Just a few minutes to go now and then the madness starts

In the last week I have decided on what to write, at least sort of. My supernatural historical romance has been dropped for the time being; instead I’m doing a pure historical romance with characters who first surfaced back in 2006; my reason, a pure historical romance would be far easier to get published, at least over the plot of the supernatural historical. However I will also be writing a supernatural fantasy story with a contemporary setting.

Yes, you heard right, I’ll be writing TWO stories this year!!! It was the logical thing to do really, last year I wrote a 120k romance novel, that’s about 40-45k longer than Mills & Boon like their Historical Romance novels to be and I had not written the ending. The only reason it was that long was that I had a personal target of 100k and once I hit that I just keep writing dragging things out. So this year I have set a target of 130k, 80k for the historical romance and 50k for the fantasy novel.  I’ll be working on both of them throughout the month, which means there should be a word count update each day although as I don’t have internet access at home there might sometimes be two or three days between updates. I’m gonna set up a second profile on www.nanowrimo.org for the second book, that way people can easily see how far I am on each one. Otherwise it would just be one word count per novel which wouldn’t tell you much about how they were coming along individually, now would it. Hopefully I’ll get a Word Count widget up for both profiles within the next few days. Then again it might take a bit longer as wordpress can be a bit fiddly with widgets.

Ok so that’s the basics explained. Now do you want to hear more about the two novels? Of course ya do, well here we go.

Novel One

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Title: Carolyn and Her Reluctant Suitor

Daily target: 2,667

What’s the Story:

Well Carolyn popped into my head a few years back when I had bought this writer’s software for the Mac, I guess it’s supposed to help you flesh out your story and characters when you do the outline, and in theory it sounds great, but it never quite worked for me and so the only time I used it was when I was testing it out and came up with Carolyn Mainwaring, a fresh out of the schoolroom debutant. She is a little flighty, a little flirty and a little silly, because that’s how she’s been taught to behave in public, but secretly she longs to sit in the salons of the great hostesses and discuss politics and literature. Anyway, as she is flirting her way through the ranks of eligible gentlemen she comes across the jaded Duke of Strathclyde, Lachlan McGillvary (think that’s his last name, can never remember), and falls head over heels in love with him. Unfortunately this is an entirely one-sided infatuation; Lachlan doesn’t have the best of experience with flirty, beautiful debutants and as a rule stays far away from them and their scheming mamas. True he is in the market for a wife, but she needs to be steady and practical, and there is certainly no need for her to be more than pretty, women who are too beautiful are in Lachlan’s experience trouble.

Carolyn’s not that easily deterred though and starts a very public campaign for her Duke’s heart. Suddenly jealous ex-fiancée’s, over-protective mamas and resentful would-be suitor’s get involved and it’s not just about her and Lachlan anymore. Will Carolyn get her Duke? Will Lachlan discover that his ideal duchess can be beautiful and practical, flirty and steady? Or will the people around them succeed in keeping them apart?

Novel Two

Genre: Supernatural Fantasy

Title: No Title yet (Suggestions welcome)

Daily target: 1,667

What’s the Story:

This is totally a spur of the moment story, just popped into my head a couple of nights ago. The character’s don’t even have names yet.

The main character is a sorceress, the only sorceress in existence as this power is something normally only passed down through the male bloodline. She is raised by her father in a supernatural community and grows up with many different races around, however she feels like an outcast and is often made to feel like one by her brothers and other sorcerers. Then a coven of witches move into the community and she finds another outcast, a half-demon witch. They become best friends, inseparable through their childhood and teens, until it’s time to go into the adult world of work and responsibility. The sorceress stays with the community and works for her father’s organization as a kind of supernatural police, making sure no one draws too much attention to themselves and punishing those who manage to anyway. The witch leaves as she doesn’t feel like she belongs with the witches or the other half demons and decided to find her own way. And that’s pretty much the back story which would be told by flashbacks, reminiscence or maybe a prologue.

