As far as NaNoWriMo prepping goes, having tech, the weekend before its commencement, die its graceless death on one, is perhaps the perfect way to go. My relationship with machinery/ technology has always been notoriously unstable, to which my long-suffering husband and my bemused offspring can gleefully attest. Having my phone and laptop die on me within the same time frame on Friday last, takes the cake -even for me.

Forced offline for the weekend was a blessing really. I got to go back to basics; pencil and paper. Even keeping notebooks is not quite the same as it used to be these days, so it felt especially rare to be sat on my bed with the old stuff spread around me and not a screen in sight.

I’ve committed to sharing, or trying to share something of my writing process here and I will be sharing the manuscript on the NaNoWriMo journal on Medium. It all goes against the intuitive grain of writing in total seclusion, though I suspect, forcing this self out of that particular comfort zone, will have its own rewards, as well as lessons.

The Blood Doll, my contribution to NaNoWriMo November madness, is a story across time and cultures. The story, to the extent it’s allowed me to listen in so far, is about two young women who encounter the sinister side of societal norms from very different perspectives. Theirs is mutual entanglement with things, for each of them, seen as taboo. Their lives are very different, yet converge in a powerful, irrevocable moment that is both threatening and redemptive.

As themes go, it feels a little like the above mindmap, with more than a few loose screws. So far, it feels like a maze filling up with clues : forbidden love, trespassing, witnessing, care-taking, custodianship, loyalty, deception, institutional guardianship, scientific experimentation, secrecy, espionage, and such.

I am accustomed to prolific writing when I am hit by an avalanche that characterises how I write poetry, however, I feel utterly unprepared for this marathon. I can’t run anyway, so I may well need help getting to the finish line.

I do know I am in great company though getting there!

Good luck everyone!