NaNoWriMo take two

Being unemployed and generally unmotivated, I decided to use my first exam and essay free November in years to do NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month is a challenge to write an entire book (50,000 words) in a month. Which is about 1,667 words a day.

For the most part, I kept with the 1,667 words a day rule. There was, however, at least one day in each week that I didn’t have enough time to write. I then had to write double the next day. Of course, I didn’t want to ruin my beautiful chart, so usually I put in that I hit the word count each day so it would look pretty:

NaNoWriMo chart

Of course, last Friday I stupidly did not do that and now my chart is ruined. Seriously, though, I loved this chart. It really helped me keep on track to update it every day, to watch my progress and to be constantly reminded how how much I had left to reach my daily word count:

NaNoWriMo words

I want one of these for every book I write. I’ll have to look into that.

Of course, now you’re probably asking what my book is about. As usual, let me back into this answer with a little preamble about how and why I chose my subject.

Everything I’ve written in the last two years or so has been quasi-autobiographical, pseudo-memoir creative non-fiction. But my true background, my passion for writing, comes from character based fantasy novels.

I haven’t been reading what I would call “good” books in the last little while. It started in January with a new addiction to a romance-fiction series by Karen Marie Moning that Alaina sent me for Christmas. Then, with so much school work and traveling for the next two semesters, I ended up needing books that were entertaining. That were an escape. I couldn’t concentrate on the literary type of books I normally read.

When I got home from England, I didn’t want to think about life much. So I kept reading about other people’s melodramatic lives in new romance serieses.

When I decided to endeavor to write 50,000 words in one month, I knew I needed to break away from my usual type of writing. I knew I needed something that was exciting and interesting to keep my attention for a whole month. I knew I wasn’t going to write the next great Canadian novel in one month.

So I decided to write a romance novel. A time travel romance set in Ireland. Ireland is the perfect place for it, because it’s already so magical and romantic in my mind. And I know it well enough to describe it in fair detail.

This was my plot description:

Lexi Kelly is a Canadian visiting some relatives in small town in the Connemara region of Ireland. Her cousins take her to a Beltane festival, where she gets a wee bit drunk. Costumed people start to blur as they dance about, and the next thing she remembers is waking up in the morning. Only she’s not where she thought she was, she’s in 1275 and servant girl is calling her “Lady Alexandra.” She quickly discovers that she’s recently married, to a bullheaded Irish lord, Aedh Muimhnech Ó Conchobair. Strangely, everyone thinks she’s always been there. Her and her husband, however, are not on good terms. He could care less about her and had to marry her as part of an alliance. Miscommunication and frustrations ensue.

To further complicate things: just as she’s starting to resign herself to her new timeline, she gets thrown back into modern Ireland. She’s returned to her Aunt’s house, where she’s apparently been off studying Gaelic for two weeks. Confused, she decides to extend her stay in Ireland and meets the beautiful Irish man she was always hoping for, a charmer named Dechlan Gallagher. Things progress and she starts to think that 1275 and Aedh were all just a really strange, whiskey induced dream.

At which point she gets thrown BACK to 1275.

Basically she keeps jumping between the two timelines at unpredictable (and hilarious) times. There’s a mysterious force at work and eventually she has to make a choice between the two timelines.

Fun, right? I thought so. And guess what? It worked! I won!

I'm a winner!

Apparently I can actually write every day and get somewhere. Considering I’m still unemployed and without a career path, maybe I really should be a writer! I’m pretty damn proud of myself, I have to say. Which is hard to come by when you do almost nothing with your life on a regular basis!

Check back soon and I’ll post an excerpt!


  • By Faebala, November 30, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

    “in o about 1,667 words a day” clearly, you’ve been writing too much Irish! A wee bit o’ Irish is sneakin’ into ya!

    I’m so proud of you. I also love that your name is Full Monty. Sometimes I refer to your family as the “Full Monty’s” when I want to speak about you in plural. And sometimes, when I write you letters to the wrong address, I forget to write your correct name so instead I write “Monty” and no one knows who that is to deliver the letter to the correct address…

    … yeah.

    Anyway. SO EXCITED! Send me the newest update and I will catch up on it all tonight or tomorrow, I promise!

  • By Lea, December 1, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    That is so awesome. When I was unemployed, I still didn’t manage to finish NaNo. Did the story end where you expected it to, or is there more?

  • By Eleni, December 1, 2010 @ 5:32 am

    Congratulations! Wow, that is a lot of writing for one month. I’ve never even attempted a novel; I don’t know if I could ever do it. Your novel sounds like a really fun premise! Hmm, though when it comes to choosing between 1275 and present day, all I can think is that in present day we have toilets. End of story ;)

  • By Hezabelle, December 1, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Lea - It actually ended up quite different from what I had originally planned. Particularly since there are two men that she falls for, and I honestly didn’t know until yesterday which one she was going to choose. I still need to write about 10-15,000 words to finish it up, but as of last night at least I know what’s going to happen the whole way through!

    Eleni - Honestly, I can’t help but think that either. Even if the 13th century man is hotter, wouldn’t you want the things you were used to like toilets and showers and coffee? But there’s a strong tradition in time travel romance of ignoring these things. Like, the fact that the men probably smell and are missing several teeth. And expect their women to obey them. hehehe

  • By Wangari M., December 1, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Wow, I’m very impressed with the time and effort you put into the novel. And it sounds like a fun read. Wish I had your motivation, I know it’s all about making time (especially when it’s something you enjoy) but being lazy is so much easier..

    Can’t wait to read an extract!

  • By Lea, December 1, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Yeah, I think all but the most devoted history buffs would choose voting and toilet paper over a babe who’ll probably die of like, scurvy or something. At the age of thirty eight.

  • By Eleni, December 2, 2010 @ 4:11 am

    Haha, yeah. I suppose in a romance novel, you’re allowed to romanticize any given time period :)

  • By Alaina, December 2, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Hahaha since I sent you those books does that mean I can read your book first? :D

  • By Alaina, December 2, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    The great part about time travel stories (which are so realistic?) is that anything can happen. Like the creation of toilets, coffee and anything else possible.

  • By Alaina, December 2, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    The great part about time travel stories (which are so realistic?) is that anything can happen. Like the creation of toilets, coffee and anything else possible.

  • By Alaina, December 2, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

    Sorry did mean to post it twice

  • By Alaina, December 2, 2010 @ 4:18 pm


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