Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Hello everyone, it’s November and around the world there are Writers sharing the love of our art and pushing their limits by taking part in NaNoWriMo… And, yeah, I’m not one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole idea of the different versions of NaNoWriMo and, in the past, I’ve even been invited to participate in a few. Heck, last year I even did my own version of a NaNoWriMo to inspire myself to finish the manuscript There’s no place like Hell – and I did indeed get a huge chunk of it done. But no NaNoWriMo for me this year.

Firstly – and I do blame my brain for why I’m not participating – I was inspired with a story idea in mid-October and once I’d got that bindi like thought burrowing into my brain I couldn’t help but start to write it down. I get like that. And as soon as I’d started I thought ‘well bugger! This would have made a perfect NaNoWriMo project’. And being the honest and ethical gal that I am I knew I couldn’t cheat and use it in NaNoWriMo and so just enjoyed the moment and wrote. I do that a lot. Think I should go with the cool kids in the writers gang and do the trendy things like NaNoWriMo… and then revert to my usual outlook of life – which is to do my own thing, when I want to and stuff the trendiods now looking down their noses at me for daring to boogie along to the beat of my own drum. Heck, I’ve lived almost 40 years with this attitude so a recent few years of NaNoWriMo can’t break the habit!

Another reason I’m not doing it is my Hordes had school swimming classes the whole first week of November. And, due to one thing or another (I won’t go into details and embarrass them) I had to be there for moral support and Horde #3 taming. The whole week. Five hours a day. Sitting poolside and giving the thumbs up sign anytime one of my kids looked my way. Yes, it was riveting… not.

I could not write there due to water issues with paper or laptop. And by the time I got us all home, their swimming stuff hung out, dinner on and them taking turns in the bath… urgh. I’m pretty sure all that chlorine and sun just burnt the imagination right out of me as I had nothing left. I found it hard coming up with something to put in a review for books I’d been reading, let alone try and make any of my stories come to life on my computer screen. Seriously, not a good start to NaNoWriMo so I decided to let it pass me by for another year.

Saying that, I will consider invites to this awesome event come October 2016. I can’t say I’ll actually agree to any said invites, but I will consider them. 😉

My drum, my boogie. Just remember that.

However, I am indeed writing this November. I’ve been working on book three in the Other World series – We represent the Demon Guild. It’s coming along nicely and the remaining two unwritten books are starting to gel in my brain and I think I finally know how it’s all going to end. Yay!

Sadly, I’ve discovered that the more I learn about hell and the afterlife and all that Other World stuff, the more I need to tweak There’s no place like Hell. What a relief it’s still in the holding pattern over at my publisher’s and I can still fiddle with it. Far better than if I discovered the holes in my world’s existence after it was published. So, phew!

Other than that it’s still the same old reviewing of things. I’m also going to be redoing a lot of my blog structures over the coming months to line them all up, tidy them up and really start to gather an audience. So do drop me a line if you’re interested in checking some of the others out.

Finally, as much as don’t like celebrating Christmas before December 6th… it is indeed the time of year to start prepping for that silly season. Cards to write, food to start hoarding, baking lists to go over. I will be experimenting with chocolate again this year to test a theory I have about cashew cream white chocolate. Hoping for the best with that one.

Okay, that’s me done. Yes I know a lot of people this week have turned their blog posts into a bit of a soapbox moment regarding the violence in the world right now, but I chose not to. Why? Well I do feel deeply saddened by all the pain and misery… but I’ve felt this way all my life as this sort of thing is always happening. And, like with a tantrumming child – I will not react or respond to their bad behaviour. It’s what they want.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Update on my Writer Life


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The end of NaNoWriMo, a sinus infection and a delay in blogging about it all.

Okay, so this post is a week late, I know. But I really do think the title sums it up for me. As some of my dedicated readers (AKA my family and close friends) know, I have chronic sinusitis. The specialist I see about it has described it as being like having asthma, but in my sinuses rather than my lungs… if that makes sense?

