Is it too early to say Merry Christmas? I know many people who were already fully decked out for the festive period by mid-november. I probably would have too if it wasn’t for late November birthdays. Instead I am only just in the midst of putting up the decorations —Why does it take a week to put them up and three hours to pull them all down?— and panicking that I still have all of the shopping and gift buying to do.

Anyhow, I thought I’d do a recap of November, namely my NaNoWriMo journey, which took a rather large detour this year. The aim of National Novel Writing Month is to, no surprise, write a novel. There are no prizes as such, it’s more of a personal achievement, one I’ve managed to complete the last two years but, as we all know, 2020 is a beast of a year and nothing seems to go to plan.

I had way too much on my plate already, added to that a lack of creativity that I’ve been carrying around for most of the year, and 50k words was way out of reach. I started strong but, as it got closer to my daughter’s birthday, I began to loose my way. In the UK we were in the midst of a second national lockdown. It’s hard for anyone to have a birthday during these times, but it’s horrible for the kids, especially when it falls on a weekend and you only have your mom and dad for company. So, I made it my mission to make it as special a day as possible. This ended up with me taking a few days away to plan a few activities and bake a cake I knew she would love.

Among Us cake

I finished November having written 28,499 words and I am in no way upset at that. I am halfway through this particular project and I got to
spend time with my family, win-win in my eyes.

It wasn’t just NaNoWriMo that I was involved with during November. The first was the Indie Fire Writers Conference, which took place on the 28th November. Early in the month I pre-recorded a panel discussion about plot and structure, which was massively insightful and a great eye opener into the processes of authors who are much further into their writing journeys than myself.

On the 28th, I took part in a live recording of the Unstopp­able Authors podcast. It was really good fun, discussing all different elements of world building and researching, which is one of the parts of writing that I love. You can listen below, or head to Unstoppable Authors Facebook Page to watch the live recording.

The most recent event I took part in was a book launch for Ally Aldridge and her debut novel, Ocean Heart. We did a live interview/author chat with ElexisBell, Nicola Hebron and Holly Lyne on YouTube and, again, a lot of fun and laughs were had as we talked everything from world building to book boyfriends, of which I have many.

Moving forwards onto December, I feel like a need to step back a little from social media in order to make a few decisions and plans for 2021. I will still do the odd Instagram post, and also my regular blog posts, but after the year we’ve had, I just want to enjoy some family time and perhaps rediscover my writing mojo.

Something I do really want to start in the new year is a regular newsletter, which will be full of news, updates and exclusive content. You can sign up below so you are there from the start!

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Just like last month, before I head off, I want to let you know about a brand new release that will blow your socks off. By Kara.S. Weaver, an author that I interviewed earlier in the year (You can see it here), Whispers of War continues where Dance of Despair finished off, following Tal and Shal’s journeys and escapades as they struggle to navigate the lives that fate has dealt them. Will destiny be a cruel mistress, or will she take pity on our favourite elves?

I’ve been writing this during the F1 practice and it’s now time for the school run. Mum duty calls so, until next time…

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

Speak soon, Jodie xxx

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