I sat down this morning at my computer and wrote another 3,004 words for my NaNo. My current word count is 34,038 which makes me ahead of about 700 words or so.
I’m writing a collection of short stories (really short… each is about 1,000 words long). I’ve been using different prompts I find in books and on the Internet. A few prompts were really good and I can see them becoming novels. Maybe they will some day. Some of the prompts… well, you can tell I was just trying to get the words down.
This morning, instead of doing a prompt I wrote a quick scene with George and Lilah from my novel Detective Florence. This scene has nothing to do with the novel at hand. In fact, it’s an idea for an upcoming two/three-book series for the characters. I always imagined having a case in each novel that surround one larger case that takes two or three books to solve. I have a few cases in mind which means that so far George and Lilah are going to be in at least four different series (minimum eight books, maximum 12 books… and ideas are still coming).
The scene I wrote this morning is from one of those cases. By doing that, I came up with so many more ideas for that case. I planned on that being the fourth case in the series, but I may end up writing it as the second one. We’ll see how it turns out.
Because, you know… I still have to finish up the first case which will probably be two novels. I planned on a trilogy, but George and Lilah didn’t want to work on the case for that long. I have to write the third book, but it will most likely tag onto the second book, which is in the middle of the edits.
Once NaNo is over, George and Lilah are going to get my undivided attention. So I think it helped that I was able to write a quick scene with the two of them this morning.
Prompt — First Sentence: “He had to learn, and learn quickly.”
Goal: 200-500 Words
He had to learn, and learn quickly. This was going to be the biggest test of his life. There was no way that he was going to allow himself to fail it…there was no way that his parents were ever going to let him live it down if he failed it. This was his make or break moment; the one and only thing that will decide his fate for the rest of his life. If he passed this test, then he would be free. If he failed this test, then he would have no choice but to carry on the family business.
“Leo, will you set the table for dinner?” his mother called almost immediately after.
“After dinner, do you mind mowing the lawn? It’s beginning to look like a jungle out there!” his father added.
Leo buried his face in his hands. His bedroom was dark except for the dim lamp that sat on top of his desk. A few textbooks lay wide open with notes and scribbles in the margins were before him and on his lap was an old notebook with ripped pages, spilled ink, and crumbled corners. He had never studied so hard in his entire life and his parents only made studying more difficult.
His mother and father constantly bothered him when they knew he was in his bedroom studying. They did not want him to pass this test as they wanted him to carry on the family business when they were gone.
The “family business” started with Leo’s great, great, great grandfather. Leo came from a long line of bounty hunters. Being in his late 20s, Leo was small for his age. He had no muscles and no back bone. He didn’t like the idea of spending the rest of his life chasing down robbers and murderers just so he could pay the bills. He was not willing to put his own life on the line every single day—not when he wanted to get married and have kids.
Leo wanted to do something great with his life. Sure, getting criminals off of the street was a good deed, but only if you did it in the right way; for example, becoming a police officer or something. No, Leo wanted to do something that he was interested in. He wanted to do something he was great at. Being a doctor was just that thing. But it also happened to be the thing that his parents didn’t approve of—something that they didn’t understand. And probably never will.
“Leo, can you take out the trash?”
“The table still needs to be set, sweetie!”
Leo put in his headphones and turned the volume on his MP3 player all the way up to the maximum. He couldn’t concentrate with noise, but music was better than listening to his parents’ disapprovals of his life decisions. Was he going to pass this test? Was he going to save lives?
Prompt — First Sentence: “For once, she could not keep her irritation in check.”
Goal: 200-500 Words
For once, she could not keep her irritation in check. She slammed her textbook closed as soon as the bell rang to dismiss class. She gathered her things angrily as the professor was erasing the board with a smile on his face while waving goodbye to the students that were already out the door.
She shoved her books and notebooks into her tote bag and flung the bag over her right shoulder. Finally taking her eyes off of her professor, she looked down at the ground and stormed out of the classroom.
She paused and squeezed her eyes shut. She began to count to ten in her head when she heard her professor call her name. She needed to calm herself down before facing him. Otherwise, she knew that she would end up getting herself into trouble.
“Yes?” Erin muttered through gritted teeth. She turned around to look her professor in the eye, who was frowning at her. What happened to that wide, obnoxious grin he was just wearing to all the other students?
