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NaNoWriMo 2017 – I’m at it again!

Hi everyone! So I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo this year too. Surprise! Surprise! Last year, my NaNo experience was quite disappointing. I didn't go far with my story, but honestly, I probably wasn’t in the zone enough to undertake such a challenge. I did prep it quite a bit, and I liked (I still like!) the idea, quite simply, it wasn’t going to happen. But I’m not abandoning Bones of the Titans, I will come back to it. As a matter of fact, this year didn’t actually started better. It was the busiest October at work that I had in years. My workmate had to take a leave for one week because one of her kids was in hospital. That happened to be the busiest week in the entire month, so my boss and I had to managed alone. It meant shifts of 10 hours every day, all the week long, standing from beginning to end, basically without a break (well, we did have breaks of 10 minutes at noon…) and with noise continuously in our ears from people, the street and the phone. I wish it to no one. I was a zombie in the weekends and I managed to do very little. Certainly not planning a story. But the good news (for me) is that the story had basically already been planned at the beginning of the year. If fact, I’m expanding on a short story that I wrote in January for a competition. By the way, you can download the short story here, if you are interested. You can also read a shorter version on WattPad, the one that entered the competition. The novel will be very different. I’ll just say that the short story is 6.000 words long and the synopsis for the novel is already 5.000 words. The story is set in the 1920s (another surprise, eh?) in Germany, and I’m very excited to tackle this time and place again. Bones of the Titans is also set in Germany in the 1920s, but that would be Berlin. The Frozen Maze is set in a secluded country estate, quite fictional, though I still plan to tackle as some of the subject I’m planning to use in Bones. It will be an interesting experiment. The Frozen Maze started out as a story loosely based on Snow White. I’m not sure whether that inspiration will hold (it is becoming its own story very fast), but I hope so, because I really like the themes. Some elements are bound to remain: the step-mother, the mirror, the dwarves. There are many things I still have to research and I can’t wait to have time to do that. Snow White is thought to be one of the more ancient stories we still know, and it’s fascinating in its own way. So, this is just a small update. If the story turns out good… well, I’ll be serialising it on this blog. How do you like this idea? Yes, yes! I’ve always wanted to serialise a story and this may be the right occasion. Let’s see! I’ll keep you posted!

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Happy 2016

And so another year has gone. I can hardly believe how far my blog has gone in this year. I’ve learned so many things and I’ve met so many fantastic people. Real life might have been tough, but the blogosphere has given me a lot. Last year at this time I had just moved to a self-hosted blog and I barely knew what I was doing. It felt quite lonely back then, now that I think about it, but I read that perseverance is the n. 1 weapon of any blogger, so I persevered. And luckily I did. In April I took part to the AtoZChallenge, which, in addition to being a blast of an experience, allowed me to meet so many of you. I was anticipating the AtoZChallenge to be a nice experience, but I didn’t expect to gain from it all the good things I did. The challenge also taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid of sharing what (little) I know, that’s how some of the most popular blog posts had been born. I love writing about the Twenties (guess what!) and I now love sharing what I know with all of you. Sharing, discussing, confronting is the best part of blogging. I know I have still a long way to go, and I can’t wait to move on along it. I have good travel companions, you know. I’m so grateful for every single person I’ve met on my journey as a writer and a blogger... and a person. You are truly what makes all of this worthwhile. I anticipate 2016 to be another exciting year. I have plans about it. So I want to close this year with a special gift. This is the voice of our Earth as the NASA recorded it from space. The voice of our beautiful mother.  

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NaNoWriMo week 2 – I need more research, but now I’ll revise

