Friday, November 23, 2012


So it's day 23 of NaNo and it's almost two weeks since I've blogged.

How am I doing?

I started off with a hiss and a roar and now the pace could be described as plodding. But there is at least a pace of sorts.  :)

This last week I have battled a dose of the 'flu and hubby was away for two nights on business. Both of these events have created a definite sense of 'Blah' in my life.

And what does a hubby bring home for his wife?

An Angry Bird eraser - of course!

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, then hopefully I'll be all fired up for the final week of NaNoWriMo.

Oh, and a Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Ten days in, 17555 words, and one third of the challenge is over.

I've been surprised at how easy it has been this time around. Usually I can get my words done in about two hours. It is, of course, very first draft, but it's great to write with the internal editor bound and gagged.  I've just let him loose while I write this post and he's jumping about gleefully! Sshhh, don't tell him I'm about to lock him up again.

A few days ago I was tagged by Debbie from Deb E with a blog tag meme. It asks some questions about your current WIP.

So here goes.

What's the working title?
Blackbird - Maddie's Shoshone name.

What genre is it?
Historical Fiction/ Western

A brief synopsis
It has been almost a year since Maddie's Shoshone fiancé died and all she wants is to continue with their plans to raise dairy cows on a piece of her father's land. But her father, the leader of an infamous gang of outlaws has other plans and when a letter arrives from Boston, Maddie is forced to make the hardest decision of her life.
Add to that a blossoming, but difficult romance with her childhood sweetheart and the arrival of an unconscious stranger, with a dark secret.
Set in late 1880s in the mountains and plains of north west Wyoming, Maddie's story also takes the reader to Idaho, Montana and the bustling city of San Francisco.

Where did the idea for the story come from?
I was watching an old western, Alias Smith and Jones, and the story just fell in my lap. And BTW, apart from the odd outlaw, my story doesn't resemble the programme in any way.
I wasn't even a writer at the time, but the story wouldn't go away and so my journey as a writer began.

If your story was made into a movie who would you pick to play the roles?
I have definite pictures in my head for the characters, most of which are pure imagination. The exception being Maddie, who is a cross between Katie Melua (singer) and a young Sigrid Thornton and for Logan (her childhood sweetheart) a young Ben Murphy - straight out of Alias Smith and Jones. So I couldn't begin to think who I'd pick.

Ben Murphy

Sigrid Thornton

Katie Melua

Time for me to pass on the meme to 5 writers: Melissa Marsh, Clarissa Draper, Joanne Ganley, Elisabeth Grace Foley and Kay Cooke.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Day three of NaNo - it's Saturday and all the family are about. After doing the weekly grocery shopping, hubby and I had a takeaway coffee overlooking Otago Harbour and our beautiful city.

These photos were taken a few months ago, so the trees look decidedly wintery. Although I have to say that today the weather certainly felt wintery. Here we are in the last month of spring and we have had hail showers all day and apparently there was a little snow on the hills again this morning. I can't confirm that as Saturday is sleep-in day!

After our outing I locked myself in my room and wrote. Today I clocked up 1831 words bringing my total to 5493 - 492 words ahead!

Apart from getting the words down at a good rate, I am enjoying the process. The first half hour is the hardest with false starts, brain freeze, and the constant desire to get up and walk away. Then something clicks in my mind and I'm away.

The biggest change (so far) to the story is that I have made my MC, Maddie, four years older. Now that she is twenty I feel like I have finally connected with her character. In my earlier drafts her youth somehow translated into a weak character. Well, she certainly isn't that anymore. Surprisingly, the change in age has little effect on the overall plot. Sigh! If only I had thought of this earlier.

I've left Maddie, and a few important characters, sitting in a wagon. I hope they don't take off without me overnight!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


NaNoWriMo 2012 has begun!

After hubby and the kids left for school I finished the daily Code Cracker in the newspaper, swilled back my first cuppa for the day, went for a brisk half hour walk, then plonked myself in front of the computer.

I had been both excited and terrified of this moment. I really wanted to get into the story, yet wondered if any words would form. You see I'm doing a complete rewrite of my first novel, Blackbird, which has languished for almost a year, waiting for just the right time for me to rewrite it. And in the back of my mind I knew that if I couldn't get it right this time, then it would be permanently consigned to some dark and dusty bottom drawer. That in itself would be a waste, but I have a draft copy of Blackbird's sequel - my 2010 NaNo project - which would also be wasted if Blackbird never saw the light of day.

So, how did my day go?

The first bit of good news is that I clocked up 2401 words in a couple of hours. The second bit of news is that I'm really liking what came out. Sure it's first draft material and will need plenty of editing, but it just feels right.

Here's hoping for many more great days this month.