Tag Archive | ‘Love Authority’

NaNoWriMo – Day 11

I can’t believe we’re a third though November, and NaNo already. Where does the time go?

As you may remember from previous posts, I’ve not been doing too well. I’ve been behind since the beginning. I’ve had a couple of days this week where I’ve written more than the obligatory 1,667 words (2063 on Sunday, 1771 on Monday and 1828 on Tuesday), so I’m happy with them, but then the end of the week, and the weekend have been bad. Last week I said I wanted to catch up b today. Oops.

I had a friend’s hen party this weekend. I got the train up to the town we were meeting in on Friday (which happens to be where I’m from and where my parents live). The journey was a couple of hours, and I got 1,126 words written, by hand, during the journey. The rest of the weekend was spent on hen stuff.

The train home today had a socket by my seat (I got a dirt cheap first class ticket!) so I got some computer written words done. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling too well (hen party hangover), an the train was quite bumpy, so it was only 273. Still, that’s 273 more than I had.

I also managed to do some more plotting, which I’m really happy with. I don’t know what my next scene will be, but I’ve had a couple more ideas for later in the novel. Really happy with this. My major problem is that I don’t have names for some of the characters – including the main two characters. It’s from one of their POVs, so less important, but her name is still used by other people. The other MC hasn’t come in yet, but will be soon, so I need to find that, and soon. In fact, maybe I’ll look for a name tonight. Or maybe I’ll write the other half of my 1,667 words for today. Oh dear, just seen the time. I really need an early night today, so maybe I’ll do it all tomorrow!

 

As I did last week, I’m going to post some writing. I liked the idea of posting what I’d written that day, so here is what I wrote today (again, please ignore the bad spelling, punctuation etc, in true NaNo style, I’ve not edited – that’s what December’s for, right!):

 

‘I just don’t understand why you’re not believing them and making this harder than you have to. Yes, it’s terrible she’s gone, but I’m sure she had her reasons. Denial about it isn’t going to bring her back. The police have records saying she was arrested for prostitution, things like that don’t just appear. They’re in the system. I’m sorry honey, but it’s all true. The sooner you accept that the better.’

I stopped chopping the vegetables, put down my knife and turned to him. He was leaning on the kitchen table.

‘How can you believe it? You’re a sensible man, and Amy is a sensible woman, she wouldn’t leave Shannon, and she wouldn’t go without telling me.’ I walked past him to get the meat out the fridge.

‘But she has.’

‘No. I’m sorry David, but I don’t believe that. I can’t and I won’t. She’s my sister for gods sake. I’m going to do what I can to find her. I’m going to look under every stone, upturn anything until I find her and find out what’s happened to her.’

I turned away from him to walk back to my chopping board, but David grabbed my free arm.

‘What are you going to do?’ he asked. He had a strange look on his face, I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was unpleasant. I had never been scared of him before, and wasn’t then, but I was close to it. ‘Don’t do anything that-’

‘That what David?’ I almost spat at him. Then I realised what he was thinking. ‘Oh, I get it: don’t do anything that will embarrass you. That’s what you mean isn’t it? My sister’s missing and all you care about is your career.’ I tried to shake his hand off my arm, but he was gripping too tightly. That fear I wasn’t feeling was getting closer.

‘NO,’ he shouted in retaliation to my rising voice. ‘We know what happened, so I don’t want you digging into things that don’t need digging into. The police have told you the truth. Just leave it at that. I do not want or need, and neither do you, your name in the papers dragging stuff up and making both yourself and me look stupid.

‘Just get a grip, and believe what the police are telling you. They’re the police. Jeez X.’ He let go of my arm, almost flinging it towards my body, and stormed out the room. I stumbled, probably more in shock than anything else, but kept my balance. A few seconds later I heard the front door slam.

I looked at my arm, there were red marks where his fingers had dug into me. I couldn’t believe that just happened. David and I rowed sometimes, but he’d never laid a finger on me in anger. He just wasn’t like that.

