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?"