My Dream Research Trip


One of my long-term dreams as an author is to be able to afford a research trip to Cornwall. There so many places in the UK that I’d love to revisit. But, I can’t really remember going to Cornwall as a kid during the time we lived in England though I’m fairly confident we went at least once.

And many of my books are based in Cornwall.

In my dream trip?

I’d visit Fowey, Polperro, Plymouth, Whitsand Bay. So many of the places featured in both the Sin Bin and my upcoming cosy mystery series.

What food would I want to try (whether for the first time or to experience again)?

Kern – Cheese. Because. Cheese. I mean, Freddie would want me to try Cornish cheese.
Saffron Cake
Cornish Pasties

What would I like to visit?
The Coastal Path
Tintagel Castle
King Arthur’s Great Hall
The Lizard and Kynance Cove
Boscastle Harbour
Bodmin Moor

What’s your dream vacation spot?

((Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay))


Preparing for the Madness.


The thought occurred to me this morning when my alarm clock went off at the rather ungodly hour of five-thirty that NaNoWriMo begins in a matter of days.  It also means I have less than four days to finish the manuscript I am currently working feverishly on.  The panic of NaNo hasn’t set it, and I’m hoping it hasn’t since I’ve prepared as much as one can.

I feel a little like Boromir, ‘one does not simply walk into NaNo.’

Well, they shouldn’t in any case.

What do I do to prepare?

Step One: Stock up on tea, cookies.

Step Two: Inform my hubby not to disturb me for trivial things like laundry or lunch until I’ve made progress on my daily word count.

Step Three: Fill in as many character details in my Scrivener character folders as possible.  I found breaking the characters down into sections by how they relate to each other makes it easier to manage.

Step Four: Determine names, places and faces.   My word count tends to suffer if I’m floundering around trying to determine what a character looks like or where they live in the middle of NaNo.

Step Five: Plot out the first chapter.  I’m mostly a panster.  I don’t outline, but I do like to have a general gist of where the story is going.

Step Six: Create a writing playlist in iTunes.  Music soothes the panicked beast.

Step Seven: Make sure my writing timer has batteries.  I find using a timer helps keep me focused and reminds me to take breaks.

Step Eight: Remind myself it is not the end of the world if I come short of my goal.

Step Nine: Repeat Step Eight.

Step Ten: Keep aspirin handy.

Ivy was my first success at NaNo. So I’m hoping I can repeat the feat this year.

Have you succeeded at NaNo?  What were your secrets to success?