The Last of November

It seems that the end of the year has snuck up on me again. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is staring me in the face, and then the beginning of a new year behind it. I released that the holiday season always sneaks up on me because the fall is always terribly busy. This allowed for a short pondering about seasonal patterns. In January and February, I’m almost always have one new major project starting. This thought got me thinking. The calendar year in a lot of ways operates similarly to a five point story arc.
I am embarking on editing my first draft, of NanoWriMo project, A Story Unwritten and outlining Ruby Dawson saga book 2. I’m tackling those projects as well as touring for The Highly Capable release and continuing work on my shorter pieces for submissions and my own blog. As I was writing out my goals for December and listening to a Spotify playlist, I had made while writing A Story Unwritten (click here to listen if you want). Dreams to Remember by Ottis Redding came on and a memory of me, reading Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen and listening to that very song. I was fifteen and embarking on my very first attempt at writing a novel. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors, and I consider her as one of my influences. Dialogue is very important to me. It is my favorite to write and to read. Sarah Dessen has a knack for dialogue in this realistic yet beautifully understated way that I just adore.
Now, this cycle of thought eventually led me to remember the list I wrote before my seventeenth birthday. (I had gotten my GED at sixteen and was in my third semester at Bergen Community College.) I was chomping at the bit to travel with the stars. I wrote down a list (one of my first like this) of future goals. My number one goal on the list is to be a New York Times Bestselling Author by age 30. I have one year and two months to make this happen. I have had my foot to the peddle for a good bit. I’m feeling good about my part making that goal happen.

Coming To A Close

As a reader, the beginning is everything to me. I need to be pulled in completely during the first page, but the first sentence is preferable. As a writer, the ending of a book is something more to me. It’s usually the part of the story I see first, and it is always where I drag my feet when I get close.

To reach the end of a story is just that. There is finality there that is untouchable. As I near the end of my first draft of, A Stoy Unwritten, I can’t help but feel myself slow down with reluctance. I can reach out and touch the last two chapters, but between you and me, I don’t entirely want to write them. Creating characters and learning their goals and fears is new and exciting. Endless possibilities are in the air. The arc building is starting to happen. Birds are singing.

Now, I realize the completing my first draft is the beginning of a very long process, but writing the ending for the first time is big—to me at least.

These were the thoughts circling through my head as I started compiling my notes to finish up this draft and verify my word count for NanoWriMo2015 before putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes. I decided to write it down so that it was safely out of my head, and then perhaps fishing up today starts to come out a little smoother.

Often, I picture a mess of words in the shape of a bull.

Anyway, I’m off. With me luck.

ripping it off like a band-aid

I can’t tell whether or not I’m kicking Nano’s butt, or if it’s kicking mine. I’m learning a whole lot about the process from a different perspective, but I’m starting to feel a little weary here at 36,100 words.
Perhaps a note I’ll make for next year, is to write a comedy. I am just past a heart-wrenching midpoint to a story I’m turning out to be quite proud of. I am having fun with the pace even though it’s starting to feel grueling. Especially with a personal end date of the 25th.
Holidays are coming. I plan on enjoying them with time off to spend with family. But, at the moment, I’m here dealing with the after effects of my midpoint to deal with for about another twenty thousand words.
A sidenote, I think that I have made the best playlist ever.Click Here to Listen to the music I’ve writing my NanoWriMo project, A Story Unwritten to.

Wanting More

Once the door closed, it was very obviously just Benny and me. We started walking. It wasn’t that it was awkward, though it was slight, something was just clearly different. We both saw the difference, and we both knew each other saw the difference..so in that way it was a little award I suppose. It wasn’t a bad awkward, at all. Nothing about walking down our shared hallways was bad. And as we stepped outside, things had already started to feel more relaxed.
“Thanks for letting me tag along,” Benny said, his hands were in his pockets as we walked up the hill toward the park. The beautiful weather had been with us all week, and it was letting us know that nice weather was coming, that change was even closer than it was yesterday. I looked at Benny. It was hard to ignore how gorgeous he was. Honestly, it was almost unfair how much so. I was beginning to fear him because it had started to look like he was something I was going to have to recover from.
“Of course,” I said this with more I wanted to say on my tongue.
Somehow sensing this Benny said with a soft voice, “So, we don’t need to get in a long thing about it. I’m pretty sure neither of us likes those.” I pushed his hair down with his hand. “This weekend we are friends who are jumping out of a plane together, with other friends. We can take it day by day, ya know?” He looked at me, with a smile.
“Good plan,” I said feeling both relieved and oddly disappointed. But, as I told him it was a good plan.

