Does it count as a fail if it got me writing?

I had every intention of completing NaNoWriMo when I set myself up at the end of October. I didn’t.

But in the first week I got a pretty nasty cold that took me about a week to get over. Feeling like crap is definitely not conducive to getting any writing done, no matter how much the brain says that “Hey, you’re home doing nothing, we can get some writing done!” Your body just ends up telling your brain to f–k off, and you go back to bed.

Then it took a lot to get back into the novel because I was at an in-between part (you know, the parts that you have to write to set other stuff up, but that aren’t overly exciting, and you’re reminding yourself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint), but then I finally got to the Big Plot Bits and now it’s taking over the brain. So much so that there was one night I stayed up till about 3:30 in the morning to write it because my brain wouldn’t leave me alone about it.

So, technically a NaNoWriMo fail, but also a win. The writer’s life, I tell ya.

Left Side Piercings
Right Side Piercings

I did end up going to St. Gallen for a writing weekend. Nothing formal or anything, just me in a hotel for 3 days banging out words. I did stop to get new ear piercings (3rd earlobe holes in each ear, and a cartilage piercing at the top of my left ear). Thanks to Jamming Piercing in St. Gallen for the awesome job! (Highly recommend them!)

St. Gallen itself is really beautiful. I did take a break to walk around the city even though the weather was gross and rainy. I wish I could have gone into the old library (which is a UNESCO historic site), but it was a Sunday, and well, Switzerland closes on Sundays. The buildings in the old part of St. Gallen sort of reminded me of some of London as it was all large old buildings and canyon like. I’d like to go again, though and enjoy the area when it’s not raining.

UNESCO Library at St. Gallen

I did manage to get a good deal of writing done while I was there, and thankfully, it helped me get through the slower spots! Hooray!

A group of Samichaluses at the tram stop! They even have a pope and a synod!

When I came back from St. Gallen, I could see that Christmas was starting to emerge in Zurich. Christmas here is serious business, and all the Christmas Markets are now open. I’ve had plenty of roasted chestnuts and I’ve even seen Samichlaus already! (Many of them, in fact!) I also saw the Maerli Tram (a tram that goes around Zurich for kids that is driven by Samichlaus and they get candy and stories from the Christmas Angel) but wasn’t able to get a pic yet. I wish they had adult Maerli Tram times. I’d totally sign up for that!

It’s interesting to feel like we’ve finally settled in in Zurich now. We’ve actually had people over to the house for dinners and a Samhain ritual! Thanks to all our new friends here for being awesome people!


  • Unity: This is a military/hard/thriller sci-fi novel set in a future where humans have colonized several other planets. Two of the main characters are a Religious Program Specialist and Senior Communications officer who has PTSD and works with the station’s Chaplain to figure out why the colonization survey they’re supporting isn’t going according to plan.
    • Finished Draft Part 1 (Chapters 1-17!)
    • On chapter 9 of Part 2
    • Word count as of today: 78774 (not including the chapter I’m currently working on.)
    • Finally settled on “Unity” as the title.
  • The Four Keys: A spiritual prose journey to the underworld and back.
    • Needs final edit pass and cover for e-book version.
    • Graphic novel version on hold for the time being.
  • The Little Tarot E-book: This is a book started for my tarot class here in Zurich
    • Still in draft. Need to finish Major Arcana and more spreads.


  • London: Going to London for a friend’s birthday (yay!) on Dec. 6 and possibly an additional side trip.
  • Belgium: Short road trip also in December.
  • Florida: Going from January 7-21, 2020 to visit my parents.
  • Crazy Trip to the Northern Most Point in Europe: Summer 2020?
  • Rome/Vatican: TBD (Maybe Fall/Winter 2020?)

Fiber Arts:

The electric wheel is still awesome and I’m still doing a whole bunch of spinning. Have a couple of secret projects for weaving that I’m working on. One is still on the loom and the other I’m still making yarn for. It’s a bit of a small learning curve with the electric wheel, and I did mess up the break band for it and had to order new parts. Thankfully it wasn’t a major thing, and I was back up and running in about a week.

I made a crochet case for my new bluetooth travel keyboard. I’ve also learned how to sew in a lining for my woven purse (the first finished object that I made when I first got my rigid heddle loom) and how to sew a zipper on it. Had to get more needles for my sewing machine, though, as I’ve broken several of them getting used to this machine. *sigh* At least I’m getting time in for all my fiber stuff these days. Even did some basic tailoring of some pants I bought that were too long for me. One of these days I’ll get the courage to actually make clothes.


The Fuji A-X3 is still awesome, but I haven’t been out with it in a bit because of NaNo. I’ll bring it on my trips, though. I need to take pics of the Christmas Markets, too. Definitely more pics coming!

Fountain Pens:

I have lots of them and they are awesome. Here’s the list of the favorites of what I have at the moment:

  • Lamy 2000: Classic Bauhaus design from Lamy and writes like a dream!
  • Pilot Vanishing Point: This is the pen that Neil Gaiman uses when he travels. (Yes, that was a writing brain hack there…)
  • Omas Sailor: This pen was the first expensive pen I bought, and I bought it for my birthday last year. It’s really beautiful and the celluloid case looks like opal (which is part of why I bought it). I got it for half price at a fancy pen store here in Zurich, which was awesome. I found out later that the company is no longer in business and that material that the pen is made out of isn’t widely used much anymore because it’s kind of hazardous to manufacture. It’s a lovely pen, and what a find!
  • TWSBI Pens: These are underrated pens in my opinion. They write like a dream, and always start! The other advantage of these pens is that they whole a LOT of ink, which is great.
    • Eco T: Clear (demonstrator pen) that is one of their first pens. It just works.
    • Diamond 580: Also a demonstrator, but a bit more expensive than the EcoT. It’s a bit heavier than the Eco, but it feels really nice.
    • Vac700R: this is such a cool pen with a vacuum fill mechanism. It holds so much ink, is weighty, and writes so nice!

I also have a lot of inks for the pens, but one of my newest favorites is an ink by Organics Studios called “Henry David Thoreau- Walden Pond Blue.” It’s such a beautiful ink! It’s a dark blue-green ink with a red sheen on it. I also have a “Jane Austen Violet” by the same company, which is also quite lovely. Yeah, I’m a nerd like that.

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