Obviously it showed how much his job meant to him. More than my sister. Some marriage we had.

I turned round to carry on making some food when I heard Shannon behind me at the door. Shit, I’d forgotten she was in the house while we were arguing, but we hadn’t been too loud so I didn’t really think about it.

‘Hey Shannon, are you nearly ready for dinner? It will be ready in a minute.’ I turned back to the dinner, but she didn’t answer me. I looked back at her and realised she looked quite so white.

‘Shannon, are you ok.’ She didn’t say anything, so I walked over to where she was and crouched down. I touched her forehead, she seemed ok. ‘Are you not feeling well.’ She shook her head. ‘What’s wrong.’

‘Are you and Uncle David arguing?’ For a second I was taken aback. We really hadn’t been that loud, yes he’d shouted at me, but the lounge was the other side of the house.

‘Come here.’ I sat on a chair in the kitchen, and pulled her onto my lap. I stroked her hair. ‘Sometimes couples argue, it’s just an adult thing. But we’re ok. Did you hear us?’ She nodded. ‘I’m sorry Shannon. But we’re ok.’

‘Is Uncle David going to hit you? Are we going to leave him?’ She burst into tears. Of course, Amy and her father used to argue like hell, then he hit Amy. A few times apparently Shannon had seen.

‘No Shannon. No. We’re fine.’ I tried to push the memory of David’s hand on my arm, and the red marks he left from my mind. ‘David is not your father. He’s a good man. He wouldn’t hit me, and we’re definitely not going to split up.’ I squeezed her tightly, but she didn’t stop crying. I could have murdered David for starting this, and making her more upset. I knew though, that if he’d known she’d been listening, he wouldn’t have done anything. He really loved her, and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.

That was one positive thing.

‘Look Shannon, your father was a bad man. When your Mummy found out she left him. Unfortunately she had to do things before she could leave him, which is why you sometimes saw things. David is a good man, he’s not going to do anything wrong. He’s not going to hit me. I promise. Do you believe me?’

She pulled away and looked at me earnestly, with tears falling down her face. It broke my heart to see her that upset about something I’d done, that we could have avoided. After everything she’d been through over the last week or so, we should be protecting her, not making her feel on edge again.

She nodded. Phew. I wiped away the tear marks from her face. Another tear fell from her right eye.

‘I miss Mummy.’ I pulled her back to my body and rocked her back and forth while she burst into another round of tears.

‘Me too Shannon, me too.’ I knew I had to find Amy, or at least find out what happened, not just for her, or me, but for her little girl.

 

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NaNoWriMo – The First Week

Well that’s gone quickly hasn’t it – the first six days are done, tomorrow (Wednesday – I’m writing my check-in a day early). So far, tt’s not going to plan.

The plan is 1,667 words a day – the NaNo goal. In actual fact, I’ve achieved:

  Day Word Goal Total Written Written Per Day
Thursday 1 1667 708 708
Friday 2 3334 868 160
Saturday 3 5000 1183 315
Sunday 4 6667 3246 2063
Monday  5 8334 5017 1771
Tuesday 6 10000 6843 1826

So, really, I’m getting better. Better than the first few days anyway. The last three days I’ve consistently got over 1,667, so that’s a really good direction to be going in.

Not sure how I’m going to do tomorrow, as I’ve got a course all day, then I’m meeting a friend, (my ROW80 buddy Laura) before going to a contemporary fiction networking event – Jojo Moyes, Cecelia Ahern and Harriet Evans are going to be there. EXCITED. It’s only on until 8.30, but I imagine I won’t get anything done when I get home.

Laura and I are meeting in a bookshop, probably in the cafe, a couple of hours before the event, so maybe, hopefully, I’ll get some writing done in that time.

