The Big Smoke

smoky pubI step out of the deluge and into a smoky London pub and feel a sense of disconnect. Strange. Smoking was banned in pubs years ago. Then I look around and realise why. It’s some kind of tourist attraction. There’s an old radio blaring out some 1940s music and everyone’s in costume — except for an older couple standing at the bar. Good, it appears to be functional. I could use a drink.

“A whisky, please.”

The barman gives me a quizzical look. “You can have a beer and like it. Don’t you know there’s a war on? And seein’ as you’re a stranger, your first glass is on the house.”

I take my beer and find an empty seat, taking a healthy swig as I sit. I’m so glad I didn’t pay for this, it’s vile. I finish up and decide to leave; the rain has stopped. I stand for a moment on the threshold and watch the people hurrying home. The still-wet pavement glistens in the evening light.

That’s when the bombs fall.

Books that started life in NaNoWriMo

With National Novel Writing Month starting on November 1, you might be feeling a combination of Rocky-esque determination and sweaty nervousness. After all, this is the month where established authors and aspiring writers alike from all over the world take the challenge to buckle down and pen a full-length novel. Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran, participation is no ordinary feat. The goal is roughly 1,667 words per day, 11,669 words per week, with the grand total of 50,000 words due by November 30.

No pressure.

But before you sharpen your pencils, fire up your computer, draft up your outline, or play The Final Countdown, get inspired with these 24 books that can trace their roots back to NaNoWriMo projects. Not only did books including The Night CircusWater for Elephants, and Fangirl reach the finish line, they reached the pinnacle—publication.

Read the full post on Goodreads: