Adventures in Wrimonia, Part One: Mia discovers NaNoWriMo

By most people’s standards, it was an ordinary day. Bright blue skies, sun shining happily without a worry in the world, and not a single cloud in the sky. The house didn’t make a single noise as it usually did in its settling as a woman of about twenty packed one last notebook into her bag and walked out the door. Today, Mia Wonnor told herself, is the day I will finally write something thrilling, something that will change the world, something that will finally shake the very foundations of this universe! Today I’ll write the greatest novel ever. She ignored the fact that she hadn’t written a thing since her last school assignment as she walked out the door and kept her eyes open for inspiration and interesting sights. A woman about Mia’s age on crutches hobbled past her. Another woman ran past, yelling “Come back here!” as a young child who looked like her son ran past Mia. He was carrying what appeared to be a toy car and a ninja star.


Fiction: 98 (or 99?) words about a peach

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I can read again. I don’t say “can” because I wasn’t allowed to before; “can” is definitely “can” because that time previously spent writing is now suddenly free. The time on my commute to my internship that was normally spent reading or writing non-noveling things was spent outlining what to write that day. This morning, despite the downpour outside my house, I grabbed Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, in part because the latter is coming to my alma mater later this month and then searched for a bookmark so the pages wouldn’t turn to dog-eared messes. As Murphy would have it, no bookmarks were to be found, but I did find a scrap of paper from my region’s NaNoWriMo kickoff party, which contains 98 words about a peach that I handwrote in three minutes. If you think that sounds impressive, four people wrote over a hundred words, including one person with 117 words. I blame my two cross-outs for not putting me over a hundred.

Here are those 98 words in unedited rambling glory. Actually, says 99 words, so it’s very possible that I just can’t count. This is what happens with a math degree.

“It hung from the tree, just hanging there, clinging for dear life. Any passerby would have dismissed it as an ordinary peach, one that would eventually be less than lovingly plucked from the ordinary brown branch of the tree, washed (or maybe not washed), loaded with no regard whatsoever to its personal, emotional, physical, and mental states, and driven in a cold, lonely, and sinister van with thousands of very ripe and orange peaches just like it for thousands of miles, then unloaded from the van by some stupid human who only does it to pay the bills for”

And then time was called. I have no idea what I was going to write next about the human.


NaNoWriMo Excerpt: Week Two

As I promised yesterday, here’s another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel. The standard disclaimer applies. It is, by all standards, a very rough draft.

