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Showing posts from November, 2013

gentle pursuits that bring a little happiness …

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I have been acutely aware this week that it is the little things that bring happiness.   Seeing a buzzard on the roadside eating its kill as I passed by in my car, after only seeing them through binoculars before.  So  much larger than I imagined, the colour of its feathers, more grey than brown, the huge golden eyes and the large, bloodied, hooked beak.  I felt a thrill, as always, when I see something wild, close at hand.  I have also seen a partridge, pheasant, tree-creeper and a multitude of magpies one for sorrow two for joy etc.Joining a friend’s  milestone birthday celebration with,a meal of hearty, home-cooked food – steak and kidney pie followed by treacle sponge and custard – put five very different women together and you get diverse conversation but always manage to find common ground.  One of these ladies had read my blog post which included the last few paragraphs of my draft novel – she related  it almost word-for-word to the others, who were rapt in their attention, I l…

the simple pleasures of a winter morning …

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Early morning sunshine on frosted fieldsPink clouds at sunriseA host of birds fluttering around the feeders demanding breakfastThe first real frost where plants droop their leaves and the lawn looks sugar coatedSaved only by the plucky pansies by the front doorflowering when nothing else dares

rambling on about … a soft kind of sunday …

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Finishing the novel and husband’s birthday called for a different kind of Sunday.A leisurely breakfast and a walk by the local reservoir followed by lunch with friends – a lot of laughs and a few glasses of ‘pop’.  Perfect.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day twenty three

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DAY TWENTY THREE - SATURDAYWords written today – 2,695Total words written – 50,559Words remaining – 0Days remaining – 8I HAVE FINISHED.  I AM BEREFT.  AS I TYPED THE LAST FEW WORDS – THE ENDING – I FELT A MIXTURE OF RELIEF, EXCITEMENT AND SADNESS – IT IS DONE – NOW I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE 25TH BEFORE I CAN LOG IN MY WORD COUNT.  PHEW! Below is the ending that I chose.I could hear Antaeus calling to me in the soft singing-sighing of the wind. I pushed it from my mind, refused to hear it. We went back inside the hut on the beach, and I saw the letter from my father propped up against a jam jar of dead flowers on the table. Jed asked me if I was going to read it, I said no, I knew what it said – I think I had all along. I knew my father believed that Aedre was my mother, she may well have been, but she wasn’t the woman that he believed she was. Somehow, in his befuddled, crazy mind he had believed it, wanted to believe it. He had spent the whole of his life believing it, waiting for her r…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day twenty two

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DAY TWENTY TWO - FRIDAYWords written today – 1,504Total words written – 47,864Words remaining – 2,136Days remaining – 9If there’s a bookthat you want to read,but it hasn’t been written yet,then you must write it.- Toni MorrisonWhen I started out on this journey I had a specific storyline in mind, but, as I continued writing, better ideas formed, and as I followed them through the original idea was mostly abandoned (maybe to be used another time).I would estimate that two thirds of what has been written will be discarded in the process of editing the draft.  I am sure nothing will be wasted, I like a lot of the bits that will be taken out, just not for this story.  So the second draft will feel like I am starting all over again.  When I have finished, possibly tomorrow, I’ll leave it alone for a while then come back to it with ‘fresh eyes’, re-read and flesh it out.You have to be in it for the long run when writing a novel – this is only the beginning.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day twenty one

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DAY TWENTY ONE - THURSDAYWords written today – 2,144Total words written – 46,360Words remaining – 3,640Days remaining – 10I have a couple more days to do before I finish.  Now I have to decide how I am going to end the novel.  I have one or two endings in mind – do I go for a happy ending or a tragic one or an open one.  I don’t just want it to fizzle out into nothing.  In the creative writing book that I keep referring to for inspiration it says:-The ending of a story has a great deal of work to do.  It must answer the main question posed by the beginning, satisfy the reader’s curiosity about the characters and their dilemmas, and create some emotional response.  Finally, the ending must provide a sense of completion, that the wheel has come full circle.My main character started out on her own, goes on a journey to find her true self, breaks a few hearts along the way and ………….should she decide it’s not too bad being on her own after all, or go all out to find someone to share her li…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey …day twenty

