NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMonth challenges writers to complete a novel in a month

NaNoWriMonth challenges writers to complete a novel in a month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenges writers to write a novel during November. Begun in the USA in 1999, it is now an international event

NaNoWriMo is a month-long challenge, when aspiring and established fiction-writers take to their computers in an attempt to write a 50 000 word novel in just thirty days. The idea is to write a first draft, rather than to complete the project.

Can you write a novel that quickly? Do you think it’s possible?

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Waiting, waiting

untitled Waiting to hear from a publisher is a nail-biting business.

And sending a book-length manuscript to a publisher is an act of bravery, especially if, like me, one does not have an agent.

Nearly a year ago, I tried to attract an agent, but I discovered the hard way that agents (like publishers) can take many months to decide whether or not they can make money from your book.  After I’d spent almost twelve months on that venture, I decided to try my luck by taking a more direct route.

Since my first book was published, that book’s publisher had been taken over by a much larger firm; the person who had nurtured me (and my book) through the maze of publication had moved elsewhere and she said my new manuscript ‘did not fit her list’.

I really understood her position: my memoir, a romance of sorts, would not suit her readership. Although my new memoir is about falling in love and marrying when I was a few months short of my seventieth birthday and my husband was already seventy-one.

As I said, the story is a romance ‘of sorts’, even if we did elope to escape our families. The memoir is also about the aftermath of marrying in what some people consider to be old age.

The next publisher I contacted required a three paragraph synopsis of my work; a sample of the manuscript (up to the first 5000 words); and my writing curriculum vitae or a summary of my previous publications/awards/recognition for my work.

That was easy. I had a completed manuscript that had been read by a couple of my adult granddaughters whose opinion I trust, as well as by a handful of knowledgeable friends. On the whole they had liked it, and made constructive suggestions about what would make it better. Gratefully, I incorporated many of their suggestions and then self-edited it to within an inch of its life.

My first memoir, Other People’s Country, was long listed for the Walkley Best Non-Fiction Books Award and short-listed for the Western Australian Premier’s History Award in the year it was published. It is on the reading list of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation organisation and used in several Autralian universities.Writing my CV was not too hard.

Other Peoples Country

Less than a fortnight after the initial contact, I was invited to send the whole manuscript. Such a joyful, half-forgotten memory!

That was three and a half months ago. Such a long, long time when I’m waiting, waiting. I’m wondering what my next steps will be.

I’ve started a new piece of writing and like what I’m doing well enough. My heart is not really in my new project yet, and real life keeps getting in my way.

Publishers are usually clear about how long it will take for them to assess a manuscript; it’s often three months or more. Some also admonish writers, sternly, not to contact them, but to wait until they hear.

So, like Vladimir and Estragon in Beckett’s Godot, or the character in the AA Milne poem, ‘Fishing’, that’s what I’m doing. I’m waiting!

Versatile Blogger Award

 versatileblogger113I am honoured to have received a nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award from the generous Lisa Rieter.  Thank you, Lisa. Variety, novelty and learning are my passions, so this award is very special. I’m excited to pass it onto some fantastic bloggers who have posts to suit my mood whenever I browse their blogs. I was delighted to find WordPress actually run a site for this award, to provide a central locale for the winners and maintain the rules.

The rules are:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.versatile-blogger
  2. Include a link to their blog.
  3. Next, select 15 excellent blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award – include a link to this site.
  5. Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love.


Please take some time to visit these great blogs read around them – I promise you there’s something for everyone on all of them!


Louise Allan – ‘Life from the attic’ at

Dawn Barker at

Andrew Burke  at

Emma Chapman at

Amanda Curtin at amandacurtin.comI

Iris Lavell at

Natasha Lester

Glennys Marsdon at

Angela Myer at

Annabel Smith at

Dianne Touchell at

Irene Waters at

Marisa Wikramanayake at

Charlotte Woods at



  1. I always wanted to be a writer, but my first book, Other People’s Country, was not published until I was 70 years old.
  2. My husband and I eloped the year before my book was published. Eloping saved the hassles of explaining to our combined children (nine of them) and deciding which of our granddaughters would be flower girls.
  3. My first trip to Europe was to France for our honeymoon, and I’ve been back three more times. I can’t get enough of the country and the culture.
  4.  This week I’m in Dowerin, a tiny country town in the Eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, where I’m ‘minding’ the Dowerin Bed and Breakfast for my sister while she’s in Bali. Today, I cooked and served breakfast for five people by 6.15 a.m.
  5. I started my blog six months ago, and after a few weeks of not knowing what I was doing, now love the process. I am delighted to have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  6. My garden occupies much of my attention. I’m passionate about my orchids, and slightly in love with my Pierre du Ronsard rose.
  7. I expect the phone will ring any moment and my daughter will tell me that my second great grandchild has been born; then I will drive to Perth to greet him or her.


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