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10 Minute Novelists #365 Club April, May, June 2016


April saw the arrival of Camp NaNoWriMo, a month of writing or editing where you set your own target. As I’ve already written about that I won’t add anymore here, other then saying that it was successful.

By the end of April I managed to hit the minimum new words written target, not the 10k self imposed target but hitting any target is good enough for me. I also did a first and managed to write every single day. This is something that I have been trying to achieve since the challenge started as there is a special 365 club badge for this and I wanted one, but occasionally sleep has to take priority and I need to cook meals for the family. There were no crazy days involving thousands of words as in the long term that doesn’t work for me. Instead there was a steady flow that saw a fantasy novel take on new characters. I also laid down the foundations for a couple of short stories, one of them appears to be an odd take on a fairytale. I read the first line to my son and he said “oh no! Here we go again, I take it it’s not child friendly!” Overall I am very pleased as with the increased editing target of 25 hours I thought the writing would suffer, it didn’t.


May was more of a challenge. I started the month full of writing energy but the words didn’t flow as well as they normally do. It may be because I was easily distracted by the arrival of the proof copies for Trick Of The Light and Several Ways to Die. One is already published as an ebook but part of me wants to hold the paperback. I learnt to navigate Createspace, made important decisions on book dimensions, apologies in advance as if I ever make it onto your bookcase I want to stand out from the crowd. My paperback books will never be small and crammed with words in a way that achieves nothing other than lowering the cost. The page needs to be a pleasure to look at. I showed my face to face writing group both proof copies and I have been told (without me asking the question) that I have achieved this. My big confession for this month is that I was unable to complete the homework for the writing group, I also had one day where I didn’t write so I waved bye bye to the badge that I could have earned for writing everyday for two months. Actually I did write an awful lot that day but it wasn’t fiction, it was letters involving real life stuff that can’t be included and it was much more important on this occasion. I did hit the minimum word count target, again I accidentally avoided my self imposed 10k.


June was a particularly busy month. It started of well and was full of setting up a new fish tank, birthdays, anniversaries, children being on school holidays and teacher training days as well as attempting to do the day job. Within the first few days of the month I achieved something that I thought was impossible. I ended up with a complete draft of book two of the trilogy that I am happy with, the plan for book three then fell into place and I stumbled across some old notes that fit in with the plan perfectly. I also hit the halfway point of my 100k target for the year.

June then went horribly wrong. I was taken back to the moment my daughter was diagnosed as deaf. It was a painful moment that was full of the sound of future doors closing. I can picture every detail of the room with the old carpet, small wooden table and the old wooden boat that had been used as an aid to make the diagnosis (hear the beep put the person in the boat). The boat hadn’t inspired my daughter in any of the appointments that she crossed paths with it, the people were no longer adorned with the bright paint that probably once caught the attention of children. The little paint that did stubbornly cling to the representations of people was faded and chipped. Everything about the room was dated, it was clear that someone in an office elsewhere in the county didn’t feel that this particular hospital deserved any investment. The doctor and an assistant had equipment that looked outdated, but it worked and that’s all that mattered. We finally had the diagnosis and at the same time doors slammed shut.


This month those doors that we had opened for our daughter have been forcibly closed. We let our guard down for a moment. We wrongly believed that when something is agreed and provided for (including on legal documents) that nothing will change. We wrongly believed that people would tell us if they changed anything. We didn’t believe that a few weeks after a meeting the door would be slammed on us, this time I was not strong enough to fight so I asked for help and it has arrived. The problem isn’t about being deaf, it’s about how the hearing world forgets too easily about what it cannot see.


So I didn’t hit any monthly target. This is also why I haven’t yet published Trick of the Light, without the problems that accompanied June it would have happened but sometimes it’s better to wait until full attention can be given to the process rather than making mistake after mistake.


To end this post on a high I shall introduce Philip, he is the character that mini me patiently waited for while the water in the fish tank became fish safe. Also he could be a she but we won’t know for a while, and because I hit the halfway point in the 365 club I did earn a badge.


#nonfiction #blog

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