Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh, hello.

It's been a month. Heh. Things have been full of me spiritually regrouping, so to speak. Now it's National Novel Writing Month, so I'm currently working on that right now. 50K words in a month sounds pretty daunting, except I've done it for the past for years, starting in 2004 with Being Plumville. That worked out fairly well, didn't it? ;). I've won every year I've done it. 2005 was The Blueprint, although that novel isn't done, and last year it was Manna Tree, which is. This year's NaNo is called NaNo07. It has no title, but I'm thinking that I tend to like historical settings for NaNo, except for last year's of course. This one is set in the mid 1850s, surrounding the events of Bleeding Kansas. That's all I'll say about it at the moment, but I got the idea during my day job as I was proofreading an American history textbook. Go figure. Anyway, right now I'm currently ahead of pace, and hopefully it'll stay that way.

At any rate, this is just a note to tell everyone I am still alive and writing my own original fic. Want proof? Here's the first single-spaced page of NaNo07. It's not beta'ed or spell-checked or anything, as one of the rules not to edit (yes, I do fudge it a little, sue me!) I hope you enjoy!




The heavy dark clouds had besieged the sky like an invading army, and its cavalry of freezing rain, sleet, and snow attacked with merciless precision. Deborah thought she’d left the farm early enough to beat the storm, but Mrs. Fogg had started talking so, asking how Miss Luella was getting on; and if Mister Grayson was going to try for Kansas City and a proper doctor now that he had gotten that wheel on his wagon fixed; and she how couldn’t wait for another one of Aunt Flora’s buttermilk pies. She’d bounced on the balls of her feet, her bottom lip tucked between her teeth as she gave wary glances to the sky through the window just above Mrs. Fogg’s head. Nevertheless, she had nodded and given appropriate mews of agreement when Mrs. Fogg had poured the brewed remedy in the brown glass bottle and promised to pray for Miss Luella’s cough to go away. The illness had gripped poor Miss Luella since before Thanksgiving, and the remedy had been the only thing that had managed to ease it. Though the remedy hadn’t been low, Mister Grayson had wanted to get more before the storm arrived. It had smelled like a big mean one; yesterday, the air had been so still and silent even Miss Luella’s coughs had whimpered out her body as if afraid to hurry tempest along. Deborah would’ve fetched the remedy yesterday, but Mister Grayson had to go into town to pick up supplies for the oncoming storm, and Mrs. Fogg lived three miles in the other direction. Mister Grayson didn’t feel comfortable leaving his wife with only Aunt Flora to look after her, the woman older and not as mobile as Deborah was, and since the ground was already snow-dusted from an earlier, yet gentler snowfall, Deborah would be much more able and quicker to retrieve help. Had Mister Grayson not sold off her husband Isaiah a few months before they had moved here year ago, he would’ve stayed with Aunt Flora and Miss Luella while she went off to Mrs. Fogg.

At the rate she was currently going, however, Deborah doubted she was making any better progress than Aunt Flora would have. It felt as if she was sinking into snow and earth and not moving forward at all, instead just marching futilely in place. Cold speared its way through her threadbare wool coat. The snow melted and pooled in her too-big brown pegged brogans, saturating her holey socks and making water squish between her toes with each step she made. The remedy bottle tinged from each pelt of freezing rain, but the squalling winds soon drowned out the sound, joining the snowy brigade and conspiring against her quest home. They lanced frigid precipitation against her naked face, though she’d gratefully her nose and ears had lost sensation early in her trek. Though she’d tried to hide her hands in the sleeves of her coat, they still tingled with the retreat of feeling. She had to get back, though. Miss Luella still needed the remedy, and with this storm going like it was, it would be a long time before Mrs. Fogg could gather more ingredients for another brew, or for anyone to go to Mrs. Fogg’s cabin to get more should she make more. Not only that, Miss Luella had always been so kind to her and Aunt Flora, and Deborah didn’t even want to think about what Mister Grayson would do should his wife become worse. He loved Miss Luella dearly . . .

Deborah’s calves and thighs burned, growing leaden, as if the muscles swelling and constricting simultaneously against the fierceness of the storm. Her head ached, frozen raindrops and snowflakes falling upon her head like mallets. Another squall and an unseen ground hazard sent Deborah stumbling into the snow. Icy shock seized her body, and though her brain demanded her arms to lift her body, she was too exhausted to heed the command.

“Oh, Lord, help me,” she whispered, forcing her panic into a tight ball deep in her belly. She prayed the bottle didn’t break, though she wouldn’t be able to tell because her entire body was soaked and she could no longer feel her hands. A traitorous sob stole from her mouth, but she clamped her chapped lips close together so that more wouldn’t follow. She was stuck outside an unforgiving tempest and had no idea where she was. She didn’t know if she’d past the point of no return . . . didn’t even know where that point would be. Everything around her was gray, white, and dull. She recognized nothing.


Lexi said...

I am jumping out of my skin right now! A NEW STORY?! I love you so much! You have made my November and I adore you even more so because this is a historical romance. I hope you keep up with your pace and you're doing a GREAT job! I pray that Deborah's alright! Update soon! Oh my, I can't contain my excitement, I'm using so many exclamations!

Bana said...

I'm glad you're excited lol. We'll see how this puppy evolves!