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DAY TWENTY - WEDNESDAYWords written today – 4,940Total words written – 44,216Words remaining – 5,784Days remaining – 11Phew!  A heavy writing day today, nearly 5,000 words – I am so chuffed with the progress I have made – as the days go on it does get a little easier.  I got a new idea this morning and just ran with it to see where is would lead – nearer to the finishing line – that’s where it lead.  Only a few thousand words left to go – at last the end seems possible.  It can’t come soon enough for me I feel I have been sitting on my backside typing since the world began.

rambling on about … getting back to normality …

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It seems ages since I did a normal post.  Regular readers will know that I have been concentrating on writing a draft novel for NaNoWriMo and removed the comment box so that I would have no distractions but I have certainly missed being in contact with everyone.  In between bouts of writing I have been working in the garden.  Last weekend we removed a Viburnam shrub that was threatening to take over the world – it was huge and, to be quite honest, dull.  The prunings filled two huge builders bags, you know the ones.  Now I have a massive space to fill.  Lurking at the back of the shrub was a climbing rose, on its last legs, due to lack of light, I cut it right down to the ground in the hope that it will  re-grow, fingers crossed.  Here are a few pictures I have taken this week:-The garden at last is beginning to show signs of autumn, it seems to have taken ages for the leaves to turn and fall, but a few colder days, stronger winds and a couple of frosts seem to have done the trick. I …

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day nineteen

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DAY NINETEEN - TUESDAYWords written today – 1,842Total words written – 39,276Words remaining – 10,724Days remaining – 12My writing time was limited today due to unforeseen circumstances  but I am heading into the homeward stretch now and starting to tie all the loose ends together  - this is the fun part where I can start playing with different scenarios to see what will be most satisfactory ending for each character’s story.  Only 12 more days to go – hopefully I will be finished in 5 if the writing gods are with me.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day eighteen

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DAY EIGHTEEN - MONDAYWords written today – 2,169Total words written – 37,434Words remaining – 12,566Days remaining – 13I finished my quota early today, the weather  was so bad and so Novemberish that this afternoon I just got stuck in and ignored the world outside.  Writing is like living in a parallel universe, you get so involved with the world you are creating that everything is forgotten and when you finish you come back to earth with a bump.  That is what is has been like today, I was completely involved and the time flew by, the words flowed and yet I can’t remember I thing I wrote.  Weird.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day seventeen

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DAY SEVENTEEN - SUNDAYWords written today – 2,019Total words written – 35,265Words remaining – 14,735Days remaining – 14I didn’t feel much like writing today.  I have had a busy weekend and worn myself out but if you miss a day it means there is a helluva lot of catching up to do, so I left the warmth of the fire and made my weary way upstairs and forced myself to switch the computer on and have managed another 2,000 words.  This morning I was laying in bed in that half-sleeping, half-waking state and decided  that I wasn’t going to end the novel the way I had planned originally, but I still have another fourteen thousand or so words to go before I reach that point.  If things go as well as they have been I should finish in another week, but I do need some good plot ideas to keep the story from becoming too predictable.  Come on brain – start earning your keep and come up with something original for the next part of the story – not tonight though, I am just too tired to think any more…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day sixteen

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DAY SIXTEEN - SATURDAYWords written today – 2,392Total words written – 33,246Words remaining – 16,754Days remaining – 15I wonder if anyone out there is reading this, without a comments box it is hard to tell, but I will carry on regardless.  I have been on fire today the story is taking shape nicely.  I have changed tactics a little by telling the story through the eyes of the characters involved, the same story each with a different viewpoint, and it seems to be working.  I achieved my daily word quota and more without any hesitation.  I am not sure where it is all coming from but it keeps on coming.Onward and upwards!

