NaNoWriMo 2014

Dunno who did this, but it’s true!

I love NaNoWriMo but I have to admit I’m not going to make it this year.

Since I’ve decided already you may see no point in reading this post, but I had to write it, mostly to try to explain to myself why. The explanations I’m producing on daily basis became quite blurred under the weight of “I want to join this year too!!” yelled by the most stubborn part of my brain!

As the Romans used to say: verba volant, scripta manent, thus I’ll write this post.

A part from the huge amount of work and stress I’d add on the already heavy load on my shoulders and that I can’t afford at this very moment, I have another reason.

As I mentioned already I’m working on a very long project (and in the next post I promise I’m going to talk about it!!!) and I actually need loads of time to set the basic line for the story. To this, I might add loads of hours for the researches I need and loads of hours to the work needed for an acceptable first draft.

Although I really love NaNo and I’ll really suffer in not being able to participate to the stimulating and fun run, I have to surrender to the truth that I have no time and no energy to spare.

I have 4 days off and the only time I manage to give to myself is when Maya takes her afternoon nap. Two of these days are dedicated to my blog, so I have only 4-5 hours per week to commit to my project.

As I’m working very hard for this project I don’t want to rush over it in 30 days. Actually I wouldn’t finish even a minimum part of it I guess!

On the top of it I have to admit that, although I’ve always enjoyed NaNo for the fun of chatting with other writers and read about similar experiences, I’ve never finished the books I started during those sessions.

My fault of course, but this one is too important and I don’t want to spoil it! I know myself and although I don’t like this part of my character I can prevent problems!

I’ll try to follow the forum and the blogs anyway. I don’t want to miss the whole fun entirely!!!

How about you?

Ready to go?


What I think about Horror Heritage

According to the old yearly plan I abandoned and the new plan that I’ve just made and that I’ll share with you in the next blog, I’m due to finish the Horror Heritage novel I started during NaNoWriMo 2013. Although the yearly plan is changed, completing the draft is the highest priority for me.

The major problem is that I couldn’t remember the first part, as I wrote it so fast.

Because of that I had to reread the first five and half chapters in order to keep going, but I was shocked and it was in that moment that I decided to give myself a feedback.

The biggest problem obviously is finishing the book and then editing.

Of course, you’d say.

Of course.

The fact is that finishing this book seems a huge and almost impossible task because first of all the time for me is drastically reduced and secondly I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing.

In my opinion, this story is boring until at least the third chapter and it doesn’t start with the classic “bang” required by the basic of writing, although it might get you curious on a point or two. I wrote a prologue but I’m not hundred per cent sure it can work.

There are many typos and mistakes and broken sentences that Maya could have done better, but let’s say it’s the draft stage and I’m going to fix them.

I know that the plot is good in a way but it seems I cannot get it right; there is something I cannot grasp of this book.

I have loads of doubts and it doesn’t seem the strongest story I’ve ever written but still I know that it’s a story that wants to be told. I fear that on some level it’s a trick of my subconscious trying to get time because it’s afraid of bring at least one book to the next level.

It might be so, but also I had an idea which could have explained where the problem lies: it’s the first person narrator and the present tense combination or this is my feeling about it anyway!

I was so excited about Hunger Games and the way it was written that I thought I would try. The first book I’ve ever written was in first person, it was a journal, but I used the past tense, which made me feel less awkward and freer in juggling with the events. I thought I would try with the present tense this time to build up more tension. But either this system is not right for this book or I’m not good in writing with this style.

I don’t know.

The prologue was great to give a few more details and also to give more depth to the story, but I’m still unsure.

After all I think that even if I manage to finish it, this book will be probably be a standalone and if I believe it right enough, at the end of the process I’m going to send it around looking for editors or agents.

For the rest of story, which might be nice to read, I have another idea that I promise I’ll explain to you in one of the next posts so you can give me a feedback.

But what do you think about what I have just said?

Is there anyone else feeling like me in front of his or her book?

Am I too harsh?

I’d love any kind of advice you can share with me in the comment and thanks in advance.

The Horror Heritage in bits!

