Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are You Brave Enough to Post A Page From Nano?

Jon Spell made the suggestion that we post the first page from the Nano novels we're working on.  Some said no way, it was unedited stuff that they couldn't post.  Others said, sure, why not.  So I'm opening up this thread for anyone who wants to post a page from their Nano novel for others to read/comment on.

And here's mine:  (Keep in mind it's my raw, unedited NaNo work.)  :)

Colby got out of his car and shut the door, leaning against it for a moment.  He was exhausted.  They’d been on a domestic violence call that had turned into a hostage situation that hadn’t ended well.  All Colby wanted to do was crawl in his bed, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to close his eyes.  The image of the wife dead in her living room would live with him for a long time.
            He pushed off and started up the walk to his house.  He’d never dreamed he’d still be living in his childhood home, but when his parents had died, they’d left it to him and it provided an inner security for him that he’d never been able to recreate anywhere else.  He took the steps up to the front porch two at a time, but stopped.  Smoke.  He could smell smoke.
            The tiredness in his body melted away as his heart began to beat faster.  Vaulting over the small wall that surrounded the porch, he went around back.  The smell got stronger the faster he moved and he realized it was coming from the old Carney house next door. 
            Colby crossed the lawn and pulled open the screen door.  The Carney family had moved out of the home years ago and several different renters had been there since then.  With Colby’s crazy work hours, though, he had no idea who lived there now.  He banged on the front door.  “Hello? Is anyone home?”
            There was no answer.
           The smell of smoke was stronger now and Colby circled the house.  He hopped the fence and saw the flames from the side window.  The kitchen was on fire.  Fishing his cell phone from his pants pocket, he quickly dialed 911.  Assuring himself that emergency personnel were on the way, he crept closer, peering in the windows.  The smoke was thick and flames were licking the oak kitchen cupboards that old man Carney had spent hours refinishing himself.  The fire was greedy and was making its way toward the ceiling. 

Okay, I showed you mine, now let's see yours.  


Giselle said...

Now that I look over it, it sounds very demented. Anyways here it is!

Mist is what kills them; we are just the ones who put them out of their misery. At least that’s what I tell myself as I string the arrow in to the bow and position my target.
The rain is coming down in sheets. So hard and so heavy each drop feels like a sharp shard of ice piercing my skin, soaking my clothing and creating puddles in my boots. The water invents a veil, thinning and distorting the figures around me. I can still see the woman though; see her curled up on her side, screaming.
You would think her skin was boiling over from the sounds of her screams. But I know better. It was worse, much worse. I have a brief moment where I wonder how she even got outside in the rain in the first place. Maybe she didn’t know. Maybe the thirst was too much and she didn’t believe the rumors about what water could do to you.
The ringing of her screams is what sends the arrow flying straight in to her chest.
I don’t even think she saw it coming.
There is no blood, only the blue that drips down from the metal of the arrow. Because of the blue liquid her death was painless. I can only hope I helped her.
I want to move, but my limbs feel frozen over with the cold of the rain. It isn’t until I hear the familiar whistle from above me that I realize where I am again.
The City. Large gray buildings, tall and looming though posing no threats, seeing as how almost all of them are empty. I’m not used it. It’s nothing like the small Villages where I grew up. It’s far too eerie, far too threatening. I find myself wondering how I even wound up here. Building walls against painful memories is the only thing that keeps me from remembering any further. I hold my head up to the sky and blink away the water that stings my eyes from the rain. I tell myself they are not tears.
Mist can’t come now. The rain still pounds against my skin. It hurts, but I am numb to the pain. The chilly air and whipping of the wind and water in my face tell me I can’t be hurt. I am safe.
At least for now.
I hear the whistle again and finally I am able to lower my bow, unlocking my eyes from the woman’s soaked body, blue staining her clothes. Aya swoops down in seconds. My wren, a bird with large looming wings, colorful feathers, and the thing that made it possible for people like the woman to die in peace.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Wow, Giselle, that's so powerful! Great job, can't wait to read more. :)

M. R. Buttars said...

Mine has all sorts of problems, but here it is.