As for the real story here it is in the words of our heroine:

I’ve killed before, punishing those not following the law as laid down by my father and the Congress of Sorcerers. Not once have I questioned my orders; I’ve taken pride in my work and done it flawlessly, at least as flawlessly as it can be done. I’ve never felt guilt, I’ve never had sleepless nights, I’ve never doubted myself; until now. Now I’ve been ordered to kill someone I once knew, a friend, the only friend I ever had. And I’m afraid; because I know I could do it and what kind of a person could kill their best friend? So what do I do? How do I save us both?


As you can see the first story is far more fleshed out then the second, and if you have title suggestions and character name suggestion for me for Novel Two please post them, I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

So to sum up:

2 Novels, 130k words, 30 days, 4,335 words a day

See ya all in December…


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2009

As I said a week or so ago, tis quickly approaching the season to be CREATIVE. As some of you might have noticed there is a brand new page on the blog, going by the name of National Novel Writing Month. The page is basically a recap of previous years, I surprised myself by actually having everything from outlines to participant and winners badges, I even have the banner for one of them, and I think I know where the other banners are lurking.

So if you want to know my NaNo history please take a look, and throughout November the 2009 section will be updated with current word count as well.

As for other updates on the 2009 Novel, they will appear here. For now there isn’t much to update you on. I thought I had decided on Modern Supernatural Fantasy, but then Historical Fiction always makes a bid for my attention which in turn has me thinking Historical Supernatural Romance (stop groaning there in the back, you don’t have to read it).

So yeah, less than a week left and no genre, no plot, no MC, it’s a little daunting. I’ve never been this unprepared before, I’ve at least had one of the above sorted before the Midnight Hour strikes on Halloween. And I know Chris Baty Says ‘No Plot, No Problem’, but I’m pretty sure there is a reason he didn’t say ‘No Plot, No Genre, No Characters; No Problem’!

So anyway, I’m off to the jungle that is NaNoWriMo Forums to find some inspiration. And failing that, I’m gonna hunt down my missing banners and post the on the National Novel Writing Month Page

Cross Stitching – WooHoo!!

A while I go I believe I promised some pictures of pieces I’m working on with my newest hobby – cross stitching. I saw a kit at Magrudy’s in July and though, ‘What the heck, let’s give it a go.’ despite not having cross stitched since primary school.
The kit I picked up was a wedding sampler with ‘Tatty Ted’ from the ‘Me to You’ range, I thought it would be nice to stitch with my own wedding date and names as it all happened so fast 🙂
The wedding sampler is still a WIP though, with only the wording and back stitching left to do. Most of the back stitch wasn’t too bad but I’m a bit stuck on the bits that make the bears look fluffy and cuddly, it’s a pain in the *** to put it mildly. Anyway my aim is to have it finished before Christmas, but then I have to start a new one as my soon-to-be SIL has requested one for her wedding (Thanks, Hel).

Anyway here is a picture of what it should eventually look like (of course with different names and date),


and here is my WIP in it’s different stages.

1. All the full cross stitches done.2. Half stitches and some back stitching done.


More Back stitches and French knots. This is as far as I have got, mostly finished, but with the fiddly bits left.

See, it’s not too bad is it?

Well, while not working on the wedding sampler I’ve started a few other projects, two of which were very small and was started and finished within hours. They were freebies from a couple of Cross-stitching mags I bought. What do you think?
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I think the bunny rabbit is sooo cute, and really easy too stitch.

Another bigger project I’ve been working on is a Classic Winnie The Pooh from Anchor picturing Winnie and Piglet; it’s is a birthday present for my MIL and it’s almost finished, which is great since her birthday was last week 🙂 She’ll get it before Christmas though, well that is the plan 🙂 Here are the different stages of it, the last picture was taken Saturday evening and is the most recent, the only things left are some back stitches on the grass and butterflies and a few french knots. Then it can be framed and shipped.

Here it is with all the full stitches done

And here it is with most of the back stitching and half stitches complete.
Please let me know what you think.