My goal for the rest of the week is to catch up. I’m slowly clawing my way back, but as of right now, I’m still 3,157 behind, meaning if I was to catch up tomorrow, I’d need to write 1,667 plus 3,167, so = 4,834. Ah. I’m not catching up tomorrow. But by Sunday night, I will be at 18,334.

18,334, that seems like an awful lot!

I’m going to a hen party on Friday. That means I’ve got the hour journey ‘home’ to write (where we’re meeting), then on Sunday the two-hour journey back from Liverpool (where we’re going Saturday). Not sure how productive the one on Sunday will be (but I did get a first class upgrade for £2.50 – result!), or how much I’ll get done on Saturday (we’re driving up to Liverpool). That probably means I should get ahead before then. When? Oh I don’t know. Still, I must have caught up by Sunday.

All my other goals are out the window. Well, I didn’t make any other goals this week (other than blogging, and this is one of the two). The last couple of days I have not been able to stop eating. It’s terrible. I imagine it’s the cold. And writing. I always seem to eat more when I’m writing, because I need more breaks, and procrastination.

I went to my first write-in for NaNo this year tonight. It was really good. Yumchaa Tea is my favourite NaNo location from the last two years. It’s this quirky little tea shop in central london, with odd tables, chairs and sofas, and weird plates and cups and stuff. We take over the whole of the basement. It’s awesome.

Tonight I didn’t feel like writing. My story wasn’t calling to me. I was twittering a lot in the first 45 minute writing session. I went to talk to a couple of people in the chat break, mainly to complain I wasn’t feeling it. We talked about my novel, and they gave me some ideas, but I knew I couldn’t go with any of them. That made me realise I was further along than I thought, because I knew for sure their ideas wouldn’t work. One of the girls then challenged me to write over 1,00o in the second 45 minute write session.

Well, you know me and a challenge.

I managed it, and more, and got some thinking about the plot done. In fact, I got 1,100+ the second half. They did a count up of who did the most. There were only 4 of us that wrote more than 1,000 (I think there were 30 people there), so we got stickers. Only I got a sticker at the kick-off party, so I got a mini box of Frosties instead. What an awesome encouragement!

So now I’m feeling more hopeful about the novel. That is possibly because I’ve realised I need my ‘storyboard.’ For me, my storyboard is a wall covered in post-it notes detailing the main events in the novel. I’ve found before, if I have these to work to I do ok, if I don’t (one year I had a loose plan and nothing else) I go off topic and make things longer than should be and it all gets into a mess.

So a wall of post-its it is.

Hope the boyfriend doesn’t mind!

NaNoWriMo 2012 – The First Few Days; Love Authority – The First 1,000 Words

I’m killing two goals with one stone tonight: my update on NaNo/ROW80, and my first 1,000 words of the novel. Yep, I’m going live with the first 1,000 words of the novel, brave or what.

I saw on Twitter on day one, that people were posting their first lines. It made me realise the first line had to be good – real good (OK, I knew that already, it reminded me!), but not just the first line, sentence, paragraph, the whole of the beginning.

Maybe that’s why the writing isn’t coming easily to me. When I say not easily, by the end of today, I should be rocking 6,667 words. I’m currently on 1,500. Ouch!

I’m not feeling it this year. Steve and I were discussing it last night, which gave me an idea of why.

This isn’t romance, or chick lit. This year it’s going to be a mystery/thriller. I’ve never been sure if I can write that. I think you need to be really clever, and think up great twists, and have a great plan. I don’t really yet, and I’m not sure I can think up enough. Of course everyone I say that to tells me I’m being stupid, of course I can. Maybe I just need the confidence to.

Because I don’t have the confidence in myself right now, I think this novel is going to be a mess. But, as Steve pointed out, it’s not meant to be a finished product on 30th November. Other than needing tens of thousands of words added, it’s also going to need editing, where all the problems can be fixed, and I can make it a decent novel. All I need to do in November is get to the 50,000 line.