The charcoal glides over the stiff paper. In my thin, white fingers the simple materials create a masterpiece. Not really, but my therapist says I need more confidence. The black line connects to itself, completing the circle. My other hand smudges and shades as an image begins to emerge.
I jump, my hand smearing across the off-white page. A wistful breath escapes my lips as I stare at the shapeless smear that had almost been a moon. An hour of careful work and my poor, lone wolf still had nothing to howl at. He remained wrapped in silence.
Only my mom calls me Alexis. To everyone else I am Lexie or Lex. I sometimes wish I could do away with the Lex. Whenever I hear it, I think of that villain from Superman. Crazy, rich, bald guy, yep, that's me. A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth as I survey my wolf. He stands at the peak of a hill, tall and strong. My art teacher says to draw what you know, but I prefer to draw what I dream. Last night, this wolf appeared. His mouth open and ready, but no sound ever came. When I looked at the dark sky above him, I noticed he had no moon to receive his mournful cry. My heart ached for him and I felt a strange kinship to this silent wolf.
"Alexis." My mother's voice had taken on the tone of the professor dealing with an errant student.
Alright, alright, I'm coming. I set my sketchbook aside with a wistful glance. Oh well, the moon would have to wait. Tucking a lock of wispy, shoulder-length hair behind my ear, my sooty fingers brush my cheek. Grabbing a paint stained rag, I wipe away the evidence of my impractical endeavors. Using the cloth to wipe my hands, I make sure there is no trace that will cause a lecture. The full-length mirror on the back of my door reveals nothing but my pale complexion, red t-shirt, knee-length green plaid skirt and pencil straight strawberry-blonde mane.

Kris Ellsworth said...

I'm still working on taking my ideas and putting it into writing ...

The man sat hunched on the old cot keeping his eyes staring straight ahead at the corner of the room. If he had the courage to cast his eyes anywhere else, it would only cause him pain. A short gaze to the right brought the sight of a crucifix nailed to the wall. He could never look at it long for fear he may utter a pray and lose his soul in the process. A glance to the left showed an oval mirror hung on the wall and the sight of his appearance always sickened him. Looking up, he could see the strands of his filthy and dreadlocked hair. Looking down, he saw his rotting clothes, long grime-blackened nails and hands. No sight repulsed him more than the sight of himself.
He was in constant internal pain and anguish for the rash choice he made six years before. A statement made in anger, the disguised appearance of a devil, and a foolish promise had certainly brought him lower than any living creature on the earth. At times, he had the strength to continue on and bear the consequences of his rash promise; but at this moment, sitting in a dark wayside inn, he was ready to end his pathetic life and let the devil possess his soul. As long as that meant he would be finished with this mortal experience.
In the corner where the man stared yet invisible to his eyes, sat a tiny devil beaming at the thought of finally being able to possess the soul of this man. Six years was much longer than the devil thought the man could last. It typically took only a year, or two if the person was strong willed. The devil could not understand how this mortal was able to continue to live as an unwashed wanderer for the past six years. Forbidding this religious man to offer any form of prayer should have gained the devil a soul a long time ago. The record accomplishment for this kind of pact was twenty-three seconds from the woman who cried out "my Lord" in shock after her full realization of making a pact with the devil.
The devil slowly let the clawed fingers caress the metallic dial attached to the forearm. Carefully etched into the metal were the numbers:

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

M.R. and Kris, I am so awed by your writing and ideas. So, so good! Thank you so much for sharing. You guys are awesome!

I think it might be fun to do a writing sprint this Wednesday night. Anyone up for that?

Jon Spell said...

