What’s NaNoWriMo? No, it’s not some weird-sounding alien word – it’s short for National Novel Writing Month, running from the 1st to the 30th of November!
As the name implies, it’s all about writing a novel in the space of a month. There’s a pre-determined word count limit of 50,000 words, which is the average length of a novel. While you don’t need to hit 50K exactly, you can write at your own pace, or do timed exercises called word sprints – for which you set yourself a time limit and try to write as many words as you can before it’s up. You can also join a worldwide community of fellow novelists who can give you good advice and commentary on your writing and progress.
I’ve created a new profile specifically for NaNoWriMo, for which I’ll be revisiting, redrafting and rewriting an old novel of mine:
The amber sun peeked its blazing head above the horizon, shimmering golden rays illuminating the vast sea in ultramarine. It beamed through the front bedroom window onto Riverport’s bearded face, flashing behind his closed eyes.
“Oh, that must be the mornin’ comin’ in.”
He snorted loud enough to wake himself up, peeling back the covers and slipping his bare feet into his favourite pair of slippers – white and bright blue stripes with a golden anchor print. He went over to the window and opened it slightly, letting the cool sea breeze inside.
“Ah, nothin’ like good ol’ sea salt. Speakin’ of which…”
The sapphire seas of Melemele Island swam into view as the cruise ship sailed in. On the pier, hula dancers in Hawaiian garb greeted and graced the disembarking travellers with swaying grass skirts, twanging ukuleles and bright flower leis. Dartmouth and Jollimore stepped out into the cerulean skies, azure ocean, golden sands and tawny sun.
Fathers helped to create us; without them, none of us would be here. Even if they’re only celebrated on one day of the year – which is today – they’ve always been around for us, even if it’s not a physical presence.
Because of this, I’ve drawn some special art for the occasion:
Probably the most famous father figure in the Canadian Boys series, Stellarton is dad to Pictou, the protagonist of my first novel Once Upon a Time in Canada. Although his mother Port Hawkesbury mostly cares for him, Stellarton does have his fatherly duties for Pictou. Here, he shares a
I had drawn a version of this before, but decided to draw it digitally to add extra effects, like the starry gradient background. The stars tie in somewhat to Stellarton, as his name starts with ‘Stella’, which is Latin for star. This reflects the etymology of the name of his hometown, which was named for a kind of coal which gave off star-like sparkles when ignited.