Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Good Luck to NaNoWriMo Writers – I’m Not Participating This Year…

November 2, 2015


For those of you who have made the commitment to this mad, exciting, panic-inducing challenge – I say good luck, may your muse always be at your shoulder and your words flow smoothly upon your page.

To find those extra minutes in the day to write is tricky to be sure but it is a mindset. Do you have a lunch hour? Can you slip away whilst your family is watching TV? Does it really matter if the slow cooker is the only means of cooking for the month?

I know I become totally possessed during NaNo and write several paragraphs while the meal is cooking, skipping lunch so I can address a characters next move or ignore my eyelids closing as I write into the early hours. NaNo may seem like a daunting assignment to undertake, but there are incredible benefits too. It can be a personal challenge to see how you manage under a deadline, an outpouring of ideas, character development or finally beginning that wished for novel.

Writing to a deadline, for me anyway, results in almost complete novel length stories. These can be revised, added to and edited at my leisure in the following months. Even if you do not manage the fifty thousand word total, you will have laid down enough words to forge ahead with your own narrative. It can be the start you have avoided for months or years.

Knowing there are many, many writers around the world absorbed in the same challenge is not only exciting but a companionship of sorts. The NaNoWriMo site has a buddy system and you can connect with other participants, giving and receiving encouragement and support. Whether you use a pen and notebook or type your story, it is the words that matter.

This month will see thousands of stories created, their characters forging forward and overcoming obstacles. Some will be happy, some will be sad, but your story will be told.

Enjoy the process, scary as it is – the result is so very rewarding.

The Giving Thief cover

This year I will not be participating as I have to revise and edit last year’s manuscript The Giving Thief. I thought I would get this manuscript completed by now but other projects took precedent and it was pushed to the side. My western romance, Willow tree Tears was edited, revised and submitted to Harlequin and a Steampunk short story contracted to a publisher, so time was slim to say the least.

Now I can concentrate on the Thief manuscript and find a possible outlet for it. My hope is that once it is completed I can return to two other manuscripts that have been languishing in their folders for some time. A romance with a reincarnation twist, The Twesome Loop and a speculative fiction story, Life in Slake Patch.

Twesome Loop 002

Life in Slake

Good luck to you if you are embroiled in National Novel Writing Month. 2015


Friday 13th and a Full Moon…Lucky or Not?

June 13, 2014

moon 13So it’s Friday 13th and a full moon – are you hiding under the covers expecting bad luck or relishing the promise of good luck? I am the latter, as black cats crossing my path and walking underneath ladders have always given me a nice surprise of some sort rather than bad.

The number thirteen has been considered unlucky for decades, well at least since the 19th century, but it may only be that it is an irregular and incomplete number not that the number itself conjures up bad luck. There are theories of course, which include such ideas as the number of disciples at the Last Supper, the idea that 13 people sitting at a table means one will die in Norse mythology, and Dan Brown indicating a link between the 13th and Knights Templar. You can find numerous references, I’m sure but one I was unaware of was that Friday’s (unlucky in themselves apparently!) were the traditional day used for hanging prisoners in Britain.

The last Friday 13th with a full moon was in 2000 and the next will be in 2049. I can hear the sigh of relief from some of you. So what are your feelings for today?

Did you know that the fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia?

So let’s have fun with today’s prompt. Write a bad luck (or even a good luck) story or poem based on the 13th. It doesn’t have to be the ‘day’ but an occurrence including thirteen objects or people. Let your imagination go wild.







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