On Thursday, November 1, I embarked on the great adventure called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month), the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. The purpose is quantity quantity quantity, practice, and loads of crazy fun. I'm on day 5, am hooked.
I'm already attached to my main characters, so far including
1. The Thistlebanes, a homeschool family that owns a coffee/book shop
2. Sandra Page, a professor at the community college who lives next door
3. Elanor Grey, a mysterious girl who moves in with Sandra Page and struggles to adjust
4. Another mysterious character (Muhahah! These are always useful, and plan on having plenty!), a man, who is snooping around the Thistlebane shop
Do I have my plot worked out? Ah, no. Ideas? ... maybe. ;-D Yes, I definitly have ideas, but hey, my main characters don't know who the bad guys are either. I'll find out when they do, possibly sooner. Hopefully sooner. :)
I'm not sure I've ever been so amused by or taken such great pleasure in corny lines and nutty similes of my own. I let them out to sit solemnly on the page, in hopes that when enough come out, their shyer relatives, the rare Original Phrases
If anyone would like to see the whole funny bulky thing, I might start another connected blog for that. Let me know. In the meanwhile, here's a few snippets for your amusement.
~~~After the older children left the shop with her husband, Mary Thistlebane bustled about at the pleasant necessities of morning. After her quiet time, this included waking the three youngest boys, tempting them out with news of fresh cinnamon rolls after they did their morning chores.
"Mommy, can we go on a walk today?" asked Henry, who was heartily supported by choruses of, "Yes, Mommy, to the woods!" and "We can take our cimmonin wolls!"
"And your schoolbooks?" She grinned and tickled Henry, producing giggles.
“We can do that stuff later,” decided Jacob.
“No!” Jarred jumped in now. “Mommy, can you read to us while we eat?”
Mary laughed. “I think that sounds like a wonderful plan, Jarred. I tell you what. Why don’t we do a bit of everyone’s plan?”
So after chores, they trooped out to the front of the porch, which was wide and wrapped around the whole house. It was amply supplied with wooden rocking chairs, a swing, and a picnic table, but the three boys thought it would be “funnest” to not use any of this civilized grown-up stuff. They promptly spread out the blanket on the smooth wooden planks, half of it overflowing down the steps to the walkway. Jarred had the idea of pillows. Soon their spread of various quilts and cushions would have rivaled a sheik’s tent in luxury. Then with Henry bearing the bag of schoolbooks (reluctantly), Jacob with a small tray of sloshing milk-filled glasses, Jarred with napkins and pencils, they led their mother out to see their set-up. She was carrying the plate of steaming rolls, of course, crusty and brown.
I think my words flow out most quickly and pleasantly when I'm describing food. ;) Here's another bit, this time a bit more ominous...
Roger was bringing out an extra tray of chicken sandwiches to the front when a strange customer caught his eye. Not that a well-groomed man in a business suit was anything unusual. His starkly black-and-white peppered hair was what mainly drew Roger’s attention. But the first really odd thing was what happened after Beth welcomed him at her register with a cheery, “Hello, sir. What would you like today?”
He didn’t speak for an uncomfortable moment. It was not one of those customer silences of “Goodness, shall I order an Earl Grey in a delightful antique cup and saucer, or a hearty brew of fresh-ground coffee in a splendidly plump earthen mug?” Roger knew, and knew Beth did also, that this was not one of those pauses. The man was looking into Beth’s eyes in a way that made Roger decide to stay up front for a bit to arrange the displayed cups and mugs better.
“I hope you don’t mind my asking,” the man finally said in a decidedly northern accent, as well as in a way that said decidedly he decidedly wanted an answer, “but has school not started yet around here?”
“Which school do you mean, sir? Shadow Ridge college starts today, I believe.”
“Of course. And the public and private schools?
“Most of them started two weeks ago.”
The man nodded. He glanced at Roger, who smiled politely.
“We go to a school that is in session year-round,” Beth provided. “Some might think it’s for misfits, but actually you’d be surprised at the silly number of over-achievers who attend.”
She said this entirely straight-faced. Roger knew their father might not like all this volunteered information given to a nosy stranger, but Beth was in the habit of thinking up such great responses to people’s questions about school that always made Roger want to laugh.
“Does this school not meet today?” the man prodded.
“Sir, it does indeed. We work here to fulfill some business management and economic credits. It also helps pay tuition.” She smiled primly at the man, who smiled back and ordered a coffee and sandwich.
The moment Beth looked down at the register to ring up the order, Roger saw the man frown. It was only a slight squinting around the grey eyes, subtle lines etching a hair deeper into the forehead, and a tightening around the lips. But sophisticated as it was, Roger saw it. It was not the usual confused expression most of the victims of Beth’s humor wore. This man, Roger decided, was not fooled by clever talk.
When he had his coffee and sandwich, he sat at a window table near the corner. He ate with the efficiency of a machine, but slow and deliberate. After every third careful bite of sandwich and slow draw of coffee, he peered out onto the street. The rest of the time his eyes crept about the shop, from table to table to wall to counter to the opposite end where the bookshelves began to blend in with chairs. Roger even saw his eyes rise to the ceiling, though his head barely lifted.
And then his eyes were fixed on Roger...
Dun dun duuuun... ;) I hope you enjoyed these little snippets. Do have a wonderfully blessed day. Now I'm off to write more!