 As you certainly know, The Horror Heritage is the working title of the manuscript I worked on during the month of November. It is set in Sonrisa, the fantasy world I’ve been working on for six years now!

Although I decided to share with you a tiny bit of it, it’s far from finished.

I’ll discuss in a future post on the difficulties of the rest of the task, but what I want to do here is fulfil the promise I made in the previous blog.

I’m going to go through the part of the manuscript I’ve written so far and I’ll past and copy the bits I love more for the moment.

This would be useful to me because in the haste of the challenge, I wrote the chapters and I have just a general idea of what I written, in other words I remember just a tiny bit of the whole lot.



Let’s start with the opening.

I’m finally here, dear brother, this time I’m going to stay with you a bit longer.

This is what I’ve been thinking since last element, exactly when I decided what I wanted to do with my life.

I visited Sweet Moment before but climbing the coloured stone steps this time is different.

I’m eager to see Dan once again. I hope he’s happy to see me too! He hasn’t come home for two cycles now and last time I visited this place I didn’t manage to meet him.

This is one of the reasons why I’m here now: I want to stay with my twin.

I even stopped to write him letters, he didn’t answer anyway.

And finally on the last violet step here he is, Dan is smiling greeting the customers entering before me.

I put my best smile on, open my arms and I walk towards him.

When he sees me his smile dissolves from his face and his eyes reach the bag on my shoulder.

“Fran, what on earth…” he says and he stretches his arm out.


He hits me with all his strength. There is a lot of sadness and tension in our eyes.

“Why are you here?” he asks.



Here Fran and Aisolar are waiting to be shown their dormitory.


“Do you think it’s going further down this place?” I ask Aisolar looking around. The ceiling seems very tall.

“I don’t know” she says and keeps looking around like me “Anyway this place is so dark, it would need some light more!” she adds.

I can only nod in agreement.

Immediately after she touches her hair and detaches some bits that can be defined as locks and throw them in the air around her.

For a while she’s surrounded by little tongues of fire. Then she blows on them and they grow giving more light to the surrounding area of the room.

“Wow this is amazing!” I say clapping my hands.

“Oh you’re so easy to impress, Fran” she says “Look, you’ll like this!”

She opens her arms and the flames spread around lightening an even bigger area of the room.

I’m still in awe when I see that the flames are popping and disappearing one by one.

“This shouldn’t happen” Aisolar says surprised.

In that moment Ky opens the door again and yells at us “Are you crazy?”

We look at one another puzzled.

“It was so dark that we wanted to get it a bit more lit!” Aisolar says.

“You shouldn’t have!”


“Because only approved magic can work here!” he says looking around where the two lifts were.




Here is a scene from the training.


We enter in Funny Jungle huge vegetation and we follow the path. It’s very damp in here but the coloured flowers are amazing to see.

I notice that Clanny is looking around, I cannot be mistaken, and she’s clearly looking for something or someone.

At the sample table we don’t see anybody and I feel it shouldn’t be like it.

Clanny looks around and above her head and eventually, following her gaze, I see a girl from the Monkey tribe attached at the highest branch of the tree by her tail. She’s swinging and smiling at us.

“Oops!” she says and jumps down in front of us with a perfect movement.

“Monko!” Clanny shouts “This is the second warning you receive, am I understood?”

The girl called Monko far from looking worried, smiles at us again and resumes her place behind the counter. Her bright blue eyes have a sparkle that attracts me.

“Nothing to watch here anymore! Keep going!” Clanny says.

I stare at Monko till I’m out of the door and I notice only now that her hair and fur glitter under the light and I realize that it’s the golden colour letting this magic of light to happen.

This leaves me in awe as I’ve never seen even in books, but only heard as one of Funny Jungle legends, something concerning golden and silver furred monkeys.



Another scene from the training.

Clanny guides us through the great hall and bring us at the reception of the Inn and behind the counter there is an older gentleman who’s doing nothing but staring at the door.

“Here you have Hilman, he’s one of our best staff members. As you can see his ready attitude to spot the customers is appreciated by all the management!”

