Excerpt from my Novel (Amy)

October 1906

Thump! Thump! Thump!

The loud noise woke me out of a sound sleep. I flung my legs over the side of the bed and propelled myself into the main room. “I’m coming!” I yelled. The thumping stopped.

I wrenched open the door and found myself leaping back from the snow swirling inside. My doorway was filled with what looked like a walking snowman. A storm had struck while I had been asleep.

“Are you the doctor?” The snowman had a surprisingly high-pitched voice.

“I am.”

“You must come at once! My husband has broken his leg!”

“I will come. But I must get dressed for the weather. Please come in by the fire for a moment,” I said and the snowman moved inside. I shut the door and poked up the fire.

I hurried into the bedroom and shut the door. I yanked on my warmest clothes in several layers, thanking God that I had had the sense to listen to those who told me how cold Montana’s winters can be, and purchased the warmest clothes I could find. I went back into the main room, intent on grabbing my bag.

I stopped dead in the doorway. The snowman had shed his hat and scarf, revealing not a man at all but a beautiful young woman with flowing red hair. This was completely unexpected. I remembered suddenly that she had mentioned a husband.

“Alright. Let’s get going.” I said gruffly to cover my confusion. She put her rough raiments back on and we headed to the door. “Where is your husband?”

“Up in the high woods.” she answered.

“Good God, woman, how did you get down here?” I demanded as I opened the door and the full force of the blizzard swirled in my face.

“It didn’t start snowing until an hour or so ago.” She led the way around the house. At the back, in the lee of the wind, were two horses. She untethered them and pulled herself to the top of one. I got on the other.

“Just how far away is your husband?”

“Two hours by horse in good weather.”

I shuddered. It was going to be a long day. Head down, we moved off, into the blizzard, up into the woods north and west of town.


NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up


Image by sirwiseowl via Flickr

This is late, but that pretty much sums up my NaNoWriMo experience this year. There were many days when I got nothing written, and I got nowhere near 50,000 words, but I feel successful nonetheless.

I have been working on this project off and on for almost 10 years now, stuck on the same 1,000 words or so. In one month, I wrote 15,113 words, more than 15 times what I had before. And I haven’t even incorporated the original 1,000 words that inspired the whole project.

I am going to keep working on it — give me another 10 years, and I might have a novel for you. Actually, if I can maintain even my (very slow) NaNo pace, it might be a novel in six months or so. We’ll see.

Excerpt from my NaNoWriMo story


What have I done? My Amy is so scared of me, she disappeared into Andrew’s room and won’t come out. No matter what I say, she won’t even talk to me. He just comes to the door and tells me to quit bothering her. What have I done? I don’t even remember. I remember she laughed at me, telling me I was too serious. I just didn’t want her talking to the desk clerk any more. I don’t like the way he looked at her. But she laughed it off. And then she said I was too serious. I don’t remember what happened after that. Everything went black, and then red. But then there was a knock on the door, and it was Andrew. He forced his way in, and he took Amy away. My Amy was sobbing on the floor, and he took her away. What have I done?

I am about 5,000 words behind as of right now. I try not to worry about this, as I know that I have a lot more than 50,000 words to say eventually in this story. Every one I write this month is one I don’t have to write later, but I also know that no matter how many I write this month, there will be more to write later.

How is your NaNo progressing? Are you on track with the word count?


My own work. Created using "Inkscape&quot...

Image via Wikipedia

I am doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (really, more like a novella) in the month of November. I did it 2 years ago and finished a novel that I like very much but I don’t believe I will ever take out of first draft stage. I skipped it last year, but I decided to try again this year. Strictly speaking, I am breaking the rules a little bit this year, because I am not using a brand-new idea. Instead, I am greatly expanding a story that I have been working on for over 10 years now, gradually bringing forth new ideas and adding new characters. I will be adding some of the material I have already written to my NaNo novel, but I am planning on increasing the word count to account for it (ie if I add 2,000 words of previously written material, I will finish November with 52,000 words instead of 50,000.)

I am not off to the best of starts, as I have been unable to begin work (life does get in the way sometimes of even the best laid plans) until today, November 3. I started today needing to write 5,000 words instead of 1,667 (the number one must write to everyday to write the same number of words each day of November). I didn’t manage 5,000. I have written 1,819 so far today (I think I’m done for the day). But if I can manage a few extra every day, I should catch up pretty quickly to where I should be.

I’m not going to inflict the entire thing on you as I write — this novel is very much in flux, and will probably be changing yet again before I’m done. Today, I will leave you with the first line.

I always knew my father was a dangerous man.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How’s it going? Tell me in the comments, or leave a link to your

blog or your NaNo work.

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