NaNoWriMo 2021 – How did it go?

So NaNoWriMo is over for another year… 😦

Well done to everyone who participated. Even if you only wrote 1 new word for your WIP, it’s 1 more word than you started with!

I hit 50,000 words on the final day. This year my aim was to wrap up a few WIPs that needed finishing, and my self set challenge was not to move on from one project until it the draft was completed. Did I succeed with this? Partly, which I’m counting as a win. This is why: 5 WIPs completed, 4 had a sizeable amount of work done on them, and one of my novel WIPs has been restructured. Woohoo!

It feels good to get some of those unfinished projects finished. And now I’ve got finishing fever. That novel that has been restructured will be my focus project for December. And, that first draft should be finished by the end of the year. Fingers-crossed.

Along with my writing goal for December, I’m already thinking about what I want to focus on in 2022. I have a few ideas: there are some WIPs I want to finish, some sequels to stories already written are calling to me, as well as some books I’ve already outlined, and some new ideas too…If you haven’t guessed it by now, I want to write ALL the stories 🙂

If you participated in NaNo this year, how did you find it? Did you reach your goal? Has anyone else started thinking about writing plans for 2022 yet? Do you have any writing goals for December?

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.

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

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

I’ve been away, thinking… (an update)

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Thanks everyone for your patience. I took an unexpected blogging break at the beginning of April. My intention had been just to slow things down for a few weeks, coinciding with a hiatus over at Whispers and Echoes, but it was clear I needed to do a bit more than that. Sometimes, you need to stand back from everything and just breathe and have a think about what you’re doing and where you’re going, and what you want to be doing, all without the pressure of committing to anything. And I decided to give myself the time and space to do that.

So here we are six weeks later…Is the blogging break over? More or less.

Although I’ve not been blogging, I have been busy doing other things, many of which are related to the blog. The only one I’ll mention now is about starting a found poetry series, using classic works of literature. The first one is inspired (if that’s the right word? Perhaps utilising would be better…) by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which I’ll start posting later today and continue daily until Friday.

I’ve also been writing (of course!), and been working towards finding my historical romance novel a home. I’ll go more into this and the journey of this story another time, but in between putting together submission packages, I’ve started on the first draft of the book which follows on from it.

My favourite part of the writing process is writing the first draft. I don’t often deviate very much from my first draft once it’s committed to paper / screen, so it’s here where I find the magic happens. There’s something very exciting about seeing the story unfold for the first time and witnessing how your characters respond to what’s going on around them. What’s you’re favourite part of the writing process?

And that’s my update. I’m going to go and start my poetry series, and then I had better get working on the next 52 prompts for the Weekend Writing Prompt, as the one posted on Saturday was the last prompt of year 4! I can’t believe how long we’ve been doing this, but I hope everyone is still enjoying it! After that, I have a fair few blog visits to make, and comments to catch-up with.

Take care,

Sammi

Excavating the Archives: The Princess In The Library

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, there lived a princess.  Well, no.  She wasn’t a princess.

She was a librarian.

But, she felt like a princess, because she spent most of her time in a castle, by which she meant “library”.

And every day, the Prince – who wasn’t really a prince but an English Professor – would come to the library on his lunch break.  They would smile shyly at one another, but never talk.

One day, that changed.

‘Come fair maiden, take my hand,’ he whispered. ‘Let me show you a world beyond these shelves…’


This was originally posted on this site in September 2016.  You can find it here.

Excavating the Archives: Imperfect Perfection

I dreamt of imperfect perfection

Of days spent laughing in the sun

I dreamt of the flawed and the fractured

Of the wondrous things that might come

*

I dreamt of the broken twisting pathway

That would take me to my journey’s end

I dreamt of disjointed intentions

Of happiness and peace amongst friends

*

I still dream of imperfect perfection

The ups and downs to be found in this life

I still dream of disjointed intentions

Knowing peace is often balanced with strife


This was originally posted on this site in May 2017. You can find the post here.

Looking back with a heavy heart…

I was saddened to learn that last month Zimbell House Publishing closed.  I have fond memories of writing for their varied anthologies, and always will.  When I first started thinking about submitting my work back in 2015, Zimbell House was one of the first venues I tried. That first story was The Water Wytch, and was included in the anthology, Elemental Foundations. Between 2015 and 2017, I had stories in 11 of their beautiful anthologies:

  • The Water Wytch in Elemental Foundations
  • The Spirit Man in Pagan
  • A Teller of Fortunes in Travelers
  • The Wood-Shades of Winter in On A Dark and Snowy Night
  • Returning Home in Where Cowboys Roam
  • The Apothecary’s Tale in The Key
  • The Sultan’s Daughter in Veil of Secrets
  • Jousting for Murder in Tournament Games
  • Fairy Magic in The Lost Door
  • Night’s Magic in Nocturnal Natures
  • A Family Reunion in Children of Zeus

They were generous with rewarding their writers with paperback copies of the books they had stories in – something which is quite rare. It was always a fantastic day when these beautiful books arrived in the post.

Having my stories included in these anthologies boosted my confidence as a writer, and for that I will always be grateful. I wish them all the best for the future.

Excavating the Archives: Colourless

I look out of the window on to a black and white world. Where did all the colour go? I used to think sepia tones were dull and morose, hearkening back to a time before, tainted with nostalgia, that required the wearing of rose-tinted glasses. Now I long for those insipid hues…

The shadows outside lengthen as the sun dips lower and lower in the sky. The black and white world is now more dark than light as day slowly fades into night. The cracks in the ground, of which there are many – when was the last time it rained? – are shown in stark relief. Nothing grows here any more.

My mother has a painting of a dandelion over the mantelpiece, its bright yellow head an affront to the greyscale space it inhabits. I wonder how, when everything else has lost its colour, that one painting of a weed is as bright and as vibrant as when it was first painted…

Mum says, if she could, she would pick the seed head from the painting – it’s there lurking to the side of the bright flower. Thinking me still a child, she says she’d ask me to make a wish and then together we’d blow really hard and disperse all the seeds. Of course, my wish would be granted, she says. It’s magic. I’m not convinced, but I know I would do it any way.

And I know what I’d wish for: a secret doorway that would appear in our living room, one that could take us back in time to when the world was still gleaming and awash with all the shades and colours of an artist’s palette.

I hate the plainness here. It stifles hope.


This post was first shared on this site in September 2018. You can find the original post here.