Basically it is a chronic condition I can’t cure or get rid of, just alleviate the symptoms from time to time. I have gone dairy free as this does actually help. I don’t care if there is new scientific research going on and on about how dairy isn’t linked to extra snotty mucus in your head – dairy free works for me. But gosh I miss cheese.

Anyhow, I have chronic sinusitis. It means I can’t hold down a “proper” job as I get sinus infections from working in air conditioning. I get migraine like headaches from the top of my head, through my face, teeth, jaws and down my neck and into my shoulders any time there is a lot of pollen, dust, smoke or crud in the air. I’m my own personal barometer as my sinuses are excellent at telling me when there is a drop in barometric pressure as my ears clog up and my face feels like it’s being crushed like a tin can.

Aint it just awesome being me?

What has this got to do with the whole NaNoWriMo thing you’ve come here to read about? Well, I got struck down with yet another sinus infection two weeks ago and it basically called a halt to all my writing as I was having a hard enough time getting through the basics of my days (getting out of bed, dressing myself, horde wrangling) let alone trying to create and control an Other World 5,000 words at a time.

I don’t take antibiotics for my sinus infections anymore as it still means I’m as sick as a dog for a week or so, but I’m also adding to the antibiotic resistant bugs team by doing so. Instead I stay sick, try and get through my days as best I can with natural remedies and try and not whinge about it too loudly on social media. Heck, this can be a monthly event and that sort of whinging gets old quickly.

So, my house is a mess, my garden is still a scrappy mess, my kids are still messy little Hordes who won’t clean up and Stephanie is still sitting on that damned ferry trying to get off it and into hell. You’re all caught up with me and my NaNoWriMo! How about you, tell me how you went?

Did you get out of NaNoWriMo what you wanted to? Did you make that magical 50,000 words? Or, if not aiming that high, did you reach the goals you set yourself? Remember, I don’t see NaNoWriMo as a competition and really dislike those that do. I see it as a celebration of being a Writer and all Writers getting together to celebrate the magic of words strung together to make new worlds, new adventures, new loves and so on. It is a time to say “I’m a Writer and I love it!” and not be afraid of ridicule. It doesn’t matter the level of your writing, whether you’re a published author, a weekend blogger or a night time fanzine scribbler. You are a Writer and November was our time to say it loud and proud under the NaNoWriMo banner.

Saying that, no I didn’t get my 5,000 words a day done. Then again I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to, no matter how hard I tried. Life just got in the road. My kids needed me, there were assessments to be undertaken (my son is officially Quirky BTW – if you can’t call it aspergers anymore I’m calling it quirky). Stuff just happened. And I ended it all by getting sick.

Am I disappointed I didn’t finish my story? Or write as much as I wanted to? Yes, very much so. I really, really wanted to get There’s no place like Hell completed. I still hope to by Christmas. But, sadly, right now writing has been put on the backburner in my house as being a mum and Haus Frau has more urgent priorities. It sucks, I hate that I can’t just sit and write and it’s a vicious circle. The less I write, the less I am out there being seen as being a Writer. The less work I get completed to build up a name for myself. However, the more I write, the messier the house gets, the less clean clothes we have, the less food there is ready to eat in the pantry. I can’t be two people and I can’t fit it all in. I want to do it all. And that’s why I got the sinus infection… I tried to do everything. Ah well, it happens.

Add the end of the school year, the coming summer holidays, the weather that won’t make up its mind as to whether it’s stinking hot and dry or cloudy and greasy with humidity. The Solstice, Christmas… all the baking and cleaning and prepping that goes with it and – argh! I just want to be a Writer and ignore it all!

