NaNoWriMo Day 29: Take a Peek

Picture 11

Sorry for getting this up a day late! Yesterday ended up being extremely busy, and I wasn’t able to write anything at all. I had to go to bed earlier as well, in order to be fully rested for my Honors College interview today. But, I’m posting this now, as I promised. This is the last 500 words of the 50,000 I wrote for NaNoWriMo.

“How is your leg doing, Jesse? Any improvement?” I ask softly as we walk.

“Mr. Mullen is hopeful that I’ll regain a good bit of motion in it, and I’m doing all I can to ensure that happens. But we wont really know until it decides to tell us. There’s only so much we can do to promote healing… especially here.” She replies, her voice in its taught-to-be-low voice that completes the male charade she nearly constantly carries, yet still bright and bouncy. Too much so.

“Jesse… no disrespect, but that’s not what I asked, sir.” I say gently, looking at her back. She stops, and slowly turns to face me. Her facade bears every trace of exhaustion, from the blue bags beneath her eyes to the lines across her brow. She sighs deeply, running a hand over her face before meeting my gaze.

“Honestly… it’s frustrating… and… well, a bit frightening. I mean, John and I are doing the best we can to help it heal, but any improvement is slight and a long time in coming. That shot… it just did so much damage, and our resources are so limited, we can’t know for sure if it will ever heal properly. And if it doesn’t… How will I lead my men Jude? How will I do my part? How will I keep my men and myself safe? It’s a harsh world out there and…” She sighs again and cuts herself off, shaking her head and pasting on a smile again. Just like Ginger, in a way. The thought pains me, but I keep my focus on Jesse.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to unload on you like that. Don’t worry about me, Jude. I’ll be fine. You already saved me once, remember? I’m already indebted to you for that. Really, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine, whatever happens.” Her smile becomes more genuine, and I smile back, content with the answer. Such a strong little creature, handling all that pain and all that fear without complaint.

“You alright Jude?” Jesse asks, looking at me with concern.

“I’m fine. I… I’m glad you could unload that, Jesse. No one should have to bear a load like that alone. It’s not right, and it’s not healthy. I may only be a rookie, but I’m always happy to lend an ear. We each have a life to live, we all have fears. Not even the great Jesse is bulletproof.” I respond, silencing Judas with a shake of the head. She gives me a funny look, and I blush.

“Sorry! That was a poor choice of words.” She laughs, and I join her.

“Jude, you really are too kind. And you crack me up. You’re just so funny and easy to talk to. Thanks for the ear.” She smiles, and we walk on towards the range.

By the time we arrive, the others have begun to fall into line, waiting. Jesse sits nearby, and we collect our weapons.

NaNoWriMo Day 27: Back in Action

With multiple cough drops, much tea, and general coaxing, I was actually able to find my voice and stop hacking up a lung long enough to do my vlog tonight. It’s a miracle! I hope I’m doing better by tomorrow. But I was much worse today, an it’s looking like I’m getting sick. But hey, better now than earlier in the month!

Now, rather than posting an excerpt from my novel tonight, I though it appropriate to share the poem I performed today. The first one, that is. The second one is on my poems page, titled Feel the Thunder.

The world was dark and there was nothing,

Not a whisper, not a sound.

Space was vast, and null, and void,

Not light, nor dark, was seen.

There were no eyes to survey the land,

Nor a dimension in which to lay,

There was no time to waste away,

None of our known constraints.

There was nothing.

Nothing, a concept difficult for man to understand.

Because since the beginning of time,

And from the moment of our body’s birth,

There has always been something.

But the very definition of nothing

Is the complete absence of something.

So what, then, is something?

Something is anything confined by space and time,

Bound by those mortal shackles we have all felt

Wearing down on us before.

Scientists call this wearing down of our skins

The property of entropy.

Everything that is something is always

Losing its organization, from the molecular structure out.

For this reason we will all return to dust,

Become the dust from whence we came.

But this is not some line from a musty old book,

This is the truth.

For we were nothing, and there was nothing,

Until that first breath was heard upon the earth.

It was the breath that created time and space,

That formed a dimension and filled it with life.

It was the breath that put the stars in the heavens,

And that brought the world to be.

It put us all in motion, gave us immortality.

We were the culmination, the crowning glory of this earth,

But in grace and love He granted us free will.

This gift was given to further glorify Him,

By allowing us to create, to build,

To shine His character in our own unique ways.

We were not made as puppets, dangling from strings.

But in our foolish quest for power we haphazardly cut them anyway,

Not realizing that they were not controlling us.

These strings were not merely strings but lifelines,

Our lifelines to eternity.

When we had finally shaken ourselves free of these strings,

We became brittle, coarse, and weak,

And finally realized that we are not able to sustain ourselves.

Forever became a memory from the past,

A word we say with strong emotions,

But can no longer fully understand.

And yet a part of us still longs for our eternity,

Our souls ache for the perfection we know we once owned.

In our longing for freedom, we sold ourselves to the harshest of masters.

We severed ourselves from the tree of life,

Embracing the tantalizing winds of change and hoping to find a better place.

But its tendrils did not grasp us and we tumbled to the ground,

Our faces in the dirt and muck.

The boots of the gardener would step around us,

The pouring rains trample us down.

We had no ability to pick ourselves up,

No power to return to the tree,

To the safety and stability that we discovered we truly wanted.

Change was not all it was cracked up to be.

The promise of a new and shining tomorrow had washed away,

And left us there to rot.

But not all hope was lost.

For even through the sun’s harsh rays,

The wind’s howling, ripping currents,

The rain’s relentless force,

The gardener was watching.

