Nano Success and Weekend Away

I am feeling distinctly odd this week, having completed my NaNoWriMo 50,000 words written in November challenge at the weekend. I spent the whole of last month submerged in the English Civil War and had a thoroughly lovely time. I’ve been reading non-fiction books about the period and watching YouTube videos too.

I love the discipline of Nano and now have a first draft, albeit with outlines in some places. Once I’ve done Christmas – cards written, trees up and presents bought, I shall return to this manuscript and polish it to submit to the RNA for my New Writers’ Scheme critique.

I am particularly pleased at having reached the word count of the challenge, as in the middle I took a weekend out to go to London with a girlfriend. My husband works abroad and lives in hotels, so we used hotel points to have a room in a nice hotel in Park Lane.
The first evening was spent in Oxford Street, looking at the Christmas lights and Selfridges’ windows, before joining the crowds at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We had tickets for the ice sculptures, but hadn’t bargained for how cold the marquee where they were housed would be. You got free hand warmers on the way out, as it was 8 in there.
Ice Sculpture
One of the Winter Wonderland rides
The next morning we headed to Kensington Palace. It was a gorgeous morning for November. We wanted to see the exhibition of the Queen’s, Princess Margaret’s and Diana’s dresses. We both had the same emotional reaction before going into the room containing Diana’s dresses. My vision was misted for a while. The dresses were beautiful with intricate beading and embroidery.
That evening we bused into Westminster and took photos of the lights, before the whole reason for going to London in the first place – a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about creativity and her new book on the subject Big Magic. I have loved her work since I read Eat, Pray, Love. (I’ve since reread this book four times!). It was a sell-out event and well worth going to see Elizabeth in person.
Elizabeth Gilbert
We caught the train home the next day, tired but elated.
I’ll post about the talk soon. Which book have you read more than once?

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Wow – those ice sculptures must have been amazing, judging from the one in the photo. I wish I had time to make a trip to London.

    Congratulations on the NaNo win! I'm glad you managed to fit in your London trip as well 🙂


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