Okay, maybe I should have just left it as “Yes I am disappointed I didn’t finish my story.” 😉

One thing that gets me through the constant turmoil of life is focussing on the positives. My positives from NaNoWriMo are this:

I created two new blogs, so I have three all up. One of these new blogs is actually doing quite well and I’ve discovered that if I fail as a fiction writer I might just be able to cut it as a food blogger.

I registered my own domain and am creating my own website. It’s very rough and I’ve only spent a few hours tinkering on it so far, but it’s there and it’s mine.

I did get some pretty good writing done on There’s no place like Hell. I didn’t finish it, but I learnt so much more about the afterlife in my Other World. I got my protagonist on the ferry and on her way to hell. She packed her hand basket and is almost there.

I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, despite it not being a heck of a lot on the grand scheme of things. Nor is it a heck of a lot when compared to what others achieved under the great glittering lights of NaNoWriMo.

Who cares? I created stuff, achieved things and tried my best. I won!!!! Oops, not a competition… got it.

Yes, it’s a small victory I know, but I’ve found it’s a far healthier thing to focus on what positives you achieve rather than dwell on all the festering, nasty ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ that bitch at you in the darkness. Ignore them, be proud of what you did get done. Ignore the gloaters who are trying to rub it in your face they kicked your arse at NaNoWriMo… they obviously didn’t have as much going on in their life as you did so let them have their little victory…. And then unfollow them if they get too annoying. 😉

So, we’ve made it through another year of NaNoWriMo… very few of us have come through as an amazing new “someone to watch” Author who is going places, making money and getting famous. But well done to those who have – you’re awesome. 🙂

For the rest of us – you’re awesome too, we all are! We took part in NaNoWriMo, we made it through the entire month and we came out the other side still with a desire to write, a love of reading and that deep down constant hunger to do more and more of both. Good job!

And as the calendar year draws to a close (my year ends and begins with the winter Solstice in June – just saying), life is going to get busier for me and I might not get a chance to write, let alone blog. So I will be rehashing guest blog posts from earlier in the year done on other’s sites. I will give them full credit and a gorgeous write up… and then use the blog post I gave them. It means I can appear to be blogging while not having a lot of time to actually do it. A cunning plan, I know.

What will the next calendar year bring writing wise? Well, I hope to get my new website up, so that my blogs will move to there. I hope to get more work done on all my blogs. I plan on entering more writing competitions and submitting my work to more publishing houses – all they can do is ignore me and that only hurts if you let it. I also hope to see There’s no place like Hell finished, accepted and published…

But for now, I just need to get over this sinus infection, get through the end of my Hordes school year, all that festive stuff, the summer and the fire dangers.

And I hope you do too. Pep talk time – you’re awesome. So what if other people are too caught up in their own lives to see it. That doesn’t make it any less true.

Be safe, be happy, be proud of your NaNoWriMo achievements – no matter how big or small they were.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Writing


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How NaNoWriMo has helped me get to hell with my hand basket.

Hi everyone, so that was week 3 of NaNoWriMo, everything running along smoothly for you? Still enjoying it or over it by now and waiting for December first to crack open the advent calendar door and eat the crappy choc inside?

I actually had a good week at NaNoWriMo this week, despite not making it to 5,000 words on any of the days. I managed around 3,600 words last Sunday, and 2,000 words on Thursday… but that’s it. The rest of the week was just bits and pieces, some blogging and a lot more research for There’s no place like Hell. All the same I’m proud of what I achieved as it got me to a point in the story I’ve had stuck in my head for a long time, and it was such a fantastic feeling to finally get it down on paper. Those who follow me on social media may have heard me go on about ‘meeting a headless man, driving a white van, named Karen’. Well, it finally happened! And we’re now on our way to hell! We’ve even made it onto Charon’s (not Karen’s) ferry to pass through the veil to the other side. Yes, penguin high fives all round as that seriously is awesome news. 🙂

The thing I like the most about this week’s writing is how enjoyable it has been. It’s taken me into areas I knew I was going to touch on, but I never realised how in depth I was going to go into the Other World afterlife. There’s no place like Hell had always been about my protagonist Stephanie going to hell to save the soul of someone she didn’t particularly like, but had to help as part of her new role as ‘Protector of souls’. The basic premise was she felt the deal he’d made with a soul collector, Wroth, was null and void as he’d done it when drunk. That took me into an interesting part of research into contract law and exactly where you stand if signing contracts or making deals while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yeah, don’t do it, in most cases you’re still legally obliged to stay committed to that deal.

