NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 3 (November 2019)

Fri, 15 Nov

Today was a non-pupil day meaning Noah was off school, so I had to energetic children to entertain. I decided to also take my niece and nephew out as their mum does a lot for our kids. With a full car of kids, I took them to a soft play centre to wear them out. The older kids were great and helped keep the little ones busy but I was constantly on the go.

When we got home, Aria napped and I used the time to support Noah with his homework and make important calls.

My husband needs the PC tonight so I am using the time to update my blog on my mobile and read a book.

Sat, 16 Nov

I’m very conscious of the fact that I need to catch up. When my husband took the kids out for a walk I jumped at the chance to get on the PC achieving almost 2k before lunch.

I really enjoyed what I wrote. Chapter 13 overlaps the epic battle from Jewel of the Sea at the end of the book. Where Mariah was unleashing her powers, Kya is at her lowest point. It was fun to write such a powerful scene from such a hopeless perspective and feel anyone that has read Jewel of the Sea will notice the stark contrast making the chapter very different between the books.

Aria was a little difficult to get to sleep and wanted extra cuddles. We think she’s having a growth spurt or teething as she’s extra hungry too but I finally got on the PC and added another 2k.

Sun, 17 Nov

We’ve had a very chilled out day today but this afternoon we discovered Aria has a rash on her body. We think it might be a heat rash so we stripped her off to cool her down.

I also spent a lot of my writing time chasing authors for their bios, profile pics, book photos and blurbs, etc. Back in October, I volunteered to create the World Indie Warriors catalogue to help promote their books to potential customers. I asked for details before NaNoWriMo started so I could finish it before this started but it didn’t happen. I’m really enjoying the creativeness and playing in Canva. It reinforces the feeling I would love to work in graphic design but I have no idea how to get into it.

Mon, 18 Nov

The rash hasn’t gone. So the first job of the day was to get her an appointment. I had to wait for a call back from the GP to decide if they will see her. It left me in limbo, watching my phone, waiting for the call but when they rang they offered 3:50pm. I knew this would be a rush with the school run so we hurried straight there and arrived with only a minute to spare. In my haste, as I leaned into the car to get the changing bag, I caught Aria’s forehead on the corner of the door. At first I thought it was nothing and gave her a kiss as we ran to get checked in. Then Noah needed a wee so i got him to the toilet. Whilst we waited for him I noticed the massive bruise swelling up before my eyes. By the time we got called in, it looked terrible. The GP was lovely and checked her over and gave me advice for head injuries (just in case) although he felt it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Then he checked out her rash (the reason for the visit). It turned out to be an allergic reaction. He gave us a prescription for that – a non-drowsy one because of her bump. Then I explained how she won’t take her chocolate laxative as she doesn’t like the taste so he did her a prescription for the plain which she we tried as soon as we got home and she loves it – yay.

After all that drama, we decided on a McDonalds for dinner. I know its not healthy but… happiness.

Once the kids were in bed, I jumped on World Indie Warriors Facebook page to host my live write-in. We had a great productive social and some people shared some steamy snippets with us. It got me back into my writing.

Tue, 19 Nov

We had a very exciting morning with Noah loosing his first tooth. He went through a kaleidoscope of emotions before becoming excited about the tooth fairy coming.

This then made us late and we were in a mad rush to get Noah to breakfast club and myself to work on time. When i arrived at work, I discovered I had forgot my purse and my stationery. I found a stray pen and my accounts debt showed me how to create a pre-pay card & got my husband to send me his card details so I could buy food.

With no money to spend at lunch, I was focussed on writing and got over 500 words written.

Bedtime was lots of fun with Noah telling his teddies to protect his tooth and only let the tooth fairy take it. Noah was eager to go to bed and agreed to put his tooth in a dish at the foot of his bed as daddy was worried it might get lost under his pillow.

My first job tonight was to email Jewel of the Sea to my editor. Then, I added another 2k to Jewel of the Sea before bed.

