There may be questions in your head right now. Questions such as: Is it too early for tea?* or Why can’t Melbourne just stick to one season per day?** Or, to narrow it down to something more relevant to this blog post: Where on earth have you been since the 12th of November?
The answer to that question is one I haven’t given for a very long time. I was writing. I was writing! There was no time for blogging because I was far too busy chasing that cursed NaNoWriMo graph in an attempt to catch and overtake it. And that’s exactly what happened on the 24th of November, despite needing to write an average of around 2,500 words per day and having one day where I didn’t write anything at all because the Chef had gifted me with a lovely virus he’d picked up at work.
Four days later, I was done. Yes, I started writing on the 11th and I hit just over 50,000 words on the 28th of November. I still can’t quite believe I did it. In fact, I’m almost glad I started late because as nice as it would have been to prove that I could write around 1,700 words a day, it was even better to realise I could keep up a daily pace of 2,500 (and double it on weekends).
There’s more to say about NaNo, but I’m planning to say it in video form. Which brings me to the title of this here blog post: bring me all your questions! In two and a half short weeks, I’ll be on Summer holidays and one of my plans for said holidays involves starting a YouTube channel where I ramble on about writing. I love talking about writing, but it turns out my cats aren’t that interested in listening to me, so I’m on a quest for a slightly more captive audience.
But I need your questions!
Believe me, I could ramble on about writing without much provocation, but I’d love to have some questions from all of you writers out there. It makes the videos a bit more personal, for a start, and it always helps to have a more distinct purpose than “make it so everyone cares as much about grammar as I do”. Plus, your questions will help me understand what sort of things you’d like to know about writing. It’s no good my going on about why apostrophes don’t belong in plurals if everyone’s much more interested in how to write dialogue.
I can also explain what a gerund is, if anyone’s interested.
So please, ask away! No question is too small or too big; neither is any question too silly. In fact, silly questions need to be asked, because it usually turns out that a whole bunch of people really wanted to know the answer to them but were too afraid to ask them in the first place. So this is your chance to be the brave one and ask the silly questions. All questions, silly or otherwise, will help me so much.
How does it work?
It’s easy! You can ask your questions in the comments here or, if you prefer, send me an email (details on my contact page). If I’m very lucky, I’ll have a giant stash of questions to answer and that will give me plenty of material for my new channel. I’m ridiculously excited about it all!
So now it’s over to you: ask a question! It will eventually be answered in video form, probably with giant puncutation props.***
* Never! As a side note, it’s never too late for tea, either.
** At least it keeps us guessing (and cursing those days when we forget our umbrellas/hats/inflatable life rafts).
*** I’m not even joking about this. I already have a giant asterisk ready to go.
This time last year, I was declaring that I couldn’t do NaNoWriMo because I’d tried it twice in the past and both times I’d failed, due to a lack of self-motivation and, possibly, an excess of cats who believe a laptop is usurping their rightful place on my lap. After declaring all of this, I went right ahead and successfully completed NaBloPoMo, where I wrote a blog post every day in November.
So what was I saying about self-discipline again?
I wonder if I mentioned insanity, because that’s the only thing that can explain my rash decision to sign up for NaNoWriMo on Thursday night. It’s only been going for a week, but that didn’t matter. Surely, I would throw myself into the spirit of NaNo and catch up in the next few days. And here is how my first three days of NaNo played out.
My First Three Days of NaNo
The first day, I edited my author bio, found the right profile picture and searched in vain for a story. I also created a cover image for a novel that I ended up scrapping three days later.
On the second day, I set aside an hour in the morning to make a start on my writing and went ahead and used it up with vital tasks such as Doing The Laundry and Attempting To Take The Recycling Out In Between Spring Downpours.
On the third day, I simply didn’t write. At all. On the other hand, I spent some quality time on YouTube watching videos about other people who were doing NaNo.
At which point, I came to Monday and realised that I was going to need to write 2,500 words a day in order to meet the 50,000 word target. And if I didn’t start writing soon, it was only going to get worse. Even one hundred words would be better than nothing. Several thousand would be even better, of course, but sometimes it’s best to start slow.
So I started writing last night. Once I’d reached 500 words, I went and upated my word count, at which point my NaNo stats graph did its best to bring my spirits down. At this rate, it predicted, I’d be finished my 50,000 words by February 2015. Thanks for the morale boost, NaNo stats graph! Way to cheer me on.
At 1,000 words, I promised myself a cup of tea. It was a goooood cup of tea.
And then, somehow, I’d written 2,531 words and my estimated completion date had moved up to early 2014. I don’t want to get too excited this early in, but this is easily my best start to a NaNo attempt ever. And, sadly, it’s probably the most fiction I’ve written for the entire year. This is my main motivation for doing NaNo, really. Sure, it would be lovely to actually meet the goal for once (or even come closer to the goal than ten percent), but mostly I just want to back into the habit of writing.