I also had fun looking into the different portals or gateways to hell that are reported to being around the world. My favourite one being a giant sinkhole in Japan filled with boiling hot, red mud. What tickles me so much about it is the newly created visitor centre, heath spa and gift shop. What every gateway to hell needs… don’t you think?

When I then started doing more of the actual writing of the story, I loved how it took me off on a tangent I’d not even considered. The whole mix of faiths, beliefs and interpretations of what happens after death intermingling together, wow! The dullahan and Ankou reapers and soul collectors going about their tasks, the journey through the veil in the white van that has seen better days and onto a huge passenger ferry big enough to take vehicles. The interactions with the deities of the dead, how they’ve moved with the times, the population and the global spread. Originally the whole travelling through the afterlife, and the afterlife part of it itself was just this small thing in my mind. I was so focussed on getting to hell and the whole demon interaction I have planned there I’d not even realised this was going to take place. And I love it. I just hope my readers do too.

So this week has been a good NaNoWriMo week for me. I’ve not just enjoyed the discovery through research; I’ve also enjoyed the discovery through my own writing. I know that sounds lame, but I quite honestly don’t often know what is going on in my own stories until it happens… until I’ve written it down. Mr Vontant is a classic example of this. I never planned on him, never expected him to turn into one of my favourites, never thought of having him be what he is… which would be a spoiler so I’m not about to give that away. I’m pretty sure it isn’t explained until at least book four or five. But, see, if it wasn’t for him now there wouldn’t be a book four or five. He is part of my Other World weaving. I knew hell was going to influence my protagonist quite a bit (more spoilers if I mention what I mean) but I’m amazed and simply love how much the Other World’s afterlife has influenced me. I’m very much pro belief. It doesn’t matter what your belief is as it’s personal and should only mean what it does to you. Heck, as long as you intentionally harm none with your beliefs and don’t go around cramming them down other people’s throats, you’re fabulous. Even if that belief is to not believe. Yes, there are no atheists in my afterlife. As my afterlife is very strongly belief driven and if your belief is there is nothing… you won’t be part of it. I think I’ve got a good support system set up for the agnostics too, pamphlets and interviews with the different deities and all. 😉

I hope your NaNoWriMo has been as fruitful and fun. One more week to go before we can all start patting each other on the back for a job well done. Even if you don’t make that glorious 50,000 words the original NaNoWriMo was created for, even if you don’t make your own personal goals… as long as you’ve done some writing, loved and enjoyed that writing – and any interaction with other writers as you do it – then you’ve done well and had a successful time. Being a Writer is awesome, but like anything in this world – don’t compare yourself and your skill to others. You’re you, so just be you. Yes I say my writing is in a similar style as… insert names here. But my writing is still my writing and it’s all me.

To those publishers who don’t want a distinctly Australian voice as it doesn’t sell – I don’t care, don’t sell my work.

To those people who look at commercial fiction and urban fantasy in distain as around here we only accept you into our social circles if you write poetry, literary fiction or historical romance – I don’t care, your loss not mine. I’m an anti-social cow as it is and wouldn’t turn up even if you did invite me. 😉

To those who look down their nose at me as I am ‘merely’ an eBook author while their books are on paper in print – take a look at your royalties. If you’re happy with your 5% of royalties for a paper book compared to my 45%, good on you. Well done.

