NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 30


It is finished, and while I hit my 50,000 target word count on Day 25, I continued writing. This is not only the first NaNoWriMo in which I reached 50,000 significantly earlier than the cut-off date, it is also the first one in which I wrote every single day. I can’t recall the exact statistics, but I think my lowest word count day was around the 60-words mark, and the highest was close to 3,000.

It’s a crazy time of year for me and winning NaNo is like a wonderful little blip of personal achievement, self-satisfaction and joy in the midst of what is usually a stressful season. It also marks the close of the school year (late January to late December) and both my children have more end-of-year events to attend than normal. Child No.1 is going to be awarded with academic achievement awards (I knew he had it in him!) and Child No.2 is graduating from primary school (elementary school). It’s the end of an era for our family and it’s weird thinking that my ‘baby’ will be starting high school next year. But with that comes a whole series of extra scheduled events, including orientation nights and days (on my birthday… thanks a lot! :/ ) and no doubt there will be some teary farewells as well as some sighs of relief. It’s been a tumultuous year for my family and we are looking forward to a hopefully quiet summer holiday season once Christmas is done and dusted.

I will try to write a retrospective on my NaNoWriMo 2016 experience over the next week. I learned a lot this time around that served me well. My NaNo was much better this year than in previous years.

I also hope to come back to my story. I think it could be reworked as more of a Middle Earth Tolkien-esque kind of story happening in an alternate world. While I wanted it to be sci fi it really felt laborious having it take place across a series of different planets. It didn’t need that. It needs the different spaces but I think it would work better as a fantasy story. I will try to tweak it or rewrite it during early 2017.


Screenshot of my NaNoWriMo badges! The badges shown here include writing every single day, passing all word count goals, being a “plantser” (half planning/half winging it), and drinking too much caffeine. That said, I did in fact have far less coffee than in previous NaNos so that’s something! I plan to get a halo badge added once I can scrape together some spare funds to buy some NaNo winner’s merch and add a donation to my purchase.


Screenshot, 30 November 2016. [Source]


NaNoWriMo Day 25

I just reached the 50,438 words count so now it’s official – I have attained the title of NaNoWriMo Winner* for the fourth year in a row with my rambling, chronologically confused and in-desperate-need-of-editing sci-fi fantasy “Chloe’s War.” And quite frankly, I want to keep writing it. While I’m glad I finished it before the really busy season in the month before Christmas begins, part of me is not ready to lay this novel aside. With massive re-writing and tweaking, it might be something good. And in the meantime, NaNoWriMo is not over yet, so there are still five days in which I can add to my word count.

Once November and NaNo are over I intend to write a little retrospective. People who’ve been following me for a while will know that this was my fastest NaNoWriMo yet, and the first one for me that did not necessitate any all-nighters, last-minute deadline freakouts or bouts of “I suck so why even bother?!” I have a few thoughts on why I was more successful this time compared to previous years… but I think I need to take a writing breather to recover before I get back onto that.

On a different note, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the other night with The Husband and kids. It was, well, fantastic. A wonderful, intriguing, fun, sad, clever, scary, compassionate kind of film – one definitely for people like me who love animals and imagine a world where people care about their creatures and each other. The characters are wonderfully diverse, well-developed and individual. It felt to me like an INFJ version of a superhero film. Even better, despite it being set in the same universe as Harry Potter, it didn’t in any way feel like just a rehashing of the original HP stories. It is very much its own story and while it obviously links to the originals, it doesn’t feel sameish at all. Basically, it’s everything that I hope Rogue One will be when that comes out next month – part of an established fictional universe yet carving out its own unique space within that universe, while not being just the same old story again. It’s been a good year for the sorts of movies I like and I think Fantastic Beasts is one that I will watch again. At the very least I now want to read the J.K. Rowling screenplay of the film!


Screenshot of my NaNoWriMo 2016 stats, 25 November 2016. [Source]

*Winner = any NaNoWriMo participant who reaches a validated word count of 50,000+ words. And not, as people in the past mistakenly believed, signifying that I am in any conventional way a successful novelist!

Snapshot from the reading pile

Here’s what’s currently occupying my bedside table:

  • Snow Blind. Christopher Golden. 2014. London: Headline Publishing.
  • Sarah Laughed: Modern lessons from the wisdom & stories of Biblical Women. 2005. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Robert C O’Brien. 1971. London: Puffin Books.
  • Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. Susan Cain. 2012. London: Viking.
  • The complete illustrated works of Edgar Allan Poe. 1981, 2013. London: Bounty Books.
  • Goddesses: A world of myth and magic. Burleigh Mutén. Illustrator Rebecca Guay. 2003. Bath, UK: Barefoot books.
  • Feminism and ecological communities: an ethic of flourishing. 1998. Chris J. Cuomo. London: Routledge.

System (2002)


I have mentioned a few times now that I love the Queen of the Damned (2002) movie soundtrack. Here’s a video clip of one of the songs from the film, “System.” The voice is that of Jonathan Davis of Korn, and the actor is Stuart Townsend as Lestat. In this film, Lestat is a heavy metal singer. If the premise sounds a little absurd, read the Anne Rice novels The Vampire Lestat (1985) and Queen of the Damned (1988). It makes a lot of sense.