NaNoWriMo 2021

It’s mid-October, so naturally my mind has turned to this year’s NaNoWriMo. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words over 30 days just for the fun of it!

And, when I signed into the website to announce my project for 2021, I realised that this year will be the tenth time I’ve participated in the challenge. Woohoo!

So what am I working on this year? There is always a part of me that wants to start a new writing project for NaNo. I can’t help it. I’m a serial starter, who suffers severely from an over-abundance of inspiration. Yes, I want to write ALL the stories. But…I know I can’t start another story when I have so many WIPs. Sigh.

For the past two NaNo’s I have turned my attention to completing projects (or, at the very least, making progress on on-going projects), and this year will be no different. Here’s the project summary I uploaded to the site, along with this year’s project front cover:

I’ve a list of half-finished projects that I want to complete…some are short stories, some are collections of flash fiction, poetry and short stories, whilst others are novels and novellas…my aim is finish some of them…as many as I can over the course of November.

My one rule: not to move on to the next project until I’ve finished the one I’ve been working on.

The first step…to decide which projects I’ll be adding to my short list 🙂

No edited words will be counted towards my total word count, only new words written in November. That should give me the opportunity to finish a handful of projects – I hope!

So, over the next few days, I’m going to be working on this short list. But…I have decided that, because this will be my third NaNo in a row where I try and wrap up projects, next year I will rewards myself with being able to start something new. Yay! I’m excited already!

Are you doing NaNo this year? If yes, what are you working on? You can find my NaNo profile by searching for “Sammi Cox” under the “Find Buddies” section of the site. Then we can be buddies 😀

Another NaNo question: groups. I’ve yet to join in / participate with any groups over on the NaNo site (except for the private cabin our little wordpress-based writing group had a few years ago – Go Plot Bunnies!). What are your thoughts on these groups? Do you find them helpful and supportive – or not? Or have you yet to join a group? Maybe you don’t want to, don’t have time for one, or haven’t find the right one…I would love to hear your views.

Old Annie

She was hiding in the trees. I couldn’t see her, but I knew she was there.

Watching.

Waiting.

Things hadn’t been the same since that last meeting out in the lane the day before yesterday. I can’t even remember what had started it. She had shouted something nasty, and I had shouted back.

I remember how it ended though. She bent her fingers in a strange way and shook her hand at me whilst muttering something indecipherable that ended with the uttering of “Sarah Brown”. My name.

I stood frozen to the spot as she spat into the dirt to seal her curse, then looked on, helpless, as she walked away, a look of triumph on her face.

‘That’ll teach thee,’ she had called over her shoulder.

They always said Old Annie was a witch, but I never believed it. Until now.

I can feel her eyes on the house.

Watching.

Waiting.


Written for: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #153 | Word count: 152

I suspect savvy Old Annie knows exactly what the local populace have been saying about her and is now using it against them. No doubt she understands the greater power lies in the fear of the curse, rather than the curse itself.

Unscripted ( a poem and some photos)

A signpost in Polesworth, Warwickshire

We had barely a plan

More of a thought

Of direction

.

A place name on a sign

Spotted from the road

On the way to

Other Places

.

Unburdened by the lack

Of expectation

We simply got in the car

And drove

.

Unencumbered by a list of

“Things to see and do”

We arrived

We discovered

We had a great time…

.

…And made plans to return

Next time as tourists

Rather than as explorers


A poem inspired by an unplanned road trip last week, to Polesworth in Warwickshire, and some photos of said place.

The Abbey Church of Saint Editha with the war memorial
If you’ve been around for a while, you will know how much I love gargoyles and grotesques…
The River Anker with ducks hiding along the bank
The breath-takingly beautiful abbey gatehouse, dating back to the mid-fourteenth century, though the abbey was founded centuries earlier, during the Saxon period

Call for submissions…Photo Prompt – Butterfly

For those interested, this submissions call is open until 30th August 2021…

Whispers and Echoes

Whispers and Echoes is currently open to submissions of short poetry and flash fiction inspired by the following photo:

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only poetry and flash fiction inspired by the photo prompt above will be accepted for this call.
  • Our usual submission guidelines apply: flash fiction in 100 words or under and poetry in 10 lines or less.  The full guidelines can be found here. Please read them before submitting.
  • For this call, please limit your submission to either 1 poem or 1 piece of flash fiction
  • Please state the following in the subject line: Photo Prompt Butterfly – Your Name
  • Submissions open: 17 August 2021
  • Submissions close: 30 August 2021
  • Responses will be sent out on or around: 31 August 2021
  • Accepted submissions will be posted on the site towards the end of September and into the beginning of October.  Depending on the volume of submissions received, we…

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Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021 – Update

An update on my Camp NaNoWriMo Project, accompanied by random yet soothing photos…

Not surprisingly, given my easily distracted mind at present, I haven’t written a poem and piece of flash fiction every day of July so far for my Camp NaNo challenge. I have however, already smashed my writing goal and have a combined total of 15 new poems and pieces of flash fiction.

My goal was 3100 words in total. I’m currently at 3510. Yay. My aim at the moment is to take the pressure off, to not make myself write on this project if I don’t feel like it. I have been writing other things (I’ve being planning a couple of novels and writing chapters for a handful of WIPs), and I do feel this is enough, which is new for me.

Photo by Avery Nielsen-Webb on Pexels.com

Usually, I’m determined to push myself, to ramp up the pressure, until I have completed such-an-such a thing, for the simple reason I said I would do it, and if I didn’t, I would feel the failure considerably for not having done so.

So, am I going to have 31 poems and 31 pieces of flash fictions written by the 31st? No. But that’s ok.

Perhaps I would feel differently if I hadn’t hit the word goal? May be. But it doesn’t matter. Along with accepting that I am not going to complete this challenge in the given the timeframe, I’ve decided to turn this into a longer term project. This collection will have a combined total of 62 poems and mini stories at some point in the future, I just don’t know when.

And I’m content with that.

Photo by Nejc Kou0161ir on Pexels.com

Witch! Witch! Witch!

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on Pexels.com

A night of terror. Of voices in the dark, asking questions she cannot answer, demanding truth instead of lies in the face of accusation.

Dawn finds her tethered to a post. Bound and blindfolded, her heart races with fear, anger, frustrated by small minds and superstitions.

She isn’t dangerous, only different.

By the time they realise, it will be too late.

She smells smoke, hears crackling, knows the fire has taken hold. The heat intensifies.

It won’t be long now…


Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #216 – Tether | Word count: 80 words

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021

It was a last minute decision but I’ve decided to join in with this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s been a few years since I’ve participated officially (I have participated unofficially a few times, setting my own targets), so it will be fun to give it another go.

What I like about Camp is that you can set your own goals so there is no pressure. My project this month is simple: write a poem and a story a day, every day in July. I’ve no chosen theme or style, allowing myself to write whatever I feel moved to write each day, and how much I want to write. That means I’ve set the word goal very low, at 3,100 words. So, if I’ve only got a haiku and a three sentence story in me on one of the days – or on all of those days! – that’s fine.

Is anyone else joining in with Camp NaNoWriMo this month? If you are, what are you working on? I would love to know.

What does your heart say?

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Skye stood at the crossroads.

“I don’t know which turn to take. I’m lost and can’t remember where I’m going,” she whispered to herself, tears threatening.

“Everything is unknown until we know it, the future, the way forward. Everything,” a voice said, but there was no-one else there with her.

“But which way is the right way?”

“Does it matter? What does your heart say?”


Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #214 – Unknown | Word Count: 65

Submissions Call: Haiku on Healing

For those interested, Whispers and Echoes is currently open to submissions of haiku on the theme of healing…

Whispers and Echoes

Whispers and Echoes is currently open to submissions for our latest themed call: Haiku on Healing.

Submission Guidelines:

  • The theme is Healing. Keywords: wellness, growth, change, transformation, mending, recovery, revival, health, survival, spiritual / emotional / physical / mental healing. This is not an exhaustive list so be as creative as your inspiration guides you, and as always, interpret the theme as you will. If you want to write a haiku about healing a broken bowl, cup or computer, go for it!
  • The format is: Haiku using the 5-7-5 syllable structure.
    • Please, no other forms and styles of poetry, and no flash fiction for this call.
  • Our usual submission guidelines apply, except that we are only accepting haiku length poetry for this particular theme (as stated above). The full guidelines can be found here. Please read them before submitting.
  • Please state the following in the subject line: Haiku…

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