Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Call yourself a novelist?

Well folks, I've done it, I've finished NaNoWriMo this year. And what a bloody slog it was too! 50,000 words of a first draft, completed in just under a month. A lot of it will probably (definitely!) need a lot of work doing to it, but the bare bones of the story are out, and it feels pretty good actually. I think there's definitely something to be said for doing the first draft as quickly as possible (although a month is a little crazy). I'm going to leave the story to stew for a few weeks, and then pick it up again in the new year for some serious editing.

Seems to have been a day for finishing things, yesterday, cause as well as the novel, I've also finished reading Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. An unusual tale bordering on science fiction (but if you'd told me that I'd never have bought it), a truly brilliant story about identity and relationships. Very readable, but thought-provoking nonetheless. A definite thumbs up from me. Incidentally, Ishiguro's book features here in the Times' round up of the best novels of 2005, describing it as 'this year’s most remarkable novel'. There's an interesting insight into his life here.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Keris meme...

Well, she wanted it, so she got it...

"Here's how you do it: Do a Google image search of the following and post the first (or favourite if you want to cheat, but label it so) result for each:

The name of the town where you were born
The name of the town where you live now
Your name
Your grandmother’s name (just pick one)
Your favourite food
Your favourite drink
Your favourite song
Your favourite smell

Here goes...

The town where I was born:
It's a bit nippy

Tynemouth, of course. Jolly seaside town, apart from the weather, that is. You can almost smell the cold.

The place I live now:
Not the most exciting picture of Queen's Park, I agree

She'll catch her death of cold

Hmm I bet you can't guess what my grandmother was called...

Favourite food?
Mmm, comfort food
That's risotto to you and me. Yum.

With a nice glass of:

Whilst listening to:
Erm, Life on Mars

Smelling of
Mine's by Lancome
Miracle, that is.

Well, that was fun, wasn't it kids? Right... must crack on with that ruddy story *sigh...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Week four already

Well, somehow I've made it to Week Four of NaNoWriMo, and I'm still going! Have just passed the 37k mark, and the end is in sight! Am actually enjoying it this year, so the key for me is NO PLANNING in advance! I will, of course, go back and do the 'planning' (ie. organising of plot, characters etc) AFTER I finish, but doing it this way round for a change has had a profound impact on the way I write. This is the first longer piece that I've done which I don't think should go straight in the bin, which is what I've felt about the other 'novels' I've done in the past. Phew.

This story was encouraging, to all budding writers... waitress Rachel Zadok who entered a Richard + Judy competition is now published and up for the Whitbread Prize. You go girl!

How often does this happen? One of my favourite writers, Truman Capote, has had a new book published, which is his long lost first ever novel. I can feel the purse coming out...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

NaNo update

It's going well this year, better than ever, in fact. I'm now up to 29,656 words, and still have plenty more to write AND some sort of idea of the plot which might follow. Yay! It's probably rubbish, like, but I'm trying, and you always get points for that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Santa baby...

Ooh Santa, I've been a very good girl this year, and I know what I want for Christmas... it's this, the complete Penguin Classics Library. All 1082 books of it as well! Amazon.com is selling it for a cool £4,600. A Mrs Gursky, in the United States, received the set as a birthday gift from her husband. In the words of Dawn + Jen, lucky bitch.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

NaNo Update

Sorry for the lack of posts, i've been Nano-ing... have already beaten my personal best (which was about 19k) and am now on 25k woo hoo. Must keep going, must keep going...

Here's a couple of book-related links to keep you going while I'm busy writing...

I'm currently reading Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro, and rather good it is too.

Stuff Nick Hornby's been reading.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Thanks to Keris for providing this Meme...

Three screen names that you've had: baglady, LadyLazarus, angel132_uk

Three things you like about yourself: Good listener, liberal views, bit quirky (!)

Three things you don't like about yourself: Worry what other people think of me, flabby post-baby hips + tum, and over-sensitive

Three parts of your heritage: Tynemouth (great northern seaside town!) - chips, seagulls and pubs.

Three things that scare you: Moths, butterflies and gangs of hoodies (!)

Three of your everyday essentials: t'internet, tv news, Muller light yogurts with cakey bits (the best!)

Three things you are wearing right now: Black tracksuit bottms, black socks, black Gap hoodie (what did I say about hoodies?!)

Three of your favourite songs: They Won't Go Where I go - George Michael (Stevie Wonder cover), Lilac Wine - Jeff Buckley (Nina Simone cover), and Fix You by Coldplay.

Three things you want in a relationship: Laughs, hugs, nice days out.

Two truths and a lie: I was once in the Five Star fan club (oh the shame, but I was only 8), I once sold Jack Dee some boxer shorts, I love the smell of liver (calf's, not human).

Three things you can't live without: Elise (!), t'internet, and books.

Three places you want to go on vacation: Poland (yes!), Thailand, and, for some reason, Cornwall.

Three things you just can't do: Drive, drink whiskey, listen to Mariah Carey.

Three kids' names: Elise (natch), Edie, Ella (all female, all beginning with 'E', *sigh)

Three things you want to do before you die: Get a novel published!,

Three celeb crushes: Tim Burgess, Jeff Buckley (does it matter that he's dead?), erm... can;t think of any others.

Three of your favourite musicians: Jeff Buckley (again), Coldplay, and David Bowie.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: Eyes, smile, hair.

Three of your favourite hobbies: Yoga (when I have the time these days!), readng novels, writing.

Three things you really want to do badly right now: Eat chocolate!, sleep for a week, read a book.

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: Novelist, clinical psychologist, counsellor.

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I like animals, flowers and cuddles.

Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Random person, Pete and Billy (RIP).

Monday, November 07, 2005

Happy Eid

I was brave enough to go to one of those 'mum and baby' groups for the first time today, only to discover that it was an 'Eid Party'. I suggested I should come back another day, but the woman said no,no you are welcome. So I ventured in, only to discover a room full of women wearing headscarves and talking Arabic, with toddlers screaming the place down. So I left. Not the best start to my new life of coffee mornings with mums, although I will endeavour to go back on a quieter morning when perhaps there's less older children around. Think E would have been a bit overwhelmed by the noise!

NaNo update: after only doing 350 words over the whole weekend, I made up for it today by doing 3000, taking my word count to 10,800. Still behind, but not by too much.

Friday, November 04, 2005

NaNo NaNo

It's that time of year again - NaNoWriMo. And yes, I am attempting it for the third year running, yes with a 7 week old baby (yes, I am certified insane). Going ok so far, am ahead of schedule. Feels a bit weird to be doing it totally off the cuff, as I didn't decide to do it until 1st Nov. Have started 3 novels in the past (2 NaNos) and have never got further than 20,000 words on any of them. So we shall see if I can stick this out til the end of November...

And what? Billy has left the world of blog? Nooooo.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Last night was the first year in this flat we've never been 'trick or treated'. Not that I answer the door anyway, you understand, but they usually ring the bell (maybe they've just got the message this year). We would never have done this when I was a kid. Hallowe'ens were spent dressing up as witches in my cousin's garage, telling scary stories to try to scare each other. The air was always tinged with the charred aroma of singed turnip, as our lanterns were always carved from turnips, never pumpkins. I never saw a pumpkin lantern except on telly, they seemed a bit posh for round our way ('tis grim up north).