You By My Side

“Well, I for one am excited about the new addition to our routine,” Stevie said taking a sip of her self-made mocha latte. “And, I am one talented latte machine,” she winked. Her strawberry blond hair was mostly stuffed into one of Stevie’s many baseball hats. She says her dad wanted a son, so he treated her like one. I personally think it was because one day Stevie discovered how awesome they looked on her, but I let her tell her stories.
“I know, I’m way more excited about the job than I thought, but the book cafe rocks, so it’s the right fit.”
“For sure,” Stevie smiled.
I took a sip on my caramel latte. It was good, but I wasn’t quite as please with my latte making abilities as Stevie was. My phone buzzed four times in a row.
“Who’s blowing you up?” Stevie asked. She had on a navy-blue, woolen coat that went down to her calves.
“Probably Jared still,” I said as I unwisely pull my phone from my pocket. I took in the four text messages from Jared, two missed calls from him. I shook my head, then saw a single MyFace notification. Benny sent me a friend request, and I felt a shameless smile on my face.
“Who on your phone smiling?”
“Benny,” I hung my head, “He sent me a friend request on MyFace.”
Stevie giggled, “Something is going on there isn’t it?” She pressed her lips in a tight, very knowing line.
“Look, I don’t know what that is, but I do know I don’t need it.” I took another sip from my cup and decided I’d need more practice.
“Did you accept it?” Stevie’s mouth widened into a grin.
“Well, yeah sure I did, we are friends,” I rolled my eyes.
“Did you know that I’ m officially MyFace friends with your dad.”
“Oh man, really? He mentioned he made an account so he could connect with other toy collectors. I haven’t checked his page out.”
“Well, you really, really should,” Stevie nodded at this, “I’ve learned things about him.”
“Like what?” The wind had both of our hair again.
“I had no idea your dad was so cat obsessed. He either posts about toys or cats.”
I shook my head, “My dad.”
“Why doesn’t he have a cat?”
“You know, I didn’t know he liked them, honestly.” I scanned my memory and couldn’t place my dad around or talking about a single cat or cat-related subject.
“Then, you should look up his page,” Stevie nodded.
“It sounds like I don’t have a choice,” I laughed. Silence hung over us as we made it through the wooden part of the park. Just as we made it to paved paths and panic benches, Stevie said, “I’m finding living in the present difficult,” Stevie said this and then quickly following with a deep breathe, “Saying that felt good.”
“You are feeling it too?” I asked.
“Big time. My world feels fake, weak almost, like at any point everything could just fall over.”
I tossed my almost empty cup into the trash can, as we passed one. “I feel pretty much the same way. It’s like all the sudden I forgot how to just be, and I’m obsessed with what’s going to happen.” I shared, also feeling a sense of relief. Of course, we were in the same boat.
“It feels so much more unsettling than working toward it,” Stevie added.
“I agreed,” my words came out quiet.
“Things with Pike are different, weird almost. Ever since I forgot out, I got in,” Stevie twisted her wind-grabbed hair and shoved into her coat, “I feel like we are partying more, more focused on doing crazy stuff, and less like Pike and me, ya know?”
“Yeah, I get it,” I looked over at her, taking in her sad eyes, “It must suck that you and Pike are at this split-path. You guys are great together.”
“We are,” she said this in a way that said everything else she needed to say about their change. We continued to walk in comfortable silence until we came to the playground. Stevie had to go left, toward her house, and I went right to the apartment building. A sense of knowing I wasn’t alone, that I had Stevie, and were both going on a similar enough journey that our friendship will maintain. I knew at the moment we would always have each other. Knowing that made me feel like I could do anything.

A Journey For A Friend

After far too long I decided it was time to journey to the mountain, up way too high. I have never found a map, but I know if I listen to my gut, I’ll find the way. Once I’m inside the clouds, I’ll know I’m close.

I missed our talks, and I missed the comfort I felt when I was around her. Perhaps, it was her kindness or this simple way she laughed but I felt at home while we sat and talked about nothing in particular.

When a storm passed over our land, choice was taken from our hands. The path that led to a place I didn’t want to go took me there regardless of what I asked.

So now, it was time to believe, to use our combined power to bring it all back from the places we lost it.