So much news I’m not sure where to start!!

So I’ll start with the news I completed Camp Nano last Tuesday 19th June!!! Final word count 50,997. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story, a pirate/fantasy story currently titled ‘Red Sky’. I look forward to coming back and editing it in a month or two. For anyone who wants to take part in Camp Nano, there is another one in August. Will I be there you ask? Well… I might. I had so much fun this month that I’m really quite looking forward to doing it again as long as I find a story to write!  🙂 My characters were such fun company, and I loved writing something a  little bit different (I’ve never written about Pirates before!). My cabin mates on the Camp Nano site were great company, (Keep going girls! You can do it!!).

My other exciting news is that I have won an honorary mention in the Five Stop Story competition, and as a reward my story has been published alongside many brilliant other stories on their website Check it out and if you like it, don’t forget to click on the  little blue heart at the bottom of the page! 🙂


You’re Invited to Party!! :D

Introducing LaVerne Clark!

A very good friend of mine, LaVerne is having an online party on Wednesday 27th to celebrate the release of her 2nd e-book, Affinity! LaVerne writes suspense and light fantasy/paranormal romance set in New Zealand. Her first novel – Guardian of the Jewel is a great read and I am very much looking forward to reading this one!

So pop in to her blog at on Wednesday 27th June and join in the celebrations!!

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?


An excerpt of Affinity:

“Back off everyone, give us room,” boomed Nick with authority. Everyone took a step back. An attractive woman holding a microphone stepped into the created space. Her phony smile flashed teeth like a shark. Circling, she came in for the kill, her cameraman capturing the moment.

“Are you the lady who jumped in to save the boy? What made you do something so heroic? Witnesses say you were under for over ten minutes. How is this possible?”

The questions fired at her like a volley of bullets. Jenna flinched as each one hit its mark. She couldn’t answer honestly without sounding like a freak. So she said nothing, burying her head into Nick’s chest. His arms tightened around her. The subtle turning of his body shielded her from all those eyes.

He pitched his voice to address the crowd. “It’s been a traumatic event for everyone involved, and as you can imagine, it’s not over for us yet. We’ve no comment to make at this stage, so please, give us some time to come to terms with what’s happened. Thank you.”

“Could you at least give me a little snippet, Sergeant Hawke?” pouted the reporter, pushing her chest out and fluttering her lashes.

Jenna’s spine went rigid. A sick feeling of dread settled in the pit of her belly.

Police. Nick is a policeman. Dear God, I’m in trouble.

 Her head pounded and her hands shook. His arm tightened when she tried to pull away, holding her firmly in place. Any other person she could have fobbed off. Now she understood his aura of authority, his all-seeing gaze and concern at the thought of a child left alone in her car. He would be relentless uncovering the truth.

The end is nigh??

Thanks to a super day last Sunday, where I wrote 10,028 words (to be exact) and the odd 2000 word day, and yesterdays 3000+ word spurt, my Camp Nano Novel is now sitting just above the 38,000 word mark. Less than 12,000 words to go to reach my 50k goal. But I think I have a problem. The end is looming – I know what has to happen, and I am inclined to rush to get there, but I fear it will end before I reach the magic 50,000 words. It’s a common problem I have – I see the end and I write towards it – often skipping important details along the way. I haven’t done that so much this time. Writing a chapter a day has helped to keep me a little more focused on the ‘present’ in the story rather than racing ahead, but now I’m getting close and I can feel the urge to just rush towards the end. I know I can go back and fill in the details later, which after all is what I’ve done in the past, but I’d like to try and write my way, slowly, to the end.

There are some important things to come. Morgan, my main character, must learn the truth about her mother, and in turn about herself. I shouldn’t rush the telling of these things. She has a spell she must reverse. And sadly, another character is not going to make it to the end of the book. He is going to die soon – quite unexpectedly, although I have to admit I don’t know how yet. A poisoned dagger maybe? Or death in battle? Or…

I love how writing out the way of things, gives my thought-processes time to work. I’ve had a couple of answers come to me with the writing of this post! How the male character’s sister died so young, how he’s going to die, and when. So excited!! Time to get back to writing!! 😀

And even more Quotes!!

I have ‘liked’ Nanowrimo’s Facebook Page, and this morning they asked about inspiring Post-It notes. I used to have these – when I had a set writing space. Now I have a laptop, and find it easiest to write with my feet up on the couch… not really a great spot for post-it notes. Many fellow Nano-likers however, commented with their  Inspirational Post-Its. Here are a few – along with some other quotes that I just happened find about the place… 🙂 There were many, many more than this small selection I have copied here – and no doubt there will be more added after I post this! 🙂

(Yes – I do REALLY love quotes!)

This first quote comes from a Nanowrimo Pep Talk from 2010 (I think?) It was very  demotivational, in a brilliant and strangly motivational way… to see what I mean go here:

And for more pieces of  awesome inspiration (ie – more pep talks!) Go here:

Oops – I got distracted… quotes….

Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Lemony Snicket

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. – Mark Twain

Goals are dreams with deadlines. Diana Scharf Hunt

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. George Edward Woodberry.

Do you need someone to make you a paper badge with the word WRITER on it before you believe you ARE one? God, I hope not. Stephen King

A ship in port is safe. But that is not what ships are made for. John Shedd (< I really like this one… )


And some random others I came across:

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it. – Terry Pratchett.

It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.n- Terry Pratchett

There are too many people praying for mountains of difficulty to be removed, when what they really need is the courage to climb them. – Unknown

Osbtacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals. – Friderich Nietzsche

If you don’t have a dream, then how can you have a dream come true? – Theresa Moorey


Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. Marsha Norman

My Progress

For those of you interested in following my progress – Camp Nano is going well. I had a brilliant night last night – getting almost 3000 words down in a couple of hours. Night time is definitely my writing time. My muse finds me, and the story just flows!!

The only thing holding me back at the moment is the very un-nano-ish thing I’ve started doing, which is to stop and google information – character names, sea shanties, place names, ship names, ship details, pirate crew specifics.It’s all very interesting of course, and does lead in some cases to further story ideas, and of course more detail. But in it’s own way it is a little like procrastination. It is something I must remember to stop – for during the month of Nano  the whole purpose is to write! Get those words down – Can’t think of a name for a character, write BOY1 until you find a name. Make up the details of the crew, invent the parts of the ship. None of it has to be realistic, not yet, and who knows what brilliant invention the imagination might spring forth if we just give it the chance!

It is my aim for the remainder of Nano… don’t stop writing, during a writing session. Don’t leave the word processing page, until the days limit has been achieved. Maybe jot down a note or two at the side (“must look up …”) but leave the googling till after the writing is over.

One Chapter at a time…

Writing a story a chapter a day is… interesting, to say the least.

In the past I have always just sat down to write, and worried about chapters later. I have also, where possible, just kept on writing, getting those words out while they were flowing. This time, I’m not. I’m limiting myself. Once I reach the word count for the day, I wrap up my chapter (well usually I’m starting to wrap it up before hand), and stop.

Why? Well, mostly because I wrote over 100,000 words just over 6 months ago, and this time I just want to take it easy – go with the flow. It’s a very different way for me to write, and I don’t like it, and I may well change in the coming weeks, and simply get the story written. However I choose to continue with Camp Nano however, I do not intend to write too much more than 50,000 words.

But I have come across a competition. It’s for a novella – 20,000 to 50,000 words with the theme of ‘origin’. It’s only for writers in Aus and NZ, so apologies to all you folk living in other parts of the world – but for those interested – here’s the link:

When I started CampNano I didn’t actually intend to enter this. I’d seen it, but had no idea what to write about. Still the idea must’ve been lurking somewhere in the recesses of my brain because today I began writing about my characters origins. She thinks she knows them, you see, but it turns out she doesn’t. For the moment – neither do I (although I have some vague ideas), so it will be interesting to see what happens next. Stay tuned…

Camping is fun!

I have signed up for, and started Camp Nano.

Having never been virtual camping before I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But somehow, strangely enough, it does have a ‘camp-y’ sort of feel to it! I have a cabin which I ‘share’ with 5 others. They are all at least 10 years younger than me, (with the possible exception of one who has not shared her age) and come from all over the world – Germany, France, UK and US. Wow! The other’s mostly seem to be writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, though one has left her genre blank and the other’s simply says ‘other’. We have our own message board – and so far three of the others have been active in writing messages, and sharing virtual snacks (s’mores – I have heard so much about them recently, but still never had one! – for those of you who have no idea what they are – check this out: also see image below!). The other two cabin members have been quiet so far – not a peep out of them.  

I’m looking forward to sharing my month of writing with these people. Singing songs and telling stories around the camp fire, hopefully learning a thing or two about the places they come from (aside from s’mores . (I still can’t get past this idea of S’mores – chocolate, marshmallow – it sounds divinely rich and totally sickening at the same time!) Sharing our novel-writing journey.

And I suppose I should share a few words of my own writing journey while I’m at it! I’ve had two hectic days – organising my son’s 6th birthday party with friends, as well as a quieter family dinner, and preparing candles ready to sell at a market has not left much time for writing – still, I’ve squeezed it in – managing 1695 words yesterday, and 1771 words today. (For those who don’t know, the daily word count goal of Nano is 1667). So I am coasting at the moment. My aim is to write a chapter a day – something I have never really bothered with in the past, where I have just written and tried sorting the story into chapters later. So far, so good. My first two chapters have come to a natural ending, ready to move on to the next part of the story.

For now I’m exhausted. Looking forward to a sleep in and a much more relaxed day for writing tomorrow!