‘ “It was a dark and stormy night…” The cliché line was written in font reminiscent of a typewriter’s singular offering, with a deliberate smudge of the printed words for added authenticity. The otherwise blank sheet of paper was wrapped around the platen of the typewriter cake* from the iconic Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, with pastel icing of sage green and peachy creme, mint slice platen knobs, liquorice typebars, a musk stick space bar and keys of multi-coloured smarties. The aspiring author blew the candles and made her usual wish of publication before slicing through the cake as party guests whooped and cheered. That was me, Mek, 80s tragic, birthday cake baker, engineer, and increasingly, adopter of the label ‘writer’ as one of the many facets of my identity…’
That was a snippet of my 500-word statement that formed part of my application for a university course that has been on my radar for quite a while. Continue reading →
Pauline’s husband died on the eve of their 50th wedding anniversary. A heart attack. It was no surprise as he had been one of a dying breed. A smoker who over the years had to trade the convenience of smoking anywhere he chose for surreptitious drags in the shadows wedged between the looming office tower where he worked and the adjacent apartment block where he kept four walls for late nights at the office, doubling as a faux bachelor pad for the high class hookers he was dependent on. He’d work late into the night, billing clients for time that would never be his again. Pauline had been busy with arrangements for their anniversary party that coming weekend. It was just another of a long list of projects that kept her occupied through the course of their marriage. Their secret for longevity, they’d only half joke to anyone who cared to ask, was that they were both too busy to have any marital discord. This was of course not entirely true. There was discord, but it was spoken of in the hushed tones of their body language, separate beds, and dreams on divergent paths. Continue reading →
Grab your celebratory beverage of choice and join me as I reminisce on most viewed posts; a hilarious search term that landed a confused internet user on my blog; my wild card entry of a post that had a great impact on my creative output for the year; and finally, resolutions for 2018! Continue reading →
Below are just a few scenes I edited in celebration of this return to my work in progress. It will be an intense 7 months, but somehow I don’t think it will be as crazy as November 2016.
Why the lion? Aside from why not, I’m a Leo, it has taken some courage to commit to this course, and this was a beauty we saw at Melbourne Zoo a few weeks ago. I may be projecting but I think there was a yearning in his expression- for the wild? for the plains of the Serengeti? for her true nature to shine? for that complete novel in the not too distant future? Continue reading →
Over the course of November, I wrote 50,012 words towards my novel, pieced together as:
Scenes for the first 5 turning points and first step of the 6th turning point of my WIP
Off-shoot stories about some of the cast of characters who are part of my protagonist’s journey.
In addition to NaNoWriMo, I completed a writing course, applied for 5 jobs, and fulfilled family, work and personal responsibilities. The writing milestones are personal highlights of the past 12 months. Funnily, when I co-wrote my first post of 2016 (on maintaining goals), I hadn’t set out on this path, conceiving these goals in the final half of the year (and working on them in the last quarter), giving me a more tangible target than my previously vague goal of progressing my WIP over the year (it is never too late to start a ‘new year resolution’!).
Here, I share lessons I learnt about myself, my writing, and the writing process. Continue reading →
This post is idea 101 out of 101 Ways to Procrastinate During NaNoWriMo. Look out for my eBook for the 100 other ways. It is a pretty cool widget though, being dynamic, meaning the word count updates and the image changes, including ‘PARTICIPANT’ changing to ‘WINNER’ once I reach 50,000 words. Right, those words won’t write themselves…
Another week. I am holding on to that line with all my might. I found the tail end of week 3 particularly difficult, but am pleased that I persevered. The greatest challenge I am facing from now till the end of November is the curve ball that life has thrown, with my non-permanent role at work being advertised as permanent as of Thursday, along with many non-permanent roles in the branch of the organisation for which I work. The deadline for applications is December 1, coinciding a little too neatly with the remainder of NaNoWriMo. Just when I thought my main challenge was boredom with my story, having established that time wasn’t a barrier to hitting the daily target. Continue reading →
The world is a different place since my last update which was written on the eve of the US election. Although I had three days free from work in the past week, my numbers didn’t climb as high as I had wished, for a number of reasons: Continue reading →
NaNoWriMo is going well! I am surprising myself even! A dip in performance yesterday due to shifting focus onto finishing up my writing course work (which is related to the novel I am working on). Words were placed on the page, but not counted- like when you do a good deed that nobody witnesses, but still leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. So far, I am just above the line in the bar graph above, meaning I am ahead of the daily average over 30 days to meet the 50,000 word target by November 30.
Being limited in time I can allow for comments, I have preempted some of your questions and thoughts on studying the stats above. Continue reading →
I have a goal! The title and accompanying image might give a hint as to what it is. I am working towards finishing my second draft novel writing course by the end of October (it has been on hold since April). At the end of the course I’ll have a solid synopsis, which will allow me to get real value out of NaNoWriMo 2016: tackling the feat of completing a novel (or at least 50,000 words of it) over the course of November.
An idyllic [writer’s] retreat smack dab in the middle of your crazy life.
Yes, if I can’t have a beautiful mountain top cabin with a view of a cascading waterfall, the accompaniment of bird song and fragrance of spring blossoms and a perfect coffee, I’ll take the virtual version. Continue reading →