Thank You!!


Thank you everyone for inspiring me - a special thanks to "chic" for introducing me to NaNoWriMo via her blog and to Andrea for letting me be a last minute participant in the group. I'm new to NaNoWriMo and to blogging in general so this has been a great experience overall. Congratulations to all who won! How fantastic to finish. I didn't make it but loved the experience and will repeat next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tattoo Dragon symbolism

What is the symbolism that is associated with dragon tattoos? Within history, dragons are portrayed as the most powerful creatures that could not be slain and have been portrayed breathing fire for centuries. Although mythical, the creatures are portrayed as just as strong and therefore they have become a popular tattoo for men seeking a piece of art which can be placed on the body to signify the power which is associated with these types of tattoos. Although they can be portrayed alone on the body, there are certain tattoos which can be portrayed with the use of entire pieces that can be displayed on the chest, as well as the arms and even the back. There are many popular choices which can be made through the choice of the tattoo including fire, caves and even medieval themes. Other choices for these types of tattoos can include dragons in battle and even dragons which are intertwined in battle. Through these types of tattoos there are many men that choose to have the dragons displayed alone on the body.
dragon tattoos
There are many types of dragons which are portrayed on the body. These can include the tribal art which is created in the form of dragon tattoos. These pieces of tribal art can be portrayed through the use of dark colors and can be used to display the strength that is associated with the type of tattoo. Through the use of these dragon tattoos, the individual can help to display the inner power that they have demonstrated through their lifetime.

Choose a dragon tattoo that comes in a variety of colors if you are seeking intricate bright and vivid designs that can make a statement and a dark and muted tribal dragon tattoo if you are seeking something less colorful that makes just as large of a statement.

tattoo4art suport ngobrol seputar bisnis online

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nanowrimo Round-up Week Three

Yesterday I spent the day with Laurel from Ooh La La Vintage - it started with brunch at the Honeypot Cafe, continued with a Magical Mystery Tour of all the best vintage shops and thrift stores of central Christchurch, and ended with a glass of wine in a pavement cafe by the river! So much fun. These pictures were taken in the 'retro room' of one of the thrift stores - a cupboard-sized space stuffed with 'retro' clothing of dubious origin. I've never had much luck in there, but it's so much fun to crawl right in and rummage.

I'm still mooching along with my Nanowrimo novel, but an influx of client work and the revisions on Actual Book that Needs to Go to Agent in December (working title) have been eating up most of my time. Excuses, excuses! In reality, I could make time to catch up on my word count, but at the moment it is more important to me to make steady progress and not become too stressed. Particularly since a cold is hovering at my writing desk, threatening to descend and fill my head with glutinous goo.

Here's this week's A Cat of Impossible Colour Nanowrimo Round-up! As always, please don't be offended if you are not featured - I choose posts that I think will appeal to the largest number of people, and I read all your Nano reports with pleasure. Go here for the full list of participants.
  • Sara shares one of her Polyvore sets and explains the inspiration behind it. She has made some gorgeous ones for the different characters in her novel - check out the Polyvore group to see them!
  • Kate discusses the importance of the reader when writing memoir.
  • Andrea is debating whether to take a different direction with her novel.
  • Lola talks about plot snags and procrastination.
  • This isn't exactly Nano-related, but huge congratulations to Teresa, whose short story In a Seaside Cafe was one of the thirteen winners of the Bridport Prize. This is a really big deal, a prestigious award, and a huge achievement. Well done!
  • Valerie has posted yet another great list of writing prompts to take your story in crazy directions and save your sanity. If you feel like you're stuck in a rut, check them out! (And if you're really, really stuck, start a chapter with 'And then the aliens arrived,' and see what happens).
  • Susie is looking for a name for her female main character - see if you can help her out.
  • Priscilla shares her Nanowrimo playlist.

And today's Nanowrimo challenge: list three to five things that you LOVE about your book. The things that make you want to keep going. Go!

(And here are mine:

Living graffiti
Creepy moments with dead animals left on doorsteps (I'm not as evil as I sound, I promise)
Reverse empaths
A really bizarre love story
The setting, which I'm too superstitious to describe).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Henna Hand Tattoo Design

tattoo comes from the henna plant (Lawsonia inernis), Ground and the plants will produce a powder mixed with oil mehdi. To be able to produce Henna tattoo. Henna tattoo art comes from the Middle East. Henna tattoo is temporary rather than permanent

Henna Hand Tattoo Design
Henna Hand Tattoo DesignHenna Hand Tattoo Design

Henna Hand Tattoo DesignHenna Hand Tattoo Design
Henna Hand Tattoo Design

Shiny New Thing

Thank you to all of you who let me know that I had been featured on the Queens of Vintage Top 100 list - I was so thrilled to see it! I love Queens of Vintage, and feel very honoured to be a part of their feature.

