Well, it’s November 2, and that means I’ve had 48 hours to get into the swing of NaNoWriMo. So far, things are going pretty great. I’m even trying out some new software that I’ve heard bandied about on the forums and Facebook groups, and that too is working out nicely. I’m able to write a scene a day (so far), and also plan out what’s coming next based on the plot work I did with M a week ago. My word count is nice and high, and over the minimum needed to reach the ultimate goal.
I’d say the creative juices are flowing, and I hope they don’t stop until midnight on December 1st.
I’m not too worried that they will, truth be told. I’ve got a write-in scheduled for tomorrow with M and J (our other writer friend who isn’t officially NaNo-ing but wants to write with us to crank out a first draft of her current project). I should get at least one and maybe two scenes done in that five-hour block, and who knows, maybe a third to finish the chapter. I also have a plan for writing on weeknights, but that plan will be interrupted by a quick vacation-slash-business trip to Denver.
On the plus side, I’ll have a huge, quiet hotel room with WiFi in which I can write beginning as early as I want until as late as I want. *happy dance*
When I return, I’ll be back on my NaNo schedule, squeezing in as many words as possible between work, choir rehearsals and my Saturday ceramics class. I’m not going to kill myself by staying up until midnight or later; if I get my scene done and I make my word count, I’ll be ecstatic. I’m going to need all the sleep I can get this month, otherwise I’m going to be useless by Day 15.
We really don’t want me to be useless. Nuh uh. It ain’t pretty.
So I’m going to go home tonight and relax, toss a slice of pizza in the toaster oven and snuggle with my cat, and maybe even cross stitch for a bit. That’s the best part of this year’s plan: I get to write and have fun doing it, and still have time for ME. Heck, I even get to sleep in tomorrow with that extra hour on the clock. Ah, heaven!
Until next time, my fellow Wrimos and all you other lovely followers of this blog. I shall leave you with this excerpt of Scene 1 that I posted on my official NaNo page. Hope you like it, I do! :)
— EXCERPT FROM “Shifter Days”
…Kaia was about to say more when her horse’s head lifted and he stomped once in the direction of the forest, ears cocked forward. Kaia wrapped a hand around his reins just in case he tried to bolt, and reached for Fitz with the other. They watched the edge of the trees for any sign of his sister, and she didn’t realize she’d been holding her breath until she realized she’d better breathe or she’d pass out.
“Oh, this is ridiculous!” she blurted. “Why are we standing here instead of riding over there?”
“Perhaps because we don’t know for sure it’s her? I don’t know about you, but I’d really prefer not to get mauled by a wild bear on my sister’s birthday if we’re wrong.”
Growling under her breath, Kaia stayed put, although he knew the protective instinct that ran so deep within his friend was pushing at her to search Brenna out, no matter how far she had to go or what she encountered on the way. His reckless side was right there with her, but he didn’t think either his mother or hers would forgive them if they got themselves killed doing something so simple as waiting.
Just as he was about to contradict himself and mount up, mothers be damned, a small flock of birds erupted from the trees. A moment later, they heard the unmistakable sound of a horse running at full speed before it and its rider burst from the forest. At the sight of the long, loose hair flying out behind the rider, they both shouted in triumph.
Brenna had survived.
Fitz impulsively planted a big kiss on Kaia’s mouth, grinning at her. She flung herself onto his shoulders and hugged him hard, then released him to vault into the saddle and take off. As he mounted his own horse, he heard Kaia call his sister’s name, and the wonderful sound of his sister’s voice calling back. With a kick, he followed Kaia and it wasn’t long before his sister spotted him.
He would deny it until the day they crushed his Inheritance ring and hammered it into his headstone, but seeing his baby sister’s happy smile had him swallowing down a surge of pure emotion.
Slowing down, he joined the two women as they reined in their horses hard and nearly fell to the ground in their haste to grab onto one another. It never failed to surprise him how much his best friend loved his sister. At first, he thought it was because Kaia was an only child and she had adopted the three Ballantyne children as a supplemental family, but as the years passed he realized she truly did love them for who they were, faults and all.
“Hey, are you going to sit up there all night, or are you going to welcome me home?”
Gods, he had missed his sister and her ridiculously bubbly personality. “Well, you were rather busy falling off your horse and attempting to strangle my best friend with what I can only imagine was supposed to be a hug of some sort, so I decided I was safer up here.”
“If you don’t get down here, I’m going to grab you by the foot and yank you off.”
He looked down at her. “Didn’t you try that last year and end up in the dirt on your butt?”
Brenna flashed him a cheeky grin, hands on her hips. “Maybe, but that was the old me. This is the new and improved me. I think I might just be able to take you now.”
He gave her a once-over from his higher vantage point, looking somewhat skeptical. “You look the same to me, little sister. But, since Mother would only blame me if I brought you back home dirty for your celebration, so…” Fitz tossed the reins to Kaia and casually dismounted. A second later Brenna plowed into him and they both held on tight. She felt exactly the same as she had five days ago when she’d left; warm and soft and smelling of summer rain he swore lingered in her hair.
His wolf, however, howled its happiness that his baby sister had made it home alive.