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NaNoWriMo 2018 Progress Update

This year, having said a few years ago that I wouldn’t do NaNoWriMo ever again… Here I am, typing at ungodly hours, describing a spaceship, an unexpected planet and landing, and I’m just a little bit ahead of schedule. This is a NaNoWriMo 2018 progress update.

So, today I thought I would share a little of the work so far.

Spaceship: The Last of Humanity – In The Dome – Nanowrimo 2018

Covering the top of the ship, the dome wasn’t really a dome but the top curved to maximise the light and growing space. Protected, shielded against background radiation and artificially lit on a diurnal cycle that mimicked Earth seasons, it enabled them to grow food and medicinal plants during the voyage. It wasn’t large enough to produce sufficient food to feed the whole ship’s complement, but research had shown a sustained eco-system would benefit an extended journey. And the fruit and vegetables produced supplemented their diet of algae in various forms. The algae tanks were below the dome. Both the dome and the tanks had been designed to continue to produce food after landing.  Food supply would be critical while they planted crops and began to create the self sustaining colony. But for now the algae tanks made most of their food.

This was his dome.

And Bassett loved it. He loved the space, the light, and the smell. His favourite time of day was the artificial sunrise, when the overhead sprinklers lightly misted the dome as the lights came up. The feeling of being refreshed, renewed, kept him smiling every day that he worked in the dome.

Right now, though, it was lesson time and Bassett had 23 hens and one cockerel with him. The other chickens were ranging somewhere else. He also had 7 children following his every movement. He found the best way to teach was to immerse and show. So he was talking to the chickens, narrating his work as he went. He pulled weeds, scattered them for the hens to eat, giving the cockerel space to rule the flock. Identifying every plant as he passed, offering nuggets of information.

“These are nettles. They grow everywhere in the dome if we let them. But they make good tea, and can be cooked and we can eat them as a tasty vegetable. Nettles are rich in vitamins C and E. The plants are best used as food when young, before flowering or they get bitter and tough. As a medicine they can be used to treat urinary infection, osteo-arthritis, and other ailments. You can also use them in shampoo. And they make great plant food too. Fabulous plant.” He paused. “No, don’t touch them, they sting.” Eight year old Angel Reynolds pulled her hand back quickly.

It’s still very rough. NaNoWriMo is all about just writing, not editing. Just let the words run, get it all out onto paper, or into a google doc, or however you prefer to write.

If you’re taking part in Nanowrimo this year – Good Luck, you’re over half way there.

So far I’m 68% complete on the NaNoWriMo 2018 phase. 9 Days remain until the deadline.

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

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Spaceship – The Last of Humanity – Progress Update

Progress up to today on Spaceship – The Last of Humanity! So far I’m 36% complete for NaNoWriMo 2018. 19 Days remain until the deadline.

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


OK, so I’ve not been brilliant at updating progress. You see, when I first started doing NaNoWriMo, back in 2005, I was a stay at home Mum, running a small hobby business. I could write through the day, and into the night, if I wanted to. Any progress could be loaded onto my blog, posted onto twitter, and shared wherever I liked. I had the time.

Life has changed so much since then.

My kids grew up, one has left school and is now working, one is facing GCSEs next year. We moved to another country (Yes, before you start, Wales is a different country to England). My Mum died, and I got a proper, paid, job.

It’s harder to fit everything in, and keeping up with wordcount had been a struggle this year.

But, all you other NaNoers out there, keep at it. Keep writing. Every word you write is a win!

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NaNoWriMo 2018 – On Target

A snippet for you… NaNoWriMo 2018 is just about on target. It’s been a bit of a struggle to stay on target so far. Balancing family responsibilities, home life, and work, has been a challenge. But the story is growing, slowly.

The ship was old, everyone on board had been born in space. Once sleek lines had been repaired and patched over generations, skills handed down from one generation to the next.

Human population was originally strictly controlled, while the DNA banks held a range of animals and plants they might need. If they survived. But now the population was dwindling with the birth rate failing to compensate for the deaths. They needed to reverse the trend, ensure there were enough people to sustain the new colony, when they arrived. If they arrived.

One day.

