If you're new to the writer phenomenon currently underway around the globe, it's National Novel Writing Month. Crawl out from under your rock and join us as we race through the month of November, trying to complete the challenge of writing 1667 words per day to complete the coup de grâce (literally, death blow) of 50,000 words of a novel by month end. This is no small feat.
This year, I am participating for the first time. And, for those of you wondering, I am not in the "Must Finish This Race and get all 50K words" camp. Rather, I'm on the "I'll go as far as I can and rejoice in the words I have toward a completed novel by the end of the month, and enjoy the writerly companionship along the way" camp. So, I hope you will consider joining me (yes, there's still time for a late start) and about 100,000+ others as we write our way through November.
Since I'm working on this new book, I thought I'd share a bit of what I am writing about. My first book, THE PACKING HOUSE, is a YA contemp. If you'd like to see more, dig around in the blog here, or read chapter one in the upper right corner. If you do read it, I'd love to know what you think. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. My current WIP is a dystopian sci-fi novel with series potential. I have sketched out a four book series, similar to Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time Quartet (info here), or Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Series (info here).
Here's a quick blurb:
SynopsisFirst of a Quartet Dystopian Sci-Fi YA novel, where fraternal twin Brea Carmichael begins hearing from her captured twin brother Brian through idioglossia/cryptophasia twin-speak, uncovering a government secret in a society where there is no disease or disability. Those with diseases and disabilities are considered Outcast, and a threat to the purity of the perfect society. The story begins on Brea's birthday, which she hates...
ExcerptI hate my birthday.
Every year it plagues me with its incessant need to make me older. It reminds me of my impending death. For a fourteen-year-old I guess that’s pretty grim to say, but I can’t help it.
It’s because of him.
I can’t get his voice out of my head, even though I haven’t heard it in person since we were born together. Every year it seems I hear him more insistent like a conversation I can’t get away from. It keeps playing over and over in my mind, a dark mirror reflecting back toward me. Maybe I’m crazy.
Two things I am certain of: we were both born nearly fifteen years ago, and so far, only one of us has died. This means I’m next. It could come at any time.
I punch a series of commands on the iHome control panel and stare into the mirror’s hard surface. The lines on my face gouge the surface of my skin under the strong light that clicks on in response to my commands. I hope it’s just the wattage. My reflection stares back at me, eyes reflexively scrunching beneath the intense light. I take a deep breath and try to relax as several mechanical arms move swiftly in to mist, curl and dry my hair, completing the programmed instructions.
There’s no better way to deal with this than jamming to some tunes. I revert to my iBracelet so the music can travel with me. Flicking my wrist with two sharp waves in the air, I wait for the iPad to appear, hovering as usual beneath my waiting hand. I punch in my username and password and pause for the login to complete.
Once the app loads the room is suddenly filled with my favorite song, a thumping tune from my playlist, pounding out the angry theme song my taste in music seems to echo. I can’t help but join in, hands keeping the staccato beat of the drums, head rocking to the thrum of the bass. Good thing the hair controls can’t get pissed at me.
Today’s a day for more volume. I allow myself a few moments, giving my body over to the music that touches a chord somewhere deep and soul-reaching. I know damn well it won’t drown out his voice that comes rushing in right on cue like a discordant tune railing hard against the one I’m jamming with. I try anyway. After all, it’s my birthday. Or should I say our birthday?
I’ve never been good at lying.
Especially with myself. It’s hard to look in the mirror and ignore what I plainly see in front of my face. Coupled with the last few measures of my favorite tune, his is one that clashes, yet holds layers that are familiar and entwined with mine. I can’t get away from his voice because it’s so close to my own, a syncopated rhythm woven indelibly with my own.
Bree. C’mon. Stop ignoring me. Would you deny your own brother? It sucks, but it’s my birthday, too. I need your help to get out of here.
I look away from the mirror so I don’t have to see what’s sliding hotly down my face. Pathetic. Why do I let it get to me like that? I played right into it.
Well, no more.
While I’m already logged in I shoot a quick text to Margaux my best friend, the only one I’ve told about the voice I keep hearing every birthday.
I heard him again. Meet me at our spot. God, I hate my birthday.
I wipe my face on my sleeves, flick my wrist to log off, and head to the kitchen for some form of breakfast. My parents are still sleeping. Most parents let the iHome take care of such mundane needs. I’d rather not let them see my like this. I type in my usual request, steak and eggs on a toasted bagel. It’s portable and fills me, both of which I need right now. I’m late.
One of these years I’ll figure out how to keep up with technology. It’s supposed to work with you, right? Either I’m completely stupid, or ignorant enough to lag behind everyone else.
The smell of my breakfast makes me ravenous. I wolf down every morsel in a matter of minutes, steak juices dripping down my fingers. I lick those as well. I decide I’d rather eat it here, before stepping through the teleporter. I hate the taste of food after its particles have been sent through one of those. It’s unnatural. Margaux texts me back.
Oh, Brea. So sorry! Hugs. Margaux.
After washing and sterilizing my hands at the sink, I step onto the circle of the teleporter and use the remote app on my iBracelet to send me to the receiving area at the front of our school. Margaux’s already at our spot in the gardens, arms crossed until she sees me stepping off an identical round pad. Other students beam in; at least I’m not the only one late.
Happy writing to you all! I'd love to hear what you've got in the works, even if you're not participating in NaNoWriMo. Write something anyway, and tap into the creative vibe floating around us all. Oh, and thanks for your patience as I play blog catch up.