I do have one more project which is only just started, but I’ll give that it’s own post with some other soon to do pieces.

Pictures from my new camera

For our 1 year anniversery my DH got me a camera, I’ve been wanting one ever since we got here as we left hubby’s camera back in England. Not been able to take many pictures yet though, haven’t really done much since I got it on the 6th.
Earlier this week i did go for a little walk down Airport road and ended up in Lake Park by the Corniche, where I took a couple of pics.
me 033
me 034

More Pictures soon I promise, after all we have the Yasalam festival from next week with lots of fun (hopefully)


I was tagged with this list on FB and thought I’d see how I measured up. I have to say most of the books on this list that I have read have NOT been read for pleasure, mostly it’s been for school. In fact i think I saw most of the reading list for A210 Approaching Literature there, plus some of the books I haven’t read are ones I will have to read for the Children’s lit course. I also think it’s a bit redundant to have things like The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare there, plus Hamlet mentioned later on, same with C.S Lewis, both Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, The Witch and… are mentioned.

In any case here it is.

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. Total up after each section and at the end.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible X (the jehovas witness’s version, but still)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

Total: 8

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy X

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier X
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Eiffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot X


21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy X
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams X
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh X

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame


31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy X
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dicken X
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X
34 Emma-Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossein
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres X
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne X

Total: 29

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins X
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy X
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan X

Total: 36

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez X

Total: 40

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov X
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas X
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Total: 44

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker X

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray X


80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker X
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro X
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert X

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

Total: 53

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo X

total 58

It’s That Time Of Year Again…

NaNo time. Okey I suppose it is just over two weeks away, BUT this is officially the longest I’ve left it without planning anything. My excuse is pretty good actually, I had an exam on the 14th and spend all most of my time studying for that. Yeah it went ok actually, thanks for asking. Struggled a bit with the poetry, but everything else was alright.

Sooo, moving on. For those out there who haven’t heard me harping on about NaNo before, here is the short version: NaNo is short for NaNoWriMo which is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s not so much national as international theses days and anyone can join. The rules are quite simple, you write a 50,000 word novel/novella in 30 days i.e from November 1st-30th, yes it must be in November, one of the unchangable rules I’m afraid.

Now I guess the next question would be ‘What’s in it for me(or rather you, erm you know what I mean)?’ Absolutely nothing, except the awesome feeling of accomplishment you get when your progress bar changes colour and everyone can see your a winner. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s probably not something which will appeal to you unless you are a writer, but then I don’t see why you would even bother joining up if you aren’t. Actually I am a bit of a liar(what ever Drew), last year and the year before all winners would receive a free proof copy of their trade paperback book from self publishers ‘Create Space’. If I remember correctly you got a voucher on the winners page and you went to their site and arranged it all. I’m not sure exactly how you did it coz I never took advantage of it, most of past NaNo novels are still in that editing phase and likely to never emerge from it.

No one at NaNo headquarters actually reads your story though, even the verifier is automatic so no one is likely to steal you brilliant idea, or give you a book deal. Thought I should mention that as I had a friend once who claimed she had got an e-mail from the lovely people at NaNo offering to publish her book. Funnily enough she couldn’t remember her username when I asked if I could add her on my buddy list. Aww well probably just didn’t wanna be my friend. As it turned out though her NaNo publishing claim was one of her least fantastical stories 🙂

Sorry went off the topic a little there, back to the issue at hand. So after all this why should you sign up for NaNoWriMo 2009. If you are a writer and you feel you need an extra push then a month of working towards that 50k target should help you get a little rutine, also the NaNo community is great and with regional forum where you can meet likeminded people in your area and lots of other forum focusing on everything from genre to procratination and research. Basically everything you could want 🙂

So if you find you have some time to spare in November, look it up, get the more in-dept explanation from the site and start writing (well in 15 days time), here is the website anyway and you can look me up by clicking on the NaNo badge in the side bar.



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