Wed, 20 Nov

The tooth excitement continued this morning with Noah waking us up to announce the tooth fairy has been.

Today was my short day at work with no lunch break so I didn’t get to write. I was then in a mad rush to pick up Aria, then Noah.

Noah’s school had a book fair so we had to check it out. I got 7 books for £10 and a percentage from the book sales will go to the school to buy books for the children! Win win!

Aria was in a dangerous mood climbing everything. She seems to be collecting a daily bump or scrape. I’ll be pleased when this stage is over but I fear this daredevil will only get more adventurous – eek!

I couldn’t relax until the kids were in bed. I wasn’t feeling my story tonight but I tried. I tried to encourage myself with chocolate but once the chocolate was eaten I decided to call it a night. I had almost achieved 1.5k so that’s not too bad going.

I ended my day going to bed and enjoy Crown of Conspiracy by Kara A Weaver.

Thurs, 21 Nov

It was my long day at work but I managed to write in my lunch break. After work I was tired and unmotivated to write. In total I wrote 2k. I wanted to write more but the words were not coming.

Week one total

To be on track I need to have reached 35000 so I am behind target. No surprises there.

Finishing the second week my grand total is: 27,471

I’m 8k behind but feely oddly hopeful i can still do this. I somehow need to write 2.5 to 3k per day which isn’t impossible. I’m still pleased that I’m writing and pushing through the tricky parts of the novel.

Check back next Thursday to see my progress.

If you liked this, then you will enjoy:

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 2 (November 2019)

NaNoWriMo Preparations

Book Review: Envy by J D Groom

Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me.@Redfae


NaNoWriMo Diary – Week 1 (November 2019)

Fri, 1 Nov 

This morning my mum had Aria but I wasn’t free as I was busy having a check up at the hospital.  I tried to jump on the computer to get some writing done before Aria was returned to me but by the time the housework was done, she was home.

I was worried I was never going to get to write today but once the kids were sound asleep I wrote an impressive 2,280 words before heading to bed to enjoy Crown of Conspiracy.

Sat, 2 Nov

My husband let me have a lay in today, except… I didn’t sleep. I was on my mobile making a start on my next chapter and almost got the first 1k done. Great start to the day.

Aria went down for a good nap this afternoon and I stole the opportunity to get writing. My word count is almost at the 2k mark.

I struggled to get the kids to sleep but I wasn’t too worried because of the steady progress I had made throughout the day. Once Aria gave in and went to sleep, I wrote some more but decided to go and read in bed instead of burning myself out too early in Nanowrimo.

I’m very pleased wit my 3,012 words today. I think this will be the daily count to beat.

Sun, 3 Nov

I didn’t have the best start today.  Aria decided not to nap and then one of my cats had a seizure.

Evie used to have seizures as a kitten and they thought she had epilepsy but the drugs she’d take would make her drowsy. As she was young and they weren’t often, the vet suggested we see if she grows out of it and she did. She’s been fine for about 7 or 8 years, possibly more. She’s fine now the episode has passed but I’ll take her to the vets tomorrow for a check up.

I was feeling sad about Evie, exhausted because I hadn’t had a break and in no mood to write. But after dinner, Jodie held a spontaneous writing sprint on Facebook. I decided to join in and after three 5 minute sprints, I had my first 700 words of the day. I ended on a cliff hanger. It got me back in the saddle and realised I can do this!

The kids went to bed well and I finished day 3 adding 1975 words.

Mon, 4 Nov

First job of the day was to book my cat into the vets. The health of my family (including my fur babies) will always take priority over my writing. It was only recently I realised that that rule should apply time too. Recently, I’ve also been making sure I’m taking care of myself too. Evie is booked in for 12:10.

The vet was lovely. She checked Evie over and took her bloods. Then went over how to care for Evie whilst having a seizure and when to bring her in as an emergency. I had a little cry when I got home as I’m worried about her but we’ll get the results on Wednesday.

Aria napped and I wrote 600ish words.