Hilman is very tall person, very pale and skinny. His face is impassive and if I had blood and vein, my blood would chill! He nod in greeting to Clanny who reply with a small movement of her hand and turns to guide us back to the lifts.

I keep watching Hilman, in truth because I don’t trust his face and I realize that as soon as Clanny is turned he sticks his tongue out at her, then winks at me and smile. He has very pointed teeth. Of course, he’s a vampire. I think he must come from Ghost Land though.


One of the scenes after the training.


I let myself fall on a huge pillow in front of the fire and I stare into the flames, I feel exhausted. Of course I wanted to look for Dan but I don’t think is a good idea right now. If he was on shift this morning is likely to be over soon.

Lost in my thoughts I barely realize that Aisolar goes on her knees and then sits in front of me and then lies down putting her head into the cracking flames.

“Are you mental?” I shout jumping on my feet.

She looks at me from there and smiles. I don’t understand for the first three seconds and then I realize.

“Ok, your hair is made of fire, but still, why are you putting your head into the mantelpiece?”

“I’m relaxing. The flames are massaging my head as well and nourishing my hair. After that period into the blue section I really needed!” she says.

Exactly in the same moment the other elementals we noticed before drag themselves into the living room and do the very same thing. I move aside to let them recreate their hair. Aisolar as well make room for them.




Dan tells Fran part of the situation.


“Dan why we didn’t receive any message? What is going on!?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but what I know it’s a mistake that you came over here!”

“Why?! It’s not a problem!” I say raising a bit the tone “Tomorrow I’m going to talk with Clanny and tell her I don’t want to work here anymore, and you know what? You do the same. I mean, we came here to make experience, right? We can just change our plan and start to travel before we intended. I cannot see the problem!” I rise on my feet. Everything is set and now I feel starving so I move to the door once again.

Dan grabs my hand, he’s still sitting down, and he stares into my eyes “Fran, we can’t! You don’t understand…we can’t go out of here…we’re not allowed. Once you’re here, you don’t move!”

I smile, I think to one of his jokes. I have to admit that this one is very well said and if he’s trying to improve his acting skill he’s made progresses.

“I’m not joking.” he says.

Dan’s eyes are deeper now, he keeps staring at me and his grasp goes tighter.

“Why are you saying that?”

“Because it’s the truth. You can ask anybody and if they’re willing to do so, they’ll confirm the problem” he says “Why do you think I haven’t visited my house, although not far from here, for two cycles solid?”



All right, I have a small problem, all these parts are from chapter one only.

Let’s do something, let me know what you think about that and if you want me to go on.

Of course negative feedbacks are also accepted, only when constructive!

Thanks for your time and cooperation!

Talk to you soon! 

NaNo Over

And we’re in December, ladies and gentlemen, and I don’t have more excuses. NanoWriMo is over and I can dedicate myself to my blog again!

As you for sure have noticed ten days have already passed without me writing a word but I have my good reason.

I had to work more than usual last week and then dedicate the weekend to my family! But I missed my blog tremendously, I swear!

I’m so so so sorry I hadn’t update it like I wanted to during November, but it was a struggle and a very busy month.

Now I’m proud to announce that I made it!!!


 Actually I made it just about. I won with 50.036 words but I cannot complain, because I relaxed as soon as I validate it.


The important for my self-confidence was to win the challenge and I managed it.

Actually I hit the 50k words on the 29th and I have to pat myself on the back because I started on the 7th as I was in Italy for the first days of November. This makes me happy, because I managed in less than one month.

On the top of that I had my 30 hours job to attend and my 24/7 mum duty to attend and also I had to spend a couple of hours with my partner in the evening and make sure that the house wasn’t falling apart. Ah and I managed to keep to the diet…not as strictly as I wanted to, but I’ve even lost a kilo.

So maybe there is a valid reason why I feel tired!

On the good side, however, I have to admit that this year I had a lot of supporters and this is probably the main reason why I manage to make it.

The support has come in form of questions, curiosity, patience and cheering up and volunteering to be part of my characters cast.

So thank you, thank you so much to (not in any specific order):

–          My partner, for supporting me all the time, despite my craziness and for minding Maya in the evenings to let me write and for putting again his own hobby in standby, in order to let me complete my challenge.

