Introducing.. My NaNo Novel! | Katy Who Writes

Hello, friends!

IMG_20171004_195735_751.jpg

Apologies for being MIA for the past couple of weeks. I was busy being overly emotional and didn’t really leave my bed.. Whoops, sorry about that! Sometimes (note: all the time) looking after yourself has to come first. Self-care is very important and it is a process that I swear by to keep myself functioning. Maybe one day I’ll write something about my self-care routine! But today is not that day.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I signed up for my first ever NaNoWriMo a week or so ago. If you’re not sure what that is, here’s a quick overview: a ton of people all over the world sign up on the official website and agree to write (or try to write!) 50,000 words, a full-length novel, in the month of November. For fun. We writers are strange creatures.

I have had a novel living inside my head for over two years now. It started as a tiny little glimmer, sparked by hearing a song called “Shankill Butchers” by Sarah Jarosz. Since then it has grown, evolved and morphed into a full-fledged hatchling, ready to spread its inky wings. The problem with having a whole novel in your head, however, is that no one else can read it. After years of putting  it off, drawing up character arcs, writing little scenes here and there, I have finally decided to give this story the time and energy it has been craving. I am actually going to write this thing! In just over a month, if all goes to plan, I will have my first ever first-draft of a novel and I can finally introduce myself as a “writer” without the little voice in my head whispering: “yeah but, will you ever actually write that book?”

So, I am going to introduce you to my beloved brain-child (whilst simultaneously trying not to give too much away!), in the hope that by letting the idea breathe and letting these characters walk from my mind onto the page, I’ll be obliged to write their story so that one day you, my dear reader, might be able to read their story, too.

img_20171015_181237_806.jpg

(I got these prompts from Cait over at paperfury, who is a NaNo veteran and all-round writer-extraordinairre. I have, however, omitted some of her prompts as I am reluctant to give away too much of the story at this point.)

  1. Describe what your novel is about! My novel is about a missing girl, a begrudging adventurer, a windswept lighthouse and a boy with a secret. There will be covens, magic, murder and stormy seas as my characters try and stay one step ahead of the mysterious, notorious and blood-thirsty gang that has escaped from haunting fairy tales to haunt the inhabitants of this alternate/fantasy-19th century Britain.
  2. What is your book’s aesthetic? I made this aesthetic with images from pinterest. I will attach a link to the pin for credit purposes. Whenever my inspiration is fading or feeling a little rusty, this collection of images also brings me back to where I’m supposed to be and I. love. it.PhotoGrid_1507154499510.jpgcredit links: top row – left, middle, right. middle row – left, middle, right. bottom row – left, middle, right
  3. Introduce us to each of your characters! This book revolves around three very different people: Lily Knight, the sunshine soul. Alice Blackwell, the cold and glittering moon. Jim Barton, master of the stormy sea. (Don’t worry guys: there may be three protagonists but there will not be any love-triangle rubbish going on here.)
  4. How do you prepare to write? I am a meticulous planner. I prefer to do all of the thinking and puzzling before the writing process, so in theory I don’t have to do much thinking and puzzling when I’m writing. This is also the reason why I never actually get round to writing the damn book. I don’t know when to stop planning and start writing!
  5. What are you most looking forward to about this novel? I am really excited to explore the landscapes that feature in this first book. In theory, this will be a trilogy, and the landscapes will be different in each. I also can’t wait to explore the friendships and relationships which will develop through the hardships, the pain and the anguish. I also just can’t wait to play around with magic!
  6. List 3 things about your novel’s setting. The novel is set in a fantastical alternative 19th century Britain, with our characters moving throughout England and Scotland, so expect lots of my favourite landscapes to feature (although the names will be changed so I can play around with my artistic license.) It begins in a sleepy countryside village, but things don’t stay safe or sleepy for long. The main body of the novel takes place either on the sea, in the sea or by the sea.
  7. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over? The main themes are: magic, friendship, love (this book only contains one confirmed romance which is a lesbian relationship, and hints at another ‘will they-won’t they’ relationship that will be developed in later novels. note: Alice and Lily are always going to be platonic but their friendship is the driving force of this book.), adventure, self-discovery, witchcraft & nature. I hope that when you finish reading this story, because one day I hope you will be able to, you will feel inspired and in love. I hope that this book makes you desperate to read the sequel. I want to create a whimsical, magical world with characters that  you love to spend time with.

