NaNoWriMo 2021. A failure?

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I participated in NaNoWriMo this year—as I have just about every year since around 2013. Some NaNo are more successful than others. And I know writing a 50k novel in a month isn’t for everyone.

To be completely honest, it isn’t always for me either.

Up until 2019, I’d generally done fairly well with NaNoWriMo.

2019 threw a lot of curveballs at my husband and me. It was a rough year. And I remember going into 2020 thinking that I hoped it would be a better year. Shall we all laugh at my poor ‘sweet summer child’ self?  Better to laugh than cry, I suppose.

2019, 2020, and now 2021.

All three years that I suppose have technically been a NaNo failure. I haven’t hit the 50k goal. I got closer this year than I did the past two, so that’s something.

The difference this year is I feel better about what I accomplished.  I went into November with the hopes of hitting 30k. I’d have been thrilled with 40k and stunned if I hit the 50k.  I was about 1k short of 30k so I consider that a win.

Listen, if you wrote anything during a globally traumatic event, I think you deserve a medal. It is incredibly difficult to accomplish creative endeavours with so much pulling at our minds. So I’m celebrating my 29k words.

It’s 29k that I didn’t have at the beginning of November. It’s over halfway through a fun cozy mystery that I am thoroughly enjoying writing. And it’s taken less time than my last WIP, which took over four months to write.

Maybe the biggest lesson for me through the last two years is to give myself space and time.

Also, celebrate even the smallest wins.

And when all else fails, there’s always chocolate.

I’m just saying.

How about you? Did you take part in NaNo this year?

The Best Laid Plans of an Author

Pickled Petunia

2020 has been a year like no other, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been three centuries long. So much has happened that I keep forgetting random massive events that happened in January or February because it feels as though they occurred a few years ago and not months.

And like everything else, my writings plans haven’t gone….to plan. I haven’t struggled for inspiration. But trying to stay focused in a trash-fire year has seemed almost impossible.

I fully intended to start November 1st with Pickled Petunia, book 3 of my Motts Cozy Series. It’s likely I’ll start a week late as I’m wrapping up another novel.

The lessons I’ve taken from 2020 have been to try and stay open to change. And don’t get so wrapped up in what and when you think things are going to happen. Life, particularly this year, doesn’t always go how we expect.

It’s not easy as an autistic. I like my routine. I need a schedule that makes sense for me. 2020 has shredded my regular routine completely.

I’m hoping to end 2020 with four novels written. I’m 80% through my third, Ghost Light Killer. With a bit of luck and hard work, I can add Pickled Petunia to the list. We’ll see.

What about you? How has 2020 affected your writing plans?

My Favourite Moment.

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….from Poisoned Primrose

Why did I agree to this?

And why didn’t I put on my coat or a thick jumper instead of this hoodie?

Motts pulled her mobile out of her pocket when it rang. She answered on the fourth ring. “Teo?”

“What are you doing?” He sounded angry, but his voice kept cutting out.

Motts walked up the steps a little way. “I can’t hear you. It’s really windy. What’s happened?”

“Go….Orchard….almost there….hello?”

Motts pulled her phone away from her ear when they were disconnected. She tried to call him back, but the signal wouldn’t go through. “Bugger.”

My favourite chapter from Poisoned Primrose is the one where everything finally comes to together. I included a spoiler free excerpt above. It was really hard to find a snippet that wouldn’t give anything away.

It’s where we discover *redacted* is the one to *redact.*

Ha!

It’s the chapter where all the little knots I’ve tied into my plot suddenly begin to unravel.

*Redacted* appears out of nowhere. They’ve been slithering around in the shadows. And if I’ve done my job, they’ll be a surprise to all of you lovely readers.

And yet, that’s not why it’s my favourite chapters. Well, not entirely, anyway. I love it because of Motts. She’s wonderfully epic and courageous.

I adore her.

And this chapter solidified it for me.

 

 

Coming up with a Title

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It’s always fun to share the process of coming up with a title.
Primrose Poison definitely didn’t start there.
First, I had:
1. Under the Hedge
2. The Daffodil Murder
3. Lost in the Daffodils
4. Primrose Poise
5. Forgotten in the Foliage (I still kinda like this one.)
And then, at the VERY last minute, we changed it once again to Poisoned Primrose. =)

 

I’m Sensing a Theme

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Five gifts Teo and Motts (from Poisoned Primrose) would want:

1. Teo: Yarn

Motts: Origami Paper

2. Teo: Historical Books

Motts: Plants

3. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

4. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

5. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

(Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay)

Anticipation.

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What was the most difficult part of writing Poisoned Primrose?

Waiting.

That’s it.

That was the only hard part of writing late year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

I had the idea for Pineapple Mottley almost a full year before I was able to write her story. I began creating the book bible (where I put research, plot notes, etc) long before I wrote a single word. It was the story I wanted to write.

I had to slog through three other stories first.

And they were a slog.

2019 was a hard year where each story seemed harder to write than the last.

When I finally got to Poisoned Primrose, it felt like the heavens opened and the angels were singing. The book was a joy to write from beginning to end. None of it was hard.

I didn’t have to push myself or struggle for what happened next.

It was bliss.

 

Cover of the Month Contest.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Poisoned Primrose (Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:
Click to Vote!