Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo ToMoRrow

Eek. Erk. Gah. Remind me why I'm doing this? And remind me why I had to go and get all inspired this weekend, which resulted in me coming up with a brand new and definitely crazy idea?

The new idea involves girls and boys and Halloween and *coughs* stuff that I'll probably never be able to tell you about. This project is purely for fun. I don't think I'll let anyone read it... ever. I am crazy excited about writing something just for me. Hopefully this will give me the freedom to truly embrace the NaNoWriMo spirit, since I'm still slogging away at the WIP with the impending deadline.

I've never tried writing two things at once before. Have you? I hope I don't end up getting confused. That would be,,, not good.

Here's a song for you. Is it a clue about my NaNo project or is it a red herring? WHO CAN SAY?

Happy NaNoing to all you crazy people out there. As for the rest of you, good luck getting through the month without wanting to do violence to us annoying NaNoers.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Well I've only gone and signed up for NaNoWriMo, haven't I? How the heck did that happen? 50,000 words to write in the month of November? Easy peasy. Um... yeah.

I blame Twitter. People were talking about NaNo. I felt left out. I joined in. Simple. Trouble is, I have a pesky deadline looming. So I can't just start a shiny new project on November 1st and sack off the WIP (much as I'd like to... shhh... don't tell anyone). So here's the plan:

1. Write some words on the WIP every day. Try not to rush it and make it rubbish.
2. Write some words on SOMETHING ELSE every day. Rush it and try not to care if it's rubbish.
3. End up with 50,000 words by the end of November. The word count will be WIP words and SOMETHING ELSE words combined.

(N.B. SOMETHING ELSE will probably not be YA... Oooh!)

Now, NaNo experts among you will know that this is what's known as 'cheating'. Lucky for me, in NaNo world, 'cheating' is more commonly known as 'rebelling'. Yup, I will be a NaNo rebel (along with a few of my Twitter friends who introduced me to the concept). There's even a forum for us rebels... and that makes it official, like.

Somehow I've already managed to convince two friends to join me in this madness. Any chance I can convince you too? Or are you already signed up? Or would your rather lop off your left arm, nibble off all the flesh and then use the bones to bash yourself over the head?

NaNo? YesNo? Or HellNo?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My very first literary festival...

... recounted using pictures of dubious quality. (Except none of the pics are of the actual literary bit. Sorry.)

 A sign

 Pre-festival breakfast... nom nom nom

 A walk on windy, rainy Ilkley Moor (N.B. I was *not* dressed appropriately for this.)

 A waterfall on windy, rainy Ilkley Moor

 Wet leaves are slippy... who knew?!

 A creepy path (N.B. It looked way creepier in real life, honest.)

 Putting my feet up before the literary endeavours begin

Post-workshop reward: room service! Courgette risotto with crispy onions... and X Factor on the telly

In between the walking and the lounging and the eating, there were two workshops in Otley on Sunday and a workshop at Roundhay School in Leeds on Monday. I also met the very lovely David Logan (fellow Quercus author) and Martyn Bedford (author of FLIP, which looks... er... flippin' excellent).

My abiding memory of Ilkley? Bloody hilarious conversations with taxi drivers, which can not be recounted here. Rest assured they will be making an appearance in my writing one day.

What have YOU been up to, my lovely friends?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jako v pavučině!

Hey lovelies. My very first foreign edition will be published on Monday! ENTANGLED is going Czech! And here's the cover...

I *think* this translates as 'Like the web', but please feel free to correct me. So tell me... what do you think? Personally, I reckon my name has never looked cooler. Huge thanks to NAVA, my Czech publisher, and Caroline Hill-Trevor, Rights Ninja, for making this happen!

(I would have posted this on Monday, but I will be busy terrorizing visiting a school in Leeds. Please send me good luck vibes for that.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Confession time

OK, here's the thing. I'm a writer, right? But for the past few months I've been a writer who doesn't, y'know, write. 

I think this little fella was partly to blame for this sad state of affairs...

But it's not exactly fair to blame a cute little pupster for me being crap. Because that's exactly what I've been: CRAP. The real reason is... I just haven't wanted to write. I got 50,000 words into the WIP and realized I had no earthly clue what should happen next. Instead of sitting down with a notepad and working it out, I decided to ignore the problem. Surprise, surprise, this wasn't the best solution. 

Every time I even thought about opening the word document I would feel vaguely sick and massively uneasy. I would rather do ANYTHING than write - anything at all. But the thing is, when I don't write, I feel horrible. I mean, really, really horrible. I feel guilty and useless and pointless and blah. I was honestly starting to wonder if I'd ever finish this book. The deadline isn't getting any further away, and I already know this book's going to need some major rewrites (something I've never done before... eek). So everything was looking a bit rubbish, really. Apart from the puppy. Thank God for the puppy.

But then... but then... Something happened. I'm not sure what, exactly. But I started writing again this weekend. I still have no idea where the story is going, but now I really want to find out. And that ain't going to happen unless I write the bloomin' thing. 

Thankfully, a few factors suddenly came together to make me want to write again...

There's this song...

And this one...

There's also a playlist that one of my very favourite people created for me (thanks, Fras!). And the encouragement and help kindly provided by another awesome friend (thank you, Lauren!). And not forgetting the sensible advice from the lovely Zoë Marriott and my favourite email buddy, Lara. All these things went into the pot and helped me serve up a big ol' bowl of writing stew this weekend. And I'm still going. I do hope I haven't jinxed it by telling you lot.

So I'd better get back to it, eh?