To those of you who just write for yourselves and for your friends to read. Who only publish on blogs and fanfic sites and the like – bravo! You are Writers with the capital letter and be proud of your work too as you’re writing is just as important.

Not meaning to sound too Yoda like, but write or don’t write. But when you do write, be yourself, write the way you want to, not the way you think you need to to make money, be famous or get published. If you take nothing else away from NaNoWriMo, take this: As in everything we do in life, be yourself. It makes the job a lot more fun and show people just how amazing you are. If they can’t see it their loss, not yours.

Wow! I hadn’t meant to end with a bit of a bitch and then a pep rally, but there you go. I’ve had a stressful few weeks out in reality and so writing has really helped me relax and find myself again. That and the nut milk cacao lattes I’ve been making. 😉 And did you see the chocolate biscuit recipe I created on my Foodie blog? Oops, shameless plug.

Summing it up – write for yourself, enjoy what you write. If you’re lucky enough to find others who like reading it as much as you do, that’s a bonus. But the fact you’ve written it and enjoyed the journey, then you’ve already ‘made it’.

After recent feedback on Bonnie’s Story: A Blonde’s Guide to Mathematic asking if there will be a sequel… I suddenly had a desire to read it again. And despite spotting areas I felt could do with an edit, I really enjoyed reading it as a book. The fact I’d written it meant nothing. I fell in love with Rogan and Bonnie all over again and can’t wait to learn what else they get up to… Once I finish with Stephanie in another four books time. Yes, I may have written about them all, but that honestly doesn’t mean I know what they will do. I love that about writing… I’m merely the tool these people use to appear on paper. 😉

So NaNoWriMo companions – keep writing when December hits, keep enjoying the journey and keep being yourself as you do it. It’s the best person you can be and you’re awesome at it!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Writing


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Trying to get my NaNoWriMo groove back.

Week two of NaNoWriMo done and dusted, how did you do?

Me? Well, I transferred some old articles from an old blog to a new one, plus I worked on my new Foodie blog (amazed how popular it’s getting already). Oh, and I managed a few penpal letters, but am still behind on those. Sadly, that’s about it writing wise. Mind you, this is not for the lack of trying.

This week just happened to be a week I had to take my well-worn Author badge off and get back into my Parent uniform. Some of you know I have a quirky and rather special son, Horde#3. Well, this week we started the assessments to help us figure out the level of his special quirkiness. He is still who he is and this official label will just help us ensure he gets the right sort of support to help him cope with life and a world that he’s not quite wired for. But by god the amount of bloody paperwork that you have to go through to do it is annoying! And so that is how I spent a lot of my week. In waiting rooms, filling out forms, emptying our near depleted bank account into someone else’s due to the lack of funding and support for this sort of thing… but it’s all been worth it. It has just meant next to no writing.

No, this is not an excuse or me fishing for sympathy, I don’t want or need sympathy. This is me explaining why I didn’t get my NaNoWriMo on this week. There is nothing wrong with my son, he’s just wired differently to ‘the norm’. And as I generally despise ‘the norm’ for being so dull, boring and restrictive, I don’t care. I just want to ensure he is surrounded by caring people who understand his different outlook on life and support him rather than stop him enjoying it. Heck, being born with a sodding great big hole in his heart and having open heart surgery at the age of nine months old never slowed him down, so I doubt this will too! 🙂

Oh, and I did win the latest round of Mother of the Year with him on Thursday by combining his all-time favourite thing with his all-time favourite food… by taking him to a sushi train. 😉 And yes, I have now set a new precedent and it will be demanded each time we go visit his new Psychologist. Oops!

Adding to my already busy week, my only ‘free’ day wasn’t so free as my eldest child, Eldest Horde, had a student free day on the Wednesday. And I would much rather go do something with her than sit and write – sorry fans, my kids come first – and that day was a write off (ha ha) too. So we went to a local Wildlife park we have annual passes for as she is our animal lover and wannabe zoologist.