So that’s that! I hope that this post has given you a little bit of a taster of the journey I am about to embark on, to tell the story of Lily, Alice and Jim. The process of writing this blog post has made me really excited to get writing, so I think I’ll spend the rest of my evening perfecting my plan so that on the 1st of November, I can start to bring this to beloved story of mine to life.

Let me know if you’re taking part in NaNo, or if you like the sound of what I’m creating!

Until next week,

Katy x

Autumn Playlist | Katy Who Listens

Hello and happy Monday!

IMG_20170927_184205_436

It is now October. Isn’t that completely crazy? In my humble opinion, this is one of the best months of the year. I adore everything about October: Hallowe’en, pumpkins, colder days, frosty mornings, cosy jumpers, all of the autumn-inspired warm drinks. When I’m wrapped up in my softest blanket on a cold, October afternoon, reading books or writing, there is one thing I need to complete the cosy vibe: an Autumn playlist.

As some of you may know from following on my instagram (@katy_who), I share a song that I love with every single picture I post. I’ve been doing this since the summer, and frequently get asked if I can pull together a playlist filled with all of my favourite songs. So, I thought I’d start a series of these posts, where I create playlists for different moods and scenarios. Today, I’m providing a playlist for all of your autumnal music needs!

Without further ado, here it is: Katy Who’s Autumn Playlist! Go and grab your favourite blanket, make a huge mug of tea, plug in your headphones and enjoy.

qcbpk1506951270.png

Old Pine // Ben Howard
Don’t Let The Sun Steal You Away // Bear’s Den
Eagle Song // The Staves
Bloom // The Paper Kites
The Lament of Eustace Scrubb // The Oh Hellos
The Ghost on the Shore // Lord Huron
On Trees And Birds And Fire // I Am Oak
freeway searching // Gregory Alan Isakov
House & Farm // Boy & Bear
Flightless Bird, American Mouth // Iron & Wine
The Wolves and The Ravens // Rogue Valley
Breathe Easy // Rachel Sermanni
Old Stone // Laura Marling
Tiger Striped Sky // Roo Panes
Forest Fires // Axel Flovent
From Gold // Novo Amor
Stanley Park // Aoife O’Donovan
Circumstance // Wildwood Kin

Listen on Spotify

Let me know over on Instagram if you discover any new artists that you love, or if you fall in love with a song from this playlist; I’d love to hear what you think!

Sending an abundance of love and light,
See you same time next week!

Katy x

A Norwegian Adventure | Katy Who Travels

DJH01mQXYAAOSLVWith its endless forests, howling fjords, raging rivers and miles of open countryside, Norway has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the earth for many years. Perhaps there is something in the water that keeps us coming back, or perhaps it’s simply the pure joy that comes from experiencing a landscape that feels so prehistoric. It is incredibly easy to leave behind the busy streets and the winding roads that signify civilisation, and once you step beyond those boundaries and enter the wild and rugged natural landscape, it’s easy to imagine our ancient ancestors roaming the very land we walk upon now. As if nothing at all has changed.

My love affair with this country started years ago when, as a child of 8 or 9, I visited southern Norway in passing on a family holiday. I remember very little about that trip or the places we visited, but I do remember the sense of belonging that I’ve felt in my soul ever since. There’s something that just feels right about being here. Fast forward a few years, and my wandering feet led me to Bergen alongside one of my closest friends. On my first trip to Norway as an adult, I revisited those feelings from my childhood and fell even more in love. (..Especially when I discovered how easily accessible cinnamon buns are everywhere in the city and on a couple of the mountains surrounding it!)

