Camp NaNoWriMo Days 21-28

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I think you can guess what has happened this month? Yeah, it’s not working one bit!

Day 21: 8,744 words

Day 22: 9,590 words

Day 23: 10,205 words

Day 24: 11,411 words

Day 25: 11,638 words

Day 26: 12,501 words

Day 27: 12,501 words

Day 28: 12,501 words

So the story I started writing after the first failure was a rewrite of an old story as previously stated but made me realise two things: one, I prefer the story as it is and I just need to give the plotting and some of the story elements a re-jigging and two, the new main character was actually a character I can use but I just need to find the right story for her. I am still working on the character but I have no idea what story is right for her or even if it needs to be set in a fantasy setting. She’s still not very defined so much work on her is needed but it potentially something me to be working on in the meanwhile.

I have concluded that I am not going to win this month, even with a 15,000 word target unless something really spectacular happens today and tomorrow. Time for real analysis about this month in reflection, etc. will probably be after April finishes (so Thursday onwards) but for now, alas, I am going to go and see if I can tease anything else out of my story and at least keep writing a little.

Hope everyone else is having more luck than I.

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Is this the month self-publishing becomes respectable in the UK?

This competition any use to anyone? Has self-publishing become acceptable?


Literary prize for self-published novelThe Guardian newspaper has joined with publisher Legend Times to offer a monthly literary prize to the best self-published novels written in the English language – translations are also eligible. Submissions are first read by a panel of Legend’s readers who will draw up a shortlist of up to 10 titles a month. The prize is respectability and exposure – the winning book will be reviewed in the Guardian. Claire Armitstead, the newspaper’s literary editor , explained why they had decided to launch the prize:

“the phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore”.

Submissions will be open for the first fortnight of each calendar month. The book must have been self-published after 31 December 2011 and should be sent to with “Self-Published Book of the Month Submission” in the subject line. Find out morehere.

Without quality…

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If it wasn’t for guiding, I never would have…

I’m actually a sworn in Guide but unfortunately never got any badges…


I’ve been in Girlguiding UK in many different roles – I began as a Brownie, and continued into Guides (for a short while), but it wasn’t until I was 18 when I rejoined that I realised what I had been missing; and better yet, how I could make up for it. At 18 I took on the role of leading a Rainbow unit – girls aged 5-7 who are absolutely full of energy and literally brighten up a rubbish day. At the same time I was recommended to join my local Ranger unit for young women aged 14-25, and 5 years later I’m still there, with no intention to leave just yet! I also help to run a Brownie unit now, and am my County’s PR Advisor.

It really is hard to imagine my life without guiding. Within 18 months of rejoining I had already been to France, Belgium and…

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Shakespeare’s Birthday, World Book Night and St George’s Day

The 23rd April is a busy day this year, 2014, with three different events all happening on the same day!

England’s patron saint, St George, has his feast day today (sadly, it is not celebrate unlike St Patrick’s Day on March 17th). The BBC has posted an article looking at why he is seen as a Palestinian hero. You can read all about it at Want to know more about England’s patron saint? Head over to the BBC website again but this time check out their article called “St George’s Day, celebrating a mythical martyr?”:

It is also  Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday! Unfortunately, he also DIED on the 23rd April, 1616 so I guess today is also his death day. The folk’s over at Interesting Literature have compiled a list of five factors about the celebrated word smith. Head on over to to read them. The BBC have been on the trail of Shakespeare’s England, finding out what stands there today. You can find out more by visiting

If Doctor Who is to be believed, the great Bard also fought the Carrionites with the Doctor and Martha Jones! Watch their encounter here:


Need something new to read? Then don’t forget about World Book Night! You can find out more about the event and this years book selection by visiting One of this year’s books is Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch! Check out my post from yesterday for the Rivers of London rap music video and a lot more by going to

So happy St George’s Day folks, happy birthday (and sad death  day) to Mr William Shakespeare and have fun with World Book Night! You never know, you might just find your next favourite book!

Rivers of London Rap Video

Remember the Rivers of London rap I posted a few months ago? For those that don’t, it is rap song based on the Peter Grant book series by Ben Aaronovitch, which starts with Rivers of London. There is now a video to go with the song, executive produced by Aaronovitch himself!

Watch it for yourself here:

Lyrics and Performed by: Ben Bailey Smith
Director: Matt Bloom
Producer and Composer: Mikis Michaelides
Visual FX: Sam Highfield
Executive Producer: Ben Aaronovitch

What do you reckon to Ben Bailey Smith? A good Peter Grant? Would you like someone else? Who would you cast as the other characters in the books if the series ever became a TV series or film? Comment below!


Related Content:

Rivers of London Rap:

New Artwork for Rivers of London:

Rivers of London Review:

Moon Over Soho Review:

Whispers Under Ground Review:

Broken Homes Review:

Google Maps for Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho and Whispers Under Ground:

First 5 Minutes of How To Train Your Dragon 2


If you don’t want the film spoiling for you, read no further!

Yahoo Movies has posted the first five minutes of the next instalment in the How To Train your Dragon franchise! From the clip, it seems everything that has already been released is all from the beginning though with added extra little bits and Yahoo Movies has also included an article on the same page comparing Toothless to cats.

Watch the first five minutes of the next film at

I am super excited for this film and cannot wait for the UK release. What are you looking forward to in the next film? Is there anything you hoping they won’t do or will improve on from the last film? Is there anything from Riders of Berk or Defenders of Berk you hope will appear in the film?

Don’t be afraid to comment and share your ideas.


Related Content:

DeBlois and Baruchel at WonderCon 2014

New HTTYD 2 Clip

Final How To Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer Released

New How To Train Your Dragon 2 Video

Camp NaNoWriMo: Days 13-20

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This month has truly gone to pot.

Day 13: 8,042 Words

Day 14: 8,042 Words

Day 15: 8,042 Words

Day 16: 8,042 Words

Day 17: 8,042 Words

Day 18: 8,042 Words

Day 19: 8,744 Words

Day 20: 8,744 Words

As you can see, I have barely written this month. I know part of the problem is my laziness, another part is that life got in the way for a few days. There have been issues with my characters too. They just won’t behave and push the story forward. Forcing them together as a couple got me words on day 19 but I am realising now that the characters are not as well-rounded and as well-developed as I thought.

This might just be me but I find I can plan out the story, know the important points, turning points, do the research etc. but if the characters are not working, not developed, they won’t, talk to me, if you will. I know this sounds odd and the old muse excuse but I do find it’s true under certain circumstances. This is one of them I find.

With this in mind, I have lowered my word goal again  (to 15,000 words this time) and have decided to change stories. The original story is feeling too much like flogging a dead horse and I just can’t go ahead with it whilst the characters are under developed. I have all the planning necessary to go back to it one day but not now. I don’t want to give up on this session and want to keep writing with some form of goal so am allowing myself a change in story and keep writing. The story is something I have written before for a different NaNoWriMo but now, the story is changing in my mind and I want to have a go at writing this other version.

So here’s to having a new crack at NaNo and perhaps put me still in with a chance to get a win and a certificate this month!

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DeBlois and Baruchel at WonderCon 2014

Dean Deblois, How To Train Your Dragon 2 Director, and Jay Baruchel, the voice of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, were at WonderCon at Anaheim Convention Centre this weekend promoting the new film and answering questions from the Press!

Check out part 1 here:

And Part 2 here: