Blog Lifestyle

NaNoWriMo 2012

This month I am participating in National Novel Writers Month, aka NaNoWriMo. This is an international challenge to all writers to write 50,000 words during the month of November. It is like a marathon for writers. It’s also a big kick up the butt for people like me who say ‘I’d like to write a Novel someday’ to stop putting that day of and actually do it!

This is my first attempt; I am a NaNoWriMo virgin. So I’m looking for writing buddies to encourage me and help me through this. My NaNoWriMo username is amuletts (as it is pretty much everywhere), so if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo too add me. I will be working on a piece of fantasy fiction called ‘Desert Story.’ It’s about eeevil characters!


Wilf and Gladys are assassins, exiled to the desert after a political upheaval. Survival is treacherous, precarious. When they find a genie bottle they believe their luck has changed, but what they release is an evil Ifriti, angry from its long imprisonment and intent on destroying all life. They also release a human, Tam Y’lset, who originally helped capture the Ifriti but in doing so became trapped with it. Having spent a thousand years sharing it’s prison he is insane and obsessed with revenge. Now these three anti-heroes must work together to undo what they have done, put the genie back in the bottle, and save the world.


“You know I always admired your professional detachment,” Gladys chided cruelly. She could only be patient and kind for so long. It wasn’t really in her nature.
Wilf rounded on her. “Gods woman! You think I can just kill you like anybody else, as if you were just another contract?”
“I think you’re capable of anything,” she said.
Wilf angrily turned away from her. She had rendered him speechless.
“It’s a complement!” she insisted, “You’re a cold-blooded killer. Fortunately that’s just what I need right now.”


Anyway, wish me luck! Hopefully I will succeed in writing 50,000 words and therefore be a NaNoWriMo Winner instead of an epic failure!

Blog Lifestyle

Hedingham Castle

Hedingham Castle is a classic Norman Box Fort located in Essex, England. I was lucky to visit it on a bright, sunny day with little rain (surprising as it has barely stopped raining all summer with the highest amount of of rainfall in June since records began). As readers of the comic will already know I am using Hedingham Castle as the basis for Kasper’s Castle in the comic. I think having convincing backgrounds gives the story a grounding in realism perhaps making it a bit more believable. I think this is quite important in a story with magic and other outlandish (and sometimes ridiculous) elements. And since Hedingham Castle really isn’t that far away I couldn’t not go!

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Nuts in June

So my camping/cycling holiday didn’t go exactly to plan… it turns out my tent is not waterproof, or at least not waterproof enough. It’s perfectly fine in good weather and can take a light shower but it cannot take torrential rain, which is what we got on Saturday night and continued all throughout the Sunday. So I woke up at around midnight with water splashing on my face to discover the tent had filled up with water and basically become a pond! In the middle of the countryside it was pitch black and there were no houses for miles.

Blog Lifestyle

Lovely Jubilee Holiday

It’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend tomorrow which means an extra-long bank holiday so I’m taking the opportunity to go on holiday and see Hedingham Castle in Essex. Hedingham Castle is the one which Kasper’s Castle in the comic is based on so I intend to take lots of photos for reference! There’s also a Knights of England Jousting Event going on Sunday & Monday with – you guessed it – jousting as well as have-a-go archery (I will have a go!), a craft fair, food fair and other awesome stuff I’m sure.

I’m going to make this a travelling holiday and go on my bicycle. The train route to Hedingham is involves going through the centre of London and I expect it will be crazy busy with Jubilee celebrations. I don’t travel well in vehicles, especially in crowded places (I get panic attacks) and it would take a long time. The route is much shorter across country and I can take my time and enjoy the scenery.

From my starting point on Oxford I’ll be going through Thame, Aylesbury, Whipsnade (cool Zoo here), Kimpton, Stanstead Mountfitchet (there’s a Castle there too!) until I eventually arrive at Castle Hedingham. I’ve not got to rush so it should be a nice, leisurely ride and I’ll be able to visit some of the local attractions along the way! I just hope the weather is good! (If it’s not I’ll find the nearest public transport and get on it).

I don’t have a fancy iPad or Android, so I’ll be uploading the photos from my adventures when I get back.