NanoWriMo, Writing journey

Research, Motivation and of course a Cup of Tea

For those who follow or know me it is no secret my MC, Willow like me loves tea. However, unlike me, Willow has taken her love of this delicious drink to the extreme and has studied, worked with, and lives for the perfect brew.

As I research her backstory and personality I’ve found myself longing to walk amongst the rows of tea bushes in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Wishing I could visit Tong Xin Tea House, who I discovered on Instagram.

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On April 28, Jake and I set out from 8 a.m. in Shenzhen and arrived at Wuyi Mountain safely at 9 p.m. The 13-hour long journey was very hard but very happy. On the morning of 29, we went to the hotel to find J who arrived at Wuyi Mountain in advance. We started our journey in Wuyi Mountain. We tasted Bian Rou in the morning, drove into my tea garden and tea factory for about an hour, and arrived at the tea factory with Ja. Ke and J visited our tea garden and tea factory. In the afternoon, we went to the mountain to make tea. Everything was ready. After tasting Rou Gui and Da Hong Pao in 2013, the sky suddenly began to rain heavily. Finally, three of us were soaked into soup chickens. The heavy rain did not affect our mood. We walked happily in the rain and enjoyed the magical power of nature. We drove to Tongmuguan on April 30 at 10:00 a.m. It took us two hours to get to Tongmuguan from downtown. The road was rugged. We arrived at Tongmuguan at 12:00 p.m. smoothly and safely. We enjoyed the delicious food in the mountains at noon. After lunch, we went to Tongmuguan's brother's tea garden and the tea factory to visit the process of black tea picking and making. The scenery along the way was beautiful. We picked tea in the tea mountain at 1200 meters above sea level. Ye is very hard, every leaf is hard-won, return to Wuyishan city in the afternoon, every day is very full, J, will return to Shenzhen tomorrow, my trip with Jake is continuing. 🙏 .#looseleaftea#teaddict#gongfucha#chinatea#teaset#gongfutea#tetitas#breakfast #organic #cascara #cake #cat #dress#morning#morningtea#green#cupoftea #flowers #茶道 #sencha#shenzhen #lovetea #yixing #tealove #茶 #oolongtea #tea #chinesetea #koreanceramics

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There are many inspirational places I would like to visit and enjoy the full sensory experience rather than using photos or videos as prompts. Some are not as far-flung as India or Nashville, Tennessee where the unique High Garden Tea House and Potion Parlour are; I would love to visit Twinings at The Strand which has been there for 300 years or have afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Room in Harrogate.

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The discovery of an UK Tea Academy, where you can train to be a tea Sommelier, made my nerves tingle with excitement. What an experience that would be and would give me a deeper insight into Willow’s world.

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The possibilities where her story could go are endless and I want to explore them all but then with a click of a mouse, reality bites. The ability to research to that depth requires funds only a fledgling penniless duvet dwelling paperback writer can dream of and as it stands, is it crucial to this WIP to experience them first hand? Probably not but it has given me the motivation to keep writing, and to keep dreaming of success because one day if I decide to write about a character on safari in Africa, I may just be able to experience it first-hand.

Time for a cup of tea made in the pot and write.

Happy writing!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog

P.S. All these places are now firmly etched on my bucket list and if they get ticked off, you will be the first to know.

NanoWriMo, Writing journey

Lessons learnt from being a NaNoWriMo Winner

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December is here and NaNoWriMo is over for another year. After succeeding in writing 50,000 words – yes I did it if did not already know – I thought I would reflect back on what I have learnt.

