Africa, day 36

Word count for Africa: 54676
Word count since Nov. 1st: 29077
Word count for whole damn thing: 116000

…I’m tired /yawn

I haven’t finished it. I went off on such a tangent today that although I wrote nearly 5000 words I’m not sure I’m even getting any closer to finishing it. But I ony have 4 days left, so… I have started editing the last draft, which is interesting. It’s actually quite fun and immersive to be sticking my hands into both ends of the novel at once. It does mean I don’t get any breaks. But, short term, that seems to be working fine.

I am worried about whether I can physically get it all done, as I still have 3 fairly hefty scenes to write and 4/5ths of the editing to do. I suppose the editing will have to be the skimmiest of skim jobs, and the real work will start after the current draft goes off to the MA markers.

I’m going to miss this, when Real Life resumes.

Africa, day 27

Word count: 35072
NaNo count: 9473
Mosquito bites: 27 (neat hey)

Very up and down the last few days, but I am still plugging away at the novel. I still mostly hate it, and it still feels totally overwheleming, but having a projected word-count-to-finish and a set number of key scenes to write means that I can actually tell I’m making progress. Which is nice.

I’m sad not to have been at WFC this weekend with Clarion classmates and tutors and the inestimable Neile and Leslie, and I’m sad not to be in London right now for my sister’s birthday, and I’m espcially sad because the latest mosquito munch on my arm is the size of Belgium and not going down. I now have The Fear again, only more justified than it was on Thursday night.

On Thursday night I was alone in the embassy again, Jo having gone off on important diplomatic business that involved Korean boy bands performing under a tree. I was fine until around 11:00, when something began to rustle somewhere in the building. I couldn’t track down the sound. I wandered around, listening, and discovered that the different parts of the building smell different, are different temperatures, that there are 24 rooms and most of them have 2 doors (so an intruder could very easily loop around you), and sound bounces around so you never know where a sound is coming from. The rustling sounded like a trapped dragonfly, or perhaps giant cockroach. As I headed back towards the office and the relative comfort of the internet, I could hear whispering. The kitchen door banged, three rooms away. I was so desperate that I posted a thread on I Love Everything asking for advice. People took the piss out of me, and suggested various solutions involving string and cans of hairspray. (You can always rely on ILE for that.) Being mocked naturally made me braver: I discovered that the dire noises were coming from the bank of radios in the small kitchen. As for the kitchen door, it just bangs sometimes… however, knowing the cause of the skeeryness did not make me less skeered, and I didn’t sleep on Thursday night. You might think that guards on the gate and a wall topped with razor wire would make you feel safe. They just make you feel alone.

Africa, day 23

Word count: 27000
Mosquito bites: 22
Sunspots: uncountable

Today I am feeling itchy and hard done to, but the good thing about today is it’s the start of NaNo!!! I can’t take part properly, obviously, but I am signing up so I can use my NaNoing friends as competition. I need people to pit myself against; the amount of work I still have to do feels quite overwhelming at the moment. So buddy me please! – my writer name is Zora and my profile ID is 3596. While the author search is disabled the only way to buddy someone is to go to your own profile and switch your profile ID for theirs in the url.