My NaNoWriMo Word Count Widgets!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Chapter 29...

Now that the frenzy of NaNo is over (OK, I know there's 1 day left but I've reached the target and I'm happy with that - my therapist would be proud!), I'm knuckling down to Hospital Corners again.  I've been spurred on by my Authonomy buddy DaisyF, who started reading it and couldn't put it down.  I emailed her the rest of the first draft tonight because she just couldn't stop thinking about Esme, Dr B and the hunky Alex.  She's even started a thread in the "Recommend a Manuscript" forum saying I'm her new favourite book.  Cheers Daisy!

And from that thread, I've had two more very positive comments and ratings, with the possibility of backings in the future.  Woo hoo!

It's fired me up to finish the first draft edit by the end of the year.  That is, if I can fit in enough time around rehearsing for the Xmas Cabaret (15th and 16th December) and time with my girls.  Big Toots has had two days off school and is also off tomorrow.  Two days are my limit, however, and she'll be spending the day at nursery tomorrow while I get my hair cut.  We went to the cinema yesterday to see Arthur Christmas (great family fun) and then they had haircuts and we had a chippy tea with Granny.  Today was shopping for winter clothes - the smaller the boot, the bigger the price tag!  Can't quite believe Big Toots needed a size 12....I remember having size 12 feet and I was a lot older than 6!! 

Tonight we had Granny for tea (not literally - I'm vegetarian) and then Big Toots made her Rainbow Promise.  We were all really proud of her.  There were 6 of them "graduating" and they all had the option of saying the promise on their own or with the group.  B.T. was the only one to say it on her own - clear and loud and proud.  With 2 performing parents, it shouldn't be a surprise!

I'm also going to try and give up chocolate until Christmas.  I know most people love having a chocolate advent calendar (B.T. keeps calling them advert calendars and she's probably right!) but I'm going to save up my chocolate rations for Christmas and then enjoy a lovely box of Hotel Chocolat liquors on the 25th.  :)

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I've done it!

Woo hoo - a verified "winner" of NaNoWriMo.  50,910 words in 26 days...not bad at all!

And I still haven't actually reached "the end" of the story so I can keep adding to my total until the end of the month and keep my ML happy.  Best wishes to Marie Rex, the moderator of Scotland-Elsewhere forum, as she's in hospital.  :(  She's been doing such a great job, chivvying us all along and doling out our virtual bones for the Skeleton Marathon.  I'm going keep on writing every day, as a tribute to her. 

I may have my problems, but I can at least write without pain and get around without pain.  Kudos to Marie Rex and all the other writers on NaNo and Authonomy who struggle with painful physical ailments and still keep on going. 

Now NaNo is out the way, what am I going to do with the 50,910 words?  Well, I'm going to leave them well alone for a while.  However much I enjoy reading chick-lit, writing it is a whole other ballgame.  I've spent so long thinking in a more literary style for Hospital Corners that it's hard to get my brain to loosen up.  Plus, with my personality, it's hard for me to loosen up at the best of times!  I'm not saying I'm going to dump Tai Chi Choos and never do anything with it, but I'm going to concentrate on Hospital Corners first.  And possibly Agoraphobics Anonymous after that (more on that at some point).  Maybe Minotaur Mysteries too....

Monday, 21 November 2011

Getting there...

...the end of NaNo is in sight.  I only have to do 1000 words a day to meet the target and have some in reserve for the dodginess of the word-counting software.  I'd hate to verify my count, only to be a thousand or so short.

I took today to catch up on my housework, before a session with my psychologist and then a trip to the dentist with Big Toots.  She was getting a coating on her adult molars (the only adult teeth she has - tooth fairy hasn't had to visit her yet) and she was soooo good.  It was a more complex procedure than I was expecting, so I don't know what was going through her mind when the two women started scraping and sucking and coating and UV lighting her mouth for 10 minutes.  And her little face fell when she was told she couldn't eat chewy sweets anymore - she loves her Drumstick lollies.  I told her to look on the bright side - it would mean more chocolate! 

