Friday, November 4, 2011
Update from NaNo Land
Well, it's Day Four of National Novel Writing Month, known affectionately as NaNoWriMo, and it's going well. My goal for the end of today is 8,000 words, and I'm slightly over 7,000 right now without having written today.
And today, with one of the first rainstorms of the wintry season, is a perfect day for writing. I even have a cup of hot chocolate at my elbow to assist me.
This is a strange year for doing NaNoWriMo as I'm juggling two partially-written stories, one nearly done and one only a few chapters in. And as I'm posting finished chapters on a writing website, I have to take breaks from writing freely and creatively to revise, edit, and proof before posting new chapters on schedule: weekends for the nearly-finished story, and mid-week for the newer story. If I don't post on time, I start receiving whining complaints from readers. And that's not good. Some even claim withdrawals, but I wouldn't go that far. ;)
So I'm popping back and forth between the two stories, wanting to finish the first (I have 2 1/2 chapters left to write) then devote myself to the second story for the remainder of NaNoWriMo.
It's also fun having so many Writing Buddies this year. Several former writing students, now graduated, have joined and rejoined, plus a few online friends and at least two students from my current writing class. (Yes, I offered extra credit.) We keep track of one another and give each other a swift kick if the writing totals start stagnating. It's really wonderful.
So I thought I'd post the Prologue of my second story; I've published this prologue and eight short chapters so far online. Let me know what you think, okay?
Prologue to Pinned but Fluttering
How had it gone on this long? I wondered, my eyes listlessly wandering over the nearly-bare room lit by a single light bulb hanging from the water-stained ceiling.
It had all seemed so simple at first. So normal.
Now I was locked in this room nearly 24/7, only allowed out while being escorted to the bathroom three times a day.
Like an animal.
I missed the sun. So much.
But I missed my parents even more. Even after all these years, I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that they're gone. Both of them. It had happened so fast, one right after the other.
Tears rose unbidden to my eyes, blurring the dirty white walls, the plywood nailed securely over the one small, boarded window.
If it weren't for the battery-operated alarm clock on the floor next to the mattress I slept on, I would have never have any idea of the time.
I could tell day from night by the frequency of bathroom breaks, not from the usual rhythms of sunlight and darkness.
Not that either of them would ever let me even pee in peace, anyway.
But I had a strange feeling that things were going to change. And soon.
I could sense the tension between the two of them—the way they bellowed and screamed at one another hour after hour, the animosity building between them each day.
Part of me was scared silly. Change, in my book, was never a good thing. Change had always meant a definite worsening of my lot. Yep, every stinking time. Always. Change was bad.
But part of me was restless, perhaps even excited. Through the thick, bolted door, I had managed to catch just enough of their incessant arguing to figure out what the fighting was all about.
It was all about me.
But this time, I could be granted a chance—the chance I've been praying for every night...for years.
It only took one slip on their part, and I could be free. Free of this tiny room. Free of their anger...which they always took out on me. Free of them.
All love I'd had for them when I was a child was gone...long gone. I wasn't sure that I had the mental energy to hate them, even after all this time. But I did know that I didn't love them. That I would leave them the very first chance that came my way.
Because I knew that one chance was all I would ever, ever get.
So if any of you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please comment and leave me your user name so that we can become Writing Buddies.