Okay, slight exaggeration, more like 47, but who’s counting? I feel like every day I should wake up to the Big Brother voice over or, at the very least, be making daily updates into the star log.
I hope April was kind to you. Despite good intentions, I think the reality of being home 24/7 is so alien to most that, particularly if you are with your whole family, it messes with your motivation. Too busy working, cooking food, trying to locate said food like the hunter gatherer you’ve now become, along with homeschooling, daily exercise (ha!) and making sure everyone else under your roof is happy, you don’t want to socialise on the local forum that Barbara invited you to. You don’t want to join yet another Facebook group, do that course to better your skills, or get outside and make your garden look pretty. Even getting settled into a book, despite how good it is, is just not happening, so it’s no wonder you end up sitting in front of the TV at 2am drinking another glass of wine, and then feeling slightly confused as to why it’s taking you until 10am to crawl out of bed every day.
Just me? Oh well, I’d best get on with my monthly update then.
The highlight of April, for me, was Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m pleassed to say……(drum roll)…………..
That’s right, I’m a winner! Somewhere within the chaos I was able to delve into my brain that is slowly turning to mush and pull out 21,317 of my 15,000 word target. I also did the 5 hours of research that I had planned for my ‘Otsana’ project. It’s likely to be what I work on during the main event in November.
I had hoped that adding so many words to Sorceress of Flame would bring it close to the end of my first draft. Not a chance. It currently sits at 78,479 words and is nowhere near finished. I don’t want to drag the story into a third book, as I don’t think it warrants one, but it will mean that the second installment will be longer than the first.
So, onto May, and what does that have in store?
For me, it’s much the same as April. I’m aiming for 15,000 words towards Sorceress of Flame and, hopefully, the completion of the first draft. I’m also going to try and fit in a read through of the first half so I can get that over to my editor, to make sure I’m going in the right direction.
As predicted, my husband, and possibly daughter, are feeling a little neglected after Camp NaNo, so I need to try and fit in more family time too.
I’d love to know what you’ve been getting up to so, feel free to comment below or follow me on Instagram. Right, back to it! These housemates of mine won’t feed themselves, unfortunately.
It’s safe to say the world has imploded and any goals I set for myself last month went out of the window. I’m guessing you may have had similar issues.
In summary, my Facebook live with Cassidy Reyne in the World Indie Warriors Group went ahead as planned. We are now starting Camp NaNoWriMo, and you can follow along on Instagram with our daily challenge.
I did manage to go to the spa for my wedding anniversary. I went with my Mom, Auntie and one of my best friends. We had a lot of fun and laughs, good food, and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the pools and steam rooms etc.
I’ve been a few times now but, if you ever get an opportunity to go to Hoar Cross Hall, you really should jump at the chance. I didn’t get to do as much writing as I had hoped, although I did manage a bit of reading, but time seemed to pass so quickly while we were there. It’s a good job we were able to relax though as when we got home on that Monday, the situation changed rapidly.
There was a press conference in England announcing that anyone who showed signs of Coronavirus —a cough or breathing difficulties— should stay home for 14 days along with everyone else in their household. Unfortunately, that night I developed a cough, which meant we were imprisoned in our own home.
My hubby had already been given the go ahead to work from home, but I did feel really guilty about keeping my daughter off school. She’s only seven, so isn’t in the middle of a big year, but I knew she would miss her friends and being able to go out to places.
Anyway the cough amounted to nothing, I think it was just the effect of the steam room clearing my sinuses and chest, but by the time our 14 days were over the country was pretty much in a lockdown situation anyway. So, since 17th March all I have done is go to the corner shop once, been for one run and went to the doctors for a blood test, and that is it. We are trying to make use of the garden, and I have done the first cut of the season and jet washed the decking, but now there is a whole load of painting to do. Let’s hope some nice weather heads our way over the next few weeks as this last one has been very cloudy and windy.
The self isolation itself hasn’t been that big an adjustment for me. As a stay-at-home-mom and author, I tend to spend a lot of time at home alone anyway. Plus, I detest doing the food shopping and often keep putting it off until eventually I either do an online shop or decide that actually, we really do need food, and head to ASDA. Even having the hubby around hasn’t been too bad, generally he keeps himself to himself in his office upstairs. My main issue has been having Amberley at home and trying to attempt the dreaded “homeschooling”.
