Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Nano For Me (boo)

Last month I had embarked on the challenge National Novel Writing Month or what is commonly referred to as Nanowrimo (Nano for short).
I had my outline done, and told my closest friends not to disturb me. I threatened the hubby, kiddies and even the dog to leave me alone, that I needed this time to churn out the next great book, the one that will be sure to propel me to the top of the New York Times Bestseller List, the one that Martin Scorsese will want to make into a movie. It is within reach, I barked to my bewildered family and I DEMANDED to be left alone to write.

Fast forward to November 1st at 00:06 and it was on.
I shot out of the gate, hellbent for leather, foam bubbling around the mouth, and more than ready to take on the whole enchilada.
And what happened?
I BOMBED and rather spectacularly, I might add.
Not only did I not finish but I didn't even get half way close.

I don't know what happened between the first few days and yesterday. All I know is that I had my project going and the next thing I knew I got swept up into something else, and another thing after that and so on.
In other words, I got distracted.
Distraction is like a four-letter word to writers. Its a very bad thing.

Anyhoo, Nano has come and gone for this year. There are other writing challenges but this one was the big one. So as it stands now, all I can do is scamper off into the sunset with my tail tucked between my legs and the promise of doing better next time.

So my friends, congratulations to you if you've won Nano this year. For those who haven't, well, I'm sending you a virtual ((((hug)))) and we'll just kick Nano's ass next year.

I thought I would post a little bit of what I was working on. Its extremely rough so please forgive the errors you may find.

Untitled Nano Pt.1
Twenty years ago...

Elise Morin stood in front of the Councillors, her back to the her fellow townsmen who filled the meeting hall to capacity. She licked her lips and raised her eyes back to the men that were seated at the table.

Men that were choosing her fate.

Anger, hot and sizzling, ripped through her veins at the thought. How dare they decide how best to "resolve" her situation? Elise kept her face neutral despite the turmoil within.

In all honesty, Elise knew that her change in status had affected the others around her. The air in the hall was heavy with fear, suspicion and pity. Elise caught the judgmental looks from several of the wives, ladies that she'd thought were her life-long friends. She made eye contact with Madam Dupont, wife of the secretary who sat near the front by the long table. The other woman quickly averted hers and turned away.

Elise ignored the pang of hurt and carefully refrained from looking at Darvis Kane, the youngest member of the council. She couldn't bear his smug countenance, the ripe speculation in his beady black eyes . She knew he had been waiting for his chance...the perfect moment to make her pay for refusing his offer or marriage several years ago.

Elise couldn't think about that now. Her heart hammered as Chancellor Armand cleared his throat, effectively silencing the drone of voices. He pressed his hands against the shiny table top for leverage and stood up, shaking his massive wooly head of hair.

Unlike the other men, Armand kept his hair loose and bushy, refusing to tie it back for the sake of decorum. Tall and imposing, with shaggy brows and deep, penetrating eyes, he instilled respect and obeisance. Armand was not a man to be trifled with, and firmly believed in the duties of his office. Those same eyes were now drilling into hers, both troubled and resolved.

In spite of her situation, Elise had always liked and respected him. She remembered the pastries his wife used to make for the children and Elise had consumed her fair share back then. Elise squared her shoulders and lifted her chin, her dark eyes locked with his.

"You are aware of the consequences, are you not?" He asked in his deep, baritone voice. The older man leaned on the table, keeping his face at level to hers.
Elise nodded once.
"Yes, sir, I am."

She made the mistake of glancing at Darvis. He smirked in return, and rubbed his thin lips. Elise snapped her attention back to Armand and silently prayed for control. She couldn't wait to wipe that insolent look off of Darvis' face before the meeting adjourned .

Armand sighed and straightened up.
"I will ask once more." He looked around the crowded hall. "Is there not one of you who will stand in as Champion?"

The crowd shifted, the drone of voices barely hushed. Elise couldn't bear it any longer.
"Sir, I have been approached earlier today for the call of Champion." She said, her voice loud and clear. There was a collective gasp. The Councillors turned to each other and then back to her, surprise on their faces. Darvis sat up straight, anger etched in his features.

Armand leaned closer, and dropped his voice.
"Good heavens, child. Why did you not say so sooner?"
Elise shook her head.
"I will not have Claire Delacroix become a widow for the sake of retrieving my husband."

Darvis jumped up and pushed in next to Armand, his voice trembling with rage. The other Councillors leaned in. Darvis jabbed a finger at Elise while addressing Armand.
"This is an outrage! She does not have the right to refuse a Champion!"

