Showing posts from November, 2011


Well I surprised myself. I actually finished NANOWRIMO.... And yes at the end of the month I had over 50, 000 words. Not brilliant words, not even particularly good words, but words that when put together do have at their crux...and idea.

It was an interesting experience. I'm not going to say it was fun. It wasn't.

I found it challenging, frustrating, at times damned annoying and lots of hard work. Which is why I attempted it in the first place. I wanted the challenge. I wanted to dare myself.

I had the 'idea' the night before I began. So when I did begin to write, I had no character sketches, no names, no plot details. It was writing into the darkness. Not really knowing what to say until I sat at the computer, and then going where the story was taking me. I didn't stop to edit, did't try to second guess myself.

First week went okay. I was getting excited about a new piece of work.

Second week...yuck.

But I kept on. Giving up is too damned easy, I've do…


My mother was a tall dark haired woman who loved black jellybeans, cacti and Johnny Cash. She was also very artistic with a talent for sketching and painting.

So when Dad visited the other week with a bag of 'bits and pieces' there was much laughter as we discovered -
# Whitcombes storybook of Hiawatha for 6d (sixpence)
# Bible she received from her parents for her 13th birthday
# Assorted jewellery including clip on earrings (she was too scared to get her ears pierced)
# Plastic doll wearing Carlton colours
# and a Diploma of Proficiency from the Art Training Institute, Swanston Street Melbourne- listed as 'Australia's Foremost School of Commercial Art' dated March 1957

There were also some pieces of her artwork

We also discovered an old exercise book. She had copied out poems by Keats and Wordsworth, even a Shakespeare sonnet or two. But we also discovered two poems----The Wild Dogs and The Bushland---that were written by her.

None of us knew that she'd wr…


I've been busy cutting words. I don't mean editing, which in its own way is a scary ride...this was actually cutting out words. Removing them. Deleting them.

Not forever. In fact I do know several writers that keep folders with 'bits and bobs' in it. Those deleted sentences and phrases, even chapters, that no longer fit the work they are doing, but words they are unable to give up. Kill your darlings to them, means just move them to another home.

I don't keep such a folder but I did keep a copy of the original story.

I've been working on a junior young adult novel I wrote years ago. One that I really like. One that others have told me is good. I've sent it out a few times, Okay, going back over my records, I've found I've sent it out four times. And with my track record that is pretty damned good.

One publisher asked for all of it and kept it for months and months, eventually over a year before the 'sorry it's not for us' email arrived.


Hands up if you take things for granted? My hand is up, waving high. We humans are quite notorious for this. We take for granted that we have a roof over our heads, that we have family and friends that love us, that we have enough money to pay the necessary bills each month, that we are able to walk and move without constant pain.

These are the basics we take for granted. I'm just beginning to learn what not to take for granted.
My drive home from work....

It's through farmland and forest. And yes in the depths of winter with sleet and fog and falling branches, it can be tedious and dangerous. But every season, every day offers up something new to see. It's a beautiful drive home.

I did take for granted my job. I thought everyone could do what I do. Serving hundreds of people every day, answering their questions, and of course the youth services part, entertaining up to 50 children at one time....

But not everyone can, or more importantly wants to. If you don't have t…


I have a friend, Tiggy Johnson, who for a few years now urged me each November to have a go at Nanowrimo.

Each year I said 'no way.'

Which explains of course why Monday morning about 7.30 am before heading off to work I decided, spur of the moment, to sign up.

Now of course it's panic time. Why on earth did I decide to say that yes I would write a novel, 50,000 words in the month of November? Why?

I do like a challenge, and this is a big one, but where to begin?

Especially as I had no idea what I wanted to write. Looking at a few forums I discovered that a lot of people have actual plans. Yes plans. Complete with character sketches, plot outlines, themes and carefully planned metaphors to sprinkle throughout this work, even a title.

Hmmm- did I say I liked a challenge?

People have offered up advice.
A- You must write every day.
B- Try and stay ahead of the word count.
C- Include anything you write in the body, your blog, your poetry....
D- Don't care what comes out…