Today starts that crazy 30 days of scratching your brain and rearranging your daily schedules to find the time and discipline to crank out 1660 words a day, or a whopping 50K words for the National Novel Writing Month. I have participated for several years and finally made the count last year. Anyone can play (I’m smirking), so check out the website at nanowrimo.org and get started.
I don’t have the sense of direction I had last year. I had plot lines scribbled and edited all over my house and stacks of books for exoplanets and astronomy (the story was sci-fi), character sketches and even artistic pictures of the scenery in my head. This year I have a character, a hint of an idea, and an interest in professional poker to go with. I also have this foggy idea that this will be a literary novel, and am going to pull from my popular post on this blog “Doom Pie,” somehow. I’m “pantsing” it this year. I’ll post snippets daily like before, in no particular order. Here’s the first 204 words:
People told her to smile as a kid. She wasn’t unhappy. She found little use for the palette of emotional expression that most people employed. She felt the same about small-talk. She’d wasted so much youth speaking in trivialities with adults; she didn’t want to be trite in her own adulthood. The table was the only exception to this rule.
When content her face stayed relaxed, no hint of an upwards slant in the cheeks, no pursing of the lips. Happiness looked no different but for a sparkle in her eyes if one looked close enough. If anger seethed in every part of her body, her face betrayed nothing of the inferno lurking beneath. It wasn’t that she wore a mask – everyone else wore too many, substituting facades as it pleased them. Millions of one-man vaudeville shows for the world audience. She wasn’t big on theatrics. Control was her thing.
Confusion, her most common state in social settings, required an exhausting effort. Her forehead bunched and by her twenties she’d noticed a crease was fully formed there.
To make this pillar of composure laugh made the whole world do a standing ovation in your soul. To play poker with her would wreck your bankroll.