Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

The Artist


A novel excerpt, before I resume post-NaNo posting.

The young man called Aurel paints but he isn’t very good. So he writes instead. Letters and letters, some of which are never sent. Most of which are. He is thinking about why he is alive on the earth and the writer and the irritating dripping sound of his leaky tap.

He is often not working. His boss doesn’t mind. She is in her mid-forties, and she was once a model. Her beauty is still in her eyes and the single dimple in that sad smile she makes after he has escaped her bed. She doesn’t mind that he doesn’t work when he should.

Instead he sits at home. Empty takeaway cartons and unwashed everything and dust-laden floorboards. He sits in a defeated old armchair which was once red, staring at the reflection of himself in an opposing mirror. He hardly recognises the person staring back. Dishevelled black hair and bags under his eyes like a coffee-addicted boxer and a face of loose skin which is gaunt and dead. Sometimes he wishes that he was dead. Sometimes he thinks he is. Existing as a some sort-of half-corporeal being still haunting the place of his last days. Perhaps to wish to be dead is to be half-dead already.

He smokes a lot and he is smoking now as he watches himself in the mirror. He runs a hand back and forth through his ragged hair dislodging bits of wool and dandruff and making sure the smell of the smoke gets caught in his hair. One of his last remaining pleasures in life is waking up in the morning (in the chair, because it is the only place he can fall asleep now) and turning his head casually to the side and inhaling the strong musk of cigarette smoke. Not that his whole apartment doesn’t smell of it. But he likes to think that smell from that one source is strongest.

So he is smoking and he is thinking about his remaining pleasures in life and his worsening appearance and the woman he is having an affair with and how bad he is at painting. And at some point he realises that the window is wet with rain and his face is damp and the tap still drips and there is a draft in his living room.

And It Is Over….


Purple…the colour of royalty.

50051 words and the Nanowrimo beast is finished! YYYYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! If you’re nearly there, don’t give up! God, I’m so happy and so sleep-deprived. Thanks for all the support guys/gals/bloggers/homosapiens! Now I need to sleep before I break down.

Fight or Flight?

Look too closely at the bottom-right corner and that’s your appetite gone.

This isn’t a direct response, but this post is certainly inspired by today’s Daily Prompt. Fight or flight, eh? This entire month has been an exercise in that dance for me and many other writers. Four days left, and we’ve shed blood, sweat and ink in an uphill battle to write 50,000 words by the end of the month.

I’ve quit and returned to my novel three times this month. I keep getting that soul-crushing feeling that whatever I write does not matter to anyone and never will, that I am just another 16-year-old trying to hammer out a mediocre novel. My plot bunny, once long-lost, has returned over the past few days. It doesn’t make it easier to get out the words but it does tell me where they’re going. Exam pressure makes me want to run and give in to the weird side of YouTube and my gaming console. Even new friendships make me want to run away (yes, I am something of an introvert.) But I’ve decided to fight, even though it goes against my instinct to run.

Movember (yes, MOVEMBER) was an international fight-or-flight struggle. I say this because everyone knows what a touchy subject men’s health is. There’s this general consensus that men dislike discussing their health; they’re almost afraid of the subject. This month, thousands of bloggers and people around the world joined forces to bring this problem to the forefront. We’ve joined forces to encourage people to fight instead of run. It wasn’t easy. I’m sure the main campaigners and fundraisers were plagued more than once with the depressing thought of minimal interest, little outcome and overall failure. But they’ve fought anyway. And if you’ve even done the smallest thing to help that effort then you know what a great thing that is.

This month of November has woken me up. It’s kept me in the fight for my dream to be a writer, it’s helped get me involved in encouraging the fight in others. It’s helped people around the world wake up too. Heck, in one way or the other it might have helped you. Because for me and many other people this month’s been the difference between facing our fears and doing what we always do. It’s leaving this:

–and facing life like this:

Well, okay. Maybe we don’t look that good.

Tales From the Dark Side of NaNoWrimo, and 200 followers.

I’m sure both Nanoers and non-Nanoers alike must now be sick of all the Nano posts and memes. Only 18 days left!