I was supposed to host the live write-in on World Indie Warriors Facebook page. Moments before I was due to go online Evis had another seizure. I was moving furniture to keep her safe, then sitting with her whilst she came around and I totally forgot about going live. Thankfully Michelle Raab jumped to the rescue and hosted the session (with a little support from Jodie, her son and a microwave). After the evenings events I just didn’t feel like writing.

Tue,  5 Nov

We had an awful night where Aria was very unsettled. I was up every hour and then had an early start for a long day at work.

Work kept me busy and at lunch I went into town with my colleagues. When I came home I was busy with this kids as my husband nipped out for his dads birthday. Aria didn’t want to go to bed but after two bottles of milk she gave in to her weary eyes.

Then I was free to write but I hadn’t seen Evie all day. I found her hiding behind the sofa and wondered if she’d been scared by the fireworks or had another episode. I coaxed her out with her dinner then spent the evening snuggling on the sofa.

Wed,  6 Nov

Today was my short day at work but as soon as I was done I had my kids.

The vet rang to say the blood tests found nothing wrong with Evie. We discussed what to do next. They could do a scan but whether this finds something or not, the outcome will be to prescribed the same meds and this unfortunately is a trial and error thing to find the meds that work for her. We decided to go straight for the drugs and pick them up tomorrow.

Evie’s seizures have got worst. I think worrying about her is wearing me out even though I don’t feel like I’m thinking about it. I didn’t feel up to writing but wary that I am falling behind.

I sat at the computer and managed to write nearly 2k and posted it onto Wattpad.

Thurs, 7  Nov

Today, is my birthday!

There was a mad rush to drop off the kids and then my husband and I attended a spa for a day of relaxation. It was just what we needed. I made great progress reading my book.

When I got home I opened my cards and text & called people to say thank you.

I don’t know why but relaxing wears me out.I’m shattered. All I did this evening was check in on social media where I discovered some writer friends had shared my pics to help people discover me and my blog. They are good to me.

Week one total

The first week is done and my grand total is: 9,921 words.

To be on track I need to have reached 11,666 so I am a little behind.

Check back next Thursday to see my progress.

If you liked this, then you will enjoy:

What to watch – Shows with writers in

Book Review: Duet Rubato

Why I Love World Indie Warriors

Have you finished your novel? What is next?

Click my link tree to discover more ways to connect with me.@Redfae

April, I featured poets – what’s next?

April is the month of poetry. But as I was doing Camp NaNo, I decided to feature other poets on my Instagram. I posted asking for volunteers.

I was blown away by the number of poets that wanted to take part and I had a lot of fun choosing a variety of poems to feature during April but here they are altogether in one blog post:

Jason Hein

Ross Hawse

Mystqx Skye

Ashley Valitutto

Ankit Yadav

Paige Hart

Paula Watts



Alison Aldridge

Here is a Haiku poem I wrote about my novel Jewel of the Sea in March to get the poets in the mood for April and part of the #womenwritingfiction #wwfchallenge2019 on Instagram:

What is next?

This month, I am just enjoying taking one day at a time. I always enjoy featuring bloggers on my blog but this was the first time that I have done something like this on Instagram. And, I would like to do it again and hope that I helped them reach more followers.

Next time, I might get writers to share the tag line of their novel, book cover or quote from their book. I also follow a few artists and would like to give them some attention too. What would you like to see me feature next?

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:

I need your help! How to get featured on my blog

Me being featured!

Reflecting on NaPoWriMo

Valentine Poetry Collection

Inner Demons — Ally Aldridge

My Myth of Mermaids and Poem – Siren’s Song

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Me being featured!

Today, I am writing about one of my posts being featured on someone elses blog. It is the first time one of my articles has been shared. I was flattered, honoured and it felt like a mini achievement.

NaPoWriMo: Day 26 – Senses

They chose my NaPoWriMo poem for day 26, titled Senses. This is a deep, personal and emotional poem inspired by a very dark period in my life when I was struggling internally.

Click here to check out my poem on their blog.

