Writing Mash-Up: NaNoWriMo/ Galliventures with My Mother

It’s almost mid-way through November (ALREADY???!!!) and a light bulb just went off in my head. Since I’m going to start posting in my series Galliventures with My Mother, why not make the posts part of my NaNoWriMo wordcount? Undoubtedly, I have a long way to go still to reach 50, 000 words, but I’m going to do my very best!

Also, I’m aware that I was supposed to post during my trip and trust me, I tried, however due to various reasons, it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, I made notes on my phone, so now it’s a matter of taking those random observations and turning them into readable posts.

Nano and Tokyo


nano-2017-participant-facebook-coverIt’s November, which means NaNoWriMo.

It’s Day 7, which means I should’ve written approximately 11, 667 words.

However…I’ve only managed a little under 3, 000 words so far, and I’m trying not to stress myself out due to my low word count.ย  In 2012 and 2013, I managed to hit the 50, 000-word mark by the end of November and since then haven’t been able to commit to the challenge. Throughout November during those years, I blogged nearly daily here in an effort to keep myself accountable and I have to say that it helped!

This year I’m visiting a story idea that’s been percolating within me, which is part-memoir, part-murder mystery, tentatively titled “The Way We Were”. Today’s NaNoWriMo pep talk is all about being okay with wherever you are, as long as you keep moving forward, which is timely advice indeed.


Also, I’ll be travelling in a couple of days to one of my favourite cities in the world – Tokyo. In order to keep up with NaNoWriMo (crossing my fingers) during my trip, my iPad is making the trip too, and for the first few days, I’ll have to use the touch screen keyboard (ugh) to write before I hunt down a bluetooth keyboard in Tokyo’s Electric Town Akihabara (still crossing my fingers). I also plan on blogging about my trip (something I’ve always wanted to do on my other trips!) and am contemplating setting up another blog which will house my Tokyo Travel-centric posts. Alternatively, I may post here initially and then migrate the posts to a separate blog.

Now, I’m off to write! And pack!

Writing Updates

  1. My e-book which is a compilation of April A to Z 2014 posts is in final edits. Yes, it’s been slow-going but my inner critic was really opinionated and it took a lot to quiet it down. Every post that I edited, my inner critic kept saying “This is utter crap! You shouldn’t be publishing this at all!” Whenever that happened, I had to put the draft down and write something else. Finally though, there’s light at the end of the editing tunnel and tentatively, this compilation of letters will be titled “Incoherent when Intoxicated: Letters to my Younger Self” ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. I’ve been experiencing Writer’s Cement, a more advanced version, I am told, of Writer’s Block so there’s been no new words of significance (and non-significance) for many, many, many weeks ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  3. I did the online writing course, F2K in September, for about 3 weeks then dropped out mainly because my classmates started disappearing until I was left alone in the class. I disliked dropping out but the spirit was not there at all and this was my fourth go at this course that has given me so much in the past but oh, well.
  4. I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo
  5. My Manang story is on-hold for the moment and I’m back to writing about my two years in A-Levels. I’ve decided to employ flashbacks to tell the story. But knowing me, I’ll most likely switch between the two stories thereby leaving me utterly confused with sticky notes covering every surface that hasn’t already been covered with sticky notes or my crochet or the cats that I live with ;P

NaNoWriMo Day 9: WC 16830

Phew! Managed to catch up on my WC for my NaNovel. The catch-up session allowed me to expand a little bit more on Jess’ hobbies – running, which isn’t a hobby actually but a necessary evil for her (like it is for me) due to her paranoia. Descriptions of where Jess lives is also now in the story. And while I did that, I gave Jess a room-mate.

Some key scenes are still missing – a major confrontation between Jess and her sister, Cass. And also the big reveal at the end which came to me in a dream.

All in all – a YAY day ๐Ÿ™‚

NaNoWriMo Days 7 + 8: WC 11516

I’m in a writer’s slump.

The scenes are in my head but somehow when I sit down to write them, they evaporate. The words I’ve managed to get out of me these past two days were forced words. I look back at them and go UGH! And with this UGH! my inner critic shows itself.

My inner critic – as I’ve discovered several years ago during a writing class – is a multiple-headed, fire-breathing hydra. Huge and fairly difficult to defeat once it rears its head. Or heads in this case.

With my inner critic ever-present, my story refuses to unfold, preferring to stay indoors instead of revealing itself. Which leaves me with nothing – or very little – to write.

I’m hoping that with Day 9 which is supposed to be an all-day writing marathon, that I can get back on track with Jess’ and Colin’s story. Actually, I was thinking that Jess may not be Jess any longer, but Halia.

NaNoWriMo Day 6: WC 10167


YAY! I broke the 10K barrier! Where’s the champagne?

Truly, I’m always amazed when I manage to hit 10K of a story. The same story. I realise now that with my attention span, I’m better at short fiction. I focus on that one short story, edit it to death and send it out into the world. Writing a full-length novel may not – to be brutally honest with myself – be my cup of tea.

For now.

It could just be that a novel-length story has not yet entered my life and it’s only vignettes or flash fiction or scenes.

But whatever format my writing takes, my takeaway is this – at least I’m writing.


Oh, and before I forget: Today’s pep talk from Catherynne Valente was awesome! My favourite part –

Write something true. Write something frightening. Write something close to the bone. You are on this planet to tell the story of what you saw here. What you heard. What you felt. What you learned. Any effort spent in that pursuit cannot be wasted. Any way that you can tell that story more truly, more vividly, moreย you-ly, is the right way.

NaNoWriMo Day 5: WC 9214

diane keaton cryingWas editing an old flash fiction for possible submission to anywhere that will accept it so wordage for my NaNovel was underwhelming. However, I did do LOADS of non-fiction writing in the form of summary reports for my pseudo-job. BLEURGH!

I did write a sort-of romantic scene between Jess and Colin. However, the romance happened while they were being held prisoner. The morning after – which is still in my head and not on screen – will prove to be semi-traumatic for Jess so I think before I write THAT scene, I’ll have to make sure it’s on a weekend and that I have sufficient supply of alcohol and tissues (See Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give)

I hate writing sad scenes. The keyboard gets all blurry.

NaNoWriMo Days 2 + 3: WC 3553

nanowrimo_calendar_wallpaper_by_moonfreak-d301g6eStill slightly under the recommended WC at the end of Day 3 but today was a fairly good writing day for me because I churned out a new scene which involved the protagonist discovering a little bit more of her abilities.

It was bittersweet writing the unplanned scene though because it came about after watching my 10-year old dog struggling to walk and dragging his feet around the yard. Yet through it all, he still had a smile on his face and came when I called.

And that’s how Jessana has a dog named Milo.