NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

Winner

I hit 50k this morning on my NaNo!

I wrote 5,000 words this morning in order to finish before work. I am so proud of myself!

I hit 50,055 words and when I tried to validate it on NaNo, the word count came out as 49,985. So I needed to add in some more words. I don’t know how that worked out. Now Word says I have 50,100-something, but NaNo says I have 50,067. I don’t understand it, but whatever–I hit 50k!

As much as I love NaNo, I am so relieved that it is over. I did enjoy writing the short stories because I didn’t have to commit to one story and I was able to get ideas for new novels. However, I did miss writing a novel. Or, I should say, I missed writing Detective Florence. I didn’t think I would since I was begging for a break from it, but once I was away from it for the first week, I started to really miss the characters and such.

So, now that NaNo is officially over (for me, technically not for the month), I decided that I’m going to go back to working on my edits for Detective Florence 2. Then I’ll outline the third novel, write the third novel, and then it’ll be all editing all the time. I’m excited to work with George and Lilah again.

If you’ve won NaNo, congrats! If you haven’t yet, keep going! The end is near!

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Fire And Ice

I wrote almost 3,000 words this morning. My NaNo word count is now 45,050. The end is near… it’s so close, but it’s so far away. I only have another 5,000 more words to write and then I’ll finally beat NaNo.

I have to say that NaNo didn’t go as well as I thought it would. My original plan was to write 1,000-word short stories so that come December I could expand and edit each story. In the end, I would have a decent collection of short stories that I thought I may or may not publish.

Some had potential to be decent short stories. Others I couldn’t see going very far. Most of them I’m keeping as back-ups for Short Story Sunday. Some of the short stories, as I’ve stated in other posts, have the potential to be something bigger than a short story.

For example, I am currently on part ten of something I called Fire and Ice. It’s a cliched title with a cliched pairing. However, it seems to be coming along quite nicely.

I don’t understand where the idea came from (or where it’s going to go for that matter), but it’s basically about two best friends who, on their 18th birthday, discover they have fire and ice powers. The girl, Joan, has the power of fire and the boy, Grant, has the power of ice.

There is a prophecy (I didn’t write this part as of yet, but the idea has been in my head since I wrote the first part) that states that both has a potential evil inside them. In order to kill this evil inside them, they must kill the other. In other words, if Grant wants to rid of the evil inside him, he needs to kill Joan or Joan would have to kill Grant. Like I said, they’re best friends so you can only imagine how devastated they are going to be when they hear this prophecy.

In the end, will Grant kill Joan? Will Joan kill Grant? Will they both decide to stay friends and allow the evil to overcome both of them? Wouldn’t that be an interesting sight… the two protagonists become the antagonists and run amok together.

I don’t know too much about this story idea, but I keep developing it in my head as I continue to write the parts for NaNo. It’s definitely an idea worth writing down to try to develop into a novel at a later time.

I am still going to start working on my Detective Florence series again once I hit 50k words and NaNo is over, so if I do work on Fire and Ice it won’t be for a long while. I’m sure I’ll be jotting down notes and ideas here and there, but what do you guys think of the potential new novel idea?

Short Story Sunday #32

STRANGERS IN A CAFE

            Two men entered Latte Caffeine. One wore a baseball cap announcing his favorite baseball team to the public with an oversized brown sweatshirt. His jeans were baggy with a few rips and tears down his legs. His sneakers were dirty, his left shoe missing a lace. His head was bent down as he looked at his smart phone, both thumbs dancing across the touch screen.

The other man wore a pressed baby blue button-down shirt that was tucked into what looked like brand new jeans. His black shoes shined brightly as though they were brand new. His hands were stuffed into his jeans pockets as he swayed in line looking at the back of the person’s head in front of him.

It was easy to guess which one cared more about what was going on.

“So my wife just texted me asking what I want for dinner tonight,” the disheveled man stated, “what do I want?”

The other man stood in front of him shrugging his shoulders. He didn’t bother to turn his head to look back.

“Josh, stop thinking. You know that’s just going to make you feel worse.” His friend put his phone into his sweatshirt pocket.

“I’m thinking about what drink I want to order.” Josh scoffed looking over his shoulder. “I am not nervous.”

“You seem pretty nervous to me; especially since you order the exact same drink every time we come here.”

“Maybe I want to switch things up this time.” Josh scratched the back of his ear. He took a step forward in the line once someone ordered their drink and stepped out of line.

“Randy…” Josh scowled.

“I’m just saying.” Randy smirked and chuckled.

They waited in line in silence after that. Randy looked all around the café with a smile on his face soaking in his surroundings. Josh was fixated on the menu studying it even though he knew what he was going to order.

When the lady in front of Josh started ordering her drink, Josh turned his head to look at all the people sitting in the café. An older couple was sitting on the couch by the fire sipping on their coffee while sharing a cupcake. A woman was sitting at a nearby table with a large coffee typing away on her Dell computer. Two women and a man were sitting at another table having breakfast and catching up with one another.

There were two empty tables one in front of the other that Josh eyed. He turned around and opened his mouth to say something to Randy, but a voice interrupted him.

“Excuse me?”

Josh turned around and gaped at the cashier in front of him.

“You’re next. What can I get for you?” he asked.

“Oh, uh,” Josh could hear Randy snickering behind him, but Josh did his best to ignore his friend. “I’ll just have a small peppermint mocha, please.”

He handed the cashier a five dollar bill, took his change and stepped out of line.

“Medium mocha frap, please,” Randy stated immediately once Josh stepped out of line.

Josh received his drink and waited for Randy to get his.

“Are you ready? You seem to be really distracted.” Randy questioned in all seriousness. He took his drink winking at the barista.

“I’m fine,” Josh sighed. “Where do you want to sit?”

Randy glanced back and forth between the two tables, both sitting next to a window. Each table had one chair at the ends seating two people to a table. He shrugged his shoulders and finally pointed to the left one.

Josh nodded and sat down at the table on their right. He sat in the chair facing the door of the café. Randy sat down at the left table facing Josh at the other table.

Without another word, Randy took out his phone and started playing a game. Josh held his coffee in both hands gazing out the window. His foot tapped nervously on the ground. After a few minutes, he heard the door to the café open. He straightened his back and stared at the door.

A blonde woman entered. She was petite, but tall with her black high-heeled boots on. Her jeans were dark with a bright yellow blouse. She clutched her handbag tightly as she looked around the café. She stepped in line and ordered her drink right away, as there was no one in line anymore.

“Small peppermint mocha, please,” she ordered.

Josh smiled.

She grabbed her drink and scanned the café with her eyes once more.

“Uh, Gabrielle?” Josh slowly stood up from his chair and raised his hand a little above his head.

“Joshua?” The woman walked towards him.

“Josh,” he nodded sticking out his hand.

“Gabby,” she smiled shaking his hand.

Randy looked up and put away his phone in his pocket. He smiled and gave Josh a thumb-up from behind Gabby’s back as she sat down at Josh’s table. Gabby was good looking and Randy approved so far. Josh tried not to look at him.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Gabby’s voice shook as she spoke.

“My pleasure,” Josh chuckled. He scratched the back of his head and glanced out the window.

“Are you as nervous as I am?” Gabby wondered.

“Is it that obvious?” Josh blushed.

“A little, but I think it’s cute.” Gabby took a sip of her coffee and tapped her fingers on the side of the cup.

“So,” Josh cleared his throat, “according to your profile you like to read?”

“Fantasy all the way.” Gabby nodded with a smile.

“I read a little bit of everything, but fantasy is my favorite too. What is your favorite book?” Josh leaned forward intrigued.

Gabby laughed out loud. “Ask me what my least favorite is. That is a much shorter list.”

Josh laughed at her joke while Randy rolled his eyes. He took another swig of his coffee and peeked inside it. He should have gotten a large.

November So Far

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Meet Nano! I bought him about a week before November started. He is the same kind of goldfish as Mikey (R.I.P.), except he’s a smaller kind. I didn’t see much of a difference until I put Nano in his tank and then I realized that Mikey was really big and fat. Anyway, I named him Nano for his size and also because I decided he could be my mascot for NaNoWriMo.

So, it’s the first day of week two for NaNoWriMo. How are we all doing? I hope everyone is up to par on their word counts. Also, today is Double-Up Day which means you should all be doubling your word count and donating to NaNo.

I wrote 3,000 words today. I was going to write more and then… I stopped.

However, my word count is now 19,031 words. I have Monday and Tuesday off of work this week so I plan on going back and forth between writing and homework. I’m hoping to hit 30k by Tuesday.

As you all know I decided to do a collection of short stories this month. Kris gave me the idea to do each short story in 1,000 words. In other words, write 50 short stories in the month. I decided to do that because it’s easier for me to keep track of. If some ideas grow and spark new ideas, I can always add to them come December. Some stories came out good, some came out decent, and some I don’t even think they would qualify as writing. But hey, words are words.

In fact, I used the prompt “magic” for one of the stories and I am now writing part five for it. I thought of a mini idea which may or may not turn into a novel. In the meantime, I’m going to continue writing it in small parts and see where it takes me. If anything else, I’ll use it as a Short Story Sunday project.

So, that’s where I am writing at the moment. I’ve been getting more and more ideas for Detective Florence, so I’m sure I’ll continue on that series once November is over.