An idea for a new book has been percolating in the back of my mind for a while. Yesterday, when I was mired in a particularly difficult writing moment, it started tap-dancing in my forebrain. "Look at me! Look at me!" It was Shiny. It was New. It was much more exciting than what I was working on. So I did look at it. And, naturally, I became completely distracted - I created a new folder on my computer, wrote reams of notes and started writing the first chapter. It was only when I had written 2,500 words that I realised I had been seduced by its Shiny Newness and had completely abandoned poor little Current Book. Whoops!

All books begin as Shiny New Ideas. There's nothing wrong with them. I think, however, that the key is to finish what you're working on first, and to dangle the new thing in front of yourself like a carrot, to give you an incentive. And, of course, the Shiny New Thing will become a Tedious Fatiguing Thing at some point, too, and up will pop a new idea. The cycle continues.

This post was just going to be about Shiny New Ideas, but I actually thrifted something shiny and new (to me) this afternoon, on the way back from visiting my nephew - an emerald-green satin 1950s cocktail dress! So gorgeous, I can't wait to show it to you.

In other news, I went to visit my friend Christina's new bunny rabbit yesterday. His name is Brett - they have a cat called Murray, so there's a bit of a theme developing. Isn't he cute?

Band meeting!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nanowrimo Week Two Wrap-up

Hello, everyone!

I am still dreadfully behind on word count: I have only written about 15,000 words. I actually feel pretty good about this, however, and I am planning to have a dramatic writing frenzy one day this week to bring myself up to where I should be.

This is the stage of Nanowrimo where you usually have to stop and take stock of the material you have before moving forwards. At the start of the month, you create characters and storylines with gay abandon, throwing everything you can think of into the mix. In the middle stages, however, it is difficult to carry on with your story if you don't know where you're going. The middle can be a dreary drudgery, as you work out the logistics of your plot and sub-plots, but it can also be very satisfying. You might be surprised at how coherent your story is; unexpected connections may appear.

If you do find yourself feeling a bit jaded, this post from Laini Taylor will help you to fall back in love with your idea. One of Laini's tips is to write a list of all the reasons why your story is cool (because you tend to forget these things when you're wading through the mire). Does your story have time travel? A knee-weakeningly handsome male lead? Cats with wings? A really fantastic action scene? Anything at all. Write all these things down, and read them through. It will help to re-ignite some of that initial excitement.

Time for the round-up! Again, please do not be offended if you were not featured. I try to single out blog posts that I think will appeal to most people, but I had great fun reading through all of your blogs. For the full list of group members, and links to their blogs, go here.
  • Mercurie has written a great post about Nanowrimo, pointing out that a lot of the pulp writers of the mid-20th century wrote their novels in a month.
  • Vikki raised a concern that I think most of us will have faced at some point - how big an influence other writing has over our own.
  • Andrea is doing some really fascinating research for her novel.
  • Cyn introduces one of her characters - a receptionist.
  • Ashley Louise has posted a short story on her blog. Here's part one and part two.
  • Kate talks about the difficulties of writing an emotionally draining section of the novel which deals with horror and death. I struggled with this in both my last novels - The Cry of the Go-Away Bird is set during the farm invasions in 1990s Zimbabwe, and The White Shadow (working title) was set during the atrocities of Rhodesia's Bush War in the 1970s.
  • Valerie provides a great list of Nanowrimo writing prompts.
  • Snidder stays positive even while stuck!
  • Priscilla recommends some excellent books on writing that will help provide some Nanowrimo inspiration. Bird by Bird is definitely one I read and re-read.
  • Amber talks about overcoming negative self-talk, the importance of finishing, and the guilt that can come with writing something that isn't 'literary' (at least in the traditional sense).
I'd like to ask everyone in the group to share a short excerpt from any part of your novel - either in the comments here or on your own blog (if you choose to do it on your blog, please provide a link in the comments!), if you feel comfortable doing so . I know that the excerpts will be rough and unedited - that's the whole point of Nanowrimo! - but it would be so exciting to get a taste of what everyone is working on.

Here's mine:
If I can create something, can I destroy it as well?

The baby rabbit stares at me with blank eyes. Its delicate, furred ears are flat on its back, its nose is twitching and soft. It scrabbles at my hand with tiny paws. In a sense, I am its grandfather.

