Lions, Pythons and Ice Cold Beers

First of all, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you out there. I hope that when you read this, you have just woken up from a holiday nap and that you are not yet consumed by the engine of every day work.

I am writing this post from my parents’ home in Namibia. A medium-sized beach home community on the coast called Longbeach. It’s 4pm, the colour of the sky is a rich dark grey, the north wind is causing choppy waters and large container vessels are lying silently out in the big old Atlantic.

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I managed to enjoy quite a few things during the festive season. Since not all of you have had the opportunity to travel to Africa, I thought I would share some of the moments with you. A camping trip to Erindi Game Reserve (www.erindi.com) left us with some amazing images. Lazy lions stretching out in the cool afternoon (one of the males sneeking a feel, typical).

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Four Kudu bulls huddling together, a large bug devouring a not-so-large bug (freaky shadow) and a huge elephant (or the rear end of one at least).

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A short trip to our family farm produced an encounter with a python which is rarely seen. We got extremely close, absolutely worth it. Lying dead still, its skin glimmering in the sunlight, this big boy is not known to have caused many human fatalities, but best to keep your wits about you.

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I have always found giraffes

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Other than that, I enjoyed some time with the best friends and fiancé a girl could ask for.  Ice cold beers, braais (barbeque) and long naps. I feel rejuvenated and absolutely ready for 2014!

In 2013 NaNoWriMo helped me to write in the region of 22 000 words of my novel. Not the 50 000 as aimed for, but I’m happy with the result. Time to finish this bad boy!

xxxx

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We have promises to keep – Robert Frost

I was watching a documentary on the John F Kennedy assassination when the narrator mentioned that President Kennedy loved to quote Robert Frost. He spoke specifically of the last two lines in the poem below.

Interpret it as you will. For me, today in particular, this poem inspired me to keep writing my novel. I made a promise to myself that I would have 50 000 words by the end of November, and I have that promise to keep.

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Image: thewistfulmuse.com

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.  

Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)

I kidnapped my inner editor

Regarding NaNoWriMo – I have hit 12000 and something words. Needless to say I have quite a way to go, but I am chuffed with my progress so far as this is my first REAL attempt at actually completing a novel. I had one small, irritating rock in my shoe though. My inner editor.

Image: tropes.wikia.com

Image: tropes.wikia.com

What I have decided to do is kidnap her, gag her and tie her to a chair. I then proceeded to take her down to the basement (yup, I am strong like that) and place her in the middle of the floor. After that I loaded a shotgun and placed it carefully in front of her, making damn sure she stared straight into the barrel that could instantly end her life. There is a leaking tap in my basement which I am now happy I never fixed, because I hope the incessant dripping of unfiltered water will drive her insane. Right behind the shotgun, I propped a clown doll on a chair, staring straight at her. The basement is dark, except for a dim light bulb clinging on for dear life right above the doll’s head.

Image: creepyblurps.com

Image: creepyblurps.com

I know, it seems harsh, but I was left with no choice. She constantly badgers me about my plot, my characters, my punctuation. Someone had to shut her up. I suggest you do the same, and if you don’t have a basement, mine is free.

Now I shall write in peace.

Happy Writing!

My NaNoWriMo Checklist

Courtesy of deviantart.com

Courtesy of deviantart.com

I am fairly new to the writing world and discovered by chance (or, or, I was MEANT to discover) this “thing” called NaNoWriMo. I read some posts by fellow bloggers and soon discovered that this is quite a daunting mission. A mission that has chewed up and spat out some of its best undercover agents. So, naturally, as we do, I decided that I need something daunting in my life.

Can I do it? What do I need? A roof over my head. Check. A computer (do people still even call it that?). Check. An idea. Half check. A constant desire to write with large spurts of procrastination. Check. Guilt for staying home and writing while drones of people scatter to their cubicles every day. Check. Fear of not completing my 50 000 word count due to lack of confidence. Check. A small puppy called TED constantly tugging at my slippers with his shark sharp teeth. Check. Enough coffee to see me through the drought with chocolate chip cookies for dipping. Check. Sunny weather with patches of gloominess and howling winds. Cape Town check.

Can I do it? Damn right I can and so can you. All jokes aside, I am extremely excited and scared and the combination of those two emotions makes us do what we do.

Happy NaNoWriMo to you!