But I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to start something knowing it’s probably not going to be any good. I want it to be good from the off.

This from a girl who NEVER edits as she goes. Can you believe it?

So, I’m behind. Massively. And I’ve got a massively busy week this week, I’m out all nights but one. Eeek! Steve’s challenged me to catch up by Sunday next week. So that’s my goal this week – get to 18,334 by Sunday night.

Jeez. Saying it like that sounds crazy. I’m not going to work out how many words a day that is, cause I’m pretty sure it will scare the hell out of me. I’m just going to aim for OVER 1,667 per day. Including today. Although I’ve only given myself another 45 minutes to get there (convinced I need an early night to get through this week). I’m going to write at lunch, when I get home before dinner, and after dinner. Oh, I’m going out a lot. Well, still.

I’m going to pretty much ignore all other goals except blogging. I need to get at least one ROW80/NaNo check in this week, and post some writing – probably from the novel again. So minimum of two blogs. One really, I can merge them like this one. I’d like two though.

So that’s it. Easy goals. Just under 17,000 words. And 1-2 blogs. Easy, right??

And now, to Love Authority.

I’m going on the old Fiction Friday rules, and NaNo necessity, of not editing as I go, and posting without editing! Eeek! This is the prologue and beginning of the first chapter of my 2012 NaNo novel Love Authority.

Prologue: Four days ago.

             ‘I give up,’ Amy said putting her wine down on the table and sinking into the chair opposite me, ‘He’s not coming.’

            I look up from my cheese sandwich, an extravagance which I thought David might kill me for, but I was so hungry because of staying late at work I hadn’t been able to go home. I just hoped David wouldn’t make me ask Amy for the money back for it.

            ‘Aw, Ames, I’m so sorry. Here, you want half of this?’ She shook her head, then laid it down on the table on her arms.

            ‘Why can’t I just find someone nice?’ she said, muffled through her arms. ‘Why does this always happen to me?’

            ‘You’ve been stood up before?’

            She lifted her head to give me an evil eye. ‘No, you know what I mean. I can’t find anyone nice. It just sucks.’

            I reached over and stroked her arm. ‘Least you’ve got Shannon.’ At the mention of her daughter’s name, Amy’s face lit up, a little.

            ‘Yes, I’ve got Shannon.’ I couldn’t help being jealous. Yes, I had the husband, which was fantastic (can you hear the sarcasm?), but to have a child? That would be magical. More than magical. It was everything I’d ever dreamed about. But, I coudlnt’ think like that. I didn’t want to get dragged down by the bad feelings that resurrect when I think of what could have been.

            ‘There will be someone out there, I promise.’

            ‘Do you? That’s bold. I need to face facts, no one wants a divorcee. God, I can’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to meet someone that had chosen to get a divorce. No, I’m destined to sit on the shelf.’

            Secretly I thought she was so brave getting divorced. Of course for her, the beatings were the motivation, I don’t have that, just a plain old boring marriage to a boring man. So not worth a divorce. I’d just have to grin and bare it, and hope he died before I did so I’d have some time alone.

            At least he didn’t beat me up. That’s a good thing.

Chapter One: Two days ago.

            My phone buzzed with excitement as I got out the tube, my heart sank. Please, not work. I’d only left an hour ago, but that didn’t mean someone couldn’t have called in sick in that time. It had happened too many times.

            I debated ignoring it, but I knew the extra money would be good, so I gave in. I was shocked when Shannon’s school number was my missed. My 7 missed

            That couldn’t be good.

            Before I listed to the voicemail, I rang them back. 7 Calles meant something was wrong, I may not have time to list to my message.

             ‘Hello? I was always quite intimidated by the teachers at the school. It wasn’t posh or anything, but they were teachers, so incredibly far from us it didn’t feel too different to speaking to the king or queen. Amy always said I was being silly, and they were fine (moost of them anyway), but I couldn’t’ shake the feeling.

