School’s out for Summer (let the writing begin)

The school holidays are almost upon us at LAMB and I’m not sure if the children or the teachers are more excited about it. I certainly know that I am excited this year. This will be the first time that I can remember spending the Summer vacation actually at LAMB during July (we go back to school in August here). Last year we were back in the UK for home leave and previously we’ve always managed to be away somewhere.

This year, apart from a few days over the border in Darjeeling towards the end of the month, me and the kids will be loitering around the house will my wife continues to work in Rehab each day. Many people leave LAMB during this time for holidays and kids often complain (as they do the world over I think) that it is boring around here during that time. We’re in the middle of nowhere and when even your friends go away for a break there really is nothing to do.

But I’m rather excited about it.

If you follow this blog regularly then you will know that I am making my first forays into book publishing. The one I am self-publishing for Kindle is almost ready. I’ve sent it to a few people to edit and comment on and once it’s back I’ll do a final edit and publish it.

I’ve also had interest in a book proposal in the Educational market but that fell through. It has left me though, with a decent proposal to send to other publishers and I want to put a couple more proposals together based on the same premise and then offer them as a package.

Both of these things are on the hit-list to do over the summer break. But that’s still not why I’m excited though it is to do with writing books and I am pretty happy to get the chance to complete those projects. No, the reason is completely new and, until a few days ago I hadn’t even considered it.

I’ve entered JulNoWriMo.

The bigger competition – NaNoWriMo – I’ve often wished I could do; but it is quite impossible with exams and lessons which happen around November every year. I hadn’t realised that the same competition happens in July too.

For those of you who don’t know about it, NaNoWriMo is a competition that encourages you to write a 50,000 word novel within one month. There is no prize, no checking if you really did it or not, no publishing contract; just a public declaration of intent and a forum online to discuss your work with others, keep a count of the words you’ve written and give you the oomph to actually get on and write that novel you always intended to.

And that’s just what I need.

I’ve got so fired up about this that I’ve encouraged my daughter to join it too. Technically too young to join (you’re supposed to be over 13) we’ve cobbled together a pseudonym for her (Actually, I’m doing the same) and allowed access via me so she can join in.  She, like me, has had a go at a novel before and got over 20,000 words written (far more than I have in the past, I must say) but never got far enough to consider editing for giving to a publisher.

So, we’ve agreed, every morning we’re going to spend an hour together writing and talking about our novels – giving each other ideas and helping one another. We’ve both going to write Young Adult stories and as my daughter is exactly that, she’s best placed to tell me if what I write is crap or not. We might spend longer and we may well write more separately too but the aim is to begin the day writing without fail for the whole of July until we get 50,000 words done. Shouldn’t be too difficult.

Having said that – looking on the official site – last year out of 487 people that took part only 131 made it to the end. That’s a big drop out rate! The word average was only around just under 25,000 so I think if we both beat that but fail to get much further we can still give ourselves a pat on the back. It is certainly my minimum goal for both of us to beat last year’s word count average.

So our ‘young adult’ stories will begin in a little over a week. Mine will, of course, centre around Bangladesh and I hope I will be able to get some of my love for the culture into the story. The main focuses will be on grief, coming of age and dealing with an alien culture. I don’t know what my daughter’s will look at; neither does she. She has hinted though, that hers will probably be about life in Bangladesh too. She better not steal any of my ideas!

I’ll let you know how we get on.

That’s me on the right the last time I went off to get a book written. How will I procrastinate THIS time…?

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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16 Responses to School’s out for Summer (let the writing begin)

  1. Pingback: Back in Bangladesh and Ready to Write | kenthinksaloud

  2. Pingback: Minipost 23 – The Ups and Downs of Publishing | kenthinksaloud

  3. Pingback: Introducing ‘justathirdculturekid’ – my daughter’s blog | kenthinksaloud

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  5. It’s a great idea and good luck!

    Yulia

    Like

  6. jacqui says:

    Wow! I’m impressed already. Best of luck to you both. Would love to read them when you’ve finished 🙂

    Like

    • Hey thanks Jacqui! 🙂 If we ever get the novels completed I would love you to read them. In the meantime, I hope to get my first book out very, very soon. It is now being ‘crucified’ by several people (a publisher friend, two published authors, a journalist friend and another who is one of the cleverest people I know – and you know her too!) and even my wife. Once they finish killing it I’ll pick up the pieces, get it back together and publish it as soon as I can. I hope you’ll read that too!

      Like

  7. Anjali says:

    What a lovely way to spend time together. Good luck to both of you!

    Like

  8. Ruth Subash says:

    Looking forward to hearing more about the novels you and jess are writing in July. I would live to read them. It s very impressive that jess is doing it as I would not attempt it! I love reading novels set in india and the sub continent so your novel really appeals to me.

    Like

  9. Ruby Tuesday says:

    Wishing both you and your daughter the very best!

    Like

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