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A hopeless vigil – NaNoWriMo 2018 finished.

With A hopeless vigil – NaNoWriMo 2018 finished and won a day early. This is never the end though. NaNo starts the process, and now I have to decide if the story is good enough to carry on, to work on it and finish the book, and then edit. The story, as always, is only half told, with gaps and plot problems. That is the very nature of NaNoWriMo.

I just finished, and won, NaNoWriMo 2018! Woohoo!

Spaceship - The Last of Humanity
Phase:NaNoWriMo 2018
Due:2 years ago

Here is a sample of

A hopeless vigil – NaNoWriMo 2018 finished

A soft knock on her door woke Fin. She’d dozed off in her chair, still going over reports and data.

“Come in.” She called.

The door opened, Scout Reynolds filled the doorway. “We’ve found the signal from a pod.” His voice was laced with doom, but he looked her straight in the eye. She stared back, unblinking, asking the question.


“There are life readings, someone is alive in there.”

“But?” She asked again. “I know there’s a but, I can see it on your face.”

He took a breath. “It’s pod 36, and it ditched in the sea. They’re underwater, and we can’t get to them.”

They ran for the control room they’d been setting up with as much sensor equipment as they could get working.

“Scout?” Fin had her back to him, gripping the edge of the desk so hard with her one good hand, her knuckles were white. “Update,” she demanded. She stared into nothing, hoping the news would change.

“No further update. No change.” His voice soft behind her as he surveyed the information relayed to him through the monitors in front of him.

She swore, low and hard. Her hand balled into a fist, hit the desk, making the keyboard jump. “There has to be something we can do.”

He leaned back in his chair. His face was pale, his eyes dark shadows and filled with sharp knowledge. “If there was then we haven’t found it. We can’t get to them. We don’t even know where they are exactly.”

The door to the control room burst open. “I have a comms link. It’s audio only, no visual. It’s patchy and keeps dropping out, but I have them.” Corban held out an earpiece. “Remote link for you, already patched in.”

“Them?” Fin dared to hope, brushed her short grey hair back and forth with her good hand as she pushed the link into her ear. “Pod 36? Can you hear me? It’s Captain Finley Beck.” Her eyes lost focus as she concentrated in the crackle in her ear. She sagged, leaning on the desk, face twisting as the voice she heard confirmed her fears. Gareth Stanton, the only man she would ever have considered.


A hopeless vigil - NaNoWriMo 2018 finished

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NaNoWriMo 2018 is almost over

NaNoWriMo 2018 is almost over. November is dying, December is rapidly approaching. Work is chaos, family life is a little more turbulent than usual. And I’m not quite on target. I have 3 days left.

The story so far, has crashed a ship full of colonists, on the wrong planet, separated them and scattered them across an unknown land mass, killed a main character in a freak weather event… I think Fin will be fine, by the way, I like Fin.

The ship ripped a path across the forest, tearing up trees, sending birds flying in flocks, scattering everything in its wake. Rock melted and wood burned from the super heated metal, and the stink of burning flesh filled the smoke.

Torn apart and scorched, the ship creaked as it began to cool. Metal found new, twisted, shapes as it settled. Resting mostly on the lower decks, the dome was still on the top. Shattered and open to the new world, chickens and bees rose through the steam coming from the many holes.

There was no other sign of life outside the twisted wreck.

Inside, on the bridge, Fin slumped in the captain’s chair, blood oozing from her cheek. Eyes closed, still breathing, but her lungs wheezed painfully as she slowly came back to fuzzy awareness. She blinked.

88% complete for NaNoWriMo 2018. Only Three days remain until the deadline.

Spaceship - The Last of Humanity
Phase:NaNoWriMo 2018
Due:2 years ago

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Knowing when to quit.

,Sometimes things break down, or go wrong, and often these can be fixed. But knowing when to quit is also an important skill.

It’s important to assess the problem, see if you can work out what is wrong, and then decide if it is worth the time and effort, or cost, to fix it.

The website broke a few days ago. Not for you lot, not for my site visitors, but the admin side wasn’t working properly. It took several days of research, and a few hours of work, but I managed to fix it. This is my site, I’ve built it myself, and I am learning how things work all the time. It’s worth the effort and time to resolve the problem.

So, today my washing machine refused to spin. It makes a nasty grinding noise, and the drum won’t turn. If I open the door and turn the drum by hand it goes round but it’s stiff.

You have to appreciate this machine was reconditioned when I bought it, and it moved house with us almost 7 years ago. I bought it to replace a machine that had finally given up after dealing with 2 children using cloth nappies, and my youngest hasn’t used nappies in almost 14 years.

It’s done well.

I am no plumber or engineer, and I have no clue where to start with replacing parts safely, or properly.

It’s not worth my time or effort to try to fix it myself, and it’s so old I dread to think what’s broken, or if it is even possible or economical to mend it. The sensible solution is to replace the machine.

Knowing when to quit is important – The new washing machine is being delivered on Thursday.

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Fixed the plug in problem

I think I’ve fixed the plug in problem!

About a week ago, I moved some widgets about, and replaced a couple. I deactivated some, deleted some. You get the idea. I was tinkering! Then, every time I tried a blog post the screen would go blank. The post uploaded, but Yoast wasn’t working, Jetpack stats were broken. The front of the site was fine, visitors could see everything and all the pages were working.

The trouble with adding third party plug ins to any website, is that you never know when a conflict might crop up.

I had a quick wander round the WordPress help forums and found a reply to a similar issue resolved by deactivating plug ins and then reactivating one by one to find the problem.

Now, over the years I have tried various plug ins to get different things onto my site, and I’m not that good at cleaning up when I change things. So there were a few inactive, or active but not in use, bits and pieces littered around the admin side.

I cleaned up. Deleted the inactive stuff, and then deactivated EVERYTHING that isn’t critical, or that might break pages.

The issue went away.

Problem solved?

Well, not really, because I’m not sure which one caused the issue. But it’s fixed for now so I can work through all the plug ins and work out which was the problem. I think it was the search box, but we’ll see!

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I think I broke it

There’s something not quite right behind the scenes, I think there might be a problem with the blog part of the site. I have no idea what I might have done, but I think I broke it.

So, in the interests of diagnostics, I have backed everything up and this is a short blog post to test a theory. I hope it was something to do with the last post here, and not a more generic issue.

Therefore, a request, if I may? Can you let me know if you have any problems navigating or using the site. Anything, anywhere, no matter how daft it might seem, or insignificant, I want to know.

Because I am working to increase traffic, visitors, and SEO, it is important that the site is working properly. The whole thing should be reasonably easy to find your way around. It should be reasonably quick to load up, and work on your laptop, tablet, or phone.

The problem I am seeing is behind the scenes, but as I’m looking into that, it makes sense to check other areas at the same time.

I think I broke it, but I’m going to fix it!