Stoner On a Roller Coaster

Firstly, she is a blogger that is not a stoner. She explains on her ‘about page’ how she came up with this name for her blog. Her blog is about raising awareness for mental health and getting people to talk about. She has gained a lot of support from people on the blogosphere.

If you haven’t checked her out yet, head over and give her a follow (see link for my poem on their blog).

I’d like to thank ‘Stoner’ for choosing my post to be shared on their blog. It really means a lot to me that you liked my writing enough to repost, especially a poem that I felt vulnerable in sharing as it was so personal and revealing. I hope it helped others who are in that dark place know they are not alone.

Being featured

I often feature other bloggers on my blog. If I see a well written article that will benefit my readers then I have to share. I love how easy Word Press makes this and credits the originator.

The articles are usually tips for writers but I have also shared useful How To makeup tutorials. I am also keeping my eye out for blogs on parenting.

If you know of any blogs I should be following so I can discover their content, please let me know and don’t be shy to sign post me to your own blog.

if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Day 30 – Paint

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?

You could get a real job

Selling fruit and veg

There’s an opening at the grocer

Go put your application into Ed

If you have an eye for beauty

Why don’t you stock flowers

It would attract the lovely ladies

Perhaps you’ll find a wife

There is no money in art

You’ll be begging on the street

This is not the life I wish for you

Be a grocer on your feet

Put down your brush

Get cleaned up

Go find yourself a job

Claude Monet, Claude Monet

Why must you paint?


 Day 30’s challenge

For Day 30 the prompt is to write a poem ”that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. It could be an odd piece of history, an unusual bit of art trivia, or something just plain weird. While I cannot vouch for the actual accuracy of any of the facts presented at the links above (or any other facts you might use as inspiration!), I can tell you that there are definitely some poetic ideas here, just waiting for someone to use them.”

I followed the links with different unusual facts and I connected with this one on Claude Monet. Many creatives get told to get a ’real’ job, one that can pay the bills. When I saw Claude Monet’s dad wanted him to be a Grocer, I could hear him arguing with his son in my head.

Today, is the last day of April and NaPoWriMo 2018. I am so proud of myself for keeping up with the challenge to the end. I’m so thankful to all the people that have supported me with likes and comments, it was unexpected but really helpful. Thank you.


Day 29 – Locomotive

Pintrest - Poem April 29.pngDo not go off track

You will reach your course in time

Stay on the iron rails


 Day 29’s challenge

For Day 29 the prompt is to write a poem ”based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way?”

Strangely, I enjoyed Slyvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar.  However, it’s the weekend and her writing is really dark and depressing and although that matches the weather today (rain, rain and more rain), I don’t want to go there.

I’m breaking against the prompt and I am going to do my own thing.  For inspiration, I am going with the first ‘Free Image’ I found on Canva.  It is a picture of trains.  I also want to have a go at writing a Haiku as I’ve never done one before.

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Day 28 – Postcard

Postcard Poem - Day 28


Pintrest - Poem April 28.png

Day 28’s challenge

For Day 28 the prompt is to write ”a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. If you need some inspiration, why not check out some images of vintage postcards?”

For today’s prompt I was fortunate enough to have time to read the resource:



A poem that captures a moment in time with a strong sense of place. As postcards often are, it is a short letter addressed to someone specific.


I thought about holidays I’ve been on and googled postcard images to get inspiration.  I tried to think about who the postcard is to.  I thought about writing a postcard based on a disaster holiday.  Then the idea struck for a postcard to someone you long to be there but really can’t be.  At first I thought of a prisoner’s wife and then I decided on a widow.

I’m not confident at writing prose but I’m pleased with what I’ve created.

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Day 27 – Tarot

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz

A woman with a lion

Stands as a great force

Ready to take any challenge

Keep her life on course

With a hardworking ethos

She’ll get the job done

With a clear head and vision

It won’t take her long

Pressure to burn out

She wants it all at once

Needs time to be fruitful

Or she’ll feel like a dunce

With the lion in her corner

The right attitude to her goals

She can achieve anything

But must remember to have a hols

Wrap it in a cloth

Keep it in a box

Cleanse it with a crystal quartz


Day 27’s challenge

For Day 27 the prompt is ”we challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.”