18033248_1608502395829892_2460937759928169141_n.jpg

Upon leaving Bergen back in April, I knew that I didn’t just want to pass through Norway on fleeting visits, experiencing only flickers of what it has to offer. I knew that the end of my Masters degree was approaching and the great unknown abyss of a future after education was lying ahead and, quite frankly, I was ready to do just about anything that would delay thinking about nine-to-fives, rent and gas bills. So, I set about researching possible opportunities to live and work in Norway for a time, because there’s no distraction from real life quite like packing up a suitcase and running away to a new country for a couple of months! All of these events led me to where I am now: working in a hotel and living in a cabin in the mountains of Jotunheimen National Park.

As I’m typing this, I’ve been here for three and a half weeks, and have a further 5 weeks left before I travel on up to Trondheim and then back down to Oslo, when I will make my way begrudgingly back to normality. I can confess that for a time, I struggled very much to feel settled. I don’t for one minute want you to believe that I approached this situation with fearlessness: I am incredibly introverted, very shy around new people, and I’ve never been away from home longer than two and a half weeks. Settling in was hard. Within the first week, I faced strange situations, big changes, unfamiliar cultures, I met new people and I started a new job; these are all things that are so intrinsic to adventures, and yet in the face of them all, I had to admit to myself that I was genuinely terrified I’d made the wrong decision.

DKF_likX0AAWcqAIt was the nature I fell in love with all those years ago that helped me find my feet in the midst of all this fear and change. It was an endless comfort to know that, even if I felt isolated, scared, stressed or anxious, I could step outside my cabin door and walk directly into the forest. From there, I could climb mountains, walk alongside aquamarine rivers, sit on the soft moss in the dappled light of an afternoon sun and read until I felt myself again.

I’m settled now, I have a routine, I know the best walking routes and I’ve come to rely on daily excursions to the waterfalls or the nearest mountain. My soul feels lighter, somehow. I feel like my eyes shine a little more and my skin glows, I go to sleep at night with a familiar, comforting ache in my limbs that reminds me how lucky I am each day to get to experience this place, to learn it off-by-heart, to have a favourite tree to read under, a favourite mountain to climb.

dkf_t7xxkaaeizg.jpgIn my long and convoluted way, what I’m really trying to say is this: fear is inevitable, but some of the best experiences in life happen when we look fear directly in the eye and tell it “you will not stop me today”. Go out and chase those dreams, even if they’re small, or even if they’re huge and seemingly impossible. Mother Nature will always be there to welcome you into her magical, leafy arms and she will set you back on your way with a new sense of purpose and of courage. You will live out your dreams eventually. And then, in the wise words of Flynn Rider from Tangled, “you get to go find a new dream” to chase.

Happy Monday, my dearest friends. I hope this week brings you joy!

Katy x

Hello and Welcome!

c29kydbw8aeg-tm.jpg

Over the past year, as my instagram has slowly grown, the one recurring question I’ve seemed to get most often is: “Katy, do you have a blog?” and my answer has always been “no, not yet” or “maybe one day”. In truth, I’ve always been a little nervous about setting one up, as I always get the loveliest comments about my captions, and I’ve been worried about not living up to expectations when it comes to publishing larger pieces of writing.

Whilst sitting in my little Norwegian cabin where I’m living for the next two months, hiding from the driving rain outside and unable to do anything except read or write, I’ve decided the time has finally come. I am going to swallow my pride, move past my fear and commit myself to this little corner of the internet. So here I am, and here it is:
katy-who.com is now live and I will be publishing at least once a week for now.

What can you expect? Well, for one, you can expect extensions of my instagram captions, which will be imaginative thought-trains and little insights into the images and stories my brain conjures up. However, alongside this I will be including life updates, lifestyle posts, book reviews and recommendations, writing tips and updates, music suggestions and posts about the adventures I have had and the adventures I am yet to experience.

I promise there will be expeditions through haunted forests to magical literary kingdoms where the currency is imagination and the population is made up of dreamers, so take my hand and lets go and explore. Make yourself a hot mug of tea, snuggle up in your cosiest blanket and get ready to join me on my newest venture: katy-who.com.

Love & Light

discipuli-britannica.regular (1)

@katy_who