Well the day’s been interesting … And successful

On 27th November, the Bath Christmas market opened to the public, so I decided to take my youngest there to see the wooden cabins and possibly eat the hot chestnuts. But when we arrived at the bus depot the queues were substantial and I thought we’d be standing there going nowhere for at least an hour. We made the decision to abort the idea of going into the city and chose a shopping centre somewhere else. It turned out to be a successful trip: my daughter was about to actually eat her lunch of beans on toast (she’s just had braces fitted on her top and bottom teeth) and we were able to find some Christmas presents and a birthday present. Quite probably, we found more success shopping away from the city than if we’d battled through the crowds.


I also bought some cardstock so I can make some more prints – Christmas cards. Although these Gelli ducks printed on fabric aren’t Christmassy, my polar bear ATC is!



Also, as you know I’ve been busy typing away at a first draft novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. Tonight I reached the 50,000 words target. Whoop! Whoop! The story’s still not finished, so I plan to write some more tomorrow, but at least I know it’s backed up and ready to validate so I can get my certificate 🙂


This is how many pages 50,000 words takes up on my laptop.

Hope all you lovely people are enjoying the run up to Christmas and that you’re all having fun creating. Now it’s off to bed for me – night all 🙂


A further update on National Novel Writing Month …

My progress chart … This is one of the reasons why I like taking part: there’s a word counter which informs you how many more words are left to go.

Although I’ve not been posting a craft daily this month, I’ve been busy beavering away at the keyboard and creating my first draft of a novel; working overtime at work and being a mum! Hope you lovely people who take time to visit my blog are all well and I promise there will be some more handicrafts in the run up to Christmas including a fun giveaway. Yay! 🙂

Hand printed felt and an update

It wasn’t my intention to stay away from blogging for long, if at all, but illness meant I had no choice but to stay away from the computer. Sadly, that meant also not being able to showcase what I’ve been working on in secret as it’s not quite dry yet. Watch this space for a special Christmas giveaway coming up shortly; I do hope you lovely people will like it and want to take part. In the meantime I managed to do a bit of handprinted felt this afternoon and catch up on my novel writing – I had to even miss two days of writing because of a migraine :-(. But, I’m back on track with my characters jumping off a freight train and my word count is almost up to what it should be for this weekend.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my daughter is also writing a novel … She’s up to chapter 34 now and over lunch we discussed the excitement of knowing other people have been reading her story-in-progress as she writes each chapter. I haven’t read any of her book yet but she tells me that if you type the title in Google it comes at the top of the list. She gets a buzz out of that. I hope her enthusiasm continues and who knows, maybe next year she’ll join in National Novel Writing Month or even win a creative writing contest 🙂

My printed felt which will be turned into a journal cover.
Also, an update on the craft fair I took part in recently. I received a letter yesterday informing me on how much was raised for
Children’s Hospice. Thanks to everyone who braved the thick fog and either participated in running a stall or bought from the stalls, we raised a respectable £635 🙂


31,129 words … Still going in the right direction

NaNoWriMo update: today is the day we’re able to validate our novel by uploading and verifying our word-count – can you believe some people have already gone passed the 50000 word mark and we still have ten days to go! I can’t verify mine until I’ve reached 50,000 words (so for now, you’ll just have to believe me). I have some catching up to do over the weekend with a surge of writing and flexing my typing fingers. In the meantime, I’ve saved it all and it’s stored on here

and on my computer. I’m tempted to print it all out and see what that many words look like on paper! I can always remember when I owned a computer which had a floppy disc drive and the printer was a dot matrix (very noisy and to create bold type, it would ink over the page once then go over the text again!). Not only did it go through a lot of ink, there was not much else it could do apart from play ‘Snake’ and word process letters!
When my son was about eighteen months (he’s now 18 years) I was busy typing up letters to publishers and sending out submissions and manuscripts. While busy typing a new story, my son became very inquisitive and before I knew what had happened, he’d pressed the power button off and I lost pages and pages of creative writing. I could only hope that the second draft was better than the first! Thanks son!