Side note – All my kids are all above average in the intelligence department… I think I’ve mentioned this before? And Eldest Horde has wanted to be the world’s leading expert in Sifaka since she was roughly five years old. She turns ten in January and simply absorbs information on animals. When she runs out of work in her class at school and has to wait for everyone else to catch up (near daily) she works on research projects about animals. The Amur Leopard had been given a mention in the past and she wants to start raising funds and awareness for them. Right now she is working on a report about the Inland Taipan. Yes, the world’s most venomous snake and a near neighbour to our Adelaide Hills. She’s found a picture of one with a Santa hat photo shopped onto its head and wants to use that as this year’s Christmas card… Yeah, no.

So! She and I went off to Cleland Wildlife Park and our first stop was to go visit the Inland Taipans they have there as, still being a child, she wanted to tell them all about her project. As you do. It was a lovely morning there; the native plants were all in bloom and absolutely filled with bees. Such a happy thing to see when bees are having such a hard time in our over polluted world right now. It was a warm day so there were skinks skittering about everywhere too. The little splendid wrens and local finches were dipping and diving to catch bugs mid-flight all around us. So you can see there was a lot to fuel my Writer’s mind even if my hands were still.

I even got to feed one of my favourite water fowls, the Magpie Goose. Still being a Darwin girl at heart, I miss these prehistoric looking critters that roost in trees at night. So was happy to get to feed one, and take a snap shot. Yes, I am going Instagram crazy these days. I blame this whole author branding thing. But I have also noticed a blog with pictures gets a better response than one without. Go figure.

Me feeding a Magpie Goose at the Cleland Wildlife Park.

Me feeding a Magpie Goose at the Cleland Wildlife Park.

Wednesday afternoon met with a new ‘dilemma’. My middle child, Middle Horde, had left her glasses at home that morning and so when I was picking Horde#3 up from pre-school at lunch time (half days on Wednesday) I took her her glasses. She immediately asked to come home too as Horde#3 was coming home, Eldest Horde was at home, she felt left out. Sucker that I am, I gave in and off we all went. Eldest Horde and Horde#3 had a pre-arranged afternoon at my folks, so Middle Horde and I came home and played computer games and board games together. No writing. I did mention my kids come first, right?

Then more appointments and more paperwork and here I am today with next to no actual writing done, but some decent blogging, penpalling and baking done – I made monkey bread. Seriously, you need to follow me in Instagram to see this stuff!

Monkey bread. Foodie fans, so sorry... but it did indeed contain wheat and dairy. Eeep!

Monkey bread. Foodie fans, so sorry… but it did indeed contain wheat and dairy. Eeep!

Next week, despite the desperate need to catch up on all that housework I also seem to have not done during my busy week, I plan on catching up on some real writing. And now that the working bee we had pencilled in for today has been postponed, I’m starting right now! I’m back in that cross legged position on my bed, got my tunes plugged into my ears, got my cuppa and got all my reference materials. Writing Gods, bring it baby! 🙂

My bed, laptop, note pade, glasses and a few of my beloeved books currently helping me in my research for 'There's no place like hell. I may be broke, but still love my Writing job. ;-)

My bed, laptop, note pad, glasses and a few of my beloved books currently helping me in my research.

Until next time,


Janis. XXOO

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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Writing


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Week One of NaNoWriMo over, how did you do?

So that’s week one done and dusted, how did you do? Did you make your goal or pledged amount of words? Did you start out well, plough on come hump day and then end the week playing solitaire with the “I’ll get back to my manuscript as soon as I win this game…” mantra?

Most importantly – Did you have fun? As quite honestly I really don’t care about the rest as long as you nailed this last one. 🙂

Me? Well, I started out shaky as I got back into the mindset to write as Stephanie in There’s no place like Hell, and then I had to push through the mental blocks that have been stopping me from writing all these months. I averaged around 1,500 words on the first few days. Not the desired 5,000 words but better than the 0 I had been managing for so long.

