Sound the Trumpets – My NaNoWriMo Challenge has been Met

Hello hun,

After a frantic weekend of playing word count catch up, since I’d fallen quite far behind, due to one night of laziness, and the other nights filled with prior commitments, I was starting to believe those in my life who’d branded me rather lovingly, as “crazed” for taking on this challenge.

Not in the “she’s hearing voices” way, but more in the sense of having a sudden madness descend over me, as I mutter away to myself and my characters in front of my laptop, all alone typing furiously away to the soothing sounds of a string quartet, as my wonderful husband brought me cup, after cup of coffee (he’s an angel!).

The fact that I was a little over 10 000 words behind my word count goals at the start of the weekend, was what made me start to believe I would never finish the challenge on time, though I was determined to keep trying. And yes, this calls for a big le sigh at my time management (or ‘slight’ lack thereof).

You don’t know me yet, and I hope you will through my blogging journey on Rambling with Rose, but other people have often said, with a slight twinkle in their eye, that I can be surprisingly stubborn.

I, however, like to think of myself as persevering despite seemingly insurmountable odds – because in my mind, if you never try, and just give up, you’ll never know.

This was actually what gave me a push in the direction of a hidden reservoir of inspiration, strength and patience within me, that allowed me to weather power failures (thanks Eskom), having my darling (noisy) niece round, and my poor little laptop dying on me quite suddenly (which led to a frantic trip home on Friday night to my fantastic family – my father figured out after poking around, that the problem was with my power cord, not the actual laptop). All that aside, I can proudly state that I am, as of this afternoon, a 2014 NaNoWriMo winner!

Sound the trumpets, play the Imperial MarchFirefly Theme song, or Happy, and join me in popping a bottle of bubbly to celebrate this! Don’t you love my certificate below?! I sure do! ^_^


NanoWriMo winner certificate

Having reached the 50, 000 word goal has made me do a justified – if  slightly awkward (due to numb limbs) – happy dance when those beautiful words popped up on my screen, and I was cheered on by the touching video the NaNoWriMo team did for the WriMo winners (and “Woohoo” back at you guys!) ^_^

I’m nowhere near finished with my novel, but I have to say that I was surprised at how my characters took me by the hand, so to speak (don’t worry, sleep deprivation hasn’t made me lose touch with reality just yet) to lead me down the path they needed to take – which surprisingly, turned out to be in quite a few different directions than I was intending  – but I’m not complaining! ^_~

Right now, I feel giddy with happiness and am on top of the world (as in I can move mountains, or rather, that I’m a Big Damn Hero) for meeting this personal challenge. I can say, even with all the obstacles included,  NaNoWriMo has been a very worthwhile endeavor.

My excitement and happiness aside, how has your NaNoWriMo gone?


Midway through NaNoWriMo

Hello lovely,

Since NaNoWriMo’s start I have successfully cleaned the kitchen, done all the laundry, organised my cupboards, and made several yummy suppers which I’ll share on here at a later date; as well as headed out on jaunts around the Cape. Specifically to Noordhoek, the CBD, and to friends – which was likely a bad idea since all these activities interfere with my writing schedule, BUT as I’ve been willing (and so far able) to play late-night word catch-ups, I feel it will all work out well in the end … which is a week away! Le eeek!

Who knew that when you feel uninspired and unmotivated you magically revert back to your “Do anything but write/study/learn” routines from high school?!?

That was a bit of a shock, since I’m quite dedicated normally, but don’t judge me harshly just yet!

I found that while I distracted myself with basic household task I usually loathe, I actually sat down after them with a mind buzzing with ideas again. I guess habitual tasks you don’t need too much mental power for actually help you to relax and let the ideas start flowing again. Which I totally count as a #win! Likewise, visiting new scenery has led to an increased attention to scenic details in my novel, which I originally intended to return to in December to flesh out a bit.

As I’ve tried to write close to 2000 words a day, I’m not too far behind on my writing schedule, and with the #DoubleUpDay being a chance to double your usual wordcount (and donate if you can), I’ve ensured that my schedule is free and clear today to do nothing but write. I really shouldn’t be updating you dear readers, but since I’ve clocked in 1,500 words today already, I’m feeling good since it’s only 14:00.

How is your novel progressing – and have you had any challenges crop up that you want to share?

NaNoWriMo Has Arrived

Hello sweetie,

It’s November 1st which means that Nanowrimo has finally arrived, much to the delight and dread of the thousands of us who’ve entered it (and good luck to all the fellow writers reading this).

Instead of prepping like crazy last night, I decided to meet up with a friend (who’s also entering the NaNoWriMo challenge) and we visited the Vintage Market in Woodstock Town Hall.

Though many of you may wonder in despair why I decided not to do the writing challenge at the stroke of midnight , I felt it was best to unwind before the need to start writing for several hours a day takes hold in full force. It was a ton of fun, with lots of stall owners in Halloween outfits, beautiful clothing hung, draped and displayed, along with jewelry, shoes, and knickknacks. I ended up getting a small travel-sized jewelry box, which will be perfect for weekends away (I usually use old pill containers to transport my necklaces).