“I didn’t know if you wanted to talk about your grade or not.” He sighed as if saying you-should-be-disappointed-in-yourself.
“Well, I can’t exactly say that I’m happy about it.” Erin peered into her bag. Her essay was sticking out of her notebook. She was so upset she had gotten a D that she didn’t even put it neatly into her folder. She was planning on throwing the paper into the fire place when she got home.
“You just didn’t seem to understand the assignment.” He continued on. “You should have come to me for help. You know my door is always open. I check my e-mail every single night. You have many classmates that know what they’re doing. There’s a tutoring center that could always help. You have many options.”
Erin tilted her head to one side. “So, it sounds like you’re telling me that I didn’t even try.”
“Well,” he paused and looked up at the ceiling as he pondered his thoughts. “It’s not that you didn’t try. More like…you gave up.”
Erin glared at him. “I slaved over this essay. I did go to the tutoring center. I e-mailed you a few times. I spent six hours writing these five pages. If I really gave up, then I would have gotten much worse than a D.”
“Well, a D is a pretty bad grade. It sounds like you are giving up if you’re just going to accept the D.”
“You haven’t been any help! You don’t even teach! Today in class you talked about your daughter’s Bat Mitzvah from over the weekend instead of teaching us something new. How is anyone supposed to write a decent essay in this class when the students don’t have help?” Before she realized what she was saying, the words were already spewing out of her mouth.
His next class stood behind her in the doorway. Some had their jaws dropped, others were snickering.
“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech
Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.
So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!
Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.
Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write Hunter & Comet.
Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.
I decided to write Inspiration Station instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…
Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.
So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.
I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.
I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.
I think Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.
Today was the first day back to school for everyone. Winter break is officially over. Then the weather decided to give everyone a few extra days.
I don’t know where any of you are, but right now where I am we are in the middle of a blizzard. My area is going to get 9-15 inches of snow and every time I check the weather the amount of snow goes up an inch or two. It started last night around midnight and isn’t going to stop until tomorrow afternoon. So pretty much everywhere declared today and tomorrow a snow day. Now that I don’t have a job anymore this did not effect me at all. However, it was still nice not having to wake up early to get my cousins ready for school.
Today was a good day. I cleaned, I wrote, I shoveled snow, I played Pokemon, I watched TV…and I did it all in my pajamas! Well, I did laundry today which was basically the reason as to why I stayed in my pajamas. And yes, I went outside to shovel in my pajamas. It was great.
Anyway, today is Thursday (as far as I know…without work and school I can’t keep the date straight anymore). This means that I had to write 5,000 words. I wrote 5,359 words on Detective Florence. Lilah, the female protagonist, went missing. I have no idea where she is, why she left, and when she’s going to come back. But poor George, the male protagonist, is freaking out. The good news is he knows how to work his cell phone now. It’s a good thing Lilah decided to teach him before she decided to fall off the face of the earth.
Speaking of writing, I meant to mention this yesterday, but a while back I decided that every Sunday for the year of 2014 I’m going to post a piece of my work whether it be a poem or a short story or a small prompt. I decided to get a few samples up here so you guys realize that I am not in fact all talk. I actually do write stuff. Then when I get something published you guys will like my writing enough to give my novels a shot. So every Sunday I’ll probably post a quick blurb about how many words I wrote, what novel I edited, and whatnot, but I will then post my stories. I have a few written already that I wrote back in October-ish.
Also, since I decided I’m going to read more this year, Kris and I started reading a novel together. There is a TV show called Psych and it is fantastic. Look it up if you’ve never heard of it or seen it. I found out that someone wrote a series of five books based on the show. I got a Kindle for Christmas and the first book of the series was the very first book I bought. We took turns reading the chapters out loud to each other. We stopped at chapter four because we both began to get tongue-tied. But whenever we can’t read together, like tonight because she’s at work, I’m reading another book so I can keep up with my reading goal. You can see what I’m reading and what I’ve already read on my GoodReads account. I decided to keep track of my reading goal on there and focus only on my writing goal here.
In other news, I sent my children’s picture book out to three agents today. I planned on sending it out to more places, but I began to go cross-eyed. So I’ll probably send it out to a few other places tomorrow. The turnaround times are two weeks, six weeks, and eight weeks. So at least I don’t have too long to wait around.
I believe that’s all the updates I have for the moment. Tomorrow is another cold, snowy day. I plan on getting a lot of writing done.