My Spanish class is officially over, so I only have four classes to worry about homework-wise until the middle of December. Except, I have essays in three of those classes and a project in the fourth class. Then the usually work and babysitting on top of it all. Plus I may be coming down with something which is just unacceptable.

Nonetheless, I will keep writing my daily 2,000-plus words and try to figure out that homework situation.

I hope everyone had a good first week of NaNo and that it carries on through the second week.

Short Story Sunday #25

Write for 35 minutes leading up to discovering a dead body.

I left my office around one in the afternoon to visit my client. I locked the front door shoving my hands into my trench coat pockets. The air was chilled from the upcoming winter season and there was a light breeze in the air causing the autumn leaves to fly past me. I stared at the ground mostly as I walked down the sidewalk, but every once in a while I looked up with my eyes squinting from the cold. I needed to make sure I wasn’t going to walk into a telephone pole or another person. However, I didn’t think I was going to be passing anyone by. The town seemed dead. I wondered why for a Saturday afternoon, but I assumed it must have been the cold. Looking up at the sky, the clouds did seem a bit more gray than usual. The sun wasn’t anywhere in sight, either.

Once I made it to the end of the sidewalk, I crossed the street coming on to the main road. It wasn’t as busy as I expected. I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to get a taxi over to my client’s house. As though my mind had been read, a cab showed up on the end of the road heading in my direction. I waved my hand and once its blinker turned back on I shoved my hand right back into my pocket. I should have brought my gloves. It was about a ten minute drive from where I stood all the way to my client’s house.

When I got there, I thanked the driver paying him with a nice tip before he drove away. My house was surrounded by a clichéd white picket fence. The grass was vividly green from the previous summer with a colorful garden to the left the house. In the middle of the lawn was a cobblestone pathway leading up to the front door. I opened the gate without it creaking and closed it with the click. The heels of my shoes clicked and clacked against the stones.

I made it up to the porch, holding onto the railing with one cold hand as I staggered up the steps. The house was lovely and my client clearly kept up with it. However, the porch was made of rotted wood. One step was wobbly, one had a hole at the edge of it, and the other looked as though it would crumble under my weight—I skipped that step just to be on the safe side. I stepped right in front of the door and as I raised my fist to knock, the wind blew a foul stench my way.

I sniffed, my face scrunching up in disgust. Was it a skunk? No, I didn’t think skunks smelled like that. They smelled bad, but not this bad. This scent was a mix between a skunk and garbage. It wasn’t pleasant.

I walked over to my right to the other end of the porch trying to see if I could find anything. I knew my client was the proud owner of five cats, so maybe they went out hunting and brought back a couple of mice and birds. When I made it to the end of the porch (I didn’t see anything) I noticed the porch wrapped around to the other side of the house. I turned to my left walking along the much sturdier wood keeping an eye out for any dead animal. Maybe the cats got out and a dog or coyote got to them. Whatever it was, it must have been there for a while. Nothing could smell that bad.

I made it to the end of the porch, but it didn’t wrap around the back of the house. I noticed a window was left wide open. I cocked my head to the side wondering why my client would have left her window open on such a cold day. I poked my head it, turning my head from left to right, but no one was in there. I took a deep breath, smelling the strange, disgusting scent once more. Except, with my head poking inside the house, the smell was worse.

I walked back around to the front door. I knocked hard willing my client to open up right away. However, after banging my fist against the door for the first time, it opened up with ease. I paused with my fist still raised in the air. No one was standing before me and no one was behind the door, so how did it open? It must have already been open a small crack and my knock pushed on it too hard. First the window was wide open and now the door was apparently left open and unlocked as well. I arched my back a little to check out the driveway to my left. Her car was in the driveway as it should have been since she told me to meet her at her house at this day and time. So, where was she?

I entered the house calling out her name, but there came no answer. I closed the door wanting to keep the cold out of the house, but that didn’t seem to do much. The house was freezing, but that was probably because the door was slightly open and a window was wide open as well. There may have been other windows left open, too. I stood in the mudroom trying to peek in the surrounding rooms with my eyes and craning neck. I didn’t see anyone in sight and when I called her name again, there was still no answer. I wiped my feet on the welcome mat and decided to make myself at home.

I walked to my left, entering the living room. The TV and the lights were off, but there was a mug sitting on the coffee table. It smelled of tea and looked as though it had been sitting there for a while. The couch was made nicely with a woolen blanket folded neatly across the top. The house looked as though it was well kept and in good condition, but there was no one to be found. I had been to my client’s house before and she had always greeted me at the door and her cats always came to say to me in the living room. Well, the cats weren’t around, but when I poked my head into the hallway, you wouldn’t believe what I saw.