Travelling on New Zealand’s TranzAlpine Train

Travelling on New Zealand's TranzAlpine train

There’s something magical for me about getting on a train for a long journey. You get to see how the landscape gradually changes around you, you can walk around and the sound of a train on the tracks is one I have always found comforting. I feel like flying is sometimes too fast and airports are hectic in a way that train stations aren’t for me. Long journeys have a...

Something is better than nothing: Thoughts on losing NaNoWriMo

statue of Belgian artist Pieter Bruegel something is better than nothing

In October, I shared this blog post from two years ago on Facebook and announced my intention to participate in NaNoWriMo for the third time. Subscribers will also have read about it in the newsletter I sent out in October. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can find out more here or read about my previous NaNoWriMo experience here. Like the previous time I did NaNoWriMo, I did...

Alcobaça and the Dead Queen

Monastery of Alcobaça

There are two people buried in the monastery of Alcobaça and it was them who first brought me to Portugal. I was fifteen and had just won a writing competition organised by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. My entry was a re-telling of the story of Ines and Pedro, written in diary format from the point of view of Pedro. I called it “The Dead Queen”. Don Pedro and Ines...

8 Things I learnt during NaNoWriMo 2017

A bit more than a month ago, I announced that I was participating in a writing challenge known as NaNoWriMo. The aim was to write 50,000 words during the 30 days of November. You can find out more about NaNoWriMo here. It is a fantastic initiative which promotes creativity and a sense of community among writers at all stages of their journey. It was the second time I participated –...

NaNoWriMo 2017: still writing

A view inside the author's head during NaNoWrMo

So it is now four weeks since I announced that I was doing NaNoWriMo this year.  You may recall that I promised weekly updates of my progress. You can read my account of how week one went here. What about my account of week two? Or week three? How can it possibly be week four already? As you’ll have  probably guessed, I didn’t get around to writing those updates. I...

NaNoWriMo 2017: update after week one

NaNoWriMo 2017 week 1

One week ago, I wrote here that I was going to do NaNoWriMo this month and post weekly updates. And here we are at the end of week one and so I suppose it’s time for an update. I started with plenty of time (for the first five days), a blank screen and ideas for ten short stories scribbled in my notebook. A couple of those ideas were quite developed...