Thursday 18 November 2021

Nanowrimo 2021: Over Halfway

 NaNaWriMo 2021

We've passed the halfway point of Nanowrimo 2021 - how are you getting on?

In my last Nano post, I admitted that I was behind on my word count for the month and I'm afraid to say I'm still playing catch-up. But I'm still writing, still adding to my word count, and that's the important bit in my opinion.

I found myself struggling this week, even when I did have the time to sit and work on my book. I've blogged before about writing in 15-minute bursts and decided to put this into practice to see if it would help. I tweeted about it, to make myself accounantble, and off I went.

I set my timer and managed to write just over 400 words in the 15 minutes. So I figured if I did 4 more 15-minute bursts, I should be able to reach 2,000 words. It seems ridiculous - 5x15mins=2,000 words? Nah. It can't work. But it did! And so I've been writing in 15-minute bursts for the rest of the this week. I don't always have time for 5 lots, but I'm much more productive in the time I do have. I'm no longer staring at the screen or wandering off to Twitter or Instagram.

Book 16: 20,000 words

My goal for today was to reach 20,000 words and with my 15-minute bursts, I managed to leap over the milestone. This book is getting there, one word at a time.

Average Daily Word Count: 1,156

Total Word Count: 20,816


Thursday 11 November 2021

Magical Romantic Comedies

Magical Romantic Comedies

I love a rom com with a magical twist, whether it's a birthday wish come true or a bit of time-travel, and I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you (plus I've cheekily added my own to the list).

The 12 Christmases of You & Me | Jennifer Joyce

What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?

Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?

When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.

All About Us | Tom Ellen

Two choices. One destiny. A love story you’ll never forget…

December 2005. On a cold winter’s night, nineteen-year-old Ben is having the time of his life at university. He’s about to fall in love for the very first time…but will it be with new girl Daphne, or his best mate Alice?

December 2020. Life hasn’t quite turned out how Ben had planned and he’s stuck in a rut. He can’t help but think back to that fateful night fifteen years earlier, and wonder what might have been…

He never imagines he will get to find out – but when Ben is gifted with a second chance to make the biggest decision of his life, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird | Josie Silver

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They've been together for almost a decade, and are just about to get married. But then, on Lydia's 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.

Then something unbelievable happens. Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie.

But what if there's someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

The Mince Pie Mix-Up | Jennifer Joyce

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…

The Angel at No. 33 | Polly Williams

Am I dead? I don't feel dead...' Sophie cannot leave the people she loves. Her husband, Ollie - a man who once watered a houseplant for a year before realising it was plastic - is lost without her. Their son Freddie is so little. And her friend Jenny? There's something she desperately needs to know before it's too late. Some love stories never end.

If You Could See Me Now | Keris Stainton

Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin.

Then an unexpected turn of events gives her the boost she needed.

Suddenly Izzy has the confidence to do all the things she’s never dared: dump her oblivious boyfriend, turn the tables on catcallers, and put herself forward for a big pitch at work. Having to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is just an added perk…

But then her best friend has her heart broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy?

Everything Changes But You | Jennifer Joyce

Be careful what you wish for...

Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic.

Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds.

When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted.

But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home. But can she find her way back - or is she stuck in this new reality forever?

Twenties Girl | Sophie Kinsella

A hilarious story of love, dancing, fashion and a very unlikely friendship.

If you suddenly had a friend that only you could see or hear, what would you do?

You could worry that your stressful life has tipped you over the edge and you have lost the plot, big time . . . you could hide under your duvet, hoping that they would go away . . .


You could have some fun . . .

You could make a fool of yourself many times over . . .

You could save your business . . .

You could dance with a gorgeous man who just can't resist you . . .

You could solve the mystery of the dragonfly necklace . . .

And you could just discover the best friend you ever had.

Do you like your rom com with a dash of magic? If you do, feel free to share your favourites in the comments below :)

Wednesday 10 November 2021

A Nanowrimo 2021 Update


It's been just over a week since the start of this year's Nanowrimo - how are you getting on?

I'm going to be honest: I'm behind on my word count already. But life sometimes gets in the way and I am plodding along, adding bits and pieces to my word count when I can. And I've reached the 10,000 words mark, which needs celebrating.

Book 16: 10,000 words

I've taken part in two online write-ins over Zoom with my local Nano writing group, which has definitely helped to increase my word count. I've got another one tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. I love the community spirit of Nano and it's great to catch up with everyone and see how they're getting on with their projects.

Average Daily Word Count: 1,206

Total Word Count: 10, 855

Thursday 4 November 2021

If You're Taking Part In Nanowrimo, It's Totally Okay To...


If You're Taking Part In Nanowrimo, It's Totally Okay To...

... momentarily forget about real life. Who is this 'mum' you speak of? And what is this 'lunch' you keep requesting?

Lunch | Sandwich

... get super-competitive. With yourself. 'Last year I exceeded my Nano goal by 3,000 words - this year I'm going to exceed it by six thousand, even if means I don't sleep for a month'.

No sleep

... raid the Christmas treats early as word snackage. Something has to get you through 50,000 words, and that something is a tub of Quality Street.


... fill the Sky Q box with recordings of all the shows that will have to make way for writing. Better get deleting some stuff to make room.


... celebrate the milestones. Shout about that first 500 words on Twitter. Stick a screenshot of the 10,000 words mark on Instagram. Post a part-triumphant, part-frazzled selfie on Facebook when you limp past 40,000 words. And definitely tell everyone loud and clear if you reach 50,000 words. 


... not reach 50,000 words. Because that is a LOT of words to write in one month - and that's without factoring in real life. Celebrate however many words you achieve, because it'll be more words than you had on the page at the beginning of the month. Your words are enough, however many you write in November.

Your Words Are Enough

... be kind to yourself, and those around you. Maybe feed your kids once in a while. And perhaps it's best not to eat all the Christmas treats (or replace them if you do). And you should definitely sleep, no matter how competitive you're feeling.


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Monday 1 November 2021

Ready, Set, Nano!

Nanowrimo Writer 2021

It's the 1st November, which means only one thing: it's time to Nano.

This is the third time I'm going to attempt Nanowrimo and although I feel like I'm prepared with my chapter plans and my Pinterest boards and my character questionnaires, I know it's going to be a challenge. But I'm trying to not put too much pressure on myself, because I want to enjoy the next month. It's going to be intense, but writing and creating stories should be fun.

What is Nanowrimo? | National Novel Writing Month (AKA Nanowrimo - or simply Nano) is an event that takes place every November, where participants attempt to write 50,000 words over 30 days.

My plan is to write 2,000 words for six days of the week to reach the 50,000 words, but life sometimes throws obstacles in our way so I'm not going to fret if I don't reach any of my milestones (though I will absolutely give myself a massive pat on the back for every one I do reach).

For the past couple of years, Nanowrimo has meant trying to reach that 50k goal, but for me, this year is going to be about making a start on Book 16 and enjoying being part of the Nano writing community. I loved all the Zoom sessions I had with my local group last year, and I took that away with me more than the word count.

So, I hope to reach the 50k during November, but I'm not heaping the pressure on myself. And with that in mind, I'm going to dive in to Nano2021. Let's do this!