One of the pumpkins was at the other end of the hall. It slipped in through a window, knowing that it was going to have a hard time getting out of here. A middle-aged couple laid in bed, both of them reading. The pumpkin sat in the corner, its face turned away from them. They would give away its identity, and in fact, it was a miracle that they hadn’t already, as Love had been sitting there for several hours before they entered.
“Hello,” Love said, trying to disguise its voice, which fluctuated through time. It failed miserably.
“Derek?” the woman asked. “Are you okay?” She leaned over and shook the man’s arm gently. He still hadn’t looked up from his book.
“I’m fine,” Love replied. “I just want to say I love you.”
The woman gasped. When the last time she had heard this from her son? Ages, it seemed. Too long. He wasn’t shy around them like he was around other people, but it always seemed that expressing love was something that happened infrequently at best.
“But where are you?” the woman asked. “You aren’t in here. You’re in your room, aren’t you?”
“I’m here,” Love said. “I’m wherever you want me to be.”
Then she paid attention to the voice. This wasn’t the Derek she knew today. This was the Derek of today, and yesterday, and the Derek who was just growing facial hair and getting caught naked in the bathroom, and the Derek who was just learning to carve pumpkins on his own, and the Derek who was finally learning to make friends, and the Derek who didn’t have any friends in kindergarten until Miss Thomas introduced him to his first friend, and the Derek who only got along with his twin sister in daycare, and the Derek she held when he emerged from her womb sixteen years ago.
Her son. Her child. She nudged her husband. “Are you listening?” she asked.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Just listen.”
“To what?”
The woman placed her finger over her mouth like a kindergarten teacher. “Sssh!”
“You don’t hear it that often from me because I’m afraid it sounds cheesy, or because I just don’t want to open all of my heart to you after finally being able to open up to those closest to me. But you two have given me everything, from a home to emotional support when I needed it most. Thank you. If I could hug you right now, I would.”
“Then why–” the man asked, only to be interrupted.
“It’s vital that you know this now because otherwise you might not know for a very long time, if ever. Goodnight.” Love floated from its position, and when it did, its carving was revealed.
Derek’s dad jumped out of bed. “It’s, it’s one of Derek’s pumpkins,” he said. He jumped across the room and ran for it. Love was floating toward the window, but Love was faster than Derek’s dad. The window opened, and Love floated out. Derek’s dad reached out the window, but it was in vain. Love was gone. He sat back in bed.
“What just happened?” he asked. His wife turned to him.
“We heard what we’ve been too ignorant to hear for all these years,” his wife told him.
“What’s that?”
“You’ll figure it out.” She crawled out of bed and walked down the hall. The light was still on at the other end of the hall, so she knocked.
“Come in,” Derek said. Mom opened the door. Derek was in bed, a notepad in his hand. He set his pen aside.
Mom sat at the end of his bed. “You know, I never doubted that you loved us,” she said.
Derek stopped short. What was she talking about? How did she know? “You didn’t?” he asked.
Mom shook her head. “We moms have a way of knowing these things, you know.” She kissed him on the forehead, an action that would normally make Derek blush and say “Knock it off, Mom”. Instead he let her, just for tonight. Just this once.
“Night Derek,” she said, getting up.
“Night, Mom,” Derek said. Mom just reached the door when she turned around and said, “Good luck finishing the pumpkins.”
“Thanks,” he said. He watched as Mom walked out the door and shut it. Then he looked at the drawing on the notepad and began to wonder. He had never said anything about it. Well, not explicitly. He was never one to say that he loved his family, but it was apparent in his actions. What would prompt her to say this all of a sudden? He rushed through his mind, trying to think of reasons. Was it the pumpkin carving contest? The English project? What?
He drew until he began to yawn and could barely hold his head up, then set the sketchpad aside and turned off the light.


Excerpt of the Week: NaNoWriMo 2009 Week One

I’m still awake. Therefore this counts as the November first post.

NaNoWriMo has begun. My region has a dare to include a peach in our novels. (Your challenge: guess my region. It shouldn’t be hard.) Here’s my excerpt.

He poured himself a bowl of Cheerios, grabbed a peach, and sat down at the kitchen table. He fished a different knife out of the drawer before peeling the peach and sliced the peach. One cut, two cut, three cut, four, he thought to himself as he cut around the pit. He bit into the peach. Mmm, peachy goodness.
Mom entered the room. “Morning, Mom,” Derek said.
“Morning,” Mom replied. “What are you eating?”
“Cheerios and peaches,” Derek said, holding up his peach. “This is the last one, by the way.
“Well, they’re out of season anyway, so they’re going to be expensive,” Mom said, sifting through the cabinet for her oatmeal. “I’ll get some apples when we go to the store.” Mom turned to Derek. “What’s wrong?”
“My pumpkins,” Derek told her.
“What about them?”
“They’re gone.”
“Now you’re talking madness. Did you put them in the entrance like you always do?”
“Yes, I know I did. I did it before I went to bed last night.”
“Then they should still be there. Have you checked?”
“First thing this morning, but I told you, they’re gone. Look.” Derek got up, peach still in hand, and led his mother to the entrance. Sure enough, his pumpkins were still gone, not that he expected them to return magically. “They’re gone.”
“Well, that means someone must have broken into the house,” Mom said. “They can’t have just floated out of the house. The window would be broken.”
“Oh, I don’t think they broke out of the house,” Derek said. “I think someone took them.”

Admittedly, it is very bad and of course, very rough, but what do you expect from a 20,000 word day? For those wondering, I plan on writing at a much more reasonable pace for the rest of the month. I’m aiming for 66666 words, not anything really crazy.