It’s been more than a week since I posted (as one Mr Peter Monaco reminded me.) I’ve had exams and NaNoWrimo to deal with, combined with a dodgy Internet connection. But that’s no excuse. It’s been an interesting week, however. I missed two days of NaNo, and on the second day, I decided to give up. Yup. And then I also told myself I’d give up blogging. Yup. And that was the point my second voice kicked in and woke up my sanity. It happened like this: I carry around papers with the last five pages of my novel printed on them, so that I have something to do when lessons are slow. It so happened that some of my friends read these papers (I had not done the thing where I told everyone I knew that I was participating, as you are meant to do), and had positive feedback to give. And then the sanity kicked in and reminded me of how much I loved writing, and how much I needed to do it, as summarised in this quote:

Oh, I almost forgot about the second part of this post. I’ve actually somehow managed to attract 200 clearly misguided individuals to this blog! Yay! Somebody break out the champagne and forget that I’m 16.

Actually, champagne is pretty bitter. Who decided it would be a celebration drink? Why don’t we all have chocolate milkshake instead?

It’s now been three months of blogging and eleven days of NaNoWrimo. Once again, godspeed to anyone else participating out there (I’m looking at you, Pete and Contrary.)

Wow, I can’t remember what I was actually going to blog about. However, I do know that in honour of Movember and Le Clown I will at some point this week be writing either a bad poem or short story about, well, moustaches. Talking moustaches. Who spout philosophical wisdom. And if I write it up and it is too ridiculous then I will settle on something more serious. To do with moustaches. Also, I have readied something of a rant, partly about celebrity culture and partly about the BBC–I don’t know if anyone outside England has heard, but recently our national television corporation shoved a list of alleged paedophiles into the face of our Prime Minister. Yes, you read that correctly. No, I don’t know why either. But I most certainly have something to say about it.

The crow is back.

What Inspires You To Creativity?

What inspires you to creativity? Do you use pictures or prompts to help you blog, paint or write?

If you are undertaking NaNoWrimo, I salute you. Three days in and it already feels like one of the most mentally-taxing things I’ve ever done. I haven’t had time to reply to emails or comments, and I’ve been putting off school-work due on Monday (terrible, I know.) Whatever muse I had on day one has deserted me, and I’m finding creative inspiration through music and photos (and getting by on Pepsi, seeing as my mother’s finished all the coffee.)

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I Loathe Thee, NaNoWriMo

…and you haven’t even begun. I’ve gotten a little page up with a novel summary and everything, and I now have a rough idea of my planned NaNo journey. Seeing as my month-long toil will be concentrated on the novel from which all my excerpts originate, I hope it goes smoothly. Relatively. Somewhat. From this sketchy planning and a wide-reading of NaNo tips, I have already concluded:

-I need to follow more writing blogs (feel free to recommend some!)

-I don’t drink coffee, I may need to start.

-I have to finish this challenge now that I’ve let all of you guys know about it along with a few literary-minded friends from school.

-There are not enough hours in a day.

That is all. Also, Bjork is one of the strangest singers I’ve ever listened too. More about that on Friday during my rant. And I wanted to give quick shout-outs to NicoLite for starting and sticking to his own Post-A-Day challenge, and pineappleflavouredpeople for sticking to her Habites challenge for thirty-four days! More inspiration for me to stick to my NaNo one! 😉

And I leave you with an excerpt (my apologies if you are sick of these by now, but unfortunately you shall be inundated with them almost everyday of November if you follow my blog. What’s that? You arrived here through some strange internet search and are not yet following? Clicky-clicky.)


On the days when he remembers that which he does not like to, he speaks to himself. He talks about the weather and the latest corrupt government official (there are many of them.) Sometimes he talks about conkers and spinning tops and the things he used to play with as a child. Sometimes he is a good listener. Sometimes he is not, and at these times he becomes lonely in the solitude of an English home.

Other times the boy comes to speak with him. It is the only time when he sees the boy relaxed because there is no death in his English home, and thus nothing to fear. They talk about everything and nothing but mostly about the things which they fear. Rhododendrons and people, for the boy. Honey and cypress, for the man. Death for them both. And sometimes he can see the boy’s wings, but not always. On rainy days, they have a tendency to disappear.

Blogger’s Block

Positivity Post: Positive Art on the London Underground

I’m in a curious position at the moment. It seems that now my creative writing muse has reawakened, my blogging muse has gone to sleep. It’s very odd. I’ve written 500 words of my novel this week (at the end of this post, if you’d like to read it), and yet the last time I posted was another four days ago. I’m sitting here now, with my room in a mess and my revision undone, anxious to get a post written. Yet the only thing I can write about is the fact that I’ve nothing to write about at all.

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