Before she started in primary school I did consider homeschooling her, there is a reason I didn’t. There are a few actually, but the main ones being, I am not a teacher and I’m under no illusions that I could ever be. I just don’t have the patience. Another, Amberley is a very active child who needs a lot of stimulation, and certainly needs space to run around. Finally, she just does not listen to me.
I don’t mean in a “no, you’re not having that chocolate” or “off Minecraft, it’s dinner time” kind of way, she’s actually not too bad at that, it’s in those instances where you are trying to explain a maths equation, or that she can’t write about a pony because the task is asking for dinosaurs.
I’m not stopping her creativity, by all means she can write her pony story after she’s written the dinosaur story, but herein lies the problem. She won’t write the pony story when I say she can because she doesn’t want to anymore. Sigh.
I’m sure I’m not alone and, unfortunately, we may have this situation for many months.
To top off my never-ending-March, my Mother’s Day plans of travelling to the Netherlands were cancelled. I had hoped to meet up with Cassidy and another of our writing friends, Kara S. Weaver, but instead I was treated to a homemade card and a healthy dose of self-isolation because the hubby hadn’t planned ahead and thought to order anything. It wasn’t too bad though, I ended up blitzing the entire house and cooking Sunday lunch for my troubles.
With all that happening, I achieved nowhere near my target of 60,000 words towards Sorceress of Flame. I did, however, manage to have a look at each chapter and condense them so it feels like I’m more in control and know exactly where I need to fill in the gaps.
So, April is now upon us and I must set some kind of target, which is kind of easy as it is Camp NaNoWriMo and I already have a graphic ready and waiting.
I’m aiming for approximately 15,000 words over the course of the month on Sorceress of Flame. I am absolutely making this my priority, and even finished the book I was reading right on time. This will take my total word count to around 75,000 and I should be finished, or close to finished, with my first draft. I still really want to aim for a November publishing date, but it’s going to be tight.
Underneath that you may have spotted another little project. This has been niggling at me for the past year and I’ve finally given it a name. Otsana. Google it, and it may give you a clue what it’s about. I wrote a snippet from a prompt on Instagram this time last year and I’ve come to realise that it is an ideal prologue. I’m still not fully sure where it’s going to go, but that’s why I want to do a bit of research and see if something comes to me.
Well, I’ve been rabbiting on for ages now, so I’d better leave you to get on with your day.
So, February didn’t go quite to plan. How about yours?
My main goal had been to reach 60,000 words on book 2, Sorceress of Flame, to stay within target of publishing in November. I knew it would be tough due to the school holidays. What I hadn’t factored in was a month of storms resulting in my daughters school being flooded and gifting her an extra week of holiday. It’s safe to say by the end of two weeks, I’d had enough.
The worst part was there was never a dry day, so it really limited where we could go, but we did manage a little trip down to London and met up with fellow author and World Indie Warrior, Cassidy Reyne.
A visit to the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London have certainly given me some sparks of inspiration, it’s just a shame they’re for a completely new and unrelated story idea.
I managed to reach 54,790 words, which isn’t great, but I found the story grinding to a halt and I couldn’t figure out why. I decided my best course of action was to read through everything I had written for Sorceress of Flame and do a mini edit. After moving a few chapters around, and updating my timeline, I feel like I might be onto something.
So, what am I up to in March? I’m glad you asked!
The first item on the agenda is a Facebook live with Cassidy Reyne on the World Indie Warriors Facebook Group (It’s free to join!). We will be discussing the upcoming Camp NaNoWriMo, including what it is and how we are getting involved as a group.
The second exciting thing is my wedding anniversary on the 14th March. And, how am I going to celebrate? I’m going to spend a night at a spa with a close friend and family, leaving hubby at home alone with Madame.
To top it off, the following weekend (Mother’s Day in the UK), I am travelling to the Netherlands to meet up with Cassidy and another of our writing friends, Kara S. Weaver. We are crossing everything in the hopes that it can still go ahead, what with the Coronavirus trying its best to sabotage us.
