Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 7 Camp NaNoWriMo and the Words Just Keep Coming


tumblr_m2ybgpXFVg1qcenph Here are some of my statistics – end of the first week at camp.


Average Words Per Day 1,130
Your Average Per Day 975
Words Written Today 1,000
Target Word Count 35,000
Total Words Written 6,827
Words Remaining 28,173
Current Day 7
Days Remaining 25
At This Rate You Will Finish On August 5, 2013
Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,127

I will get there – playing Catch up in Camp at the moment – still loving it. Still on my first short story, I think that it will be even easier this time around working on several projects.

AND my Cabin is ACTIVE! Yeah!


Happy Camping

The Lost Week


As you know I am moving house this week and most spare hours in between work will be spent packing! cardboard-box I am hoping to be ready in time.
This means that I won’t be online as much as normal. AND Mr G has given me even more bad news. We have arranged for the television company to come and swap everything over to the new place, they have told us the Broadband may take up to 2 weeks. I hope it will be sooner and that is something that they have to say to cover themselves. There is always public access PC’s at the library and my trusty phone.
pencil paper freestock I will miss out on the writing challenges this week and next weekend. The upside is I will have time to prep and start my NaNo writes.

Wednesday sees the last week of my writing class, which is always a little sad. The group was fab and hopefully we will keep in touch!

I am also preparing for NaNoWriMo and 2 submissions for the end of the month. 2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

3115326-a-variety-of-donuts-in-a-takeaway-box It is also my eldest nephew’s birthday and my mum’s birthday this week! So the majority of my writing will take place next weekend.

Other than that I am going to get valuations on my flat and hopefully get it on the market.

Camp NaNoWriMo… the Final Countdown begins!


original_morning-sunshine-mug-1 NINE DAYS! Until the doors of the camp are thrust open… pancakes

If you have been following these posts you will feel pretty prepared (or scared) depending on how you handle your pre-camp nerves! I have been busy packing up to move out of my apartment this week, I have still managed some NaNo prep time though.

I have a list of targets to achieve – this may be bitesize word counts or skeleton frames of the 50,000 word novelette you’re attempting or chapters of a book.

If you haven’t already – camp tent


Cabin assignments started yesterday 20th June. Remember if you’re not happy OPT out, they will assign you a new cabin within 24 hours. As I have said before I had a fruitless cabin experience but was too guilty to opt out – I will NOT be making that mistake twice, after my 1st camp I know how essential this support is to get you through the month.

Although I am hoping that working on several smaller projects will be easier than the turgid 50,000 word Non-Fiction Chapter Fest I attempted back in April! tent


Want to get your friends and family involved in your July writing adventure? Fundraise, and have them pledge towards your final word count!

I am going to attempt sponsorship funding this camp as now I know it is as hard work as all those sponsored cycles and runs I donate money to for my much sportier friends! camp_11_postcard1_detail


Go check out the Office of Letters and Light blog, you may find an inspiring read (and there are links to the Camp NaNo website)


And for those who might like to make a donation rather than raising sponsorship, check out NaNoWriMo’s “In Your Pocket” Summer Drive!




A Surprise Visit!


I have managed some online time!

Writing Update

I have managed to redraft the picture book manuscript – in its 16th incarnation! Ready for the class to critique tonight. Clare Bell will also give us some advice! I am looking forward to it. I know it is missing some vital composition tools. I have managed to edit (or ‘slash’) 100’s of words! From 997 to 523 That’s practically half of the story gone! imagesCA0GWHZL

I wish I had other ideas to try and write more, but I am blank on plots at the minute.



I have also managed to read and submit 4 reviews for Rhetorical Composition II and have received 2 positive reviews on mine. I am now trying to complete my ‘Check your Progress’ activities *deadline is Friday.

You can read the assignment article here;


On the House Front

I have managed to complete some packing whilst I have been offline too. I still need to organise removals and get my apartment on the market! pin-up-woman-cleaning-up-cold-blue-winter-snow-28623149These are my next challenges and I hope to organise things before I start work today. And lots more packing for the rest of this week. I have started to collect cardboard boxes again! The plastering should be finished tomorrow and we can go in and clean before moving in!


Once I am in and especially once I have SOLD my apartment I can concentrate on getting my life on track. For now as it is an extremely busy time at work, I have dropped some opportunities off the June’s writing schedule. I don’t want to burn out before the summer. I have enough with the final 2 Writing classes in the city, the picture book manuscript, work, houses, packing, allotment, garden etc. etc.

I will prep for Camp NaNoWriMo and enter a life write for the end of the month for publication, other than that there wasn’t much copied on the final fortnight of June!


Happy Writing!




TGI’s Friday!


weekend-vector-102765And there is finally time… time to sit, time to relax and time to write!

I have worked extra time this week and I know it. Tired to the bone. I had planned to sort things at the new house and then go back home, Mr G’s plans changed and I have stayed, with internet access, a settee and the glories of a Friday evening.

I am celebrating by reading some great Flash Fiction from Friday Fictioneers. I will be able to do my FWF challenge and spend some time on my reader. As well as emptying my inbox and getting on top of the admin pile! And what’s more I have already had a wonderful day at The Three Counties Show! It’s nice to feel tired and fulfilled. So much greater than tired and grumpy.

cardboard-boxOf course my change of plans this evening mean that I have double boxes to pack tomorrow. I had planned to attend a regional Nano writers meeting before camp starts in a fortnight, I may still get to pop in, but it is a bit of a trek from mine NaNoLand_detailand we are hoping to attend a book launch and poetry picnic on Sunday already -hoping for slightly better weather than earlier – it rained on us a bit at the show. (I’m so tired I just typed shoe!)

It has been a busy week, mainly working … I have barely had time to file my nails! A Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday night revealed than the agonising pains I have suffered in my back, hip, knee and ankle for the past 3 weeks is actually Sciatica – which I consider myself far too young to suffer. I have got painkillers and am hoping some reflexology might ease it a bit! On a brighter note, I had been very ill last year and am having regular (fortnightly, monthly, bi-monthly) consultations. I don’t need another until the Autumn. (Quarterly!) That’s a break through – a personal GOLD to celebrate! I’d jump for joy (but my back wouldn’t thank me!)

I also had to submit my assignment yesterday – funny how the world is sometimes – I had been researching self-publishing for 2 weeks and as with most research have bags more than I used in the final piece. And then my writing magazine had pages all about self publishing including award winners and services. I am trying to get a collection of poetry ready this year for publication and might consider looking into this area a little more. Quotes-On-The-Craft-of-Writing-bilo-gde

I had a thought in my writing class on Wednesday, a question, a dent in the unbelievable self belief all writers need to adopt. I am a writer, yes. My early career was as a poet. Maybe this year – which is my write year, should be more focussed on what I am, who I am as a poet and maybe I can branch out from there. So far I have worked hard with a focus on retraining (necessary), and reading (vital) and writing across many genres. (Real life, short stories, poetry, a non-fiction book, performance works and children’s books!)

typewriterI have already made lots of submissions, 2 book proposals and one attempt at getting my poetry picked up. I completed April’s Camp NaNoWriMo and added over 54,000 words to my non-fiction manuscript. I have read countless articles and e-books on writing and my creative spirit feels toned and alive. I have received 3 rejections and 1 publication (poetry) I have thoroughly enjoyed my initial exploration into the life I should have always led… but I wonder

why scribble when you can paint?

It is a question I will keep in mind this month (and probably the next, why not the entire Summer?) I am signed up and committed to completing the summer camp over at Camp Nano and will finish my two short story projects and possibly my novella. (Glad they let rebels in!) After that who knows – maybe I will shelve a lot of multi-faceted projects and concentrate on one genre at a time… will that be too constrictive?

Who knows… most freelancers work on many projects at the same time across genres.

How do you manage your desk-load?


Slice of Life Challenge (SOLC) – A Slice of Layers


Another week of many fingers… many pies!sols_6

The House

The Electrician signed the work off and we got a plasterer in to quote the touch up work in every room. We have been busy most days (by we I mean Mr G) on the garden – I have sat on a chair in the sun and looked through design catalogues for inspiration on décor for inside! I have done some watering. We have strawberries, tomatoes, chilli’s & peppers growing really well as our Garden is a sun trap! Mr G has been busy sorting all the bedding plants out and rearranging the use of the garden space.