The second week was indeed the week of the New Woman’s New Look series. And believe me, it was a busy week. Of course I knew this series is demanding, but really, it drained me! There’s a lot of material to organize - and still I realized I don’t have enough info on a few topics and I need to research more.  But I have the skeleton of the series now and I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am about it because this allows me to organize my future work. I also know now that I’ll have four more installments and more or less how long they will be. The New Woman's New Look Logo The next two installments, those about make-up, are more than just drafted. Beside, make-up was the original idea for the series and it’s where I have more info and material. It was only later on that It occurred to me that it would be interesting to explore not only make-up, but the entire evolution of the woman’s body and looks of it in the 1920s as a social statement. Writing down what I do have at the moment, I saw that I need a lot more material on the perception of the woman’s body (both on her side and on her critiques’ side) as well as a lot more material on two very new practices of the Twenties: dieting and tanning. I also see I have very little on bobbed hair and I’d really like to address this subject more in depth. Bobbing their hair was shocking to Twenties’ woman and their contemporaries than today’s people normally appreciate. It wasn’t a fashion thing at all, but – maybe even more that the rest of the new behaviors of women – it was a social statement, and one of the more fiercely opposed to by traditionalists. No question I need far more material than I have on this subject. But all in all, I think I’ll be able to post the two article about make-up in December, which will give me time enough to perfect the other two articles for January. Stay tuned! NaNo 2015 Participant Badge (Large Square)I’ve also basically written all the challenges and tags I still have open, with the only exception of the One Day Photo Challenge in Verona. But I’m not particularly worried about that, it will be an easy writing (mhm… last famous words?). For next week, I’m planning to revise Give in to the Feeling. Though honestly I’m not sure one week will be enough. As I typed it on my pc last weekend, I noticed there is a lot to revise and a lot to actually rewrite in order to smooth down the narration and to make characters’ motives clear. But we’ll see. I can’t wait to start that part of job! Instead I’m quite worried about the AtoZ Challenge posts. I did a part of the research before NaNo started, but I didn’t take down all the notes I need in order to write the articles. I still have to take down all the notes from The Jazz Revolution, which is the main structure of the entire series, and read through all the other resources and take down notes as I go. I really don’t know how I’ll do this. But hey, I’ll try. It is possible that this series will stretch into December, but that’s fine. What I want is having it drafted before the end of the year… and I do think I’ll be able to do that. All in all, I’ve already written most of the posts I planned to write, which is already a good thing. Maybe I’ll have a little time to sketch up a few other posts, which I really hope. But on the whole, I can’t complain. What about you? How’s your NaNo going?

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NaNoWriMo week 1 – I don’t have the faintest idea where I stand

NaNo 2015 Participant Badge (Large Square)And so the first week of NaNoWriMo has gone.

I’m quite happy with it actually, though I don’t have any idea where I am in terms of word count.

My original plan was to write the first draft of Give in to the Feeling before NaNo started and then revise during NaNo. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t make it. I actually wrote the last chapter this week, which is good for my word count… if only I knew what it is. Because see, I handwrote the first draft. That’s what I normally do with short stories. Handwriting helps me concentrate (don’t ask me why) and so I prefer to do so with shorter works.
I’m now in the process of typing the novelette, so I’ll soon know my actual word count. At the moment, as I’m typing, the only thing I know for sure is that I love the story, but the writing sucks. Revision will be more likely a rewrite, but hey, that’s normal, right?
And also, the story has evolved while I was writing it and I have to do lots of adjustments especially in the first couple chapters (there are 5 chapters altogether).

But let me tell you, I’m quite happy with it. I enjoyed writing it, a lot. Writing Susie, Blood, Michael and even Simon was such a blast, even when they gave me headache because their motives kept changing.

Give in to the Feeling mock up cover
Mock up cover

So, now I’ll type the whole thing up, then I’ll let it sleep at least one week. This means next week I’ll be otherwise busy. I’m thinking: The New Woman’s New Look. I have all the notes ready for that series, so I hope I’ll be able to write it completely. Let’s see. Looks like articles will be quite long, so I’m debating whether I should split them in half. I read recently that the new trend is having blog articles around 2000 words long.
Isn't that too long?
I don’t know. I’m going to write them first, then I’ll see. If you have an opinion about it, please share.

I'm a bit worry abotu my AtoZ posts, instead. I still have to take all notes. I have to find time to do that. Uhm... maybe on the train.

If you look at my NaNo profile, you’ll see a word count of over 5000 words. That’s bits and pieces I wrote on the side. Blurbs of the story, presentations, a new bio, a few reviews and the beginning of my blog post about the Cliffs of Moher.
It’s kind of tricky. When you write a novel, you always know where you are. Writing many different things and part of them by hand, it’s baffling.
But I’m enjoying it, and that’s the main part for me.

As a side note, I see all my buddies are doing very well, so give a cheer for them!

What about you? Are you doing NaNo?

Banner - Ghost Trhough the Cracks by Sarah Zama - A historical fantasy novella

Pinteret pin. The text reads,

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NaNoWriMo – Ready to Go!

Participant-2014-Web-Banner I heard talking about NaNoWriMo the first time in 2005. I was a member of a Lord of the Rings community, and inside that community, I was part of the Storytellers Guild. Teathowen was the mistress of the guild and come October, she started talking about NaNo, because she was already a veteran at the time. I had never heard about it before, but the idea of the challenge simply blew me away. I even had the project for it, La chiave di vetro, a YA fantasy set in Venice which I had outlined at the time, but not written. So I just jumped onto it. La chiave di vetro is the only NaNo project I wrote in Italian, I’ve always written in English afterward. And although I did win NaNo, I’ve never finished the novel, though I still like the project enough that one day maybe… This year, because I have a blog, I want to try and do two challenges: 130k words of polishing (looks unlikelier by the minute) and post everyday on my blog as per this meme I’ve found. Anybody wants to join in? So, am I ready for this year’s NaNo? Well, it starts tomorrow. I’d better be.

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