"Councillor, I am aware of the laws, thank you." Armand reminded him, his tone brooking no disrespect. He put out an arm to push Darvis away. "I must ask you to step back and-"

Elise frowned at the intensity of Darvis's anger. He was literally beside himself. The man ground his teeth, flecks of spittle on his lips. He continued to point at her.
"Then she MUST marry! If not for the sake of the laws, " He turned angry eyes on her. "then she must do so for her child."

The other Councillors jumped up as well, the cacophony of voices rising higher and higher. Shouts and screams of "The Fever!" reverberated around the hall, echoing in her mind over and over again.
With a sick feeling rising in her belly, Elise nearly collapsed from the weight of it all. She leaned against the table, her head hanging low.

Doubts began to cloud her decision and she swallowed nervously.
Am I making a mistake?

"You are not allowed to refuse an offer of marriage, given your situation, Elise Morin." Darvis suddenly hissed. He lunged, his spidery hands reaching for her. A couple of the other Councillors yelled and grabbed him. Armand shouted a call for order.

At his words, Elise stumbled back out of reach. Clarity renewed her decision and she shouted, loud enough to be heard over the din of the hall. 
"I will NOT have you nor any other man in this village, do you hear me, Darvis Kane?"

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nanowrimo Bound!

I've been running around with my head chopped off for the last few weeks and as such, my writing blog has suffered quite a bit. I'm also in the process of moving my book blog to Wordpress (which is an unbelievable task in itself) Blogger and I are parting ways and I do hope that you come and check it over there: Ren The Writer

I'll have to adjust the link to Puppy Boy as well (the button to your right) so you can go to my new site.
Its taking me some time to navigate Wordpress so please forgive the errors and stuff :)

Also, are any of you partaking in Nanowrimo this year?
For those of you that are unaware of it, November is  National Novel Writing Month.

It is 30 days of non-stop madness, of trying to churn out 50k words for the very first draft of a novel. There are no set guidelines as to what you write about as long you DO write.

This will be the my fourth year doing it. I bombed out the first year (going to Vegas didn't help) but won the last two years. You're not in competition with anyone but yourself, so don't worry on that end.

At the end of it all, you can glow with smug satisfaction that you're done, that you have survived and that you are looking at your very first manuscript.

Nanowrimo brings out your hidden Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher or JR Ward, just to name a few. Your imagination will explode and you will find yourself either writing about Space Rabbits conquering new planets or the rise of a new race of Reptilian Zombies, who knows.

There's still time to sign up for it. It starts at midnight, November 1st.  and ends on November 30 11:59. This is where I'll be for the most part and you can buddy me. It helps when the suffering is shared, lol.

Click on the link below and join. You know you want to :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cookies - 3WW

“Sit, please.” His beautiful, angelic face, worthy of Michelangelo, held a smile.
I sat in the comfortable chair he indicated. I had waited so long for this moment, for the chance to prove to him that I was more than eager, more than willing to learn.

I tucked a lock of hair behind my ear.
“Thank you for your kind letters.” I said, following him with my eyes. “I wasn’t sure what to bring-“

“It’s okay.” He said. He came over and knelt in front of me, reaching for my hands. “You were wise not to tell anyone.”
His eyes searched mine, for what I didn’t know.
My fingers tightened against his. I nodded.
“I promised. Just like I said I would.”
“Good.” He gave my hands a final squeeze before standing up. “Let us begin.”

I smoothed my hands along my thighs, making sure my skirt was in place. He stood up, his face unreadable. I licked my lips and gave him a hesitant smile.

He leaned over me, his green eyes locked on mine. His mouth-watering scent, warm and heady, tugged at my senses. I breathed in deeply, savoring it.

His unspoken words filled my head, as clear as if he’d said them aloud.
This is not a figment of your imagination. Try and relax.
Something silvery swirled in their depths, so swift and alluring that for a moment I was paralyzed. I blinked, startled.

Before I could ask anything, his voice dropped lower.
“Close your eyes.” His warm breath caressed my ear. “Don’t open them until I say so.” His fingers brushed against my eyelids. I swallowed nervously and waited.

I strained to hear what he was doing. The temptation to open them was nearly irresistible but I didn’t want to disobey for fear of his disappointment.
I could feel him moving around me, the heat of his presence invading my personal space and I shifted uncomfortably.
I didn’t like feeling so vulnerable.

His voice, when it came, was deceptively soft and soothing.
“I know you feel inclined to recoil from my touch due to the circumstances but I must ask you to be still.”

That was the only warning I received before something cool and moist, laved my face, from chin to forehead, leaving a dank smear of wetness. I struggled to keep my eyes shut but I couldn’t stop my hands from frantically swiping my mouth.