I have been busy catching up on cloud_writing2my online writing course I have an assignment due this Thursday that is still in the research stages! I am trying not to panic, today I need to post an outline – that will help write the final piece, then complete research and post assignment…

Sounds simple – but I have this morning to finish all online research. I have work this afternoon and tomorrow, + writing classes in the city tomorrow night and I am working all day Thurs! Eek!

As mentioned the writing classes continue – we have 3 weeks left, half way through. I have a homework assignment to do for this too. On character motivation – I do have the reading material offline which makes it more manageable!

I am thoroughly enjoying The Writing Picture Books classes with Clare Bell. kids books

camp_nano_promo_13 I have my June Writing schedule underway and there is one project I am working on for submission.  And I am also posting articles on my blog in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo summer camp next month! (Go on you know you want to join up! Sign up NOW!)


I need to pack up my apartment and arrange removal firms over the next few weeks, I have been busy with work, the allotment, the house and staying with Mr G. Packing is on the schedule for this weekend coming up – unfortunately there are also 2 writing events this weekend that I was supposed to attend. I think I still will, I will just go to bed early, get up early and fit it in!

I have over the past few weeks felt torn by the amount I am trying to do is so many areas – it is no wonder I am going slightly mad. The thing that keeps me going is that in a month or so everything will be settled and much more smooth. (Well as long as I don’t imagine the wallpaper

© A.Cooke 2013
© A.Cooke 2013

stripping and paint pots!)

The sun was out all weekend which was lovely and summery! So we spent Saturday in the allotment and Sunday in the garden, followed by 7 hrs worth of paperwork to prepare me for this week! I have also managed to catch up on my sleep! And got to see my family. My mum is raising money for the Mumbai Project at the moment and will be doing a jewellery store sale, her spare room is full of sparkling jewellery, I have bought a few items, to start off her funds.

Let me know if you are interested in making a donation. I will get the details and add them to this post!

3 Week Countdown to CAMP NaNoWriMo # July



The cabins are open by the way! All Spring cleaned since May.

I joined up for one this weekend, despite promising myself I wouldn’t, my last Cabin experience (which was also my first) was terrible. Only myself and 1 other writer were vaguely accurate. I found out that people can add into cabins at a later stage and was very tempted to do that this time.

However, when I saw the message about clean cabins, I couldn’t resist. I will not feel guilty if it is it not active I will leave the cabin and find another and if you want the FULL camp experience I suggest you put on a thick skin and do the same.

camp_nanowrimo_2013_calendar_by_somesortofwonderful-d5z9ze1 Book your Place

If you are planning to come to Summer Camp – in July check out the website now and sign up for your cabin! www.campnanowrimo.org Cabins are now bigger and you can have up to 8 people on them!

Don’t forget to fill in the details of your proposed book – I have fixed genre and word count to my profile. And then plan.

And don’t forget to check your camp mail!


I am starting to plan my writing this week, my original idea was to write a novella, I currently have 2 short story projects that I am trying to complete so I may cheat and do those first and use that towards the word count – (rebels and flexible word counts are now allowed!)

I do intend to write an entire novella by the end of July, I have the last week off work and will be able to put lots of writing time in by then. I hope to have moved house in June.

So if I can plan all that …. come on, you can plan some writing activity too! Challenge yourself and ENJOY it!

Get active

The Forums are open already and fairly active – if you are in the States there are lots of things you can take advantage of. If you’re not have a look about, you may find a regional group (like I did back in April) they are having there 1st meeting this Saturday and I am intending on being there! Although I SHOULD start packing!camp tent

Prepare a checklist for packing

  • A place to write
  • A book of notes
  • Scheduled time to write
  • Planning the writing

I am very lucky and have a friend from A Writers Fountain website of old, who creates graphic art pieces and I have her latest scrapbooking ‘camping’ kit to show off in this blog next month on my Summer Camp posts!



Related Articles:  https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/preparing-for-summer-camp-camp-nanowrimo-july-2013-part-1/

Preparing for Summer Camp. Camp NaNoWriMo July 2013 Part 1


The first of many Post Camp Nanowrimo Articles.
Back in April the first NaNoWriMo Camp ran, many of us are signing up for the next Summer Camp in July.
This month part of my writing schedule time is devoted to preparing for camp.