–          Shannon, for volunteering to be one of the main characters, Monko, a nice golden monkey coming from Funny Jungle and also for reading the manuscript while in progress.

–          Wayne, for constantly hearing my rant about my word count.

–          Keith, Michael and Nick who didn’t exactly volunteered to be in there but they let me do that anyway. Michael, sooner or later you will wear a cape!

–          Grainne, for asking updates about the word count.

–          Hannah, for volunteering to be a character. She became Serafina who isn’t live yet into the manuscript but she’s in the plot outline and was already mentioned anyway.

–          Liz, who in her motherly way I love so much told me I better put her in there and she became a warrior.

–          Martina, who worked as personal cheer leader and helped me, minding Maya when I was trying to catch up with words.

–          Joanna, who cheered up and supported through the net, something very sci-fi-brilliant!

I’m sure I’m forgetting someone; don’t be upset if you don’t find your name here. Your support was highly appreciated anyway. It’s just my brain, poor thing, trying to drag itself forward!

I’m posting quickly my stats but mind that they might be wrong as I didn’t have the time to keep an accurate track of them, it was really too much asking that to myself.


Number of notes written on my mobile: 8


Number of piece of paper scribbled while not busy in work: around 50


Meals skipped with the colleagues in order to write: around 10


Cups of tea or coffee drunk: +20


Dried apricots eaten: +30


Corn on the cobs eaten: 0


Times I hysterically despaired to make it: 25

Word count….doesn’t count anymore! Ah Ah Ah!

Favourite sentence or excerpt of the day: I won’t fill this because I have a nice idea for the next post!

Before I conclude this blog, there is a question I do have. Is there another NaNo mum out there?

Am I stupid or not capable of balancing all the chores or tidy enough to do everything? How do you cope and win NaNo?

Is anyone feeling like me out there?

NaNoWriMo – Day 11

Today has been hard, folks, as Maya decided to wake up at 12.30 and not to sleep until 4.30! I’d have to add a.m. to both the times to be clearer!

Needless to say I feel like a zombie and I didn’t manage to do much!

So here is the statistics, don’t hate me if I’m so fast in writing the post tonight but I need to chill a bit!

Number of notes written on my mobile: 4


Number of piece of paper scribbled while not busy in work: around 30


Meals skipped with the colleagues in order to write: 2


Cups of tea or coffee drunk: 7


Dried apricots eaten: 13


Corn on the cobs eaten: 0


Times I hysterically despaired to make it: 6


Word count for today: 2.070 words.


Favourite sentence or excerpt of the day:

Important thing to remember this isn’t only a draft, but a NaNo draft so ignore errors and what doesn’t make sense please!

We notice that at the very end on the left there is a big table purple in colour and modelled in a funny shape you’ll never find in nature. We notice that Ky is over there with other two people who, considered the resemblance with him and their height must be other guardians.

They’re all concentrated in doing something and don’t even realize we’re getting closer. I can see some smoke coming out of the table and when we get closer we see there some bowls, and bottles and some buckets full of steaming liquid.

One of the guardians is eating what I get from the perfume is pork curry and the other, the one who wears glasses, is playing with a small ball.

“What are you doing?” I say leaning towards them

“Oh my, Fran, you scared me!” Ky says startling and spilling some liquid of a nice blueberry colour “Oh no, look at that!” he says frowning.

I feel sorry but mostly I’m curious to see what they’re up to.

While Ky is turned to me the one who’s eating puts some powder in the bottle Ky’s is keeping in his hand and it is then that the liquid begin to smoke a lot more and then explodes.

The one guardian wearing glasses starts to roll on his tummy and laughs so hard that in a while the attention of the whole room is on us.

I cannot help laughing myself, although I’m not following all the details of the conversation.

“Why did you do that….again?” Ky yells at the second person.

“Because I told you, curry improves the flavour!”

“Not of blueberry mead thought!” Ky says

“Curry could improve even your socks’ flavour Ky, I’m sorry!” he says shovelling in his mouth a huge spoonful.