            ‘Uh, hello. It’s X X, Shannon X’s Aunt. I’ve had some…’

            ‘X, good. We’ve got Shannon here. Her Mum didn’t turn up. Can you collect her?’

            ‘She didn’t’ collect Shannon? I asked pointlessly. I was shocked, Amy never let Shannon down, never forgot her, nothing. Ever. ‘Have you tried calling her?’

            The teacher cleared her throat down the phone, obviously to make a point. ‘Many times,’ she said. X, we have to have Shannon collected soon. We have homes to go to ourselves.’

            I looked at my watch to calculate the time it would take by bus or tube to get across town. Too long. I ground my teeth.

            ‘Certainly. I can be there in 15 minutes.’ There was an intake of breath down the phone, obviously she wanted me there quicker. ‘I’m sorry, that’s the soonest I can get there.’ I hung up the phone and looked round for a taxi, praying I’d get that phone call tomorrow offering another shift to make up the taxi money. At this rate David would divorce me and I’d be left out on the streets.

 

            ‘Aunty X!’ The second Shannon saw me she came running into my arms. I lifted and spun her round, trying to ignore the looks of disgust from the teacher behind her. ‘Is Mummy ok?’ Shannon whispered as I set her back down. I looked at the teacher and waved.

            ‘Thank you. Sorry.’ Then I grabbed Shannon’s hand and ran as fast I as I knew her little legs would take her.

            ‘Where’s Mummy?’ Shannon asked when the door closed behind us. I bent down to her level.

            ‘I don’t know Shannon.’ I’d tried calling her multiple times on my way over. It was ringing and ringing, not even her voicemail was picking up. I had no idea why not, or where she was, or why she wasn’t answering it. I’m really worried, but I can’t let Shannon know that. 

            ‘I’m sure she’s fine, you know sometimes she’s a bit scatty.’ She wasn’t, but I doubted Shannon would argue. ‘So how about you come over to ours for dinner?’ She nodded, not looking too worried. That was one of us.

 

            By the time we get home, I’ve still not heard back from Amy. I’d tried her a couple of times, telling Shannon I was calling David to tell him I was bringing her home with me. I’d sent him a text. He still hasn’t replied. I hope it means he’s working late.

            That isn’t really my worry though, Amy is. Amy and Shannon. The longer I don’t hear back from Amy, the more worried I get. Luckily, Shannon seems ok. I guess because I was ok to pick her up, and sometimes I do, she doesn’t feel that worried. As long as we’ve heard from her by bedtime.

            ‘What do you want for dinner?’ I asked Shannon as we sat her in front of the TV. Only when I asked the question, I realised we probably didn’t have much in. It was Friday, I was due to go shopping tomorrow.

            ‘Can I –‘

            ‘How about I surprise you?’ I cut in. I didn’t want to disappoint her with not having what she wanted. She looked surprised, but nodded. She really was a good kid.

            Before I went to make dinner, or find something to make for dinner, I remembered she’d left a toy dog at ours last time she was there. I went to find it.

            ‘Hey Shannon, look what I’ve found.’ She didn’t turn round, but lifted her hand to her face, I realised she was wiping tears. I rushed over, pulling her into a tight hug. ‘What’s wrong girly?’

            ‘Where’s Mummy? I want my Mummy.’ I sat down, and pulled her on to my lap so I could rock her back and forth.

            ‘I know baby. I know.’ What else could I say? I didn’t know where she was, or when she’d be back. A small part of me was wondering if she’d even be back.

I’d love to hear what you think, just please, ignore the typos, grammar, and lack of editing. Words are more important today than editing 😉

Sunday Check-In, Good and Bad

It’s just days to NaNo. For the last 3 years, October has been the most productive month of the year, not so this year. Usually I think I need to get ready for writing 1,667 words a day by consistently writing daily. I think I kind of forgot that this year. Maybe this year I’m going for resting before NaNo!