Who else is doing NaNo this year? My profile’s here, if you’d like to add me as your writing buddy. We could all procrastinate together!
The Failboats are in the middle of planning our New Years getaway. If you know anything about us, you won’t be surprised to find out that said getaway is actually taking place several weeks after the event, thus following in a grand tradition of Not Celebrating New Years On New Years. The fact that our last two New Years getaways actually took place over the New Year was somewhat of an aberration and was bewildering to all.
This post isn’t about the Failboats, though; it’s about a trip the Chef and I took a couple of weeks ago that happened to involve a journey across the Great Alpine Road. This is one of those experiences best enjoyed in retrospect, because at the time, my head was full of questions whose answers I didn’t much like: What if the brakes fail on this corner? How far down is that sheer drop? What if the car overheats in the middle of nowhere? What if a blizzard suddenly occurs? And, less alarmingly but always on my mind, thanks to the constant warning signs: What if someone stops us and asks where our chains are?
The scenery was stunning but the wind was icy cold and I was very pleased when we passed the worst of the cruelly winding road and stopped for lunch at Dinner Plain, despite the potential contradiction caused by that very name.
The rest of our holiday was spent in Lakes Entrance, visiting the five million op shops (I’m joking – there are only seven) and going on little daytrips. Our first daytrip took us to Marlo, a place the Chef remembers fondly as a result of spending many a family holiday there. It’s a tiny little holiday town whose major claim to fame is the joining of the Snowy River with the sea.
We also found a lot of intersting fungi there.
The next day saw us heading to Buchan and its famous caves. I was slightly ambivalent about this whole adventure, what with my general dislike of spending quality amounts of time in underground spaces with no obvious (or immediate) exit. In the end, I barely even remembered I was in a cave: the place was stunning.
The challenge of taking photographs in a cave made me thankful I’d attended that photography workshop all those weeks ago. Camera flashes were going off everywhere around me while I concentrated on getting just the right settings for my surroundings.
It was such a good little holiday. There was a distinct lack of delicious cheeses and related foods, but we compensated for this by visiting pretty mcuh every op shop in the area. Lakes Entrance itself is an op shopper’s haven, especially if you find yourself in St. Brendan’s Bargain Basement (a somewhat misleading name, given that it’s actually a Bargain Garage). The place was stuffed full of amazing treats and treasures. We could easily have spent half a day poking through all of the stuff and barely making a dent in it.
Another place you must visit is MMM Truffles and when you’re there, you must have a hot chocolate. I ordered a coffee, only to have the folly of my choice revealed when I took a sip of the Chef’s white hot chocolate with mint. I SHOULD HAVE ORDERED THAT. Luckily, I’ll have a chance to make up for this mistake when I drag Aimee, Emily and Bec there on our New Years roadtrip.
The sun shone the whole time we were there and it only rained during our trip home. And when I say “it rained”, I really mean “the skies opened and dumped an ocean of water on us while the wind endeavoured to blow us off the road”. Maybe it was a hint that we should have turned back and kept on holidaying by the water for a couple more weeks.
So, here’s the thing: I need your help. Yes, yours.
I’m bad at titles. In fact, it’s quite common for me to write a story and have no idea what the thing is actually called until long after it’s finished (and sometimes not even then). In second year uni, a particularly last-minute title of mine was brought out by my lecturer as an example of pretentiousness – unfair, considering it was the best I could come up with after I’d spent half an hour trying to work out what on earth to call the story before submitting it. If it was an example of anything, it was desperation.
To be fair, it was a pretty bad title – if I remember correctly, it involved the term “Deconstruction” somewhere.
All of which brings us to here and now, with me trying to start a brand-new project and falling down at one vital point: What should I call it? My head is full of ideas of things I want to write and teasers I want to post, but it’s somewhat difficult to carry out these plans if there’s nowhere in which to do it. Clearly, I need help and you’re the ideal ones to ask.
This is the plan: I want to start a website/magazine/blog combination based around my current obsession of wool-related crafts. The problem seems to lie in the fact that it’s next to impossible to come up with a woolly or crafty title that isn’t cheesy.
We’ve tried a few already. World of Woolcraft was a winner for a while, but I feel I might be over-selling the content a little bit there. At best, it would be A State of Woolcraft. Someone suggested I change it to Katie’s World of Wool, but that feels like I’m setting myself up as an expert in the arena, which would be somewhat fraudulent. I flirted with The Woollery while Just Wool was dismissed out of hand. The Woolfarer came to mind out of the blue this morning and has yet to be rejected or otherwise.
The thing is, none of them is right. If I’m going to dedicate hours of my time to this project, I want to love the name of it as much as I love the project itself.
So I need your help!
Leave a comment and suggest a title to me. Share your favourite book or magazine title or even a phrase you really like. If you do happen to have an idea for the title of a wool magazine, please share that, too! There could be a reward in it for you somewhere if it helps me out of my naming pickle.