Revulsion rose in my throat and a sob escaped my lips. I squeezed my eyes tighter but the telltale tears seeped through and raced down my cheeks. My mouth fell open, my breathing became erratic and icy hot fear flooded my veins.

What was he doing?

The game was supposed to be simple.
We were to become entangled in role-play, something I had wanted to try for years but was too afraid to. When he’d answered the first letter, I was pleasantly surprised. We wrote back and forth, each letter becoming more and more personal. Before long, I knew he was The One. Over the last year, I made arrangements and sold off what I didn’t need. I wanted to be near him, near his addictive persona.
Now he changed the rules and I was feeling helpless.

I was quietly sobbing at this point, the unbearable tension getting to me. I knew he was still close, a movement by my head lifted strands of my hair, the tingling warmth racing up my neck as his moist breath coasted along my skin.
A faint scent of…vanilla cookies…hit my nostrils and I grabbed onto that like a drowning person would a life raft.

I inhaled deeply, hoping to ease the fear with a sense of home. How long I sat in my own personal darkness, I couldn’t tell.
The sound of his movements began to fade and I tilted my head to every sound I heard, trying to track him.

He laughed heartily, I presume at my feeble attempts to find him, then whispered.
“Open your eyes.”
I opened them immediately, and looked around.
The single room was empty. I scrambled out of my chair to my feet and spun around but I was alone. I rushed to the door and flung it open, looking up and down the hallway but didn’t see him. The one exit, the elevator, was still sitting there, its old fashioned gates gleaming in the dim light.

Where did he go?

I closed the door and went back towards the chair, where my confusion quickly turned to terror. 
On the seat was a plate of freshly baked vanilla cookies with a note tucked under it. I cried out and whirled around again, my brain screaming: Where did the cookies come from? Where is he? What’s going on??
Tears flooded my face and I frantically wiped at them. I sobbed and rubbed the back of my hand over my mouth.

I stared at it, the way it was teasing me from under the plate. I didn’t want to read the letter but I knew the only way to get an answer was to read what he had to say.

With trembling fingers, I pulled the note out, his scent drifting up from the delicate parchment. I read the cursive handwriting and felt myself pale, my skin becoming cold and clammy.

My heart jumped into my throat, and pounded so hard I nearly choked. The mind-numbing tension, the feeling of utter helplessness assaulted me again and again. I sank to the armchair and bent over trying to calm down. The dry heaves were relentless. I stuffed a cookie in my mouth and frantically chewed. I ate another and then another until my stomach settled. As I broke off another bite I re-read the note.

Lesson 1 is complete.
Until next time…

In spite of the sick feeling I had, the tears, the reservations about the path that I was on and the feeling of being out of my depths, I couldn’t help but to smile. 

I was going to see him again!

© copyright 2011 by Ren Thompson October 26, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Liebster Blog Award

Rebecca Clare, fierce writer extraordinaire, has nominated me for this award. It's a wonderful feeling and gives me the boost that I need to get my butt in gear to get those words out.
Thank you so very much, honey :)

This blog award was created, according to Lady Antimony who nominated Rebecca, to bring recognition and exposure to blogs that have less than 300 followers. 

The following are amazing bloggers and are SO worth checking out:
Sheilagh Lee @ Fear Not The Darkness
Jae Rose @ Jae Rose
Old Egg @ Robin's Nest
VL Sheridan @ Sins of the Flash
Old Altonian @ Scandic Sequences
Kim Nelson @ Kim Nelson Writes
Tess Kincaid @ Life at Willow Manor

I should have done this long ago *boot to the arse*

Thank you again Rebecca *smooches*

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Almost Thief - 3WW

The thief moved around the living room, his gloved hands rifling through the box of VCR tapes. He snorted at the titles, wondering how anyone can still watch tapes when this new thing called a Digital Video Disc player was going to the coolest thing ever. He eyed the VCR on the ottoman beside the sofa. He wondered how much he would get for it. He lifted up his scratchy ski mask to wipe his face. It was only the middle of May and already it was hot. He pulled the mask back down and picked up the VCR.

