|I blame the dog. Seriously. He's cute, but I blame him.|
I'm in the middle of a YA manuscript right now called THE MEMORY OF THINGS and I was at 30K when November started. So I thought, hey, what the heck, I'll unofficially try to Nanowrimo (yes, I'm using it as a verb) the second 30K with the slew of other writers Nano'ing along. What better incentive to get the thing D-O-N-E, DONE, right?
It's November 15 and I've written another 7K in two weeks.
Repeat after me: I, Gae Polisner, am LAME.
Hmmm. Sub out the *I* for "you" when repeating.
So, here's the thing.
I blame the dog (doesn't everyone blame the dog?)
|Second pass pages = going thru with a fine toothed comb.|
and a bunch of Skype visits (though those were rewarding and fun!).
I blame facebook.
Oh, dear lord, how you ruin me, facebook.
Fine, fine. In short, I blame me.
At any rate, if you are Nano'ing or even fake-trying to Nano like me, and haven't been comforted, buoyed or otherwise entertained by Chuck Wendig's posts on Nanowrimo'ing, you don't know what you are missing.
I happen to be stuck RIGHT IN THE MUDDY MIDDLE, so this one HIT THE SPOT more than you know.
I worship the Nano ground that man walks on.
So, since it's Friday, and since I've been trying to put up at least one Friday Feedback per month, especially for those Teachers Write! campers who are still plugging away and looking for a place to connect (oooh, I get to see a bunch of you NEXT WEEK at NCTE!!), I figured today was as good a Friday as any. You know, you're all welcome, TW campers or not. Just remember THE RULES. (if you don't know the rules, they're there on that link I just gave you. Please read them!)
So, without further ado, since I'm in the muddy middle, here's a bit from the middle of THE MEMORY OF THINGS. The MC is a 16-yr old boy named Kyle. It takes place in New York City (well, Brooklyn), shortly after 9/11.
Have at it. Have fun! And feel free to post your BRIEF excerpt for feedback.
FRIDAY – 9/14
Uncle Paul calls early
I wake to the phone ringing.
It’s bright out. Morning. I sit up and wait, but no one is answering.
I run to the extension in the kitchen and pick it up, looking for signs of Dad. The coffee pot is cold and empty. Did he leave for work without coffee? Did I miss some new emergency?
“Hello?”I glance at the clock. It’s freaking eight-thirty. Dad must be long gone by now.
“Yeah?” I rub my eyes. It’s Uncle Paul, which should make me worried, but just makes me sorry I answered. I know that’s wrong, but I never felt about Uncle Paul the way I do about Uncle Matty. He’s strict and humorless, and besides, he’s barely come to see Uncle Matty since he’s been here.
“Hey, kid, how you doing? Everything okay there?” He sounds concerned. I wonder why he’s calling so early, why he isn’t calling Dad at the precinct.
“Yeah, fine. Why?” My mind tries to sort out about Dad, about no signs of coffee or his breakfast, or the New York Post retrieved from outside the front door. Uncle Paul laughs, sort of. Snorts maybe. Or huffs. Maybe because I’m half asleep and not doing a good job of talking.
“Is everything okay across the river?”
“Yeah, why? Did you want to call Dad at the precinct?”
He hesitates. “I did, Kyle. He’s not in yet.”
My stomach drops. I turn and glance at where the monitor is usually re-situated from Dad’s room to the kitchen counter in the mornings, but it’s not there.
“Hang on a sec.”
I walk down the hall, past Kerri’s room and the angel girl. Does Uncle Paul know that she’s still here? At Dad's bedroom, I stop. The door is shut. Not open, bed-made like it usually is. I turn the knob and push. Dad’s face-down, under blankets.
For a second, I panic. What if he’s had a heart attack? What if he’s dead in there? But after a second, the sound of his snoring drifts loud and clear.
I’ve never seen Dad sleep past seven. Ever, in my sixteen years. He must be exhausted. He must have finally caved to it all.
I back out quietly, shut the door, and head back down the hall.
“Uh, Uncle Paul?”
I pause, wondering if I’ll get Dad in trouble. If I need to cover for him. I mean, the city is a mess out there. But fuck it. It’s Uncle Paul. It’s his brother. “He’s still sleeping,” I say. “I’ll wake him up. Have him call you back in five minutes.”
Uncle Paul laughs, but this time it’s not a funny laugh or a mad one. It’s a laugh of relief. He’s relieved. He was worried that something happened to Dad. I can hear it. The relief in the sound.
“Kyle – ”
“Don’t wake him. Really. Let him sleep. We’re all exhausted. I’m sure he’ll be up soon. Have him call me then.”
“Oh-kay,” I say, because this is Uncle Paul. No nonsense, no horseplay Uncle Paul.
And then I know. I understand.
Tuesday? Those planes?
They’ve changed everything.