Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Write What You Know

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.

Write What You Know, Part 1
By: Stephanie Thompson; 1,511 words

“You know, when I started these books, I just wanted to be a published author which I thought would mean I would spending all of my time writing. You know, quietly retreat into a cabin or a stately manse somewhere. Not boarding plane after plan, for interview on top of interview and signing after signing.”

“What can I tell you, friend? That was pretty naive.”

“Thanks, Stella, that helps.” Christie turned away from the noisy family gathering itself by the water fountains. She watched people lining up at the sandwich shop and the single cashier dealing with them in broken English.

“Look, this is just to show you’re team player and can still pull numbers the publishers. To be fair, you’re not making much progress on your pages. You need this, if just to keep it steady in their mind that you are a constant star in the Shockley House firmament.”

The kids behind her squealed in both delight and frustration. Some set of them were laughing like they heard the most hilarious joke in the world and another set was screaming like they’d never been fed before and would combust in this very minute if they didn’t get something to eat right now. Christie shoved a finger in her other ear and tried to repress an annoyed sigh.

“Is that from Singin in the Rain?” she thought aloud.

The slow sandwich clerk handed off another sandwich and Christie wondered who in the hell was making these sandwiches. She could only see the one worker and she wasn’t touching anything resembling food. The people getting the sandwiches didn’t seemed trouble by these magically appearing sandwiches (and who would really? Why are you writing this? You even went back and found a place to put it because you thought it was so important and yet. . . It’s a waste of life)

“I don’t know honey, possibly.” Her tone denoted one who didn’t actually care about the words she was saying. She was just saying them until the conversation ended either in boredom or by flight take-off. Stella had been keeping the conversation going continuously pointing it to an end as she had since the call began.

Christie was sure it was but decided it didn’t matter enough to beleaguer the point. She didn’t want to sound needy but she wanted the company too. She kept trying to draw it out without being obvious or annoying.

“Maybe this tour will jump start whatever stagnation there is behind this fifth book. You know, new sites, new sounds, new faces.” Stella continued in her half-assed version of a pep talk.

Christie could tell that Stella was already done with this conversation in her head. She was on her way to fading out of the call about to talk her off the phone. Too busy to give the truly rallying pep talks she did on their very first ’Nraged tour. And maybe Christie was too seasoned for them anyway. still she could’ve used one. She hadn’t even left her hometown yet and already felt travel weary. Which is why she didn’t mention that new sites, sounds, and faces were more likely to hurt than help. Quite and private produced her best work, thus the quiet retreat she longed for. She was too tired to dig into specifics but not tired enough to ask the question she’d been avoiding since the call started. (Who even called who at this point?). She had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that she wouldn’t like the answer. It felt seasickness.

“Hey, what did they say about springing for better hotels? I’ve stayed in this place in New York before and . . .”

“Maybe on the new book tour. Look, Christie, I’ve got to. . .” 

The way Stella was rushing her off didn’t convince Christie that she’d even asked the publisher’s about the hotel.  “Is that what they actually said? Maybe next time?” 

“I believe the actual words were a ‘A mid-price room in a mid-price hotel for a middling author’.” It sound like Christie had found the end of Stella’s patience and care. After so many years in their professional relationship, pretty much the only relationship she had with a real person. It ended like that, with an almost audible snap. “Sorry, sweetie. I’m getting another call, call me . . . When you’re in LA sometime. Let me know how it goes.” Stella didn’t even bother to try to hide the fact that she didn’t really care at all.

Time was when she would have hidden some blunt truth like that one, especially before Christie had to face the public. Stella use to sugar coat criticism or say leave it to me and get her whatever she requested, though at the time her requests were a bit more modest, though if pressed she would say a little peace and quiet wasn’t too much of an ask either.

Time was Sorry sweetie actually meant something tender and sincere instead of sounding like something a sarcastic frenemy would say. And Stella would skip calls to stay on the line with her, give her anything she needed. 

Time was, Stella would be on this tour with her. Instead she was getting local assistants, at least at the stops big enough to provide one. Her first stop was LA where someone named Eukeelah was meeting her with a town car at LAX.

Time was, Christie would never hang up on a phone call without having said goodbye. But Christie hung up and walked away from the water fountain family and the magical non-English speaking sandwich clerk and eventually walked away from the plane in LAX without remembering much in between.

Yet again Christie was in an airport. This time Dallas - Fort Worth. Yet again she was surround by kids. It was like human beings had taken to repopulating several planets at the rate of rodents. Her Facebook feed was filled with pictures of children from high school classmates she thought she’d never see again after their high school graduation much less be constantly force fed the dramas of their parenthood years later. 

TV was just as bad with commercials and programming constantly centered on families and the fears of mom and dad’s everywhere. Start saving for college now! Paedophile everywhere! Is this food poisoning our children? And at least 5 PrimeTime shows with the word family in the description.

 At least she could log off the computer, turn off the tv, how was she suppose to get away from the kids everywhere she went. Getting in the way, talking too loudly, screaming at their top of their longs, crying and crying and crying.  Kicking and literally screaming like there being murdered bloodily. Where  were the parents? Why couldn’t they keep them quiet? Why was it hard to find some adult only spaces? 

Yet again Christie was in a airport bar searching for peace and quiet. Peace and quiet didn’t exist anymore. The most obnoxious election coverage blared from the Tv’s behind starched shirt bow tied bartenders. Some business men were commiserating about which tax would or would not suck most under which presidency. Some sorority sisters kept raging against some ex-boyfriend and spreading misinformation about gluten and food allergies. At another table a group of soldiers traded war stories. From the kitchen came complaints about staffing and bussing and traffic. There were families in the restaurant too, sat furtherest from the bar. How many news reports has she seen about bars the didn’t allow kids after 8pm and families in there area were all up in and arms? Because God forbid anyplace open that wasn’t family friendly, even a place specifically built for the consumption of alcohol for adults. Did having a baby remove inhibit the independent part of the brain so that parents automatically become so co-dependent they can’t do a single thing without some small sticky, smelly, loud as hell kid attached at the hip? 

Yet again the amount of bourbon she could reasonably drink before boarding the  plane did nothing to quiet her annoyance or dull her senses. Instead, she dropped enough coin to choke a horse on a pair of noise canceling headphones from one of the airport stores and went back to her gate. The headphones made the world a muffled bubble around her. She pulled out her laptop, started some tunes, and plugged into her novel.

Nikki’s broken body winced in pain. She wasn’t very much a part of it any more. She could see herself, face swollen beyond recognition, blood flowing too liberally from her mouth and nose. And too many of her of joints bending in the wrong direction. The jack booted thugs crowding around her limp, disfigured and rapidly cooling body smirked with accomplishment. They almost blocked her view of herself, though she was retreating quickly enough away to make it difficult to see anyway but see it she did, the last light of life fleeting from her eyes. Well, I really fucked that up, she thought before she ceased to exist completely.

Keep reading with Part 2!

Thanks for stopping by <3