Tag Archives: Falconry for the Modern Girl


Well then.

No, I did not finish 50k – I got to about 32,000 and those last couple thousand were like pulling teeth.  For my original auto-biographical effort, Falconry for the Modern Girl, I got to 30k with ease.  Then the story stopped, simply because I got up to the present time.

As I said in my previous post what I intended to do for the final 20k was to write some fictional shenanigan.  I hoped that the fun of fiction plus the high of a new project would make for enjoyable and easy writing.  This was not true.

I ended up starting several things, each lasted about a page and half, which could have theoretically been novels.  The only problem is that they would not have been good novels.  NaNoWriMo has never been about quality, merely quantity – not saying that people who write in quantity can’t also write quality material, but that’s not the focus, the 50k end goal is.  But this is not my aim in life anymore.

I know I can write 50k in a month, I did it twice before which is just often enough to prove that the first time wasn’t a fluke.  But what I’m struggling to do now is to write the sort of epic, sweeping drama which has hitherto escaped me.  The complexities and depth are what I’d like to focus on, and that’s something well outwith the goals of wordcount.

I think that if I’d decided to go ahead with NaNoWriMo this year with more time to prepare, I could have given the sort of novel I have in mind a try.  But my fallback has always been the “by the seat of your pants” style of NaNo-ing, where I start the month with a blank document and an epiphany.  But I think I’m forced to reconsider this as a style of novel-writing if I’m ever to write the things I feel I’m capable of.

I want to keep at the discipline of writing every day, though.  And me and the Husband are currently preparing our second bedroom to become a study, as soon as we can source the furniture!  I think having a separate work-space will definitely help my focus.  As I’m writing this right now, I’m currently sitting on the sofa watching television!  I’m a girl who can multitask, but it’s not terribly condusive to ones best efforts!

So while I might have “lost” NaNoWriMo this year, I’ve gained valuable insight about how I need to go about writing from now on!  And not to say that I’ll never NaNo again, and in fact after a year of carefully planned and thoroughly thought-out writing I might be itching for some seat-of-my-pants action!


I hit 27k on Nov 16th, and was ahead of schedule.  Since that time I have written nothing else.  This has been due to work, work-related parties and life in general taking over.  HOW RUDE.

This may be the first year since 2009 that I don’t complete 50k by the end of the month.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  Firstly, I tell myself, ‘Meh, it was just a personal goal afterall.’  And then I tell myself to shut up.  Personal goals are just as important as any other.

Besides the work and life commitments getting in the way, the other reason it’s been hard to sit down to write is that I’ve come to the end of my narrative.  I wrote myself an ideas chart at the very beginning of this venture, and apart from the narrative there are several points I haven’t yet included, but those are non-narrative and generally a bit random.  They just don’t seem to flow.  But I’ll probably write them anyway.

Even including those points, however, I’m not at all convinced I can nearly double what I’ve written by the end of the month and hit that 50k goal.  Maybe I’ll have to start writing something completely else and add up word counts just to say I wrote 50k in total?  Is that cheating?  Can you cheat in NaNoWriMo??  Well, you probably can by stealing someone else’s 50k+ work and calling it your own, but what’s the point in that I ask you?  Fools.

Well I shall persevere, but I just might not make 50k.  I suppose I can live with that, providing I end the month with a completed first draft.  That shall be my personal NaNoWriMo goal, regardless of its wordcount.  I’ve only ever used NaNoWriMo as a tool to facilitate daily writing, and in that respect I’ve been doing alright … apart from the last week!  So I’ll just have to ignore the competitive side of me which seethes when I see other people with enormous wordcounts (say what?  you’re doing THREE 50k novels in November????  BASTARDS!!!) and just focus on what I’m doing.

It’s tough, people.

Falconry For The Modern Girl

I think I’ve worked out what I’ll write for NaNoWriMo this year, since I’ve been looking over my notes for The Falconer’s Apprentice and I really don’t think I’ll do it justice in a month.  Instead I plan to write a semi-autobiographical piece called Falconry for the Modern Girl because a lot of people ask me how I got into being a falconer in the first place.

I hate to say it, but I feel like this is a good project because it might have marketable appeal.  As much as I enjoy writing for writing’s sake, if I could get a book published it would make a huge difference in me and the Husband’s life right now.  It might mean the difference between him working the shitty hotel job he hates, which keep us from seeing each other for days at a time, and him pursuing either a PhD or teaching degree which he’d really love to do.

So this book will follow my progress from the very first cold December morning when I nearly fainted when gutting chicks for the first time, to being thrust into running the centre on my own after mere months of training, to deciding to train the Goshawk to hunt, the joy and exhiliration of when he made his first kill with me – and any other adventures which will follow in November.  There will also be random chapters thrown in about the research I’ve been doing into medieval falconry, perhaps other people’s experiences if they wish to relate them to me, and general stuff about the various birds we have at the centre for background information.

Because of its auto-biographical nature I think this will be a great train-of-thought project which I won’t become too stressed or frustrated by.  The main point is to just make myself write again in a routine so as to force myself back into a disciplined mindset again, and the secondary point is to write an interesting book about a subject not many have the insight or opportunity to write about.