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day fifteen

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DAY FIFTEEN- FRIDAYWords written today – 2,056Total words written – 30,854Words remaining – 19,146Days remaining – 16This week has flown by.  After a shakey start my confidence returned and I have been averaging about 2,000 words a day, regardless of my despair at the beginning of the week I have stuck at it because I don’t want to fail – it is important to me to finish this project.  When it is over I have realised that I need to practice story writing more, even if it is only short stories – I have found my weak spots over the last couple of weeks, things that I really need to work on.  I also want to study some of my favourite books and see how they have been put together, and what it is about them that I enjoy.  I want to write a book that I would enjoy reading.  I read all the time, most of the books are average, but somewhere in all the dross a little gem pops up that captures my imagination – that is what I am aiming for – a dramatic and lyrical novel.  Maybe I won’t achieve it…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day fourteen

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DAY FOURTEEN - THURSDAYWords written today – 1,942Total words written – 28,024Words remaining – 21,976Days remaining – 17Another satisfactory days work today.  One step at a time not trying to look at the bigger picture just being involved in what I am writing as I am writing it.  The story is still in a bit of a jumble, but for the purposes of the competition I am carrying on without any revision, there just isn’t time to sit back and edit what I have already done.  That will come later – hopefully I will be able to make some sense of it all. Keeping focussed is hard and I am missing my blogging friends and because I am not allowing comments I do feel a little alone here, but I am sure you understand – if I get comments I will have to reply then visit blogs, and before I know where I am no writing will have been done – but I do miss you and look forward to the end of the month when I can re-join the blogging universe.During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The Natio…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day thirteen

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DAY THIRTEEN - WEDNESDAYWords written today – 2,469Total words written – 26,082Words remaining – 23,918Days remaining – 18YAY! I am past the half way mark – my slump is over, today my fingers have been flying across the keyboard as if they had wings.  I don’t know what happened, I had an epiphany and it has just started to come together as if by magic.  I am on the homeward stretch and I can’t tell you the relief I feel.  I was beginning to feel really stressed that it wasn’t going well – I just hope this buoyant feeling lastsDuring the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day twelve

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DAY TWELVE - TUESDAYWords written today – 1,764Total words written – 23,613Words remaining – 26,387Days remaining – 19I’m stuck.  I have run out of ideas.  I knew this would happen.  The story wasn’t clear enough in my head – I know how I want it to end – but getting there is harder than I thought.  I will just have to back track and fill in more detail until the words start to flow again.  Writing is like pulling each individual hair out of your head – it hurts.During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day eleven

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DAY ELEVEN - MONDAYWords written today – 2,134Total words written – 21,849Words remaining – 28,1511Days remaining – 20 I have added a few twists and turns to the storyline, now I have to concentrate on what I am going to do with them.  A Facebook friend asked if I will post some of my work – I felt like replying that what I have written is a pile of garbage and not worth publication of any kind yet.Shall I give you a sample paragraph?“Before he opened the door he peered through the grime on the left hand window. It showed a sofa, a bed, a table and  two chairs. The place looked as though the old woman had just left it; her cup and plate on the table and the bed unmade. The other window revealed a small kitchen area with a water heater on the wall, and an ancient two ring gas stove beside a small chipped sink, there were no other conveniences which would have made life a little easier. He turned the key in the lock, it was stiff from disuse, he put his shoulder to the swollen door to o…

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day ten

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DAY TEN - SUNDAYWords written today – 2,181Total words written – 19,715Words remaining – 30,285Days remaining – 21 I have made life difficult for myself, I am working on four intertwined stories simultaneously, trying not to lose track of who is doing what with whom and where.  I should have devised a card index system before I started, to keep tabs on everyone, but didn’t, as I was in such a hurry to get the words down. I think I am my own worst enemy.  Lesson learned.During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day nine

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DAY NINE - SATURDAYWords written today – 2,113Total words written – 17,534Words remaining – 32,466Days remaining – 22I have bits of story all over the place as new ideas occur I rush to put them on paper – there are threads of the story hanging in limbo waiting to be joined.  A novel in chaos.During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.