Tips on Surviving Camp – The Lessons I learnt camp_nano_promo_13

Lessons I learnt from NaNoWriMo (Being a first timer!)

If you have just finished camping you are possibly walking around in a euphoric state of bliss and manically pumped with adrenalin, if you camped and were beaten by the words, you may be feeling quite the opposite. Whether you camped or not this TIPS LIST is worth the read.

Read it if you camped, read it if you didn’t, read it if you are curious! I link to another article at the end with more detail and if this wets your appetite I suggest you keep a careful eye out for my Post NaNo posts as they will help prepare you for the Summer Camp!
Hope to see you there, happy writing!


Lessons I learnt from NaNoWriMo (Being a first timer!)

· It is tough
· It really is like a marathon
· You may get muddy
· Cabins are pot luck and don’t worry about booking early
· The forum can be a very useful place
· There are regional groups, if you are an international camper this may be particularly useful
· You may be lucky enough to meet your wonderful regional writers
(I missed both opportunities this Camp, but maybe in the next Nano… Just 3 months away are you already counting?!)

· Go in with an idea at least images
· Don’t bother with the bug spray – you’re going to get bitten, it’s part of Camp, embrace it and the same too about the dreaded Writer’s Block.
· Nano Campers play word wars to overcome such things (I have no idea- enlighten me)

· Throughout the month people (including myself once) have met in chat-rooms to discuss their work and take a break during the Nanothon. There is a designated day (8hrs) it was 6pm – 2am GMT where we all write, the Nanothon.
· You can raise money by getting sponsored.
· I will definitely try this next time especially as I have now run it and think actually training for a 10K Charity run would be easier!

· There is a nifty Camp Store I really wanted a t-shirt, a mug and the journal, maybe next camp I will pack some dollars! camping-tent-grass-15269945
· If you are racing to win the whole 50,000 word count all other writing projects may go out of the window.
· If you can still find the off Nano switch on your head, getting into a different writing project or even some blog surfing can bring you back to the desk (or in my case the bed) with fresher ideas.

· If you are a first timer and you have never written anything longer than short stories or scripts, you may want to walk the 1st time and opt for less than 50K!
· I already plan to sign up for the summer camp – I will only attempt 30K and already have a project in mind. Depending on how busy November’s writing schedule is I may attempt 50K again.
· You need some ideas on what to write 1st don’t jump in stone cold


· Try to write everyday – even if it 100 words on the page of a magazine, as soon as you lose the days the words to go will overwhelm you _LINK which is how I started a week in and 8 days behind
· Don’t expect to always be ahead (I DID) also don’t worry if you fall behind! Worry just steals your writing energy.

· Nobody can do it for you.
· Just keep going (has this been said already?!)
· Wear comfortable shoes
· Don’t sit for too long
· If you’re numb you need to get outta camp = go for a walk in nature and be inspired.

> Related Nano articles

Creating Characters


This morning was the 1st morning in ages I have had time to write and create.

I have spent the morning photographing my new writing schedule, it saves some typing time, works just as well and gives me full details in one place. I thought of doing it last month.

I wrote 2 pages of ideas in my journal and started to plan and prepare for the next Nano Summer Camp!


… Then I went to work!


Monthly Review – April 2013


time That was April, ‘pufft’ over in a flash, we are now officially a ¼ of the way through 2013- oh my!

 This month has been massively productive for me as a writer, training in my craft. As far as making money and submitting my work it has been a month off. The writing schedule was only scantily clad this month, I shouldn’t feel I have missed many/ any opportunities really as there were only 3 major projects I wanted to attempt and all of them were competitions. document-wizard-icon

 I found with my brain split between 2 National Writing Month (International) projects (what could I possibly be talking about? Hmmmm…) I couldn’t get my head to produce ideas for short stories for competitions and I had very little time as in addition to the commitment of writing this month came a mighty pile of research!

camp_mastheadCamp NaNoWriMo, (which I discovered in March), filled me with delight. This Spring I had read lots of posts about the challenge, when I looked into it – I was gutted to think I had to wait for Winter/ November to give it a go.