I then had an epiphany around Wednesday and got past the final mental block! The Ankou was working with a tribe of Impa Shilup – of course! And all the words just poured out. I was up until just after 1AM getting the Ankou and a demon out of my house before I could go to bed. I only managed 3,600 words or so – but I achieved so much I didn’t care I didn’t make my goal.

NaNoWriMo moment - finally getting to bed at 1AM.

NaNoWriMo moment – finally getting to bed at 1AM.


I was then stuck at home with a sick child for the rest of the week and, quite frankly, I could not write more than a few hundred words a day. If he wasn’t sick and needed cuddles, he was talking the legs of a donkey through wet cement. Not the ideal writing environment. :-/

And by the end of the week, as I’d been working hard on Haus Frauing as well as Authoring, I was at my wits end this morning. So escaped for some ME time at one of my favourite chocolatier cafes – Red Cacao.

I spent my quarterly royalties on the following – spiced carrot and date loaf drizzled with warm honey and served with natural yoghurt. Plus the all-important MUG of salted caramel hot chocolate. Inner peace gained, pat on the back for selling ten copies of my books last quarter and some much needed ME time taken to remind myself of the good things that come from writing.


Red Cacao spiced carrot and date loaf drizzled with warm honey and served with fresh strawberries and natural yoghurt.

Red Cacao spiced carrot and date loaf drizzled with warm honey and served with fresh strawberries and natural yoghurt.


Now that I’m home again I am rejuvenated and plan on ignoring my family for the rest of the day and just writing as that’s what it’s all about.

Yes I’m not that famous (I’m famous in my own backyard as I put it) and I don’t earn buckets of money… but you know what? I’m averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars for my reviews, people who are buying my books are loving them and I got a bloody good hot chocolate and scrummy cake out of it. I am a winner. This is what NaNoWriMo is all about – being a Writer, being an Author and simply enjoying it for what it is and celebrating every small achievement.

My well earned royalties payments spent the best way I know how. Thank you for buying my books - this is thanks to you. :-)

My well earned royalties payments spent the best way I know how. Thank you for buying my books – this is thanks to you. 🙂


So in week two of NaNoWriMo, keep this in mind. Are you writing to keep up with everyone else? Are you in a race to write the most words no matter what the quality? Are you, like me, using it to inspire yourself into finishing a manuscript? Or are you just jumping in and enjoying being part of this big, wide world of Authors and Writers celebrating our love of the written word this November?

Although you can write for a competition, the writing itself is not a competition. Don’t just be filling up the page if you’re not feeling the story. Don’t feel pressured by NaNoWroMo, it doesn’t own you, it’s not going to hunt you down and rip your arms off if you don’t follow the rules or pledges you’ve made. It’s there to inspire you, not stress you. And if there are people out there making it stress you, go find new people as they’re not worth it. Easier said than done by a loner who can interact with others but is simply fine singing her own praises. 😉

Okay, here comes week two of NaNoWriMo – let’s jump on board, write our hearts out, laugh at our outrageously silly typos, encourage others no matter how much or how little they write and just high five all the other Writers out there. We may not all be Authors, and if we are we may not even be successful ones. But we’re having a good time doing what we love best – writing.

And some of us are making the most of it with spiced carrot and date loaf with a salted caramel hot chocolate. 😉


Red Cacao salted caramel hot chocolate. You add the hot caramel yourself - yum!

Red Cacao salted caramel hot chocolate. You add the hot caramel yourself – yum!


Until next time,

Janis. XXOO


Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Writing


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This isn’t the droid, I mean NaNoWriMo you’re looking for…

Hello everyone, yes I’m whipping that Halloween story off the top of the list pretty damned quickly as today is the first of November and so the rustlings of the infamous NaNoWriMo can be heard around the globe as Writers and Authors alike prepare themselves for a bit of a writing knees-up.

