NaNoWriMo 2017 | Diary | Week 2

I hope you’ve read the first week’s diary of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m a rebel again this year, and I’m going on a French trip this week 😉

Sunday – 5th November 2017

Preparing my suitcase for my French travel, I took my writing laptop and some print pages I was editing. I would like to work a bit on my novel while travelling, especially since I know I’m gonna be on the move quite often. I am excited to visit some new places and cities, such as Lyon or Bordeaux. I hope I’ll take some good pictures to share with you, and to meet some of you too (even if I’m not on tour, hahaha). I think this week is going to be more of a travel journal than a NaNo one, but hey, I promised to keep you updated on what I was up to 🙂

Monday – 6th November 2017

I worked a little while on the Eurostar train to Paris, editing one chapter. Love reminded me my promise to send him the first part of the novel this week, which I’ll try to honour *fingers crossed*.

I got lost in the Parisian tube. Actually I couldn’t quite leave the Gare de Lyon’s tube station, the signals are so weird. One sign would point downstairs but it was the RER platform, obviously not the exit, hahaha. I think it took me like 15 minutes to finally find the exit. And I’m not the only one! I heard a couple having the same questions (the girl who’s trying to make excuses for her bad location skills).

Tuesday – 7th November 2017

I’ve quite a lot to tell you. So I took the train to Marseille and had the loveliest encounter with an old man. I was going from the main train station to the old port, using my phone as a GPS (who doesn’t do that in 2017). The guy accosted me, saying that I should visit a museum whose name I can’t remember. He’d come back to me, warning me it’s closed on Tuesdays. Then made me a little tour of Marseille while talking about the city. My opinion on Marseille is pretty much influenced by this amazing encounter. I feel like the city is welcoming, very warm at heart.

Marseille's old port

Then I took another train, to Nice. This train got stopped by a group of goats on the tracks, hahaha. The train inspector was so funny while he was announcing it on speakers. I had a lot of fun with the passengers.

But Nice… I don’t know. I don’t really like this city, especially next to the main station at night. I find it a bit creepy.

Anyway, I haven’t worked at all today, and I kind of regret it. Tomorrow I’ll get a five-hours train back to Paris, I’ll try to get some work done. Hopefully I’ll finish the copyedits and make a nice little ebook for my harshest beta reader 🙂

Wednesday – 8th November 2017

This Wednesday has been quieter than the day before. I took the longest train of my French trip: Nice to Paris, more than five hours on the train. I worked a bit on the novel, the copyedits are now done for chapters 1 to 8. I cut a lot of words, more or less 300 (ok that’s not much). I am now writing what’s missing on chapter 8 and then I’ll be able to send it to my husband for beta reading.


As I was in Paris for the rest of the evening, I’ve been to Notre-Dame Cathedral and walked my way back to the hotel via Place de la Bastille, where there used to be a prison during the French Revolution. I’ve been disappointed, as I excepted it to be more than a huge roundabout. Anyway, I decided to rest before my next train travel. I’m going to Lyon tomorrow and I want to be ready. Sounds like a very nice city 🙂

Thursday – 9th November 2017

The longest time I spent in a city since the beginning of my French trip. So, I’ve been to Lyon and I got lost while looking for the funicular. I finally found it, but going through the streets with a suitcase isn’t what I would recommend (so glad this isn’t a big one). At least, the view from Notre-Dame de Fourvière was worth it.

Lyon's panorama

I’ve been looking for Alison Germain’s French novel “Le Souffle de Midas in every bookstore but couldn’t find it. Seems like Les Editions du Chat Noir are only available on demand. ANYWAY that’s not what you want to hear. You’d like to know if I’ve been writing today, and the answer is no. *shame* However, after spending such a tiring day, I decided I would be cool tomorrow.

Friday – 10th November 2017

I tried to take care of myself as much as possible. I caught a cold since… well, the beginning of the week, which got worse. So I stayed inside as much as I could.

Today I was in Nantes, then back to Paris. In Nantes, I visited the Jardin des Plantes which was just in front of the station. I wish I had a better weather than this grey sky, but at least it wasn’t raining. In Paris, I stayed in the Montparnasse area. It’s a bit more lively than the Bastille area, with a lot more restaurants and shopping for all I saw.

The more I see big cities, the more I realise how lucky I was when I lived in Belgium. Maybe it’s because I’m from the countryside that I’m thinking of how better are small cities and villages, green landscapes and rivers. Or maybe it’s because the weather is all grey, because I’m sick with a cold and I’m travelling alone (which isn’t fun). Let’s hope tomorrow will bring a little joy: I’m going to meet up with a friend who’s also doing NaNoWriMo while doing other crazy things. And maybe I’ll change my mind on big cities when I visit Bordeaux.

Saturday – 11th November 2017

What a pleasure to spend a couple of hours with a friendly face! I hadn’t seen one since Monday, and I had started to feel homesick. Travelling alone has certainly its advantages, but you are on your own. Even Love admitted he misses me. I’ll be happy to be home in two days.

In Bordeaux, I went to see Le Pont de Pierre and Saint-André cathedral. It was all very medieval and had a certain charm. I would have loved to spend more time there, because I feel it is exactly the same kind of city as my home town. I didn’t really like the colour of the Garonne river though (even if I do have a thing for pictures with bridges, hahaha).

This week, I finished the copyedits on chapters 1 to 8 and I started writing the missing bits on chapter 8. This isn’t what I had expected from my time spent in train travels but I had to do other things. I’m happy though, because at least I did a part of what I wanted to achieve this week.

Two more days and I’ll be home. I can’t wait 🙂

How was your second NaNo week? How many words have you written?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle

Read more
NaNoWriMo 2017 | Diary | Week 1
What you need to know about NaNoWriMo
3 inspiring books on writing

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