  • The main one is I can surpass my own expectations with the support of others and determination.
  • I can prove naysayers wrong.
  • I can not emphasise the importance of support from others. Having people behind you, believing in you when you do not believe in yourself gets you through the slumps and allows you to celebrate the highs. I can not thank those who have been with me enough, especially my daughter for the endless cups of tea and encouragement.
  • Accountability is an important factor. If I had not had Megg Geri checking in to see how I was doing, expecting 2000 words daily – not achieved often – I would have faltered in week two. Words would have fizzled out and  I would have given up. On days when only were written 200 words by lunchtime and I was tired, grumpy or dystonia was giving me a hard time, before I would have said “that will do”. Not wanting to disappoint Megg I would go back in the evening and write some more, sometimes surprising myself with the amount or content.
  • Rewards matter! Knowing I could buy a Kindle book if I completed 10,000 words spurred me on because I needed Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy. The reward of a coffee and catch up with a friend on a Friday if I survived the week gave me the boost I needed at times too. Thank you, Kris and Jennifer.
  • An excel spreadsheet was my best friend towards the end. Seeing my percentage progress on the screen helped me push through the last 10,000 words.
  • I discovered I am more of an evening writer than morning one. Ideas are better in the morning but bulk writing is an evening thing.
  •  Dialogue between characters when it comes to you must be captured and written down. Trying to think of dialogue in front of a blank screen is useless, for me it has to come organically from the players, usually when half asleep or doing something boring not related to writing.
  • Writing daily is a joy (except on  “I can’t do this” days) and routine matters.
  • It is amazing what gets done if people leave you alone to do it. My writing room became my haven. The writing room is also known as the spare box/junk room with a bureau squeezed in just in case I am seen as pretentious as in the J.K Rowling and Arron Banks row.
  • It is hard mentally. It pushes you to work beyond tiredness, life experiences and forces you to give priority to writing. As a mum and wife this was one of the hardest things. Putting myself first rather than others is not natural for me but they are old enough to look after themselves. I am in awe of people who can do it with a young family, work and other responsibilities.
  • I can get through the slumps to get to a better place.
  • It has pushed my health to its limit. I think I have got a way with it. I’m not in hospital which has happened before when I have pushed myself too far but I rattle more with more pills, have accumulated more consultants this last month and slept for seemingly days since Nano has finished. Is the pain payback worth it? Yes but I’m glad it is over. I could not keep the intensity up in the long run.
  • I need to get my head around dictating, my hands, well hand as I am a one handed sometimes one fingered typist, is painful and is on the verge of going on strike.
  • Knowing your characters well helps, but it is great when they throw surprises and unexpected ones turn up.
  • I love writing and need to continue. Having a few days off I miss it.
  • I can achieve when I believe.

Now I need to finish the draft so the joy of editing can begin.

Did you do NaNoWriMo?

What did you learn, I would love to know?

Happy writing.

NanoWriMo, Writing journey

The last NaNoWriMo update of 2018

It is the end of November and this year’s NaNoWriMo is over. Guess what? I did it!

I am a

After reaching the word count of 50,022 this morning.

I will write more soon but I am busy celebrating and giving my sore hands a rest.

Hot Chocolate and cake

Thank you Megg Geri for making my goal a reality and for those who have supported me along the way.

Love

NanoWriMo, Writing journey

A Quick NaNoWriMo Update

This is a quick, very quick post; I should be focusing on increasing my word count because writing time is limited today but a quick update is needed. It is a week since I began to work with Megg and six days NaNoWriMo started and a miracle has happened — I am on target!

Day 5 words
I have words!

Some days have been harder than others. It seemed an impossible task on day three, after sleep won over my early morning writing routine and feeling ill but with the knowledge Megg was behind me words were written. How many of the those words will stay after editing? Not many but they have moved the story forward.

I predict today and tomorrow will be a struggle too with hospital visits and tests and I also fell into the trap of research this morning but with a site like the Tea of Life and writing about a tea obsessed witch who can blame me? Just don’t tell Megg

I need to stop procrastinating and write.

How is everyone else doing?

Happy writing!

Love

Kate Kenzie's Blog

Bye bye 2018 and hello 2019
NanoWriMo, Writing journey

No Excuses No More Procrastination with NaNo Coaching

Oh bloody hell! I have won NaNo Coaching with the lovely Megg Geri, the author of the inspiring How to Write A Novel in 30 Days.

When I read about Megg’s NaNo coaching I looked longingly at my bank balance in the hope it would stretch beyond paying the bills. When the opportunity arose to enter a giveaway for a place, I had to try and now, if I could I would be doing cartwheels. My stomach is full of excited butterflies, my mind is whizzing with excitement and eager to write but part of me is overwhelmingly scared of the challenge ahead.

It is time to face the fear and do it anyway as they say and with Megg behind me to give me a kick when I need it who knows how far I can fly. *

Watch this space.

Happy writing and last minute prepping for NaNoWriMo

 

*if I can get over 15,000 words I will be happy, 20,000 estastic, and anything over 25,0000 I will faint with shock.

NanoWriMo, Writing journey

No longer aspiring to be a writer

I have recently read a post by Lucy V Hay on Bang2Write blog titled Why You Should Stop Calling Yourself an Aspiring Writer It resonated with me deeply because I am guilty of this. In all my bios and when I talk to people, I always say “I’m an aspiring writer.” Never the words “I am a writer.” But today in time for NaNoWriMo and Samhain, where it is time to let go of things you no longer need,  these words are gone.

 

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Words to remember

I may not be published; my current manuscript is unfinished and a fledgling one starts in two days time but I have improved since I published my first post here. Writing has become my all-consuming thought whether words are written or not. Therefore, I am a writer.

Happy writing!

Kate Kenzie's Blog