My NaNoWriFail

Well guys, I was all pumped for NaNoWriMo this year, but sadly I’m going to have to cut my word count goal from 2000 to 500. My shoulders have been annoying little buggers lately. They don’t want me to lift anything, exercise, sleep in any position, let a kid lean against me, or – worst of all – write. I got pinched nerves or something in my shoulders near the end of my 5-year stint waitressing at Denny’s (I was a kick-a waitress too! Our Denny’s is on the route to Burning Man, and it was so much fun – although exhausting – serving the burners! I miss it sometimes).

Obviously I can’t give up writing, or any of those other activities, so I need to pace myself. Less online time (boo) to let my shoulders heal, and a saner daily word goal so I don’t get overwhelmed and beat myself up.

There’s a great alternative for authors who want to set some serious writing goals without the hard-to-meet objective of 50,000 words in a month. The writer’s group I belong to, ANWA, puts on writing challenges 4 times a year through the Yahoo group ANWAWrite. Anyone can join, you don’t have to be LDS or a woman. One of the challenges is called BIAM (Book In A Month) and coincides with NaNo. Many participants do both in November. The group’s moderators send out regular emails with inspirational quotes, and cheer everyone on when they turn in their daily word counts. What I love most about the challenges is that you pick your own word count goal. The first time I did BIAM, I learned so much about managing my time and getting my 500 words in without editing while I was writing.

The good news is that I have almost 3000 new words on Cobalt! I’m excited with the direction the story is taking, and pretty soon there’s going to be some real monster & pirate action. (That is, if you don’t consider jumping out of a moving airship into a forest full of mutant creatures and moving, bloodthirsty trees real action, which recently happened. That was a fun scene to write!)

Well, I must wrap this post up. My hungry stomach calleth me to the fridge for some leftover Marriage Proposal Chicken Soup. (I call it that because my daughter Lia took some to her first day at work yesterday and her co-worker, seeing and smelling the home-cooked deliciousness, proposed to her on the spot. Why don’t I ever get marriage proposals for my cooking??)

Oh, and speaking about good recipes, I just remembered this one. It’s freaking amazing, super easy to make, and probably adding inches to my waist since we have a mug of it every night before bed! (Click to see it full-size.)

Flash-Fiction Challenge

The first challenge for Rach’s Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign is something I’ve never done before: flash fiction! I never thought I could write such a short short story, but I surprised myself today. Maybe I got a little cliched with the theme, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.

The rules:

  • The story begins with the words The door swung open.
  • It has to be 200 words or less.
  • Bonus challenges: The story is exactly 200 words, and ends with the door swung shut.

So not only did I write flash-fiction for the first time ever, I also accepted the bonus challenges! Wowee-wow!

After you read my story, pop over to Rach’s blog to read a few of the other entries. Or all, if you want, except there’s a crapload of ’em! Yay for my fellow campaigners!

The door swung open to reveal the dark shapes of toppled boxes, crushed and strewn about, their insides scattered. Lacy gasped, flicking the light switch next to the closet door. She stepped over a pile of broken dishes, then slowly turned to take in the scene. All her careful stacking of the moving boxes, an entire day’s worth, destroyed in one night. Her muscles ached.

“Racoons, maybe?” This must have been the reason for all the bumps and crashes that had drifted through the upper floor and made their way into her dreams the previous night. She stalked to the window set into the opposite wall, rubbing the goosebumps on her arms. The tiny room was as cold as a walk-in fridge, even in the middle of summer. She’d have to ask the landlord about that. She braced her hands on the wood and strained upward, before noticing the nails that were driven in along the seams to keep the window closed.

A soft sound made Lacy whirl. She just had time to see the deep gouges cut into the inside wall of the closet before a shadow shifted there, and the light clicked off.

The door swung shut.