A few years ago a work colleague gifted me a pack of Tarot cards and gave me a blue cloth to keep them safe. For this challenge, I decided to dig them out.

I then searched online to find out how to do a reading. I found this Basic 3 Card spread, gave it a go and used it as my inspiration for my poem today.

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Day 26 – Senses

Like a rain cloud that cannot be seen

You sense the threat of rain

Like energy in the air

Being sucked away from your being

You put on a brave face

To distract them from the shadows

Every breath is an effort

You feel like you’ve run a marathon

Living is like breaking nails

A tireless journey with no respite

Your desperate for the ending

To cut it short with a knife

Food tastes has no appeal

Like eating cotton wool

The weight on your shoulders

Feels like heavy boulders

Hearing others happy and laugh

You want to drown in a bath

Submerged under the watery bliss

Bubbles tickling your nose like a mother’s kiss

You can’t get out of bed

For the doctor to give you meds

Little pills to numb your feelings

Not really offering any healing

Don’t speak and lock your jaw

To others you slam your inner door

Like a fish in the desert

You don’t belong in this world

There’s something not coded right

Disconnected wires on a motherboard


Day 26’s challenge

For Day 26 the prompt is to write a poem “that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.”

At first, I was excited to write something exploring the senses but when I saw the examples I was blown away and intimidated. This challenge is more technical than I expected and I have just a few hours (or minutes in my bust schedule) to get something written…

Sadly, I am making this entry a day late.  I decided to write about mental health as I think it is tricky concept for those that have not experienced it to understand.  When I was struggling with issues myself, I really got into poetry and I felt it was a way I could express myself more easily.  I decided to be brave last October (for Mental Health Awareness month) and shared a collection of these to Wattpad in a book titled “Inner Demons“.

I promise I am in a much stronger place now.  I hope anyone that is struggling with their own demons can find hope in that, it is a battle but you can win.

Inner Demons
Inner Demons

  if_twitter-01-01_3066980  if_instagram-01-01_3066990  if_youtube-01-01_3066976  if_g-01-01_3066962

Ally plus text

Day 25 – Warning

If Ally is your bestie

You will find her loyal to a fault

Even if you’re in the wrong

She will back you in a revolt

Unless that wrong is against her

Then you will find she won’t forget

So, never cross your Ally

Or you will be filled with regret

To keep your Ally happy

She likes lots of food

Don’t feed her anything spicy

It can cause her to explode

She likes real butter

And vinegar on most things

She has a sweet tooth

But prefers savoury things

If she does not get enough sleep

She becomes a grizzly monster

She can be very trusting

Therefore hates all imposters

She’s got a wild imagination

You could lose her to another world

If she doesn’t get time to write

There will be trouble to be told

She doesn’t thrive in direct sunlight

Keep her safe in a shady spot

If she turns red she needs Aloe Vera

You must not let her get too hot

If she gets a headache

It’s best to vacate the house

She will snap at any sound

Even the scurry of a mouse

She can be a little messy

But don’t call her out on that

She excels in other areas

So, Ally will make up for that

Ally is far from perfect

But looks for the silver lining

If you take good care of your Ally

You need not heed this warning


Day 25’s challenge

For Day 25 the prompt is to write a poem “that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself! (Mine definitely includes the statement: “Do Not Feed More Than Four Cookies Per Hour.””

Oh, this prompt sounds like fun. My hubby knows that I can be mean if I’m tired, hungry or have a headache. I also love vinegar and I’m very passionate about real food and don’t like impersonators (margarine, quorn and chocolate bars that are really biscuits).

Natalie Anne Collins (@NeoTheArtist)

The images in this article of me were taken by photographer Natalie Anne Collins and retains the copyright. She works in partnership with Neil Anthony Mason. To learn more about their work, click here.