So, despite my absolute low in the middle of the month, and the difficulties I was having with my husband, and the general difficulties that Sotalia and I discovered about connecting novels (ie, we both took word count hits from joint scenes, we could only move as fast as each other, etc), I still managed to slide across the finish line this morning and win NaNoWriMo. But as usual in November, achieving something like this makes me reevaluate that things I do during the rest of the year. And this year, I’m already working on my New Years Resolutions. I haven’t actually made New Years Resolutions in years. But I’m really feeling like maybe I need to start making them. Like maybe they’ll give me a little more direction in my life. So as far as my writing goes, I’ve already figured out my resolution. During 2009, I resolve to finish 5 writing projects. I have so much unfinished stuff and I really need to take care of it. I let myself be held back by my unfinished things and when I allow myself to be held back, my husband feels like I’m not taking my writing seriously. So then when I try to take it seriously, he resists because he doesn’t understand. So I’m hoping to turn things around, start taking it seriously, not letting myself get in my own way. And maybe come next NaNoWriMo, my husband will be more supportive.
Archive for the ‘Challenge of the Badgers’ Category
I am done with the editing of The Mansion. Mostly. I have to type it all into my document, since I edit on paper. But the editing itself is done. I now have completed a second draft. I know there will definitely be a third draft (there are some major elements that I still haven’t gotten worked in), but I am content for now to be happy with the second. And if I can’t finish a third by the end of March, I’m going to shop around the second version. We’re getting way too close to the end of our year at the Badger Challenge. I need to get stuff out there.
Clarissa looked on as her sister, Michelle, spun in front of the mirror in her wedding dress. The white fabric swished around her legs and Clarissa thought she looked much like a princess. She bit the inside of her cheek, forcing a smile.
“You look amazing, Michelle. So beautiful. Stephen is such a lucky man.” More like Michelle was lucky to have the man. Clarissa had introduced the pair a little over two years ago, when she’d brought Stephen home for Thanksgiving. If she’d known the pair would hit it off so well, she never would have done it.
Nothing had been the same after that day. To her knowledge, Stephen and Michelle had not begun seeing each other immediately. But they didn’t need to see each other for Stephen’s interest in Clarissa to wane. He’d ended their relationship shortly after the New Year and had gone public with Michelle for Valentine’s Day.
Clarissa looked in a nearby mirror at her own reflection. The pale pink bridesmaid dress looked good against her tan skin. If she weren’t so consumed by jealousy, she might actually be able to enjoy the fact that her sister had chosen such a beautiful dress for her. Instead, she longed for the white dress that would make Stephen hers forever. She ran a hand through her black hair and sighed.
“I’m so excited, Clarissa,” Michelle gushed, obviously not recognizing the lack of sincerity in her sister’s smile. “There’s nothing I want more than to be married to Stephen.”
“I know,” Clarissa replied. She knew exactly how that felt. Running her hands along her dress, she moved to her bag, pulling out a small book.
“What’s that?” Michelle asked, looking at the book curiously.
“Oh, just a little something I picked up in that bookshop downtown.”
“The weird one with the skulls in the window?” Michelle asked, her face scrunched up in distaste.
“Yeah. It’s an interesting little place.” She set the book out, open to a page about halfway through. Then she reached back into her bag for a small cone of incense and a picture of the pair of them when they were teenagers. She lit the incense, setting it atop the picture.
“Why would you even go in there?” Michelle asked, coming closer to look at what Clarissa was doing.
“I knew we needed something borrowed,” Clarissa explained. “And I figure borrowing your life will work for me just fine.”
Michelle’s face was full of confusion as Clarissa began the short chant that would trade the souls of the two girls. She sucked in a surprised breath just before both women became incredibly disoriented.
Clarissa gave a small cry of pain, hearing her sister echo the sound. She opened her eyes slowly against the pain that pounded in her skull.
“What have you done?”
It was eerie to hear her own voice speaking to her. She smiled and opened her eyes to watch her sister examining her new body. If Michelle thought this was bad, she hadn’t seen anything yet. Clarissa approached her sister slowly. This chant she’d memorized. Her sister’s eyes widened in fear at the grin on her face.
Beginning the spell, she backed her sister up against the full-length mirror behind her. She finished the rhyme, feeling triumphant, and smacked her palm on the glass of the mirror. When her sister disappeared in a puff of smoke, she couldn’t hold back a laugh. She looked at the temporarily visible image of her sister in the mirror before her.
“Sorry, little sister. But I couldn’t take the chance that you might find a way to get your body back.” Smoothing her skirt, she looked into the unhaunted mirror and smiled. “You do look gorgeous in this dress. It’s just too bad you won’t get to experience your own wedding.” She pinched the skin beneath her eyes as she heard the music begin to play in the chapel. She would look so sad when she informed the family of her sister’s last minute decision not to take part in her wedding. And when they discovered that she had recently moved out of her apartment and quit her job, they wouldn’t report her missing. She had planned everything so perfectly.
Clarissa picked up the bright bouquet that was now hers, and left the dressing room, ignoring the sight of her sister pounding against the mirror from the inside.
I spent most of my mostly sleepless (thanks to the baby) night rereading Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The thing that struck me (other than the fact that I’ve been wanting to reread that whole series for a month or two) was how much it still captivated me. I knew how everything ended and still it sucked me in and kept me reading. Still I cried during the emotional parts. And I was thinking about that and realised that that’s my goal. I don’t care if I sell a million books or just one. But I want that one to be a book that’s just as captivating and enthralling as the first time, every time. And I want the first time to be one of those experiences where you stay up long after your eyes begged you to go to sleep, just because you needed to know what happened next.
I think I could die happy if I could just do that.
It was 1:00 in the afternoon on the 30th when I typed my last word. I had a couple majorly awesome catch up days toward the end that really made the difference. And my attention span was so much greater than at the beginning of the month.
The 50,000 finished so quietly it was almost anticlimactic. But I imagine that when I go and write the other thousand or so words that it’ll take to finish off the novel, I’ll feel better about the whole thing. My win will feel more real.
It’s back to work in December though. Back to editing, back to writing. And we’ll see if I can keep up my NaNo momentum. I have a lot of work to do before next August rears its ugly head.
I am behind. But being behind, and so close to the end of the month, has made me so much more focused. I bought a used alphasmart from someone on the NaNoWriMo forums and it has increased my word count by several hundreds words per day, just by me taking it to bed with me and writing while I feed the baby in the wee hours of the morning (well, wee to me). On days that I normally don’t write because I’m away from home, it has allowed me to get a word count. Even if it isn’t always applied on the right day. Either way, it has greatly improved my chances of making it. And considering I have two nights of classes between now and Friday, I have a feeling it will make a huge contribution to me actually winning this year. And dammit, I’m going to win this year. I am determined.
I’m sick today and that makes it seem like I can’t make it. But I plan to type through. Just as soon as can keep my eyes open longer than it takes to get to the bathroom.
Last year during NaNo, I typed 20,449 words before I allowed myself to become stuck beyond my ability to continue. Of course, I figured out how to get past the problem scene about a week before this NaNo, so really, I should have kept going last year. But oh well. Past is past.
This week, I hit 25k. Which is happy for more reasons than one. First, it means I’m on track. I’m actually about a day ahead and by the end of the night, I’ll be further ahead. Second, I have written more words in half a month than I wrote in a whole month last year. Which is worth celebrating. It means I’m improving. Improvement is good.
Now it’s time to get back to work so I can hit that elusive 50k. This year is my year. And I’m going to be showing off the certificate like crazy when I win. I wonder if I could get it put on a t-shirt?