NaNoWriMo, and a Book Release!

Yep, it’s that time again. This is my 8th year doing NaNoWriMo and I’ve written scores and scores about this already, so I’m not going to go there again. Y’all know the drill 🙂 If you’re doing it, please drop me a message and feel free to add me on the site. I’ll also be doing 50k Day One again, and you can follow along on my progress here as well as on Twitter.

Book Release: Capturing Devonshire

And speaking of my Twitter, you may notice I’ve linked @authorhelenrose and not @africanstardust. That’s because I have actually finally published my first novel, Capturing Devonshire, and I will be publishing many more under the name Helen Rose. Thank you to all of you who have followed along and supported me throughout my writing journey – I wouldn’t have gotten here without you.

Helen Rose is also on Facebook and Instagram, and I will be blogging under that name as well. As an indie author, likes, shares, and reviews on any of these platforms are crucial to success, and your continued support would mean so much to me. Love your faces ❤

Good luck, me maties, yo ho!

The Beginning, and Some Honest Thoughts

NaNoWriMo begins tonight at midnight! As usual, I will be taking a nap this afternoon so that I’m fresh and ready for 50k Day One. I have managed to convince a few others from my region to join me, so we’ll see how we fare. If you want to follow my progress, you can do so here, as I am planning to update the sheet every hour. Here is last year’s, for comparison 🙂 We will also be tweeting and instagramming under the hashtags #50kKillMeNow and #50kDayOne, so feel free to follow there as well (my handle on both is africanstardust, big shocker). As always, encouraging messages throughout the day are so appreciated and I love you all for sending them! I may not reply right away (because the typing) but believe me, I read every one.

I’ve realized over the past few days how much NaNoWriMo has gotten me through. I do it because I love it, yes, but it means so much more to me than that. The first year I did it I was so isolated and alone because of extenuating circumstances, and it gave me a beautiful community of random strangers who made the effort of checking my blog to encourage me and urge me on. Two years ago, I was dealing with emotional trauma and feeling like my whole world had fallen apart, and NaNoWriMo was literally the bridge that helped me get to the other side. And this year, I’ve had so many ups and downs, the accident, feeling utterly overwhelmed with academics, and dealing with depression and hopelessness.

NaNo is the time of the year when we give ourselves a gift: the gift of permission to lose ourselves in writing. It’s when we set other things aside and look after our creative souls and make time for this precious, beautiful thing, no matter how busy we are. It has played a huge part in restoring me to myself in the past, and I hope that, wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, it does the same for you. Let yourself sink into the beauty of what writing is and what it means for your soul. Allow yourself to grow and push and go to new places you haven’t been before. Set yourself free. So, from me to you: happy writing.

Veronique / africanstardust

NaNoWriMo: The Plan

This year’s NaNo is going to be different than the others. I don’t have a whole month of no academics. On the contrary, because of the accident and the protests, during November I will be writing two 5,000 word essays, catching up with a ton of translation, writing two tests, and hopefully making good progress on my 15,000 word thesis. The amount of work I have to do is pretty real, but with good time management I can definitely do it.

So although I kind of mentioned it in my previous post, here is my plan:
-5k+ a day after the 1st
-a grand total of 200k in November.

I don’t know if that will happen (I’m not counting my essays and thesis), but I’m going to do my best!

My project this year is a giant, sprawling science fiction novel called The Riverside. It’s sort of a cross between The Matrix and Interstellar, so we’ll see how that goes…I’ve never written science fiction before. If it completely fails and I get bored with it, I also have a few other backup projects I can work on, most of which are high fantasy. I just kind of wanted to break out of my comfort zone this year and try something new, but I think it’s good to have a fall back haha. There are also two romance novels thrown in the mix, so basically we’ll see what happens as the month progresses.

The Plan, as usual, is to make snacks and food on the 31st, then take a nap in the early evening, hopefully from around 6 to 10 or 11. I’m doing this year’s 50k Day One without coffee because I gave it up about a month ago, so I feel pretty nervous about it, but I’m hoping that if I drink lots of water and get up often to stretch and do jumping jacks, I’ll be able to stay awake. I definitely don’t want to accidentally nap for 6 hours like I did last year…it was hell to catch up.

If you’re doing NaNo, let me know! Only 4 days to go!!

NaNoWriMo 2015: So It Begins

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-Square*skips in* Guess what time it is! Whoop whoop, that’s write – that pun will never cease to be on this blog, deal with it :’) – it’s NaNoWriMo time! I almost can’t believe it’s already here…it kind of snuck up on me this year because of how crazy everything has been, but I’m so glad it has finally arrived again. If you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, please visit and educate yo’self. I’ve been blogging about NaNo for 6 years now, so I’m not going to repeat everything I’ve already said, but you can find all my NaNo posts here, my first-ever NaNo accounts here, and 2013’s NaNo (which was the year I posted the most helpful tips) here.

My NaNo goals: As per usual, I will be doing 50k Day One again, which is potentially a bad idea considering how much work I have to do, but whatever, it’s happening. I was going to try for The Million this year, but due to my accident earlier in the semester, I’m going to have quite a lot of academic work to do during November, so The Million will have to wait. I’ll probably go for 5k-ish a day after Day One – this will get me to almost 200k, which is my goal for this year.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late! Just head over to the site (link above) to get started. If you have signed up, make sure you’ve set your home region, have introduced yourself in the home region forums, and have created your novel. In 8 days, we begin! 🙂

Whispers of a Nameless Nonfear

Listen…listen…what’s that sound? Clattering keyboards and a growing hum of excitement marked intermittently by screams about bunnies and wrist cramps…


That’s right. The time has almost come. It’s October 7 and the site reset will be happening soon, and then all the wonderfulness that is NaNo will be upon us once again. Since this is my 6th year doing it, I’m not going to repeat eeeeeeeeverything that I say every year, so to get you started you can look here for my NaNo adventures last year (these posts are more helpful, especially the October ones), and here for the first time I did it (and these are more entertaining).

Stay tuned. The storm approaches.