They had all but forgotten the destination, the journey had become everything.
Earth had burned, smothered in smoke and ash after the ring of fire had erupted. No-one knew if the planet survived, or if those on the ship were the last of the human race. But they kept on course, and hoped the target was accurate. They hoped the repairs and adjustments to the navigation system hadn’t taken them off course.

She slumped in the captain’s chair, exhausted. Gazing at the same, dimly lit displays, every day, her eyes itched. The other five bridge crew had a deck of cards and she let them play. There was nothing to do but watch the screens. If anything changed it would mean something needed repair. Nothing was meant to change during their lifetimes. They were simply watching for the last generation. Her children, or grandchildren would be the ones to see planetfall.

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

I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo this year. Having taken several years off after 8 consecutive winning years, I felt my NaNo time was over.

But last week, on November 1st, I started writing. I hadn’t realised how much I miss this. NaNoWriMo 2018, a new beginning.

NaNoWriMo 2018

Spaceship – The Last of Humanity isn’t the title, that will come later. I’m in space, on a massive ship carrying almost 200 survivors of catastrophe on Earth. The ring of fire erupted, Yellowstone went up, and Earth choked in fire and smoke.

The chosen few didn’t make it to the silos in time and only 3 of the 25 ark-ships built managed to launch. We don’t know if the other 2 ships made it out of the solar system.

Joint Captains Finley Beck and Scout Reynolds were born in space, everyone on board was born in space. Their parents were born and died in space, as did several generations. The ship has been traveling for almost 200 years now, and with 50 years to their destination, a comet is set to destroy their chance of life in a new home.

So far I’m 48% complete on the Week 1 phase. Two Days remain until the deadline for this week. I’m taking it in small chunks.

I was going to put the books, and writing, on a mental shelf. Stored away as something I did, that I’m proud of, but that is over. Life changes, right? Let’s see how far I get.

Spaceship - The Last of Humanity
Phase:Week 1
Due:2 years ago
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Sexist tripe, or sound advice?

This has been popping up on Facebook again recently. I’m not sure of the provenance or accuracy of the image. On the surface it’s sexist tripe and to be ridiculed. But actually, if you look deeper it’s sound advice.

Sexist tripe, or sound advice?

No, wait, hear me out.

Take the blatant historical attitude towards women out, and pretend it’s not about sewing.

“Prepare yourself mentally [for sewing]. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach [sewing] with a sigh, or lackadaisically.”

Prepare yourself mentally. Think about it. It’s Monday morning, your alarm just went off, and you have to get up for work. Do you get up with determination, ready for the day ahead? Or do you roll over, snooze the alarm for another 10 minutes? How much difference does that make to your work day?

Let’s change that slightly.

“Prepare yourself mentally for the task, or day, ahead. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach your work with less than your best.”

Or, we could make it a positive statement instead.

“Prepare yourself mentally for the task, or day, ahead. Think about what you are going to do. Alway approach your work with focus and determination.”

Then there’s that bit about doing housekeeping chores first. Make the beds, do the dishes. If you refer to all these as “distractions” it doesn’t matter that they are house based, it can be anything. If there’s something that needs doing, that is distracting you, then you won’t give your best focus to the task at hand.


“When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. [snip] Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on.”

Never mind the defined clothing, or makeup, or what might be considered “attractive”. If you are clean and tidy for work, dressed appropriately, then you will be ready to do your job.

I work in an office, we have a uniform, but we are allowed to wear jeans and trainers. This isn’t something I agree with, I think we should have a tighter dress code for the office. A firm believer in the “Dress smart, work smart” rationale, I think the way we present ourselves reflects and influences the way we work.

There are plasterers in the house today. They’re not wearing suits, they need to be in overalls. But they are both clean, tidy, polite, ready to do the job. I’ve had workmen turn up in dirty overalls, smelling unwashed, or of stale beer. I sent them away, and asked for someone else.

There is a difference between dirty, and job-stained. I’m not expecting pristine, white, or looking as new, but I do expect clean.

If you are embarrassed, or aware that you are less than well presented, you won’t do your job to the best of your ability.

The way you present yourself will affect the way others treat you. Your appearance can affect the way you behave.

So, in conclusion, that image is a bit daft, and we laugh at the sexism, the assumptions. But it’s a historical document, reflecting attitudes of the time. If you take the idea, rather than the language and attitude, it still applies today.