A Brief Interlude: My Beautiful Country

One of the perks of my new job is that I get to travel quite a lot on company expense. It comes at a price naturally. I drive hundreds of miles a week, normally very far from home to place which are VERY hot to see people who can be quite rude.

But, on the other hand, it allows me to witness an afternoon here, at the river crossing the Crocodile River to the Kruger National Park’s Malelane gate. My colleague and I had to come here to see some clients and show our faces (as my country apparently only comes this way once every six months or so). I set off very early this morning, leaving my temporary lodgings at 4:50am to meet up with my boss at 5:30am so that we can start on the road heading East to Mpumalanga (I stay in Gauteng). The day wasn’t very exciting admittedly as it was very hot and the clients… Well. Clients. I’ll never fault them because they are my bread and butter.

We finished up just after 2pm and came through to the guest house where we’ll be spending the night. I took a moment to collect myself while my colleague went to visit with some old friends in the area. I had a headache (read caffeine withdrawal) and needed to cool down a bit. It was 46 degrees Celsius outside, and cooking me alive. When he returned we went to the bridge crossing over the Crocodile River to the Kruger Park. It was beautiful and somehow just what I needed.

I have a beautiful country, and amazing place with so much a variation which I am priviledged enough to see now that I’m travelling so much. I forgot about it in a way. I had been so taken with England that I forgot that my country has just as much scenic wise to offer then the small British Isle. It’s not the same naturally, you cannot compare apples with bananas.

But, it is beautiful and I thought to share it with you.


Alyss’s NaNoWriMo 2010 Tip 1

Is to pace yourself.

We had a massive word sprint in our country these past four days. A lot of people shot up to between 15 thousand and 20 thousand words within the first 3 days. Yours truly did almost 25 thousand which is exactly halfway with the set goal of 50 thousand words. The average word scores were amazing for the regions. One of our regions for instance is currently standing at number 2 for average word score per person and yours truly’s region is number 6.

In The World.

That’s amazing.

I found myself thinking about this as I tried to push myself last night to try and reach 25 thousand words. I couldn’t imagine that all of us would be able to keep up the pace because I realized quite suddenly that I wasn’t going to. I had done the one thing I had told myself in the beginning I shouldn’t do and that was out write myself. It hadn’t been hard or at all planned or hard. I had very good dialogue, very good characters and, when I started reading the Forum and Personal Message comments on my word count, I had the motivation to push myself as hard as I could.

It was with this frame of mind that I tried desperately to touch the 25k mark at 9pm last night. I hadn’t done a lot of writing (in comparison to my other days) because I had actually had to work for a bit and I had spend some much appreciated and much needed time with my Other Half. I also had to plan for a crazy business trip that my collegue and I went to in our Mpumalanga Province (Alyss is here right now) and get into bed at a reasonable time that would allow me to get up at 4:15am so that I could fall into the road.

The pressure was up and… I folded.

Just shy of 24k words, I sat back and realized that it was not the end of the world if I didn’t reach my goal for the day. It would’ve been cool and impressive and it would’ve given the other Wrimo’s in my country something to chew on, but I realized quite suddenly that it wasn’t really what NaNoWriMo was about for me. Some considered it their goal to reach 50k words, others set their own goals and worked with them. I knew that I’d be able to reach 50k easily (I did 58k in 21 days last year) but what I wanted to do was to be consident. To write a certain amount each day despite my hectic work schedule and stick to it (also giving myself sufficient space to take a days off to spend with my horse and Other Half without being too jittery about my lagging word count).

In other words, I wanted to be consistent and I wanted to pace myself.

Which I haven’t been doing and when I realized this, I found myself pushing my computer back, staring at my scene (which had been struggling actually) and thinking: It’s alright, I can relax. Tomorrow will be another day. And if it isn’t, then there will be the day after or the day after.

So, I suspect I’m going to fix my pace a little bit. Settle into the long distance rhythm as opposed to the flash sprint and see how far I can take this for as long as I can take this.

I have to say though – this is truly all I had hoped it would be. I am once again, having the time of my life. 😉

What about you?