Nano journey continues…

Just over 28,000 words and reconsidering the title of my draft novel. It’s definitely a journey and I’m encouraged by the fact my twelve-year-old daughter is inspired. She’s currently on chapter 30+ of a novel she’s writing using the Whatpad app. Her friends can log in and read what she posts daily and comment. They tell her how frustrating it is when she leaves the chapter on a cliffhanger! She’s learning fast. The only snag is she won’t let me read it until it’s finished (I’m hoping it’ll be complete for my birthday in December, but she tells me she has no idea how long it’s going to be).
I wrote my first ‘long’ story when I was ten. It was called Beno. I also began to write a long tale as part of English at school when I was in year 6. There was a number of us chosen in the class to write about an imaginary family. When I joined secondary school, my English teacher organised for me to meet the author, Jean Ure, who went on to read and comment on three chapters of a novel I was writing. I wonder if my youngest child is going to follow suit? She says she wants to be an author … So watch this space 🙂

Nano update

Well, it’s day 17 of the National Novel Writing Month where there challenge continues – to write a draft novel in 30 days – the month of November.  To keep up the pace, the task is to try and write more than 1667 words a day for the whole month.  I was, I admit feeling I’d run out of steam yesterday as I needed sleep and took a break, but then new life hit the story today and before I knew it, I’d written way more than the minimum word count!  I’m finding the characters are beginning to set the scene and take over; they’ve become more than two dimensional and they have a purpose.  There’s already been a death and an underground explosion in the subterranean world built out of metal cogs.  Of course, it’s a rough draft, but I became excited by what was happening tonight as the characters are acting how they want to act.  Oh, and I went with the name Damascus in the end.  Someone on Facebook made me chuckle by suggesting I went with Damascus ‘brother to Remington’! when I called for suggestions on which name to go with out of a selection of five (Tyvek, Damascus Steel, Yew, MEK, or Glass). I  had various reasons for choosing these five.   The name Yew would have been interesting, depending on whether my potential novel was going to be read aloud or not as you have yew, you (singular), you (plural) all sounding the same, and yew relates to the tree which is used to make bowls, medicine and weapons. MEK referred to the chemical solvent methyl ethyl ketone (used in printing inks).  Glass on the other hand can be smoked, hammered, clear, etched, melted, monoprinting traditionally was done on glass sheets when I was studying printing at college) and Tyvek can be printed on (and notoriously difficult to control on a printing press) and so strong that it can’t be ripped.

Now I’ve reached 26,200 words (still a long way to go for that 50,000 mark), I have a deliberately unnamed character.  His anonymity is paramount for the safety of the rest of the characters.  So, for all you budding writers out there, is it absolutely necessary (in your opinion) to name every character in story?  What do you think?

Help required in choosing a character name…would you like to help?


It’s nearing midnight and I’m suffering from a winter cold.  This evening I worked overtime, finishing at 7.30 and then had to wait around until 9pm for my daughter to arrive by train.  Yay!  She’s staying for the weekend 🙂

I’m in the middle of preparing something extra special for the weekend – a couple of step-by-step tutorials, so please be patient lovely people and forgive me for not posting a craft project, sketch or print today.  There are only so many hours in the day and today just wasn’t long enough!

I’ve managed my National Novel Writing Month word count today and I’m now on the 10,249 word mark at day 6.  With a minimum of 50,000 words to write in 30 days, I’m glad I’m keeping up.  So fellow bloggers, I have a question to ask you and hope you can help- for a bit of fun and to help me decide on a name.  Which would you pick out of the following as a futuristic character name? If you can provide me with a reason for your choice, that would be great 🙂  For example, Tyvek is waterproof (this could therefore provide my character with a special power if he/she had that name) My novel is Dystopian and set in the future (obviously ;))





Damascus Steel

The Alphabet prompts

Yesterday saw the start of a series of new prompts through a Facebook group I belong to as part of an autumn journalling experience. I’m not going to showcase every single prompt here, but as the second letter of the alphabet was B and I was inspired, I thought I’d share with you what I chose to do. Apart from many other things …
B is for Bear.
I have started my Christmas shopping; selected my Secret Santa from a hat at work and visited a pub yesterday aptly named The Bear. It was this pub that inspired me to create a winter print and also (to add a couple of other words beginning with B) a picked up a bargain in a high street store before heading back home and tackling some more bag making on the old sewing machine!

That’s five bags made for 15th November and some of these are made from fabric bought in Bolton!

A winter Bear Gelli print for Christmas cards…

A bargain book for £1 on machine embroidery…

More progress has also been made on my book – I’m participating in this for the fifth year – to write a draft novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November

I’ve just written 3,420 words (still a long way to go).
Now, I’m off to bed. Good night all you lovely bloggers 🙂