Since 2002, every year (except 2007), I have been writing novels in the month of November for NaNoWriMo. This year was my 8th year of reaching at least 50,000 words.

I reached 50,000 words last night.

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On Saturday I met a Japanese serial killer.

I was sitting on the Golden Jubilee Bridge when it happened, writing my novel for NaNoWriMo. (27362 words so far). It was during a NaNo London meetup, and a line of writers were all sitting on the bridge, participating in an event called NaNoRilla. (Wandering around London and stopping in different places to write – the Cafe in the Crypt, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, National Theatre, on some steps leading down into a tunnel, etc.).

Many people walk past us and ask what we are doing, and most of the time they just wish us good luck. (Although there was one person that walked past and said, "strange people").

A man and a woman are walking past, and he stops and asks me what I am doing. I explain about NaNoWriMo and he says I should include them as characters. She is a Japanese serial killer who likes Sweeney Todd, and he is her next victim. They will come back here after dark.

NaNoWriMo

Nov. 29th, 2011 09:36 pm
I have been neglecting LiveJournal, and instead participating in NaNoWriMo. This November, I have written 50,144 words. (My first NaNoWriMo was in 2002. I've participated 9 times now, which includes 6 times reaching 50,000 words and 3 times not. So many words.)
Jumped aboard a train to Eastbourne today and started writing my NaNoWriMo novel on the way. There were no power points on the trains (well, there might have been in first class), so I reverted to writing by hand, and now my hands are a vivid blue colour and blueberry scented.

Eastbourne is "the sunshine coast" according to a sign that greeted me at the station. It was gloriously sunny (for November) today, so that may be true. I walked along the pier, wandered along the pebbly beach, and then past the holy well, and up to the South Downs Way, where I tried not to fall down a rabbit hole, stared out at the sea and saw the lighthouse at Beachy Head.

My novel (3454 words currently) so far has in it: pigeons with super powers, strange village festivals, lesbianism, weird cloud formations, ghost shops. Oh dear.
This was my eighth attempt at NaNoWriMo and this year, just as in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, I made it to 50,000 words.

Good things about doing NaNoWriMo this year for me:

I get a buzz out of writing so many words. I just spend the month thinking about my story and what might happen next and it fills my head with such ideas and that feels amazing.

This year it has also made me realise that I have many stories to tell these days, maybe not ones I necessarily told during NaNoWriMo, but just in general.

It gives me a project to do, something to work on, in the gaps in my life where I might otherwise get bored.

It has encouraged me to write more and realise I still enjoy writing. I used to write frequently, but then when I bought a camera, I began to take photos instead of writing.

The social aspect, participating in NaNoWriMo alongside other great people, at write-ins, in the forums, IRC, etc.

Eating weird ice-cream flavours at write-ins.

It makes me feel like anything is possible.
I ate ice-cream that was purity and danger flavoured that evening. It would come as no surprise if that evening I became pure and dangerous, as the week before I had become enchanted. That was the way ice-cream worked.

The music playing in the café suddenly sounded like it was all being played backwards.

I had written about 3000 words that evening, bringing my word count up to 41783 words.
She ate the enchanted ice-cream and wondered what would happen next. Would she become enchanted? The ice-cream had lumps of gingerbread in it, and tasted vaguely like white chocolate.

She wrote more than 3000 words that night, typing frantically on her netbook. The airship crashed, but it was imaginary, and the smell of plumeria filled the air.

This LiveJournal will be ten years old in January.
Another NaNoWriMo meet, another piece of street furniture trying to seduce me.

This time it was a bus stop. "Would you like me to seduce you?" the bus-stop said.

I wandered through Headington Hill Park after that and there was a cute little mouse scurrying by my feet. It stopped and stared at me and I at it, but it looked as if it had been injured. I hope I did not scare it.

I saw art yesterday as well. Random bits of rubbish with German writing on. There were steps to climb, and then a gallery attendant who told you off when you got to the top.

I was given some NaNoWriMo stickers. One with an octopus with a pencil, disappearing behind the waves. The other had a monkey swinging from a tree. No magical pen of wonder this year though.

Word count: 12824
Today involved pretending to be a firefighter. Fires were lit in bins outside the building and colleagues were given fire extinguishers to put them out. No fires were left for me to extinguish, so I had to extinguish an imaginary fire with a CO2 extinguisher.

NaNoWriMo starts on Monday and I am excited, despite lack of plot, ideas, the usual things you might need to start a novel. I am hoping it will let me spend a month immersed in a dream land, imagining other places, other people, other happenings. There will also be a reality with other people also frantically imagining such things, and I like that bit too.
Tree
I tried Alternating Travel yesterday, but that ended quickly, even after retracing my steps a little and heading underneath low dark bridges. I then decided to instead follow the river and wandered across fields, through a lot of mud, past cows, and ended up at a shimmering lake, full of reflections of Autumn leaves. I found a deserted playground and started swinging, watching the treetops and looking up at the sky, and that made me happy.

Today I've been attempting NaNoWriMo, although have already managed to injure myself while chopping up a pumpkin, whose smile was just too sinister, and I very almost lost consciousness.

My text adventure so far is set in a town where it hasn't been Spring for 3 years. This is mostly because when it gets to Spring in the UK, it will be a year and a half since I last experienced Spring. I am still confused about seasons. I thought I saw snow today even, which sort of makes sense if it is Calan Gaeaf today, the first day of Winter, according to Welsh culture.
NaNoWriMo starts soon, and as I've been reading Twisty Little Passages, I'm vaguely contemplating writing some kind of interactive fiction/text adventure type thing for it.

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