 I started working on a manuscript in January which was sidelined in March (due to writing 2 book proposals and 4 submissions) I know Camp is about creating something new, there is no way I could leave the manuscript in its infancy and work on something new. Plus I was already labelled a camp ‘rebel’ for writing Non-Fiction. I vowed to add 50,000 words to my abandoned manuscript. old-typing-machine_2497958

What I have since discovered is the concept of a 100,000 word book may have been a stretch too far. I seem to have covered everything already – it’s just over 60K in its entirety. (Thanks to camp nanowrimo and the extra 54,089)

I am aiming now to spend time most weekends finishing the writing and editing. I need to look into markets that would accept a shorter version and if not I will hold onto a nearly finished manuscript and complete further research.

 I had originally planned to write 8000 words or so a month on the manuscript, that was before I started the writing schedules, I had been lucky if I wrote a few 1000. Camp Nano has helped me more than double what I had hoped to produce by now. footer-camp

My brain is useless jelly, but I got away without any insect bites or blisters!

 NaPoWriMo I discovered on the cusp of April and I am delighted I did. It was an idea conceived by Maureen T to help poets join in with the National Writing Month (Canada/USA) and as I am primarily a poet and find this genre as comfortable as an old pair of slippers I was over the moon to challenge myself to write a poem a day. I am currently working on collections of a 100 and plan to go back to the website and use all the prompts I didn’t use, by the end of the summer I should 60 more poems than I ever would have had by joining in this celebratory month! I emailed my thanks to Maureen and hope the website now stays active for me to complete some more poems by prompt. napo2013button2

Towards the end of the Month in a fit of peak (realising I was about to have a Nano hole to fill and forgetting the need to obtain freelance work) I enrolled onto an online writing course with a University, it is a 6 week programme on composition and there are about 800 students from around the world involved. I have already submitted my 1st assignment, they started on 22nd and I enrolled on the 27th the Assignment was due 29th!

Lots of video material to watch and a brand new challenge for the next 6 weeks!paper-notes

As for Awritersfountain, I am delighted with the growth of my blog. I thank you all for following, commenting and liking. It means a lot to me.

We have had 65 new followers blogging

Received 2 Blog Awards – Leibster and Shine On –200533564-001

Received over 1000 likeslikeable-blog-1000-2x

I hope the blog will continue to fill me with positivity and creativity, thank you all.

And in the real world…

I signed up for Writing Classes – starting mid May a short course to boost my knowledge of a genre I have only had minimal training in and have many ideas for.

 At the beginning of April, I signed up for a wonderful Comedy Script Writing Workshop, which became one of my greatest Saturdays this year so far! I have met some great people through participating and was glad to start a network email list.

 I looked for other opportunities and found out about some Performance Poetry (I used to be a Performance Poet) events and went along … to watch!

 I have also booked myself onto a network meeting happening early in May.

 A productive month:

54K  manuscript  
30 poems    
1 workshop  
1 performance poetry event
1 uni course assignment
booked more opps  
 Blog 162 followers
  2 awards Leibester
   1000 likes Shine On

 And in the galaxy far, far away from the tip tapping of writing keys… this month;

Mr G and I have managed to get our allotment ready with the first vegetables of the season planted and all the strawberry plants are rescued, weeds culled, and new tools used.

 We have also MOVED MOUNTAINS with our current life plan/ mission that I have made reference to on this blog but until now not revealed. We are buying a new House, keeping fingers crossed but I do believe we are now near completion! (Now any mention of Workmen makes sense.)

I have experienced a nice couple of weeks off work for Easter, celebrated that weekend with my family and visited a friend who I hadn’t seen for a decade, she lives quite far away. So if you can have a road trip by yourself, that’s exactly what that was. It also deepened the realisation to give into more tech and get a Sat Nav! When you’re already driving half way up the country you needn’t add more than 80 miles in 3 ‘I’m a bit lost’ detours! The problem with motorways is you can’t just turn around.

I have managed to pack a few boxes – but not nearly enough – especially in the light of recent events and I have found time to go to work also!

Thanks for following,

Hope you all had an enjoyable April!


Happy writing x