I will its nostrils to close. Its tiny mouth opens in a pleading triangle. I can hear the rasp of its tongue against its front teeth, and I force its mouth closed and watch in interest as it struggles for breath. It kicks against my hands and squirms with surprising strength. It takes all of my strength to hold onto it.

I can feel the softness of its fur between my hands. I stroke it as I watch it die. The urgency in its eyes becomes resignation, then a greasy film. I can feel the life leaving its body. When it has drained, I let the rabbit drop to the ground.

Now it is just an object, like a discarded glove or an old shoe. I feel mild interest, nothing more. The other rabbits are seemingly oblivious to the fact that I have just killed one of their brothers – or sisters? I don’t know. I watch them chewing the grass. In the stormy light, it is an unnatural blue-green.

I hear something, a voice, so quiet that I am sure I have imagined it.

(I just wanted to say thanks as well to Chantele of Daisy Dayz and Reachel of Cardigan Empire for featuring me on their blogs today. It was very sweet of you both!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogger Fanatic Tattoo

If you are a blogger fanatic, this might be the choice for your tattoo design. Or the inspiration for your tattoo art lover. Tattoo with designs that take inspiration from the blogger, Blogspot or Wordpress. They were fanatical bloggers, who put it in the form of tattoo art.
Blogger Fanatic Tattoo
Blogger Fanatic Tattoo
Blogger Fanatic Tattoo
Blogger Fanatic Tattoo
Blogger Fanatic Tattoo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pampering your subconscious

Last night I went to the Christchurch launch of Rachael King's Magpie Hall. I finished the book this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it! If you like Victorian Gothic novels, tattoos, taxidermy and cabinets of curiosities, you'll love this book. And I got a free magpie tattoo, which I wore today as my tribute to the book's great cover.

In her talk last night, Rachael spoke about 'pampering your subconscious.' This really struck a chord with me - possibly since I have been semi-torturing my subconscious lately, with all the churning-out of words. I think this is another way of expressing Julia Cameron's idea of 'filling the well.' As writers, we are constantly dipping our little (battered, leaky) buckets down into the well of our unconscious mind and pulling up stories. If we do this often enough, however, without putting anything back into the well, we are eventually going to run dry. It is easy to dismiss that part of our mind, or abuse it, treating it as a story-telling machine that must do our bidding, but our subconscious is one of our most powerful tools: it writes our books far more than our conscious mind does (although the conscious mind goes to town in the editing stage). It definitely needs some love and pampering.

And here are some of the ways in which I think you can do it:


Also known as puttering, pottering, faffing, fluffing and pootling about. Letting your mind wander where it pleases. As a writer, you need to spend a lot of time daydreaming. Think of it as brewing ideas, if that makes you feel less guilty for sitting and 'doing nothing.'

Pursuing what interests you

It can seem self-indulgent to spend an afternoon reading about cigars, or taxidermy (I have it on the brain at the moment after finishing Magpie Hall), or twelfth-century China, or Communism, or tea-cups, or whatever your current obsession may be. You might ask yourself (or unkind people might ask you) what the point of this knowledge is, aside from the fact that it makes you happy. Well, you never know when a piece of information or a remembered image will pop up in your writing. Your subconscious mind knows what it's doing. You are interested in this subject for a reason, and by giving in to your desire to pursue it, you are filling your well with colour, imagery, new words and knowledge that will be useful later on.

Immersing yourself in the world

I go stir-crazy sometimes, and can't see anything outside my own little world. When that happens, I grab my notebook and go somewhere. Anywhere. Wherever appeals. Sometimes it is into the city, to sit in a cafe and people-watch. Sometimes it is to the park, or the beach. Writing is an art form that requires all of the senses, and you need to give those senses something new to chew on sometimes.

Making creative surroundings

Or, as my husband would call it, 'collecting piles of random junk.' Having physical objects that reflect the ideas in your head is a great way to inspire your subconscious. Collect things that speak to you, whether they be objects, quotations, pictures ... anything at all. Surround yourself with these things. It may be that no one else will understand why you want a handful of old typewriter keys, a box of crayons and an old photograph of some mysterious, unnamed Victorian. It doesn't matter. You will know.


I am a huge advocate for naps. I suggest them as cures for all sorts of things: hangovers, writer's block, heartbreak, indigestion, tax bills. They are also a wonderful way to refresh your mind. They give you a break from the endless mental chitter-chatter, circular thinking, mild paranoia and base-level anxiety that is a part of every day (in my world, at least), and leave room for other things - like ideas - to float to the surface.