“And most of all…” the third person says “You owe me two wings and one pop if we include the last time. I told you it was going to explode again!”

“Just because this idiot put some of his curry inside!” Ky yells. His face is red but it’s still funny to watch.



Words so far: 12.326/ 50.000


6.011 words to catch up!

NaNoWrimo – Day 10

I’ve disappeared again I know, but I have a justification and some news!

I’ve been in Italy again at a comic exposition. As you might know I love comics and my partner does too, so when we can we go there.

First day we decided to bring Maya with us too and it was possibly the funniest of the four days.

I have some pictures for you.


Ace from One Piece!



From Hunger Games, it's handmade!

From Hunger Games, it’s handmade!

I don't know who they are but their costumes are great!

I don’t know who they are but their costumes are great!

Samurai squirrel!

Samurai squirrel!


The only problem is, as usual when I go to this exposition, I was left behind for my NaNoWriMo, so now I have to catch up. I’m doing my best all considered, so here is the statistic.

The working title is The Horror Heritage.



Number of notes written on my mobile: 4




Number of piece of paper scribbled while not busy in work: around 30




Meals skipped with the colleagues in order to write: 2




Cups of tea or coffee drunk: 5




Dried apricots eaten: 10




Corn on the cobs eaten: 0




Times I hysterically despaired to make it: 5




Word count for today: New record 3.201 words.




Favourite sentence or excerpt of the day: well not of today but so far for the moment, until this post becomes regular.

Second thing to remember this isn’t only a draft, but a NaNo draft so ignore errors and what doesn’t make sense please!

I don’t know how long I have slept last night but I know I can hear an alarm now. It’s not an alarm; it’s more like a scratching noise. Or maybe not even that one.

I feel like Emma right now, I try to decide whether to open my eyes and give a lesson to whomever is doing such wreckage or stay with my eyes closed and wait to calm down.

It’s like this in the morning; I have to wake up in a soft way.

“Fran, Fran!” I hear Aisolar voice calling me, she sounds scared.

“Oh no!” this should be Moko’s voice instead “Not again! Cari will you stop please?!” she shouts.

I open my eyes, and I see that the room is still dark but using the light coming from Aisolar’s air I can make out the lines of someone floating in the room.

“Wake up, ladies, wake up, little flowers!!!” she screams and then she starts flying hysterically form one side of the room to the other.

“Ok, ok! We’re up, we’re up! Stop it!” I shout.

The figure stops and she start floating in the middle of the room. I can see she’s transparent, so I think she’s a ghost but her behaviour recalls something I read in a book once.

“So you’re a poltergeist!” I say

“Ding, ding, ding! Right answer! Continue like this and you’ll start working before you can say poltergeist!” she says and then starts laughing hysterically.


 Words so far: 10.256/ 50.000

 6414 words to catch up! 


I think that at this stage you’re sick and tired already to read about NaNoWriMo, but I cannot help. I’ll be a bit monotonous for the next month and half, I’m sorry!

I’m also trying to sort a few personal problems out, so I really have to do what is relaxing me and most of all what makes me happy and talking about NaNo is one of these things. I ask you to bear with me.

As I’m going to bother you every day, or I’ll try to do so, the following ones are the parameters you’ll have to check to see how insane I’ll become before the end of November.

This is the right place where to explain them, in particular if you are curious enough.

Now, I know that for a few of you they’re just list without any meaning at all, but for me it’s extremely funny.

I don’t want to disappear from the blog for a whole month and I’ve always loved these lists in other participants’ signatures, so I decided to do one for my special place. I’ll add to it an except and the count of words to make it more interesting.

Here we go:


Number of notes written on my mobile:


Number of piece of paper scribbled while not busy in work:


Meals skipped with the colleagues in order to write:


Cups of tea or coffee drunk:


Dried apricots eaten:


Corn on the cobs eaten:


Times I hysterically despaired to make it:


Word count for today:


Favourite sentence or excerpt of the day:


Words so far:


I hope I won’t slip in the chocolate route again because I’m on diet once more and I want to make it this time! Let’s see what November hysteria will save for me!

So what do you think?

Do you think I could add something?

Are you curious to know something else?