When at last we’d given in,

Realized we were nothing,

Born from nothing,

Raised from nothing,

Fallen to nothing,

And returning to nothing,

He came again.

Not with fire to burn the imperfections away,

But in love, to save us from our foolish decision.

Hope was not in the wind,

It was in the place we’d fought so hard to leave.

From hope we left,

To hope we could now return.

He graphed us back into our tree of eternity,

He placed the key within our shackle’s lock…

All we have to do is accept it, and turn the key.

NaNoWriMo Day 26: Heaven Help Us

Due to a load of homework and the need to rest my voice for my slam performance tomorrow, I will not be able to post a vlog tonight. I’m still struggling to regain my voice, and I fear it will not return by the time I need it tomorrow. My apologies everyone! To make it up to you all, I leave you with kittens.

NaNoWriMo Day 25: Is That a Frog in Your Throat?

Why, yes. I do have a frog in my throat! I was just able to pull enough of my voice together for the video tonight, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to talk full and strong again by tomorrow. I have to rest my voice, however, because I’m performing my debut slam poem live, in public, for the first time on Tuesday afternoon. I will probably have a video for you, assuming my friends show up. No promises as to the quality, but I’m going to do my best, and hope my voice comes back before then.

NaNoWriMo Day 24: Leftover Pie and a Total Word High

What a great day! It’s been snowing all day, and cold, but I’ve had obscene amounts of coffee and hot chocolate to help me through, plus my favorite hoodie and my hand-crocheted blanket with my horse’s name on it to snuggle up in. I went in to work this morning, made candied pecans and a few other things, then wrote for the better part of the day. I actually got to come home early and have another family night, watched Santa Clause, ate the last of the pie, and then just about went into a food coma after another hot chocolate. In my NaNo Novel alone, I’ve written 4,000 words today. Besides that, I’ve done some more editing, worked on an article for this month’s edition of The Cardinal Chirp, written a slam poem which – if all goes well – I’ll be performing at my first public gig on Tuesday, and worked on something else that must be kept top secret for a short while longer.

I hope you’re all doing just as well!

I have to say I am beyond proud of this. I didn’t think I’d hit 30,000 when I started this month. But now, barring disaster this week, it would be nearly impossible to stop me. I’m so excited, and I have a feeling I’m going to be word high for the rest of the week!

That dip that began on Day 8 was when I crushed my hand. I didn’t think it was possible to come back from that, not with my dance that weekend. But clearly, I was wrong.

Finally, a short snippet tonight. Judas is having some fun on the agility course!

“Sorry Charlie! Better luck next time!” He shouts, landing a foot in front of me at the finish line. I laugh breathlessly, slowing to a walk and gasping for air.

“What do you think you’re doing soldier? Keep it moving!” I glance over my shoulder to see Jordan storming up in a huff, hardly a bead of sweat on his brow even though he’s run every lap with us. I look to Jesse, sitting at the sideline watching, and she grins, waving me on. I shake my head in disgust and pick up my pace, running back to the starting point to begin the course again.

“You pansies think you’ll get away with those times? Keep it moving! We’re training an army, not pruning a flowerbed! Go! Go! Go!” Jordan keeps urging us forward, and I do my best to keep from collapsing in exhaustion. Jayden, I take it back. I love you man. I think to myself with a smirk. Our training was nothing compared to this. Not even old John Resnik was this hard!

When we hit the firing range, I stop to catch my breath before firing. I’m still in the lead. They stopped longer than I did, and now they’ve got to get their muscles moving again. Besides, it’ll take them each at least two rounds to get the cluster. I’ll be in and out in a second. It’s a welcome reprieve, but I walk in circles to stay limber. When I hear Jordan yelling at the boys coming in, I take up the rifle, quickly load it and blast five holes through the bull’s eye. Jordan waves me on, and I take off again, putting as much distance between myself and them as possible before the rope again.

By the time I reach the finish, I’m barely dragging along, every inch of my body hurting. When Jesse gives me a thumbs up, I step to the side of the finish, flopping down on my back and desperately pulling in air.

“You alright there, son?” A voice above me asks, a tint of humor to his voice.

“I’m… perfectly… fine.”

 

NaNoWriMo Day 23: Hot Chocolate, Snow, and 40k

It’s day 23 of NaNoWriMo. I can’t believe how far I’ve come! Today has been a great day, albeit chilly. Yesterday it was a nice 60 degrees and sunny, this morning it was warm with a cool breeze, and about 5p the temperature dropped to freezing and snow began to fall. Gently at first, almost enough to go unnoticed. Then, around 7pm, within minutes it was a near white-out. You couldn’t see the street from our shop’s windows, and we got an inch within 1o minutes. Then it slowed, and has been steadily falling all night. Only in Ohio, friends, only in Ohio. The best part? The weathermen and news channels are still saying it’s raining here. What a far cry from my hometown in Arizona! It used to be that we had only one forecast, and it was always right. Hot.

I got to sleep in a good while this morning for only the second time this month, and spent a few hours editing for the wonderful Madison Louise. (Check out her books y’all. She’s fantastic!) Then I helped with lunch orders, did my job at the shop, edited some more, waited out the worst of the snow – due to bad windshield wipers – and headed home. Had a wonderful night with the family, and then got down to business. All in all, this writer is very happy at the moment. Which, I’m certain, has nothing to do with the two mochas and three hot chocolates I’ve had today.

Finally, I will leave you with a beautiful face tonight. I don’t always fangirl. But when I do, I fangirl hard. Loki is one of my all-time favorite characters. So what if he has daddy issues and an insatiable lust for power? He’s got depth. And a soul.