Follow my writing adventure and enter WIN a prize!

I’m taking the writing plunge with the National Novel Writing Month this November. As part of my solicitation for motivation, I am running a blog contest! It’s really simple and I know you all can be winners so please read on.

Every day in November, I will write no more than a 100-word summary of that day’s novel writing. If I miss a day, I will write no more than a 200-word summary the day after. In total, there will be between 20 and 30 posts related to NaNoWriMo in November! All you need to do is:

Is this confusing? I hope not. If there are any questions, I’m more than happy to answer these in the comments.

*All comments should include a suggestion for a twist in the tale or just morale support :-).

The Prizes

1 prize of an iTunes gift card ($15 or £15)

2 prizes of a Kohl gift certificate ($10 each)

2 prizes of an Amazon gift certificates ($10 or £10 each)

Contest begins 01 November to 30th November. The winners will be announced on 04 December. And most of all, have fun ‘liking’ :-)!

Meet Julia Laurent

Julia Laurent as I imagine her (well, close enough)

I’ve been developing my main character for NaNoWriMo. Her name is Julia Laurent, a name I came up with 2 years ago. She takes many forms in my mind but what never changes is that she is beautifully flawed, insecure and haunted by a shocking past that threatens to ruin her future. As many NaNoWriMo folks will tell you, there’s not yet a clear plan for my novel. The only confidence I have is that I know Julia, or at least I know this much:

Note from my NaNoWriMo jotter

The story will be set in Cardiff, London, Chicago and parts of Africa – but don’t hold me to that. It’s a work-in-progress.

So anything can happen. Another character may even steal the limelight from Julia ;-). Please come back every day in November for a brief 100-word excerpt of my day’s scribblings, a sort of postaday. There’ll also be a word count widget on the blog.

Wish me luck!

Murder & 101 other ways to use a tea bag

Three different tea bags

Image via Wikipedia

I am in deep water over the next 1 year. I have entered NaNoWriMo for next month to write 50,000 words, and I have a 15,000-word thesis to turn in by next September. Anxiety overwhelms me as I write about them. So to exercise my imagination, creativity and resourcefulness, I decided to identify as many ways as possible to use a tea bag. I’m not sure if it worked to sharpen my creativity but I certainly felt more outrageous at the end of it. Well, here are the ways. Feel free to add to it:


1. Eye spa

2. To make tea

3. As a filter

4. In compost

5. Mouse girdle

6. Pendulum

7. Air freshener e.g. for carpets

8. Earrings

9. Take notes

10. Use the staple to hold papers together

11. Medicinal ingredient

12. To light a fire

13. To patch a hole in your shorts

14. Remove contents and keep office pins

15. Use as purse to keep coins

16. As weapon to injury an intruder in the eye

17. To rehydrate someone

18. Soil marker/plant label

19. To mark a tree when you go camping

20. Emergency treatment for a wound

21. To age pages

22. To highlight hair

23. To get rid of warts

24. To reduce pain for toothache

25. To reduce pain from burns

26. To remove feet odours

27. To clean a mirror

28. To alleviate acne

29. To relieve stings

30. To help repair broken finger nails

31. To relieve diarrhoea

32. To relieve nausea

33. To relieve sore nipples e.g. in breastfeeding mothers

34. To ease itching

35. To soothe bad moods

36. To poison the few folks allergic to tea

37. To dump over the garden wall to irritate your neighbour

38. To relieve bleeding gums

39. As a facial toner

40. To relieve colds and flu

41. To condition dry hair

42. Add to bath for a soothing experience

43. As a mouthwash

44. To ease menstrual cramps

45. Take before bedtime for a blissful rest

46. Inhale aroma to ease a migraine

47. Use as sunburn relief

48. Use to soothe aching feet

49. Use to keep eye shut when there are distractions

50. Use to mop a small pool of water

51. To teach kids what can turn water to brown liquid.

OK, there are not up to 101 but check the resources below for some more tips. Have I missed anything? Please keep it coming with outrageous or shocking ideas :-).

Related Articles and Resources


4 things I wish WordPress could do for me

There have been several cool features added to WordPress. These include the ‘related article’ and ‘just write’ feature, the ability to send drafts to people and much more. I particularly enjoy my WordPress app. It’s very cool as it enables me type posts on-the-go as well as taking pictures with my iPhone that can be uploaded immediately. Asking for more is perhaps too much to ask but I want more. There are a few things that could UP this technology and frankly, I think it’s not too much to ask for WordPress to:

ONE. Add a feature that allows me to nominate other bloggers’ posts for ‘freshly pressed’. Don’t get me started about the randomness of the current selection process. The Apple website for instance allows users to mark answers/posts as ‘helpful’ or ‘correct’. A similar thing could work here.

On Apple's website, users identify useful posts

How the posts are scored

TWO. Link building is a big plus on the web. So just as I can hyperlink to one of my previous posts with the list provided, I should also see posts that I have ‘liked’ and be able to link back to those too. This feature will make link building seamless and thus easier to do. At the moment, I have to copy and paste links into the window below.

Dear WordPress, I want to see posts I've 'liked' in this window.

THREE. Importing Word documents seems like a no-brainer but I can’t do it on WordPress. Yes, I can copy and paste (Honestly, I’m surprised no one has invented something that replaces cut/copy-paste) but it would be neater to just import the file. Also, I seem to lose all my formatting i.e. paragraphs and fonts when I paste from Word or Pages. Am I missing a trick? I would like to import directly without losing my format.

FOUR. This brings me to my beloved WordPress app. Although I can create a post on my phone, it would be even more impressive if I could export (or send) it as an email such that I can further edit it when I’m in front of a PC. Posts I create on my phone cannot be seen when I logon my desktop because these are saved as ‘local’ posts.

My blogging experience so far has been amazing. I just want more. Always.

Yours sincerely,

The Task Mistress

New domain. Good times.

Folks, this is an update to a previous post. I have a new domain name,, active from now. As from 6th November, will cease to work.

Thank you for your patience with me as I discover who I am and what makes me tick.

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