Lets look at my goals this week, and how I’ve done:

Writing: 100 words a day on 5 days, or NaNo prep on those days. I did some prep on Monday and Tuesday. That is all. Just a few days left till NaNo, so I guess I’m doing a lot of prep in the next few days. Storyline, character names, character personalities, etc. etc. I’ve got a lot to do! I can do some tonight, it’s not too late.

Writing: 1,000 words creative writing posted to my blog. SUCCESS. On Friday I posted a story I wrote last year about Aliens and microwaves. That’s £5 in my fund from the boyfriend.

Blogging: 1 book review, 2 check-ins and the creative blog. Done, done, done! Woop!

Exercise: Gym or run 2 days. Pass.

Eating: ‘Fasting’ 1 day, 1,400 for 5 days. I did the ‘fasting,’ although I managed 623 not 500 words, but it was still good, so happy with that. Not so happy with the other 5 days and the lack of counting over those. How about I try again this week?

 

I like these goals, so I’m going to use them this week. Well until Thursday anyway. Thursday –  Sunday my writing goal will be 1,667 words.

Usually, I’m feeling good about NaNo, but this year I’m just feeling a little dread. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not doing chick-lit, and a little worried that I’m not going to be able to do this thriller/black comedy thing. I don’t know if it will have any comedy. I don’t know if it will be a thriller. All I do know at the moment, is that it’s called Love Authority. At least I’ve got a title, that’s better than the one I started in 2009, it’s still called ‘Holiday,’ with the ”.

On a final note, My Christmas cake is in the oven. I’m really excited, it’s the first one I’ve ever made. It’s going to be in the oven for another couple of hours. Unless I had it on too high a temperature for the first 2 hours. Oops!

Enjoy your last couple of days of freedom before NaNo if you’re doing it!

Snow, snow, snow!

Well, London hasn’t come to a complete standstill, which is nice.  It does however mean I’m at work, which isn’t so nice.  I’m not even going to get sent home ’cause someone has to be on reception and answer the phone until security get here 😦  I think it’s so funny how we’re complaining about the snow (all couple of inches of it if we’re lucky), or getting trapped by it here in England, but in other parts of the world a foot of snow is nothing. 

I’ve nearly nearly finished my book.  I probably will on the way home.  Yay.  Next is a Mills & Boon book I started before Christmas but stopped for some reason.  I think there was something I wanted to read more.  Then after that, what?  Another thriller?  Chick lit?  Hmmmmm.  I had to go to WHSmith today, they put the books at the front – how mean.  I resisted looking at them (too much).  I should get a gold star 🙂

I woke up this morning with a story idea in my head.  It developed from something I wrote the other day on Oneword and now it’s about 1/3 of a novel.  It’s a thriller (guess what I’ve been reading!), but the problem is, I don’t know what happens in the end.  Or how.  Really I shouldn’t even entertain the idea.  I’ve got Italian Infatuation to edit, Holiday to finish writing, a dark comedy idea (‘Love Authority’ I think) floating round my head and also another Mills & Boon type novel in my head.  I don’t need another idea to come along.  Still I’ve started writing a plan, and given it a working title (‘Missing’).  Maybe one day.

I realised today it’s 6 days later than the 1st day I planned to let myself read through Italian Infatuation – and I’ve still not started it.  I’m not sure why.  I think it’s cause when I sit down at the computer my attention has been pulled away by blogs I’ve not read and missed over Christmas.  Maybe today.  Or tomorrow. 

I’ve actually got the next couple of days off work.  My mum was supposed to be coming down to London, but we’re not sure if she’s going to be able to get here.  If not, I can have a couple of days at home reading, writing and editing.  It seems like almost a waste of 2 holiday days, but I can make them worth it I think!

I’m doing well with my writing 5 or more days a week.  I’m not writing much, but a little is better than none, I’m sure you’ll agree!