What is NaNoWriMo I hear a non-Writer ask? Well, the basic premise is:

This illustrious event is held annually throughout the month of November where Authors and Writers alike are encouraged to write at least 50,000 words of a new story. Starting November first and heading out from there. There are blogs, groups, pages, hashtags, all sorts of things to allow Authors and Writers to gather and boast about their work, to brain dump, to share ideas and so on. It’s an international gathering of Authors and Writers and is pretty amazing and overwhelming all at once. The goal of NaNoWriMo isn’t so much to flood publishers with thousands of freshly finished and hastily written manuscripts come December (no matter what some people may think). It’s really just meant to be a supportive, interactive and fun event where Authors and Writers can come together and discuss their passion, be motivated to write and all in all have a good time with the thing we love best – Writing.

Okay, so now you’re up to speed on the basics of NaNoWriMo. The rules and ideals may vary from place to place, site to site and group to group… but! That is the general idea all the same.

As for me, I’ve been invited to attend various things and participate in various groups for NaNoWriMo for a few years now. And, as flattered as I always am, I always seem to be in the middle of either finishing a manuscript or working on its edits for publication. Heck, I’m an emerging Author, I need to be adding books to my name if I ever want to really get out there and get more attention. So, never wanting to start a new project when so engrossed in an existing one, I decline all these lovely invites.

It happened again this year and I felt like such a dirty stop out. I mean, I’m an anti-social cow at the best of times and my real life friends know not to expect me to interact or participate that often in social gatherings… As it’s just not me. See my post on mental health! But I still feel guilty when I don’t attend, just in the same way I feel guilty now for declining another NaNoWriMo.

And so I’m making a stand and deciding to be with my fellow Writer’s and Authors, if only in spirit. I feel I’m not really breaking the rules, merely moulding them around my reality so it looks like I’m fitting in. I do that so well in real life so I thought why not. 😉

As some of my friends and followers of my Facebook page know, I’ve been struggling with working on my current manuscript There’s no place like Hell for some months. My supernatural creatures don’t quite gel, I keep writing scenes I love and want to keep… that just aren’t sitting well with me for now and causing me to baulk at continuing to write. Normally when I hit these patches I just press on and clean up the mess afterwards or, more often than not, realise it does all actually work when I look at the entire story. So far this year, bumpkis. I do admit other things in my life have been helping me run away from writing as they needed my attention more… but I’m now embracing what I can of NaNoWriMo and using its creative energy to finish my manuscript. Ta da!

Yes I know you’re meant to write a whole new story during November, but see my previous comments about being mid manuscript and moulding the rules around me. I had set myself a goal to have There’s no place like Hell finished by August. I missed that. Now I’m aiming for the end of November and hoping the good will, momentum and energy of a month long international Writing festival will give me the strength, ability and will power to make it happen.

Wish me luck; my aim is at least 5,000 words a day. It’s time to ignore the house and garden (as neglected as they already both look), pull up my often mentioned big girl’s panties and get on with it. On top of my 5,000 words a day will be my blogs (I’m hoping to launch three new ones soon and have regular posts to them), my penpals (yes I do have some) and the usual day to day writing I do for various things. Yes, you can tell why I want some luck on my side. 😉

To all Writers, Authors and people wanting to start out on the road to writing by jumping into this year’s NaNoWriMo – Good luck to you. Let your desire to write, your passion to create and your love to communicate guide you through a successful month ahead. And even if you don’t make it to 50,000, true Writers and Authors aren’t judging you for it. We’re applauding you for doing your best and just having a go and celebrating this fantastic month with us.

So, grab your pen, pencil, crayon, paper, notebook, laptop, whatever and get out there and Write!

May your creative mind mingle with others and make the most beautiful literary music.

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

PS: May your first few weeks be fuelled with left-over Halloween goodies like this. 😉


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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Writing


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