I totally pantsed an entire chapter today. I hadn't put an action scene in my outline at this point, but it felt right when I got to it. First page, though, not an action scene. =)

Her cell phone buzzed on the nightstand just after 11:30 p.m. Uh oh, those calls are never good. She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly and then reached for the phone.
“Silver.” She tried to make it sound like she hadn’t just been asleep.
“Silver, good. We have a driver on his way to pick you up from your house. He will probably arrive at oh-one-hundred hours.”
No chit chat usually meant a tense situation.
“I guess that means I don’t get a choice on this one? What should I pack, Chief?” She went to the closet and pulled out her carryon pack and opened it up on the rumpled bed.
“You know I can’t give you the details over the phone, but I’d suggest picking out some cool weather gear. Also, your passport.”
Passport? I hardly ever travel internationally. What is going on?
“I’m putting you on speaker so I prep while we talk. There’s no one else here. Except JJ.”
Upon hearing his name, a golden lab stirred on the bed and let out a whining monologue that presumably was along the lines of, “Let me go back to sleep, ok?”
“Chief, can you give me an estimate on how long I’ll be out? Need to find boarding for the big guy here.”

Kristine Nielson said...

I'm not doing NaNoWriMo per se because I'm in the middle of a project, but I am using this month as an excuse to push my word count up.

Keeping in mind this is a scene in the middle, so there's a lot of world-building before this, here goes:

"Good evening, Jalilah al-Zarqa. May I offer you some tea?" Jalilah blushed at the honorific as he ushered her into his tent. So few even looked her in the eye these days. Commenting on their unusual blue shade was something usually reserved for a young woman.

"Um, yes, please." Jalilah stared at the ornate trappings, finding it hard to remember this was only a disguise. The man, who Jalilah had overheard was one Da'ud Abd-al Bajar, looked every bit the wealthy trader, comfortable surrounded by luxurious sitting pillows and thick hand-woven rugs; oblivious to the ostentation of tiger and leopard skins draped richly over his bed. Her fingers reflexively curved into a gesture to ward off the spirits of the dead animals.

Da'ud pulled an ornate cushion off the bed and placed it before the low table in the center of the tent, gesturing for her to sit. Her creaking joints showed her no favor and she landed heavily on the pillow. Silently, he poured them both tea with an ornate silver tea service that would have graced a King's table, then murmured a low blessing. The formalities observed he propped himself up on one elbow and lounged like a great cat in the summer sun.

"I apologize for the rustic surroundings. I was refused a room in caravansery, though Farima was kind enough to provide lodging for my camels." He winked as if sharing a joke with her.

"Hmm. That is like her." And prudent, Jalilah thought. Most traders happily gave their precious camels and cargo the preferred lodging inside the caravansery's walls. Perhaps this man's disguise wasn't as good as she'd assumed.

Jalilah sipped her tea. It was fragrant and rich with undertones of myrrh, and perfectly steeped. The kind of tea Jalilah had prepared for her clients for many years and almost never tasted. In spite of its delicacy, or perhaps because of it, drinking it was bitter.

Kristine Nielson said...

Nice! I think I'd read all of these when they're finished.

Jordan McCollum said...

Fun! Mine starts out in happier times, which is a little funny since it's getting pretty dang dark now that I'm killing people off...

It’s been a year since I’ve sung. It’s been a year since there’s been anything worth singing about. But now that’s changing. Everything is changing again, but this time, for the better.

We hope, anyway. I look to my little brother Nick, and our friend Scottie, flanking me as we march out for patrol duty in the flat light of fall dawn. Despite the early hour, they both look as awake as I feel. Because last night was the first time in a year that anyone we know started something permanent. Something with a future. Something full of hope.

Last night was our first wedding in a year. I’m not a romantic, but it certainly seems like a good sign to me.

I bump Nick with my elbow. “Sing something.”

He pushes his shaggy brown hair out of his eyes. “Like what?”

“‘Somebody to Love.’”

He grins. He doesn’t quite have the range to imitate Freddie Mercury, but neither of us care. He launches into the ballad/anthem and I join in as his one-woman chorus. Despite the subject matter of the song, I slide my eyes to the side to check Scottie’s reaction.

Scottie catches me. He always catches me, always has. He just gives me an expression to say, “Cute.”

That’s all I need to launch into full gospel choir mode, swinging my rifle to my back to clap my hands as we segue into the second verse. We’re far enough from the dormers that we can sing as loud as we want, even this early.

We reach the guitar solo and Nick sings that too. Scottie laughs and reaches around me to slap Nick on the shoulder. He stops in the middle of the path to belt out the third verse, arms open, head thrown back.

