For those of you not familiar with the term, Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, a bunch of crazy ambitious writers hunker down and attempt to pound out a 50,000 word novel in 30 short days.
I participated (I think) the year before last (or the year before that), writing for two days before giving up.
I'd kind of like to give it a go this year but I can't because <insert all of my excuses VERY valid reasons here>.
Writing used to be my primary thing and I do miss it, though I really prefer short stories or plays. I HAVE completed three novels but don't go searching for me on Amazon...they remain unpublished and largely (and thankfully) unread. There's Here With You (written in college), Before I Wake (post college) and Pictures of Us (high school). There are aspects of each of them I loved, but oh my goodness, they're all varying degrees of bad.
At any rate, as some inspiration for those of you who WILL be spending your November writing 'til your fingers feel like falling off, may I present:
Maximillian (a.k.a Sharky The Mouth) has one primary goal in life: to remind kids to brush their chompers. He is, after all, the spokeshark for the Keep Our Teeth Clean program. Though dental hygiene is VERY IMPORTANT and his #1 focus, he takes November off from that campaign to put some pressure on all you novelists out there. If you don't get your word count, will he poke you a thousand times with that sharper-than-it-looks pencil, simply erase you or worse? I don't know, but trust me: Sharky don't play.
So, WRITE OR ELSE...
Best of luck to all you Nanowrimo-ers...
And just in case any of you are curious...
Allow me to also present a brief snippet of Here With You:
"Besides," Toy continued, grinning. "This'll be a great opportunity to meet new people. New guys. Cute, sensitive, poet guys. Uh-oh. Speaking of guys, don't look now. Ex-boyfriend at three o'clock."
"Yours or mine?" I asked. staring straight ahead, not sneaking even a little peak to our right.
"Yours," Toy said. "It's Rhett."
"I kind of figured. How far away is he?"
"Not far. If we keep walking, he'll cross right in front of us." she whispered.
"And if we stop?"
"He'll still be close enough to call hello. Do you think he will?" she asked.
I stopped walking. "He might call out something, but I doubt it'll be quite that civil. Is he looking this way?"
"No, but...wait. No, no, no...Yes, he's looking. He's looking! Oh, no! He's coming over! Eve, he's..." she grabbed my arm. "Here." she finished.
I finally looked. Rhett, tall, dark, handsome, and appropriately named, stood in front of me.
"Hello, Rhett." Toy said, neutral.
"Hi," he said. "Eve. How are you? It's been a while since we last saw each other."
"That's probably a good thing, Rhett. The last time we saw each other, we were over in that parking lot, both yelling at the top of our lungs." I said.
"It was just a fight, Evie," he said. "Everybody fights."
"You called my family a bunch of crazies."
"Your sister attacked me with a stick."
Terry and her stake.
Out of all my body parts, Rhett was always particularly fond of my neck. Since she's 100% convinced that vampires are, in fact, real and walk among us, that made Terry suspicious.
"She just waved it around in front of him," I explained to Toy.
"Like hell," said Rhett. "I have a scar. See?"
He pointed to his cheek.
"Looks like you nicked yourself shaving to me," I said. "Doesn't it, Toy?"
Toy fanned herself. "Could we take this inside? It's hot out here."
"You're right," I said. "Listen, Rhett, it's been fun seeing you again, but I need to get Toy inside before she has a heatstroke or something."
I started speed-walking, dragging Toy with me.
"Eve, come on, don't just walk away again." Rhett hurried along beside us. His legs were longer, so he had an advantage.
"Rhett, it's over." I said.
"Why?" he demanded.
"Because I said so."
"And, that's it."
"Yes. Rhett, you threatened to run me over with your car." I said.
"He did?" gasped Toy.
She skidded to a halt.
"I was kidding." Rhett said.
He skidded to a halt.
I spun around to face him, hands on my hips, ready for a second screaming match. A boxing match, if necessary. He was kidding! "You were not! You had your keys out and ready! You would have flattened me!"
"Eve, lower your voice." Rhett said.
"Don't tell me what to do! Don't you dare!"
"See how she is?" Rhett asked Toy.
"I honestly don't know what I ever saw in you, Rhett," I spoke before Toy could. "You're a over-grown baby, you're bossy, and a complete liar."
"Eve, accusations are not necessary." Rhett said.
"You're stingy, you're clumsy, you're an all-around oaf..." I went on.
"Eve, there's no need to be immature about this. I understand, what with your emotional background and all, you have a hard time discussing things like an adult but..."
"My emotional background!" I repeated.
"Yeah, I mean, look at the freak show you grew up with."
"Leave my family out of this, you jerk!" I cried. You have more faults than everyone in my family put together. You drink like a fish, you have no respect for women, you pick your nose..."
"I do not pick my nose."
"And, you're growing a unibrow!" I finished.
Toy bit her lip. She'd heard about these fights, but never actually witnessed one.
"I was kidding, Toy. I would not have run Eve over. I would never hurt her," Rhett said, his voice smooth, steady, ignoring me. "She was irrational, cursing at me, and shouting, just like she is now. I asked her to quiet down, and she only got louder. So, I said, `What am I going to have to do to calm you down, ride over you a couple of times with the Honda?'. I was trying to lighten up the situation."
I didn't say a word. Any objection or arguement I made would only give him cause to say, "See what I mean? I'm perfectly stable. She's the one with the problem." And, I was afraid I'd already done more than enough to help him prove that point.
"What was that fight about, anyway?" asked Toy, interested. So interested, in fact, I could have smacked her.
"It doesn't matter." I said, instead, forcing myself to breathe deeply and count. When I got up to ten and still felt like I was exhaling flames, I continued on to thirty.
"Go on, Evie, tell her." Rhett coaxed.
Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three...
"She caught me looking at another girl and totally went off about how I'm not loyal, accused me of cheating on her, you name it," Rhett told her when I wouldn't. "You would think I'm Satan the way she was going on. You know how she overreacts."
"I don't have to stand here and listen to this," I exploded. "Rhett, Toy and I are going to leave now, if you even think about following us, I will get a restraining order taken out on you. Or I'll take a well-placed kick to your groin, which will serve the same purpose."
"Eve, honey, chill, all right? We can work this out. We could find you a good therapist. I'd go with you. We can fix everything. I still care about you and you feel the same way...."
"Rhett, I'm seeing someone, all right?" I said, which of course was completely not true. Guess Rhett isn't the only liar among us.
Toy gasped again. Well, it was either her or me. Maybe both of us.
"You...you're kidding," said Rhett. "Who?"
"Him." I said, pointing at a guy over to our left. He was the only person around, sitting alone on a bench under a pine tree, with his back facing us. "In fact, we've been dating for almost a month now and I was supposed to meet him ten minutes ago, so I'll just be on my way..."
"Eve, I'm not over you." Rhett said.
I looked at him, opened my mouth, and when no appropriate response came out, closed it. Then I turned and with poor, sweating, and slightly bewildered Toy in tow, headed slowly in the direction of my new boyfriend.
May your days be merry and your word counts be high,
P.S. Prints, as always, are in the shop!