An overhead  light suddenly clicked on and he froze, horror twisting a knot in his stomach. He looked up and nearly died.
Waller Fenroy, a big hulking man in his mid-sixties, bellowed.
"What in tarnation do ya think ya doin'?"
Marcus Simpson, fifteen years old and just plain stupid, jumped and nearly dropped the VCR player. His eyes, round as saucers, fixed on the sawed-off shotgun in the beefy man's hands.
He blubbered.
"" His teeth began to chatter as fear rendered him speechless. He swallowed, his eyes still locked on the gun pointed in his direction. Waller strode into the room with a "Put that back or I'll put a hole in ya head!" The older man paused and looked around, noting the ramshackle state of his living room. His box of videos was upended, copies of his favourite Columbo and Rockford Files episodes littering the floor. He saw a partially ejected video in the player. Books and papers were scattered about and even his cactus, Harry, had been knocked over. Clumps of dirt covered the little table next to his comfy recliner. What was the fool hoping to find in there, the man wondered. 

Waller swung back to the boy, his eyes murderous. He reached out and snatched the ski mask off the thief's head, yanking out some hair in the process. The boy started to shout but his throat closed up as the older man pointed the gun in his face. Waller bared his teeth.
"I oughta shoot ya right here an' now."
Marcus stuttered, beads of sweat rolling down his face.
"P-please...I-I-I'm s-sorry." He carefully set the VCR down and wiped his palms on his faded jeans. He looked from Waller to the window he'd crawled in and back again.
Waller propped the gun next to the recliner and squinted at him.
"You Jesse Simpson's boy, right?" He raked him with a disgusted look, "Michael or Mitchell or sumthin' like that, ain'tcha?"
"M-M-Marcus S-Simpson, y-y-yes sir." The boy nodded frantically, his heart pounding. He began to inch towards the open window, silently praying that he can get through it in one piece. 

Waller must have read his mind because he barked, "Oh hell no! Don't even think about it!" and snatched him up by the scruff of his neck. Mark yowled and tried to twist loose but the older man held him tight, shaking him like a dog with a meaty bone, shouting.
"I ain't got no time to be wastin' with no snot-nosed little boy!"
Waller frog-marched him through the kitchen, cursing a blue-streak. Mark scuttled along on his toes. The older man opened up the front door and set him on the top step. Before Mark knew it, he felt the full force of Waller Fenroy's size twelve in his ass with Waller's bellow of "STAY OUTTA MY HOUSE, MARCUS SIMPSON!!" echoing through the neighbourhood. 

The impact sent him sailing through the air, before landing in a painful heap in the middle of Waller's prized tulip bed. He blinked, coughed and spat out a mouthful of moist earth. He peeked over his shoulder to see Waller jumping up and down in a fit of rage. The older man roared as he started down the stairs,
"Doggone it, ya little sumbitch!! Lookit whatcha did now!!"
Mark didn't waste any time trying to find out what else he did as he shakily got up and ran, tears of mortification streaking down his dirty face. The throbbing pain in his hind quarters didn't help matters much but he knew he was going to get a lot worse once his dad found out...

Mark knocked on the door, nervously wiping his hands on his jeans. He waited, wondering if he was making a mistake. He knocked again and blew out a breath. He turned ready to leave when the door opened. He looked down into the eyes of an elderly man, bent over slightly, his gnarled hands gripping the handles of a walker. Mark frowned, thinking he had the wrong house.
"Mr. Fenroy?"
The man glared up at him.
"Who wants to know?"
Mark swallowed at the brusque tone. He looked back over the lawn and saw all of the tulips in full bloom. He shook his head, thinking how much larger the man had seemed almost fifteen years ago. Waller Fenroy might have changed over the years but that voice alone could still put fear into him. 
Mark put a hesitant smile on his face.
"It's me, sir." He wiped his sweaty palm before holding it out. "Mark Simpson, I few years ago-" Lord, this was so hard. He rushed the rest of it out. "I know its kind of late but I just wanted to apologize for what I did back then."
He waited with his heart in his throat.

Waller Fenroy looked him up and down before abruptly turning, clumping his walker down the hallway, leaving the door open. He paused and grouched over his shoulder. "Come in an' shut the damn door, ya moron!"

Mark blinked in surprise and stepped over the threshold. He followed the old man to the living room, where he saw that a new television stand had replaced the old one. Right in the centre of it stood a top-of-the-line 42 inch LG flat-screen with a Blu Ray disc player next to it. Everything else was still the same. Even Harry the cactus was there but in the corner by the window this time, complete with a cowboy hat perched on top. A familiar image on the screen brought a smile to his face as he stood next to the old recliner and waited as Waller settled himself in. 
The old man waved a hand at him and barked impatiently.
"What the hell ya standin' aroun' for?" He nodded at the screen. "Sit down an' shut up. Columbo's on."
Mark pulled the ottoman over and sat.

© copyright 2011 by Ren Thompson October 5, 2011

3 Word Wednesday: Eject, Render and Impact