Hey, my lovely readers! Guess what?? I passed 25,500 words on my NaNoWriMo novel yesterday!!! *squeeeeee* I am over-the-moon excited because I am actually on schedule with the NaNo program! This is my second year to participate, (although, last year shouldn't count because I utterly failed on keeping a serious word-goal. Emma's File, after a full year, just now has 25,000 words in it! Yeah. That's slow writing for me, people.)
So, it shouldn't be too hard to understand why I am so pleased that I committed to maintaining this somewhat vigorous writing schedule. After all, I always told myself I never had any time to write. And, to be honest, it was kind of true. I didn't have any time to write because I did not make the time to write. I feel like this year, I have done a better job of simply biting my lip and applying myself. I'm not gonna lie, writing every day is hard! But it is so fulfilling and kind of addictive to watch your word-count grow every day.
Now, for you NaNo-ers out there who maybe haven't reached 25K, I promise I'm not trying to brag or may you feel bad. Everyone has their own personal goals, and has a place they want to see themselves someday. Yesterday, I did something I never thought I could do. Just because one person does one thing doesn't mean you necessarily have to feel bad about how your goals. (If I was going to go that route, I'd be green with jealousy right now. Cait and Katie both have completed their novels early in the game. Congrats, girls! Proud of you both! *tries not to be jelly*) But you see, I'm not writing their novel, and they are not writing mine!
You are the only one who can pen your novel, so don't allow yourself to become too distracted by other people's writing goals. See their uber-fast writing skills as a way to encourage you to push yourself a little harder every day. Who knows? You might just finish sooner than you thought.
In other news, I am writing this post on my old laptop. This said laptop has been shoved in an old moving box from four moves ago, with a terribly cracked screen. And last week, the lovely thing was revived. *hugs computer* It has been incredibly nice having my own computer back, but also kinda weird.
"Why weird?" you ask? Well, this particular laptop has numerous old stories from over three years ago!! In my spare time, I have recently been digging through the old word documents, navigating my way around the shambles of forgotten stories I never finished.
What was I thinking??
So, before I sign off, I thought I would share a few little 'gems' from the dark abyss of my ancient Word Documents... *cue dramatic music*
Excerpt from Becoming Kay #1 (2014)
Becoming Kay originally started as a time/space-travel story, and then morphed into a eerie dystopian tale. This first bit is from the first version, when it was all about time & space-travel.
A winter bird thrilled when Kay ran past, and she smiled to herself. The bird was a friend, and she needed friends.
“Hey, Kay!” she heard behind her, “Wait up, won’t you?”
She turned and bit her lip with delight.
Jase, wearing his green puffer vest, was running up the path, trying to catch up. “I thought I’d find you out here,” he panted.
“What’s up?” Kay smiled.
“Thought you might like some company. And I wanted to clear my head.”
Jason Oswald Orwell was a year older than Kay, and was her only friend.
They became friends when she was 13. She had accidentally bumped into him and knocked his textbooks out of his arms, while walking down the hall. He thought it was funny, and for the first time made Kay feel able to laugh at herself and talk without being afraid. After that, they had always been friends, sitting together at lunch and walking home after school.
He was popular at school and throughout the village.
His dad was a doctor, on the village counsel, and best friends with the mayor. His mom was the leader of the ladies aid group and a teacher in the elementary school.
Jase, himself, was the quarterback on the football team. He was a straight ‘A’ student and was considered by all the adults to be the nicest boy in the village. He was always making something out of old appliances from the local junkyard as a hobby; so his hands were always stained with oil.
“How’s your mom?” Kay asked.
“Better today, thanks,” Jase answered, a note of sadness creeping into his voice, “She is still trying to work a little bit, but Dad thinks it would be best for her to just stay home. They are looking for someone to take over for her now.”
“Has the cancer spread?” Kay asked gently.
Jase hesitated. “They don’t know yet.” He turned his head away and ruffled his russet hair. He shoved his hands into his pockets. “The chemo should have been helping, but it seems like all it does is make her sicker.”
Kay ducked her head, sorry she had asked.
Jase looked back up, he green eyes shining. “Sorry for putting you on a downer,” he chuckled, “It’s just you are the only one I can really talk to.”
Kay cocked her head. “You have lots of friends!”
Jase frowned a little and ruffled his hair again. “Yeah, I guess…” he nodded, “but most of them aren’t real friends.”
“How do you mean?”
“I mean-” he grabbed a twig and slung it around, “-most of them just like to hang out with me because I’m on the football team or because my Dad knows the mayor and stupid stuff like that. They don’t really care about me.” He shrugged his shoulders. “But some aren’t like that. Some really do care and listen. Like you.”
Kay ducked her head bashfully.
They walked in silence for a few moments.
“How is your brother?” Jase finally asked.
Kay smiled a little. “He’s doing great. He called last night. College is driving him crazy.”
“And is he still dating that girl he brought home last summer?”
“No; thank goodness!” Kay laughed, “They broke up two months ago. I didn’t like her.”
Jase looked surprised. “Why the grudge?”
Kay leapt over a tree root. “I don’t really know why. There was just something about her I didn’t like. And I don’t think she was the right one for my brother anyway.”
Jase shook his head, amused. “If you keep that up you won’t ever be anyone’s ‘Aunt Kay’.”
“I think I like ‘Aunt Kay-Kay’ better for a future niece or nephew.”
“That’s what Jenna calls you when you aren’t around!” Jase laughed.
