NaNoWriMo 2019 has come and gone and with it, I am happy to relay as the image above signifies, that I have won my 4th NaNoWriMo, this also being my 4th attempt to do NaNoWriMo. With this year’s event, I decided to kick-off a new series and not just a new series a Science Fiction series, which opens up my writing into a new genre. I plan to release both Fantasy and Sci-Fi under my author name of Jon Ray. If you see my name from this point forward, just note that I write in both the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre.
The new Sci-Fi series is called “Dark Dwellers” and I have 7 books planned for this one so far with the possibility for more. It’s a post-apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi story that follows 6 protagonists from 6 different locations in the world when the world ends. Books 1 – 6 will each focus on one of these groups of protagonists. By book 7, everything from the previous 6 books will tie together into an epic Sci-Fi tale.
Early on during the first weekend, I took some time out from writing to paint this on canvas using acrylics, while drinking red wine and watching Bob Ross videos on Netflix. When I do graphical work or paint, I release under my persona name of Lord Jon Ray or LJR. I find that doing an alternative creative piece helps open up the creative mind and helps prevent writer’s block.
Sydney’s NaNoWriMo has something different and special from all the places I’ve done NaNoWriMo before and that’s the Great Train Write-In. This is a Write-In unlike any others, everyone meets early in the morning at Central Station in Sydney. From there at a coordinated time everyone who shows up boards a train for a 2+ hour train ride to some distant location outside of Sydney. This year was in the beautiful Blue Mountains to the charming city of Katoomba. This year I was also joined by the artist Tasha Masters who worked on her own project for NaNoWriMo.
While in Katoomba, I walked all the way from the train station at one end of the town to the other end to eat at one of my favorite spots, The Yellow Deli. They make some of the best homemade tasting food I’ve had the pleasure to eat here in Australia and their beef chili is no exception with a root beer to wash it down. The bread that comes with the chili is infused with Jalapenos, which I normally don’t care for, but when baked into this bread it’s a sure favorite. The desert you see there is absolutely delicious, strawberry cheesecake with honey drizzled on top. After a filling lunch, we popped into The Gingerbread House Cake Shop, lollies and gingerbread men were to be had while I added to my word count until it was time to catch the train back to Sydney.
I must say that to date, this is my most difficult NaNoWriMo. I started on Day 1 a few words over and was feeling good about it. Overall, I wrote 29 of the 30 days in November and could kick myself for not writing that one day. I was also extremely behind after Day 1 all the way up until the last day on November 30th. I finished Sydney, Australia time around 7 pm, so I had plenty of time but if you look at the graph below, you can see I was cutting it very close and wasn’t even sure I’d be able to win this year’s challenge of 50k words or more. But I did and I’m so stoked.
Although I exceeded the 50k words in the 30-days challenge, I still have about 10k – 20k more words to go before this novel is finished. Then I will start on the editing process and plan to have the first novel in the “Dark Dwellers” series published and released sometime in 2020.