rambling on about … my novel writing journey … day eight

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DAY EIGHT - FRIDAYWords written today – 1,891Total words written – 15,421Words remaining – 34,579Days remaining – 23During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.I’m stuck – I am not writing a crime novel, yet a crime has been committed which I didn’t intend.  Now I am frantic because I don’t know how to get out of it.  Each solution I come up with seems implausible – how I wish I had paid more attention when watching police drama on the t.v. – I struggle to find a way out of the situation I have got my characters into – where are the decent god-fearing people when you need them.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about …my novel writing journey …day seven

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DAY 7 - THURSDAYWords written today – 2,149Total words written – 13,530Words remaining – 36,470Days remaining – 24During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.The best thing about finishing the days writing quota is doing the word count and logging in at the NaNoWriMo site to register the days work.  Then printing out the pages you have typed you re-read what has been written, maybe it’s not as bad as you thought – it may not be perfect, it wasn’t meant to be, it is, after all, a rough draft.  Then as you slip the pages into the folder you allow yourself a small smile and do it all over again tomorrow.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about …my novel writing journey …day six

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DAY SIX - WEDNESDAYWords written today:  1869Total words written:  11,381Words remaining:  38,619Days remaining:  25During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.Self-doubt is creeping in.  Things are not going as well as I would like.  I am not writing the novel I wanted to write.  I am disappointed with myself – I know I can do better.  If I saw this novel in a bookshop I would glance at the back cover, the put it back on the shelf.  Is there enough time left to scrap it and start again.  I think not. Damn. Oh well.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about . . . my novel writing journey . . . day five

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DAY FIVE - TUESDAYWords written today:  1672Total words written:  9512Words remaining:  40,488Days remaining:  26During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.Oh dear, the main character seems to have run out of steam for the moment – it seems she has had a change of plan, but she hasn’t let me know what it is yet.  So I am introducing a new character that I hadn’t planned on just to keep the story moving forward.  I think I will call him Gerald.Onwards and upwards!

rambling on about . . . my novel writing journey . . . day four

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DAY FOUR - MONDAYWords written today:  1758Total words written:  7840Words remaining:  42,160Days remaining:  27During the month of November, whilst I am joining in with The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) attempting to write a 50,000 word draft novel, I will be posting about my progress (or not) every day.  I have removed the comment box so as not to have too many distractions, but will switch it back on again at the end of the month, when, hopefully, I will have completed my mission.After my writing session last night I went straight to bed.  All the concentrating and staring at a screen is very tiring.  I slept like a baby and dreamed vivid dreams – in fact, I dreamed a whole storyline.  This morning it had all vanished with only a trace left behind.  Darn – why does that always happen?  After such a busy night of dreaming I felt wrecked when I eventually woke so I took myself out for a briskish walk in the early morning sun, thinking about how I would carry on my story.  …

rambling on about . . . my novel writing journey . . . day three

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DAY THREE - SundayWords written today:  1781Words remaining:  43918Days remaining:  28Had a good session this evening. I seem to write better when it is dark.Just me, a lamp and a computer. I close my eyes, think hard, and type.It took two hours to write my quota.I am happy – will it last?

rambling on about . . . my novel writing journey . . .

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DAY ONE  - FridayWords: 1607Words to go:  48393Days to go: 29Just for a bit of fun for those of you who are interested I shall be posting a daily progress report on my novel writing journey.  The comments box will be turned off until the last day on 30th November.  Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good. Wm FaulknerOn Friday evening I wrote the first 1600 words of the draft of my novel. On Saturday  morning I deleted it all. This does not bode well.DAY TWO - Saturday Words:  4031Words to go:  45969Days to go:  28After deleting everything I had written the night before I was beginning to panic – so I sat myself down re-read all my notes – and started again.  It worked.

rambling on about . . . this week in pictures . . .

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I haven’t had much time to visit any blogs this week – for which I apologize – I have taken a few photos though which I thought I would share with you. The Rosebank GardenFallen leavesPastoral sceneMain Street paved in goldFungi (or is it fungus)Using up the last of the courgettes and tomatoesBottlingFinished product – RatatouilleHope you have a good weekend – I shall be busy writing.