November isn't always a great month for me, mood-wise.  The darker mornings make it difficult to wake up and get going, but I'm ticking along as well as can be expected.  My mood was lifted greatly this afternoon by a lovely comment on Authonomy for Hospital Corners.

"Chapter 3 is one of the most beautiful and sad things I've ever read. I'd have read more, but I'm a little blinded by tears. Tough, manly tears, of course. There is absolutely nothing that should be, or needs to be, changed in anything I read, beyond the odd missed word or punctuation. But even those, I only noticed two of them in three chapters. Obviously I will back this, and there is no doubt whatsoever that it will be very easily published. If you look back at the 100+ critiques I've given, I've never said anything much more glowing that 'very well written', so the fact that I'm saying how exceptionally brilliant this is, is praise in its own right."  ShadowofOsiris.

Friday, 18 November 2011

I've lost count...

Day 17 I think....I'm at nearly 40,000 words anyway so that's all that counts!

And I'm simultaneously editing Hospital Corners and learning 18 songs for the Christmas Cabaret.  I did a show last year with that many songs and we had 5 months of rehearsals.  I think we'll have about half that time....

What's happening with the NaNo story - Anna is about to dump Quentin, realising he's just a clone of Charlie the ex-hubby.  She's finding it quite hard to not be distracted at work by her boss, Nigel, and his rather tasty bum.  They've just spent a morning performing a Marsupialization on a Pilonidal Cyst on Flo the parrot's bum.  Now it's going to be a spot of equine therapy before Anna heads to Aberdeen to meet Quentin and give him the bad news. 

In Hospital Corners - I'm seriously cutting the magazine article written about Esme's famous son, John Jones.  I realised that it's a whole pile of his backstory that has absolutely no place in Esme's book.  Otherwise, I've fleshed out a chapter between Julie and Alex and I'm much happier with how Julie's coming across, and her initial views of Alex, strengthening one of the books themes which is "don't judge people on first impressions".

Now, I'm off to watch Children in Need on the TV with a glass of wine and some lovely PartyLite Candles. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 14...are we nearly there yet?

Well - that's the halfway point and I'm sitting pretty at 30000 words.  Although the second half of the book isn't going to be easy to write and I've used up all the backstory I can possibly fit in.

I managed to get a thousand words out of my weekend though.  My boiler decided that 4 am on a Sunday morning was the PERFECT time to spring a leak.  I woke up to the sound of rain in my airing cupboard.  Or, as the Tootsie's put it when they saw it in the morning - "Mummy, it's weeing!".  Thankfully, very nice council repair mannie came with a replacement overflow/whatsit me bobbie/thingamijig and within ten minutes I had water again.  My order of priority - flushing the loo, cup of tea, shower. 

Sleep would have been nice - felt it this morning in my tai chi class.  I was the lead corner and messed up twice by the end of the class....brain, feet, hands...present but not entirely correct.

All good fodder for my NaNovel, of course.  And I even squeezed in an edit of what is now Chapter 19 of Hospital Corners.  Peggy's second batch of diary entries.  Now I'm onto my least favourite chapters involving the magazine interview with Esme's son...I foresee some severe cutting.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day 9 of NaNo...

I am within breathing distance of halfway....

I decided to stop while the going was good, however.  I find it easier to leave at a point where I know how I want to continue.  If I stop when I run out of inspiration, who's to say I'll be any more inspired the next day?  So - I leave it at a point where I'm going to be happy for the next few hundred words at least.  Then the creative juices will have had a chance to get flowing and something will arrive for the next chapter. 

You can see my progress with my cool little Word Count Widget.  I'm trying to find other places I can stick it - I just so gosh darn proud of myself!  If I keep up at this rate, I'll have reached my goal by the 20th.  Yippee!