Salmon eggs benedict is delicious! (C) Roseanna McBain

Today, after a hearty Benedict eggs and salmon breakfast at Tribakery with my husband and mother in law, along with a heavenly hazelnut latte, I returned home to start writing.

Having written through the morning with only a few minor distractions along the way (updating my blog being one of them), I’ve clocked in a word count of 2388. Not too bad for a morning of writing and going back and editing (I know, I know that editing is a #NaNoWriMo fail, but I had to reword a few things). This high speed will probably drop during the week, due to time constraints, but next weekend I’m devoting solely to writing, so that should help make up some lost time. 🙂

How has your first day of NaNoWriMo gone?

My NaNoWriMo Survival Kit

Hey lovely,

Thanks for stopping in again. ^_^ Today, I’m sharing my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit – which in short, is everything I think I’ll need for the 50,000 word month-long writing marathon.

Writing prep

Writers Tools

A clear space in the dining room

My HP laptop and Microsoft Word

A pretty notebook and gel pen – I admit it, I caved. But I did it because I need some way to keep my characters storylines straight

Several ‘quick’ lists to refer back to which are saved in my bookmarks folder. They mainly comprise of of mythological legends I plan on using and adapting for my novel

Deezer playlist for writing – it consists mainly of Bear McCreary,  Hans Zimmer and Buddha Bar tunes, with some blues, jazz and Celtic songs interspersed. I find music helps me focus, and certain songs help me to be in the right frame of mind for sad scenes, battle scenes, journeys, etc

Dropbox – to back up my novel and notes


Comfort Items

Coffee plunger and my favourite coffee blend: Woolworths Expresso – it’s an incredible aromatic and strong coffee to keep me focused

My favourite mug

Rooibos tea and herbal ones like green tea and vanilla chai – because one cannot hydrate on coffee alone

Water – 1L a day is a good thing, right?

An assortment of mixed nuts – a healthy energy boost

Dark chocolate – I’m female … it should go without saying that chocolate is a fab mood booster – plus, it’s my reward for each word count goal

Tissues – sadly, allergy season has arrived

Lip balm – chapped lips are not your friend

Hand lotion – because it smells great and makes my hands soft after hours of typing

Saffronwood room spray – it’s an energizing fragrance I love, which I picked up from the Organic Heart Sunday Market at a steal

Yoga pants and soft tee-shirt – for my morning writing sessions

Dressing gown and slippers – for my evening writing sessions


I opted not to put up inspirational quotes or messages, because I know them all off by heart for one, and secondly, I’d rather organise chill nights every now and again with friends if I need a pick-me-up.  Just because we have to get as many words written as fast as possible doesn’t mean my social life has to die for the entire month, and I know I’ll return


Let me know what you’ve prepped in your NaNoWriMo Survival Kit! 🙂

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

Hello there lovelies,

Please bear with me while I set up this new blog. ^_^  My current one will eventually be moved over to here (if I can ever figure out how to integrate one WordPress site to another one), but until then, if you’re curious, you can check it out at Sanctuary of Silence.

Along with deciding to rebrand my personal blog, to more accurately reflect who I am now and where I’m going, I figure what better way to kick off the dreaded first blog post than by cutting to the heart of things and fill you in on NaNoWriMo – the month-long writing challenge I’m entering for the first time! (Savour the impression of joy, butterflies and adrenaline … before you pick up on the trepidation I’m feeling).


Performance anxiety aside (not that kind silly), this will be a unique opportunity to push myself to write for personal reasons every day, which is something I’m certain  writers entering NaNoWrimo decide to do too. After all, you don’t lightly decide to take on a 50,000 word challenge; it’s something you enter to prove to yourself, and the world by default, that you have the dedication to stick with something you’re not being paid for.

After scouring the web and seeking advice on how to plan, prep, and do NaNoWriMo, the below are posts are ones I’ve found the most value from:


My current plan of action is to go with my feeling of “just write and keep writing”, so I haven’t created chapter outlines or character sheets (I can almost hear the fastidious amongst you gasping in horror – but don’t run away just yet). What I do have at my disposal is my sheer stubbornness and determination to get this novel out of my head, along with the basic outline of what the untitled novel will be about (currently called “the unentitled”in my head).

So things such as the basic plot, what the main character storylines will be about, what the end of the novel will be, along with the basis for a second book have been pre-thought of. Yes, yes, I did pat myself proudly on the back for having some semblance of a plan – I think Captain Mal Reynolds would approve.  So though I have no paper companions as of yet to assist me, I have a feeling they’ll be something I’ll turn to as the weeks wear on. Right now though I’m enjoying having these characters all to myself for the next 3 days.


As this novel is something I’ve been toying with for the past few months, but haven’t actually planned out in detail on paper / typed up as of yet, it’s time to stop dreaming (which I’m oh so good at), and start doing (work in progress with this one).

Tomorrow I’ll post on my my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit (it’s a thing). If I’m very good, I may even sneak in a few posts next month during the challenge … if my characters don’t kidnap me for hours on end. ^_^


Let me know if you’ll be signing up to enter NaNoWriMo and what your plan of action is!