Have you got any more tips for giving your subconscious mind a good pampering?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nanowrimo Update

Apologies for the hiatus! I have had an exceedingly busy couple of days that involved meetings, writing, more meetings, vast and mighty amounts of laundry, and building shelves with my BARE HANDS (from a kit set. I am very impressed with myself), and Life overwhelmed other, more interesting things. Back now, though. Nanowrimo took a bit of a beating over the last couple of days, too - oops. I have only just hit the 11,000-word mark today.

You may, like me, be feeling a slight waning of enthusiasm at the moment. Is it really worth it? Have you bitten off more than you can chew? Can you ever catch up?

Well, of course you have bitten off more than you can chew. That's the whole idea. I can tell you from experience, though, that the feeling of printing out your work at the end of the month is absolutely worth it. Printing it out makes it real. A concrete, physical thing exists that would not exist (and possibly never would have existed) if you hadn't spent November 2009 doing this crazy, glorious thing.

Of course, distractions start to emerge at this point, too.

"I'm so behind with my word count. I'll never catch up."

I'm behind too! And feeling wonderfully relaxed about it. That is what all-nighters are for. Book a couple in for later in the month - and be sure to plan for pizza and wine (or the like). If you have a friend who lives nearby and is doing Nanowrimo as well, do it together.

Don't worry if you are behind. That is absolutely fine. You will catch up. You will!

"Maybe I should be working on something else. I had this brilliant idea ..."

Ah, the siren call of the New and Shiny Idea. It seems like a much better idea than the one you pledged your undying (or rather, month-long) loyalty to last week. It is curvaceous and sparkly and glamorous and full of exciting, untapped potential. I understand. I am willing to nod and smile sympathetically as you tell me what a wonderful idea this is. And then I am going to tell you to write the idea down in a notebook and tackle it some other time, when you have finished the Nanowrimo book that you started. Your job is to finish this draft and develop this idea, not to express every thought and idea you have ever had. Or ever will have. Trust me. Love the one you're with.

I probably wouldn't give you the same advice quite so quickly if you weren't doing Nanowrimo - but, even when writing novels is your job, these seductive little critters come along and try to distract you. Yes, sometimes your work-in-progress is going nowhere and never will and you should abandon it. But this is so rare. And it's dangerous to give into this feeling in the first draft, I think, because it's easy to misinterpret 'this is difficult' as 'this is not worth pursuing.'

"Wait, I've just figured out this important plot point. I should go back and change everything that I have written so that it fits in with the change."


"But ..."


"But I need to ..."

You can do it later. Finish the damn book. FINISH THE DAMN BOOK. Write those four works on a post-it and stick it to your screen. This is your mantra. When November is over you can spend all the time you like fiddling about with your plot and characters and semi-colons. Right now, all you need to do is write that idea down in a notebook with a big sign saying 'DO THIS LATER,' and carry on.

"Andrea, you're mean."

Yes. Yes I am.

Good luck, everyone! I am a bit behind on responding to comments, and I still haven't caught up with everyone's Polyvore creations. I'm looking forward to doing that tomorrow, though, and featuring some of them on the blog.

Friday, November 6, 2009


We spent the day in the country with my mum and her husband, and now I am dreaming about farmhouse kitchens, fresh-laid eggs and vegetable gardens. Idyllic! I would go completely mad living in the country, I know, but I can't wait until we own our own place in the city and I can keep chickens again.

I have just started my Nanowrimo work for the day. I love how putting a book together feels like doing a jigsaw puzzle (for me, anyway): you find a bit of blue sky, a piece of someone's face, perhaps a hand or a window, and you start making these disconnected images into something coherent (helped along by those all-important corner and side pieces - the ones that give the whole thing shape). I hardly ever write chronologically. For me, it is as if the whole story exists somewhere already, and I'm uncovering it bit by bit, scene by scene, in no particular order, until the whole thing is revealed.

How do you write? Chronologically, or with a jigsaw method like mine? Or some other way entirely?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nanowrimo Week One Wrap-up

6 Nov 09
The time has come (the Walrus said) for the first of my Friday Nanowrimo posts! I've really enjoyed this first week - reading about your experiences, reading your first paragraphs and your main character names. I have been through all your blogs and picked out a few posts that I think the rest of the group will find interesting or helpful (please don't be offended if you are not featured - I chose things that I thought would appeal to most people or that struck my fancy, and there are more Friday posts coming during the month!).

