November (Retrospect and Reminiscing #11)

November (Retrospect and Reminiscing #11)

November, also known as National Novel Writing Month. For those of you who are sick to death of my daily posts, rest assured that we are now almost at the end. I’m mystified, because by my reckoning I should have finished on the 31st instead of tomorrow, but unless I’ve missed a month entirely, I must just have miscounted when I needed to start.

miriam joy longman december 2013

This has become my profile picture on far too many websites given that I don’t actually like it all that much because I look exhausted. Then again, it’s probably the most accurate representation of my face, black bags and all. It was taken as part of the video audition I did later in the month – see below. It’ll probably be my author photo for the next St Mall’s book, too, because I hate having mugshots taken.

NaNoWriMo long ago stopped being a question of, “Can I write 50k in a month?” and turned into, “How quickly can I write fifty thousand words?” This year, I managed it in three days, without the use of my hands. It was an experiment in the capabilities of Dragon NaturallySpeaking as well a test of my ability to think while dictating, and I would say it was fairly successful.

Admittedly, I read through Recall, my NaNo novel, yesterday and the first half of it – aka the 50k I wrote in the first three days – is utterly littered with Dragonisms, or dictation errors. Nevertheless, the plot and structure of the novel seem fairly solid to me, and although it would need a complete overhaul so that it made grammatical sense, I think it’s worth keeping. More than that, I might bump it up my list of novels to edit, but we’ll see how long it takes me to finish my current project.

on day three what am i a freak

I rewarded myself for reaching my goal by watching Serenity. For those who don’t know, it’s the spin-off movie to Firefly which was supposed to ‘wrap up’ the series after it wasn’t renewed beyond a single season. And I cried. So that was cheerful. It’s interesting to see the Firefly influences in my novel, though – I definitely had River in mind at some points.

November was also a month for being an angry feminist, which was great fun. I read a book called Celtic Women which basically just convinced me that we need to bring back Old Irish laws, since they were fairly logical. I wrote a blog post called ‘Rage Against The Patriarchy’, too, and I don’t think it gets more stereotypically angry feminist than that.

Talking of blog posts, I wrote nine of them. They varied in topics from learning to love yourself and taking risks to moral ambiguouity, revolution, and book reviews. But by far the most popular – and indeed, the most popular post in this blog’s history – was my analysis of the costume design in Thor: The Dark World and what it tells us about the perception of gender roles within their society.

I totally understand why that post was so popular: it’s a topic that Tumblr feels passionate about, it involves Loki and therefore Tom Hiddleston, it’s a genuinely analytical post on a topic that very few people have discussed as far as I know, and most of the viewers probably got there by accident while searching for decent stills of the costumes in the film. That doesn’t mean I think it’s my best post, but I am pretty proud of it, and I’m glad it got some attention.

I didn’t make any videos in November, but I did go and see Catching Fire, which was great, and contributed to my post about revolutions. I also started watching Once Upon A Time and while I’ve only seen a few episodes because I got distracted by boring things like school and now I’m rewatching Merlin, that was pretty fun too.

The parentals bought a wireless printer. Incredibly excited by this, I named it “Printer Is Coming” and I still laugh gleefully to myself every time I need to print something. Its ‘description’ simply says shiny wifi printer. I am a mature human being.

At the end of November, I filmed a video audition for the Star Wars open call that was advertised on the internet, because while I don’t exactly have the acting credentials, it’s all part of my ‘What if?’ policy and hey, I had literally nothing to lose. I’m assuming that nothing’s come of that, because nobody has called me up to inform me that I’m clearly an undercover acting prodigy and they’d like to give me a lot of money, but I did it, and at least I don’t have to wonder what would have happened.

I continued reading A Place Of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel, which I’d actually begun in September, although I gave up rather, and found that I had a great deal in common with Camille Desmoulins, at least as far as punctuation is concerned:


Semi-colons > sex. I struggled with this book, mostly because it’s so freaking long, but also because the narrative switches between so many different styles that you can be thrown out of it every now and again. However, it was a perspective on the French Revolution that was more personal and insightful than, say, a History textbook. I enjoyed having the ‘personal’ touch.

Plus, Camille entertains me greatly:


My love for Camille will never end. I must say, the ending of the book made me rather sad. I suppose I should’ve known what was coming – that’s the problem with historical fiction, you know who’s going to die. Even if they’re not murdered, they’re clearly dead now, because it was two hundred years ago. But no. Somehow it still hurt.

Although I didn’t actually finish it until December, so I shouldn’t be talking about that. I read a total of four books in November, clearly too busy writing to bother with any more than that. Relating to the whole angry feminist side of things, Caitlin Moran’s book had a lot of potential but actually just ended up sincerely disappointing me. I wrote a review on Goodreads that explains why.

november books

I think that’s basically everything about November. I got a couple of offers from universities and was told that I had an interview at Cambridge, but other than that, the month was so dominated by writing that not a lot else happened. Oh, and I auditioned for my school’s production of Fame and found out that I’m part of the senior dance troupe which is cool.

But yes, mostly writing. And ranting. Kind of sums me up.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about December and that’ll be the end of this series. While I’ve enjoyed looking back, I’ll be pleased to be done with these posts. Looking through all my own social media posts, reading my blog posts and book reviews, and hunting for mugshots is actually fairly time-consuming, and I’m pretty sure these posts take twice as long as my more thoughtful ones.

I’m also sure you’re all sick of me posting every day so while I can’t guarantee that I won’t post on the 31st or the 1st, I promise that this is the end of the daily posts. They’re a lot more effort than I can afford to make when I have work to do… :)

2 thoughts on “November (Retrospect and Reminiscing #11)

  1. I hate having mug-shots taken of me. I always look like I’m about to sneeze. Particularly for passport shots. I reckon the people who check passports laugh about all horrible mug shots during their breaks. Congrats on your crazy 50K in 3 days. ;) And I think these posts have been seriously funny.

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