On a Hospital Corners note - I'm still editing away and have the first 18 chapters up for view on Authonomy (  I'm trying to edit a chapter a day, whilst still giving the inner perfectionist a day off every now and again.  I've spent the past hour writing out my Christmas card list, working out what supplies I have to work with (I make my own for family and friends)...and locating spare boxes of cards I must have bought in the January sales and forgotten about.  Shame I bought two more boxes today! 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Day 6 of NaNo...

Well, it's nearly nine o' clock at night, and I'm just calling it quits on my NaNo input for the day.  I think my word count sits somewhere around the 17,000 mark now.  I didn't think I'd get much written today, having church this morning and a 3 hour rehearsal this afternoon...but I sat down with the computer rather than the TV and bashed out nearly 2000 words. 

I'm not finishing here for the night.  I have a chapter of Hospital Corners to edit and three songs to start learning harmonies and words for.  And, if I have time before my eyes slam shut, I'll take a look at my "unrelenting high standards/perfectionism" work for my psychologist tomorrow.....:)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Day 4 of NaNo...

Things are still going (whispers) well.  It's only 9.40am and already I've written 1147 words!  My NaNo total is sitting at a very comfortable 11,356 words.  Not bad for 3 and a bit days.  I know things will slow for the weekend because I'll have my two Tootsies keeping me busy, as well as a rehearsal on Sunday for a Christmas Cabaret.  I'm also keeping up with my gym sessions:  Body Jam on Tuesdays, Circuits AND Body Balance on Wednesdays and the Gym proper today. 

And of course I'm keeping up with my tai chi classes on a Monday morning. I could hardly write a book about tai chi and not go! 

As the book currently stands, Anna has just completed her first "real" tai chi class with Tamara and GAP, in the hopes that it will slow the progression of GAP's newly diagnosed dementia.  Anna was less than keen to go back to tai chi, having been suicidal after her last class in London (but with her friends, who could blame her?), but has learnt that soft defeats strong....ish....kinda...maybe.

Next chapter will be a lot of fun to write - Grasp Birds Tail - as it introduces the irascible parrot, Flo.  And thanks to a series of dares on the chick-lit NaNo forum, Flo has to recite traditional wedding anniversary gifts....

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Day 1 of NaNo...

And it's gone remarkably well!  I had a bit of an internet dilema in the morning though....I have no idea why my connection decided to pack in today of all days!  A very helpful man got me working again and I was able to update my word count and research a few designer brands to name drop into the chapter.  I've given todays total as 3813, but it's actually now 4702.  Not bad for one day. 

I think the volume is down to the fact I changed my mind at the last minute and wrote in 1st person.  It gives me much more freedom and is better at getting closer to a character's emotions than simply reporting "Anna did this and then she did that and she felt this".  That's the idea anyway.

I don't know whether to keep going with the writing or wait until tomorrow afternoon.  I guess it depends on how bad the television is tonight!  Tomorrow will be a busier day as I have 2 gym sessions instead of just the 1 I had today (first time at Body Jam - my muscles hurt but it was good fun and I wasn't the worse there by a long stretch).  I also have to get some food in...gym sessions and thinking up 3000 words a day burns a lot of energy. 

I'm also still working on Hospital Corners where I can.  I've edited the first 10 chapters of the original draft, and it's now been slimmed down into 8 chapters.  I'm currently at 250 in the chart with 11 backers (thank you guys!).  I'm using a great free software from to help with the editing.  It picks up on commonly overused words, repeated phrases, sentence length, cliches etc.  Apologies if I've mentioned it before - my head is mince from all the work I've been cramming in these past few weeks!  Researching, outlining, editing and writing all at the same time....phew! 

Oh - another nice software I'm using is WriteWay.  I get a free trial of the professional version for NaNo and it's fantastic for pulling together all your characters, scenes, research and notes in one place.  I'm still pasting what I've written into Word for backing-up, but it's nice to have all my notes in one place instead of ferretting around between different Word files. 

That's it for today...possibly more tomorrow....probably not.  I don't think my blog counts towards my NaNo total, unfortunately!