Writing wise, I really want to get past the 60,000 words mark. I have a huge gap in the middle of the book, as I knew how I wanted it to end, but I’d really like to close that up in preparation for April’s CampNaNo.
I’m going to continue with my Author Q&A and Book Review, and I also have a book to beta read, so I’m sure there’s never going to be a dull moment. In fact, I’m so busy right now that I’m doing my best representation of procrastination by writing a huge shopping list for Ikea.
Yes, I completed Camp Nanowrimo for the first time, and wow was it hard! After resetting my goal from 20,000 words to 15,000 I finally crossed the line at 15,810.
I hit over 50,000 words in November so you would imagine that the much smaller goal would be a walk in the park, but I really found it a struggle and here are my reasons why…
We are always busy in November as most of my family and friends seem to have birthdays, but that is nothing compared to 2 weeks with no school. I completely underestimated how much a 6-year-old would disrupt my normal week.
We had lot’s of fun and went out doing family activities, which I had planned for, but by the time she was in bed I was too knackered to concentrate. Each night I ended up with just a few hundred words even though I was stopping up past midnight.
I took a few days off to try and recharge my batteries, which did help, but then came my next issue… a strange yellow ball in the sky.
You guessed it, we actually had sun in the UK. It wasn’t just a little warm, it was no-coat’s-legs-out-sandals weather that was hotter than parts of the Med! Granted, that was probably our slice of summer and we will suffer with floods for the rest of the year, but who could resist spending time in the garden and making it look all pretty?
Now, not only was my body tired it was also aching from gardening. The final pull on the tail came from inflicting torture on my character.
Yep, I have been torturing a character for a few chapters. While there has been some strange enjoyment, I found it very hard going, draining probably being the better word. It’s not the kind of thing I normally write about but it’s something I am going to have to get used to.
I expected to end Camp Nano with a novel 3/4’s complete with the ending all nicely planned out. Unfortunately my characters, or rather a particularly stubborn hot-blooded Italian, was feeling left out and decided to hijack a scene.
Long story short, The Don of Avery is now going to be a duology!
It’s also the reason why instead of celebrating the end of Camp Nano and of writing ‘The End’, I looked like this.
I now need to go and rework what I have in order for the story to flow going forwards along with the usual edits, but first I need to take a step back.
The Don of Avery has consumed every bit of my time since I began writing it in November, you only need to take a look at my Instagram to see just how much of my life has been dedicated to it. Now, I’m going back to an old project and I’m super excited to talk more about it.
The Sorceress has been my baby for years and it has recently gone through a Manuscript Review with the very talented Avery McDougall (Check her out on Instagram and Wattpad). If all goes to plan, I shall be releasing it as my first full length novel later in the year!!!
Oops! Just realised I’ve been chatting forever.
I’ll be back with my May goals but I must say bye, for now.
Firstly, whatever your traditions and beliefs, I hope you are enjoying the Easter bank holiday!
We’ve had the usual egg hunt first thing this morning followed by a bit of gardening. Daddy took Amberley swimming while I got some washing out on the line and then, because the weather is glorious, we had Sunday dinner alfresco. Now, I am sat in the garden with a glass of wine typing this as the other two have a game of Minecraft.
What have you been doing? Is Easter a chance for you to catch up with family and friends, or do you like to keep it casual?
In other news, I was getting stressed out with writing and trying to entertain the little one while she is off school. The weather has been too good an opportunity for us to pass up so I took her for a mini break to Blackpool. She was so excited to be in a hotel for the night and insisted on us going to make sandcastles first thing in the morning. Unfortunately the tide wasn’t in on her plan and she had to wait until after our visit to Madame Tussaud’s.
Anyway, to help take the pressure off, I have lowered my Camp NaNoWriMo goal for the month from 20,000 words to 15,000 words and I already feel like a weight has been lifted. I’m not going to stop writing once I get to 15k though, I will keep pushing through to the end of April.
I already have something exciting lined up for May and my focus is going to be shifting to another project as I start gearing myself up for the release of my first major novel.
So, before I get side tracked, I just wanted to reiterate that if you need to move the goal posts then you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty. Life happens and flies by too quickly. Sometimes we need to step back and enjoy what is happening around us.