And it feels like the first time in a year that I’ve laughed, too.

Jon Spell said...

Jordan, you are on fire with your word count. I don't know how it's even possible. =) There is definitely a lot of fun in that first page.

Julie, can't wait to hear of Colby's adventures. Might we see a cameo of Rafe and Claire?

Giselle, yours is thick with atmosphere. The iciness makes me feel cold. And the ... "blue"? Exotic!

M.R., Alexis feels like she has real heart. I don't know where you're going with it, but I would want to know more about her.

Kris, now that looks like a fun premise. Very creative and kind of twisted. I like it.

Kristine, I had to read your paragraphs twice, because they were so luxurious. I felt a little lost at the subject matter, but I definitely like the Jalilah character.

I'm only a little behind on the daily average, which is pretty good for me. I have a hard time imagining how I'm going to find the time to keep up the pace. Still.... I have now written as much in 4 days, as half of my first project, 4 years in the working. =D

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Yes, I'm a big chicken, especially when it comes to first pages and being a very, very rough draft. I know from past experiences that my first pages don't stay the first page. But, here I'll show you mine.

* * *
"Relative Evil"

The air felt thick, heavy, like when a tornado was about to touch down. Claret Abney watched her dad, a widower of only a year, hold hands with a pretty woman sitting next to him at the restaurant’s dining table and smile. Twenty-five-year-old Claret guessed the woman couldn’t have been more than a handful of years older than Johnny, Claret’s older brother, way too young for her dad to be dating, and way to soon for him to be staring at her with amorous eyes. Something was about to break.

James Abney called for a family dinner sounding like he had a secret, never mentioning Adelaide Walker Harris, the woman who had been sitting with him when all three of his grown children had arrived at their favorite restaurant.

Claret sat on the opposite side of the table from her dad and Adelaide. She wanted to watch them. He looked happy, so did Adelaide. Claret had a habit of studying people, their expressions, their mannerisms, even the way they dressed. It was a side effect of her profession. Claret was a novelist. She had two books published, and she was in the process of promoting them. Two more manuscripts were in rough-drafts in her computer. She didn’t exactly make enough money to quit her editing job, but she hoped someday that would be a possibility.

Discreetly studying Adelaide, Claret noticed that she kept her left hand down on her lap. Not once did she bring it up, even when her dinner arrived, so either her hand was deformed and she was self-conscious of it, or . . . Oh, no! There was only one other reason Claret could think of that a woman hid her left fingers.

A sickening, burning sensation turned inside Claret’s stomach when her dad stood up. The smile on his face widened. He still had a firm grip on Adelaide’s right hand.

“Everyone, I have an announcement,” James said.

Claret’s pulse beat erratically. The patrons at the tables next to theirs stop eating and were staring as well.

“I called you together to let you know about my marriage to Adelaide—”

Anger built in her chest when she saw the ring on Adelaide’s left hand when she finally brought it out from under the table. James Abney wasn’t a rich man, yet the diamond in the center of the thick gold band had to be three karats, not to calculate all the smaller glitter embedded around it. He’d spent a fortune on her!

Claret was pretty sure her dad continued to talk after announcing his elopement, but all she could do was let her mouth hang open and continue to breathe. How dare he? Her mother only had died not even a year ago, and he could forget her that quickly to run away with a woman who didn’t look ten years older than his own daughter? And unless she slept in Tupperware, she was only a child, and he was being a—a, someone whom Claret only reads about.

Emily Gray Clawson said...

Maybe I can be on Team Colby after all. LOL. I'm excited to read this book!!! And - no WAY am I posting my first page! You are BRAVE!

Jon Spell said...

Yay, Debra! See, that wasn't so bad!

Claret sounds a little bit like you, Ms. Novelist. Can you explain this unusual phrase "unless she slept in Tupperware" ? Well preserved? And, of course, I have to wonder about the title and whether that applies to Adelaide. =)

Jordan McCollum said...

Thanks, Jon! Here's my secret: writers' retreat. Gets me a jump start in the first weekend. Struggling to keep up the pace now. I'm only at like 200 words today. Got to get crackin!