(Jenna was Jase’s youngest sibling and his favorite. She was only 3, but she was still coddled like a baby.)
“Well tell her she can call me that anytime,” Kay grinned.
Jase suddenly looked up at the sky as Kay had done earlier. “It’s going to storm again,” he muttered, turning his collar up, “I’m ready for summer!”
Kay shook her head. “Good luck with that…”
“It’s summertime somewhere in the world!” Jase pointed out, “Hey, do you want to stop by my house before you go home? My mom is making supper about now.”
Kay smiled at the offer. “I’d love to, but Mom told me to be home by five,” she glanced at her watch, “And I’m probably going to be late.”
“I’ll walk you home, then,” he replied, changing course.
They arrived at Kay’s house just as the snow began to fall.
“Hi, Mrs. MacLintock!” Jase called, opening the door.
Kay’s mother was at the stove, cooking supper. “Hello, Jase!” she called back, smiling cheerfully, “Come inside and warm up.”
Kay led the way through the kitchen door, sliding her sneakers off beside it. “Hi, mom,” Kay said quietly.
“Hi, sweetheart,” Mrs. MacLintock said, kissing her forehead, “How was school?”
“It was fine. Do you need help?”
“You can peel those potatoes in the sink,” her mother answered, stirring the food.
“Smells great, Mrs. MacLintock,” Jase said, untying his scarf.
“Jase, I’ve told you a hundred times you can call me ‘Margret’ or even ‘Mom’.”
Jase chuckled. “If my dad caught me, he’d skin me alive!”
“How is Frieda doing?”
“Ma? She’s doing better, thanks.”
He darted at look at Kay.
“I’m happy to hear that,” Mrs. MacLintock sighed, “We prayed for her on Sunday.”
“We really appreciate it,” Jase smiled, “We wanted to come but she was really tired.”
“Quite understandable,” she answered, nodding her head.
Jase looked at the clock.
“I’d better be going,” he said, grabbing his boots and scarf again.
“Won’t you stay for dinner?” Mrs. MacLintock asked.
“I wish I could, but Mom almost definitely needs help with the kids.”
“Aww… Alright then! Tell your mother I said hello, and that we missed seeing her.”
“Will do!” he smiled, “See you tomorrow, Kay!”
“Bye, Jase!” she called.
When the door closed, Kay’s mom smiled. “He’s really sweet, Kay. Really sweet.”
Kay frowned at the potato she was clutching tightly.
“Does he have a girlfriend?”
Kay peeled her potato harder than ever. “I don’t know…” she mumbled.
Her mom glanced at her out of the corner of her eye, and resumed stirring the food.
(Fabulous, huh?? Haha! Yeah, I cringed
“…and they all sounded so threatening,” Kay said, as she and Jase sat on his rooftop.
It was dark, and they had climbed up on the top of the cottage roof to watch the stars come out. This was a favorite activity of theirs, but they had to climb around to the back side of the roof, otherwise they could be seen from the streets. The stars began to peek through the murky clouds, and give a bit of light in the dark, lonely sky.
“I just don’t feel…” Kay continued, trailing off for lack of words.
“—Safe?” Jase finished, “Because I don’t either. If I so much as mention that the Merits might be doing something wrong, people look at me like they want to haul me off to the Suspension Chambers at once.”
Kay hugged her stocking-clad knees to her chest and under her chin.
“I don’t understand, Jase,” she whispered, “We were fine before. We never were appalled by the way things are done. We were afraid of going to be Reproved, yes; but with people we didn’t know, it was just a fact of life. I could hear my parents talk about Eliminating sick people over dinner and not care in the least. What happened to us?”
Jase scruffed his hair and sighed.
“We know what happened. It was Grans stories. How old were we when she began to tell us?”
Kay racked her brain.
“I suppose we were around 13 or so…” she replied, “But they were only stories then. They became real to us when we needed them the most.”
Jase smiled a little.
“Maybe you are right.”
They saw the twinkle of the stars shine clearer than before, and felt a bit of comfort by them. Kay’s blue eyes reflected the pure light, and she remembered Gran’s words.
“Do you think we will ever be able to go back to before?” she asked unexpectedly, “Back to not knowing or caring, I mean.”
Jase pulled at his tie, trying to make it looser. After he did so, he sat silently for a time.
“I have a feeling that things will never be the same for us, Kay,” he said, gently, “We hold a light and hope that no one else can understand, because they are in the dark. But I think that Gran was right. I think it is better to know the painful truth than to stumble in ignorance for a lifetime.”
Kay gave intense thought into what Jase said, hearing her Gran’s voice telling them of her old life.
“It doesn’t change the fact that it is painful, though.”
(That's all of the Throwback Snippets for today... Perhaps, if you guys liked them, I can make another post with some more gems like this?? Haha! Nah. That old writing is terrible! I don't see why you would.)
Now... I know some of your have been asking for some super-secret-snippets from The Time Keeper's Apprentice. I decided I will add a few possibly in my next post! But please don't hold your breath. It is only a half-finished rough draft, after all.
I'm excited to be planning on sharing some of my current scribblings with you, so keep your eyes peeled!
Do any of you have old WIPs that you haven't dared to open (or haven't been able to open) for a long time? Care to share any snippets? How's NaNoWriMo coming along? Have you met a personal goal recently? You know the drill... Lemme know down below! <3
Currently Reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Just Finished: Silas Marner by George Eliot
Listening to: "The Very Serious Writing Show" by Daniel Thompson