For the full list of group members, go here.

Nanowrimo Round-up

I am so impressed with all of you. This is not an easy thing you have taken on, and you should be proud with your progress, however many words you have written. I'm a bit behind, I'm afraid, and have only written 7,000 words so far, but I'm very happy with the direction in which it's going. One of the best things about Week One is just sitting back and watching the stuff that comes out of your head. It's amazing what we manage to cram in there, and what chooses to pop out during November. Whether it's drivel or complete brilliance, you should feel proud - no one else could write the novel you are writing, and, if you had not taken on this challenge, those pages of prose might never have existed at all. You are pulling ideas and characters out of the cluttered attic in your head, and making them real. We are the only animals that can do that. And I think it's pretty cool.

If you would like to share your first-week experiences or any links that you have found interesting or helpful, please do so in the comments. And now for this weekend's challenge for the group members! I have borrowed Valerie's idea, and created a Polyvore group. If you would like to take part, join up and create a collage that reflects your Nanowrimo novel, and post it to the group. I'm looking forward to doing this one! And, of course, I'll post some of my favourite collages on the blog next week.

P.S. There are already some fantastic sets in the Polyvore group! You guys are great. I've uploaded mine, now, too.
P.P.S. For those of you who have asked, I don't have a title yet, unfortunately, but my novel is turning out to be sort-of-New-Zealand-based, neo-Victorian steampunk with cyber-athletes, living graffiti, parasitic parallel worlds, possessed trains and rabbits with no eyes. Naturally.

Celebrate good times come on

It has been a tricky week for me, for various reasons, and I have been feeling very down. Today things are looking brighter, however - hooray! To celebrate, I wore one of my very favourite vintage dresses this afternoon.

A few congratulatory messages are in order today!

My friend and mentor (and agent buddy - as in, we share an agent, rather than one of us being a secret agent of some kind) Rachael King's new novel Magpie Hall is now available in New Zealand. Described as a 'modern-day ghost story with a twist', Magpie Hall "explores the fleshly taboo around class and tattoos in the Victorian era; the intimacy and atavistic nature of a marriage and contemporary relationships; the potentially obsessive/ compulsive behaviour of collecting flora, fauna (and other things) that can decimate native species and ruin lives."

Another lovely mentor and friend, Coral Atkinson, has just released her Young Adult novel, Copper Top. It tells the story of orphaned, red-headed Irish immigrant Aisling Lynch, who searches the goldfields for her missing brother Tim and friend Rory. I love the fresh, generous approach Coral took when it came to publishing this book. She is a tutor of the Whitireia Post-graduate Diploma in Book Publishing (which is how I met her - I took the course in 2007), and she worked with four students to take the manuscript all the way through the publishing process - from editing and typesetting to production and publicity.

And, on a different note, LOML's brother and his wife have just had their first baby: Thomas Owen. He was born three weeks ago, but I didn't want to announce it on the blog until I was sure that all the family had heard about it through the normal channels (nothing worse than someone stealing your exciting-news thunder!). I am extremely excited to be an auntie, although I still have no idea how to hold a baby properly. And probably never will.

P.S. Whopping-Great-Mother-of-a-Nanowrimo post is coming tomorrow, as I feature some of the participants and open up the comments for discussion - be warned! Alert the media.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pardon my gormless expression ... (and today's Nanowrimo request)

... but it is apparently the expression one has after getting only a couple of hours' sleep and then working on Nanowrimo, novel revisions and a big client job simultaneously. I might be slightly incoherent.

I am terribly behind with replying to comments, and I'm very sorry - I'll catch up with them as soon as I can.

I loved reading all the first paragraphs from my Nanowrimo group - there is such a great mix of genres and ideas. I would love to learn one of your main character's names today, what it means, and how you chose it.

Here's one of mine:

Merril - from Merle, meaning falcon - a captive bird of prey that hunts for its owner. I chose her name instinctively, and only discovered the meaning afterwards. It pleased my writerly brain that it was strangely appropriate; Merril is an assassin in someone else's employ.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

P.S. Goodness, that was rambling. Sorry about that.

Nanowrimo: group is super-duper closed now

Hi everyone! Just a quick announcement: I let a few latecomers sneak into the Nanowrimo group today (welcome Surya, Snidder and Priscilla!), but I'm afraid that I'm not going to add anyone else this month. It just becomes too hard for me to keep track of everyone - particularly when it comes to reading all the participants' blogs for my Friday posts.

Good luck, everyone! I hope it's going well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

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