Tuesday, March 4, 2008

NaNoEdMo: The First Few Days


The fates must be smiling on me. NaNoEdMo’s going better than I hoped.

You see, I never thought I’d find myself in this happy circumstance. Last week, plagued by headaches, the stress of living with a two-year-old, and a generally bad attitude, I almost gave up on NaNoEdMo before I even started. And when a friend sent me an email to say she’d be in town on March 1, I thought, “Yep, that’s it, the sign from heaven that I just need to let this thing go.”

Well, I didn’t. I dug in Saturday, albeit much later than I really like to write, and got a big chunk done on a scene that had been busting my chops since last fall. Now, two days later, I wrestled that scene into fighting shape and I've begun tackling the next one. I never would have imagined it, but I’m right on track for meeting my aggressive 2 scenes per week goal.

Here’s a piece of the scene I just worked on, from my WIP, Somewhere On the Road To Me. In this excerpt, the 12 year old protagonist Beth hangs out at the tavern owned by her best friend, Shel’s dad (Ken). Debbie is Ken’s second wife and she hates Shel.


We’re sitting at one end of the bar, near the wood door with its giant glass middle. I soak in the pale green walls, the rows of booths and tables behind us, the half curtains hanging dustily in the clouded windows. The sunlight shines through them like we’re floating in someone’s dream. Above the curtains, the beer signs ooze dim gray-edge red and blue against the afternoon sun, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz, Old Milwaukee.

I cross my legs and bounce my foot, elbow planted on the bar as I lay my chin on my nonchalantly curved hand. I breathe in cigarettes, grease and beer, feeling sophisticated down to my toes.

We’re well into a hand of crazy eights when a tall, foxy guy struts in, all chest and heel and hips swinging, chin out like he owns the place. He’s wearing a rust leisure suit with one of those silky beige Qiana shirts, the neck unbuttoned three down to show a copper crab resting in his blond chest hair.

“Who’s that?” I whisper.

Shel glances up and back to her cards, her head never moving an inch.


I lean forward, whisper. “He is so foxy.”

Shel rearranges a couple cards, says low, “He’s Ken’s liquor distributor.”

Dave struts by with a blast of cologne. He click-clicks a tongue and points his finger at Shel like it’s a gun.

“Hey, Doll.”

Shel rolls her eyes.

Dave laughs and rumples Shel’s hair, then walks over to where Debbie’s perched on the beer cooler. From the way Debbie smiles, you can tell she’s way happier to see him than she ever would be to see us.

“Your turn,” Shel says.

I start drawing cards, but my eyes are glued to Dave. He leans over the bar and gives Debbie a smile that would melt the North Pole. “Let’s go in the storeroom and see what you need this week.”

Debbie smushes out her cigarette and hops down from the cooler, lickety-split.

“Take care of the bar,” she says to Shel, then smiles all teeth at Dave. “And don’t bother us.”

She and Dave disappear into the storeroom, leaving me and Shel with the fogeys...

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