Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NaNoWriMo: My Opening

Here is the draft opening two scenes in my NaNoWriMo novel:

Wed Jan 20 9:05PM
Robert Andrews trudged through the cold night, heavy bags in hand, heading toward the parking lot where his equally cold car awaited.  It was game night at his favorite comic book store so he stayed to watch the players for a couple of hours after paying for his books.

Construction near the store meant that the car was even further than usual.  Robert hated parking in the far lot.  The few operating street lights never seemed to actually help one actually see, but rather highlighted the disrepair of the adjoining buildings.

He rested his shopping bags on the ground for a moment to fish the car keys from his coat pocket. But before keys could meet the door lock ….. WHAM! …. Rob found himself on the ground, glasses thrown from his face.  The next breath caused his ribs to complain bitterly.

“What is THIS?” … Rob grabbed his glasses in reflex and turned toward the voice. 

“I SAID, what is THIS?” … A young brute of a man had fists full of crumpled comic books.  The rest of the books were scattered on the icy pavement. 

“How am I supposed to get any money for THIS?”.  Rob thought to himself that he himself had just spent quite a few dollars on the 3 weeks worth of comics lying at the thug’s feet.

The light bespectacled Robert was no challenge for the bigger man to pluck from the ground and heft against an SUV.  Robert’s feet almost dangled as his attacker's eyes burned.

“Gimme all your money!” the thief demanded.

“I’d really rather not” was the meek reply.

“What DID you say?”

“Sorry, I’ll speak up … I’d really rather not.  For that matter, I must insist that you back off.  If you do, then I’ll let you go in peace. Otherwise, I can’t promise anything.” Robert said in a shockingly calm voice.

“....” After a long pause, the brute blinked.  Shock gave way to anger and frustration.

A fist drew back.  The small man grew heavy and feet dropped to the pavement.  Rob’s expression changed to one of defiance.  The mugger just wanted to end it.

Fist met face … and the fist lost.  The big man snatched his hand back in pain.  Obscenities flew.  Robert brushed off and walked calmly toward his attacker.

A fist drew back slightly.  The young man shrunk back involuntary. The punch to the chest stunned and dropped the criminal to the ground.

“Now we are even.  Please, let’s not do this again.”  In the dark, the predator fled his intended prey.

Rob leaned back against his car and rested for a moment ... a cracked rib mended and bruised tissue healed.  Bending down, he picked up the remains of his purchases and got into his car.

Wed Jan 20, 9:45PM

In his small apartment, Robert laid out the comic books on the table. All were damaged, but most were readable.  “Darn it! Why did he have to destroy the new ‘Power Team #1’?  Now I have to avoid the Internet until I can get another copy.” Robert sighed.  He made a short list of the comic books he was going to go back for tomorrow, this time during lunch to avoid another potential altercation.  This was all distraction and Rob knew it.

Robert Andrews walked into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror for long moments.  A lined face with graying hair looked back at him.  He was just a 50-ish IT guy with a failed marriage, a poor diet, and a daughter he only saw every other weekend.  Why did he have these … powers he couldn’t explain?  Sure they just saved him a load of pain less than an hour before; but he was a peaceful person.  He really didn’t feel good about hitting someone, even in self-defense.  Or was it defending himself, he wondered, if in less than a second he could … he had no words for what he could do ... DID do.  He needed someone to talk to someone.  The whole thing was crazy wasn’t it … or maybe he was.

Regardless he needed to confide in someone.  Perhaps even if he were crazy, it would be better to know that than not, right?   Jason … perhaps Jason could handle it.  His cousin wasn’t just family but a life-long friend.  Tomorrow he’d call Jason and schedule a meeting to talk about … everything.  But now it was time to get some sleep.

Robert unfolded the couch into a semblance of a bed, put a pile with the day’s mail and about a third of the comics beside him.  He didn’t remember falling asleep, just walking up at 3AM with the television playing some infomercial.  He hit the mute button on the remote and rolled back over to sleep for a few more hours.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Sample from Chapter 12

Now that I'm deep into my NaNoWriMo book, there is very little I can post without there being spoilers or without confusion from lack of context. This is some buddy banter between the super-powered protagonist Robert and his cousin Jason. Jason is the first person Robert confides in, and this scene is set at Jason's house out on his family's farm. Enjoy: 

Jason and Robert watched TV while they ate.  Jason had recorded a college football game from earlier in the day and they had both diligently refrained from any news source that might have spoiled it for them.  Jason preferred watching his sports this way, so that he could skip though half-time and commercials.

 Half way into the second quarter the action slowed into a back and forth ground battle.  “So how’s Maggie doing? Did you tell her about your being the hero and all?”

Rob replied, “She’s fine. And I told her over dinner last night.  We went to this Italian restaurant and …”

“So you two went on a date.” Jason interjected.

“Not a ‘date’ date, we were just two friends eating dinner out.” Rob tried to re-direct.

“So the place wasn’t romantic?” Jason probed.

“Well, kind of, but we just needed a place where we could talk privately ….” Robert hoped to divert the interrogation that was sure to come.

“Oh!  A secluded booth in the corner I bet …” Jason was enjoying how this scene was playing out.

“It wasn’t like that! We just didn’t want anyone to overhear …” Robert countered.

“Was it your idea or hers?” Jason pressed.

“Well hers, … I guess” Robert knew this wasn’t helping and there was precious little he could think of in defense.

“Oh, I see.  And what did you two do after dinner?” Jason wanted to know how far the evening went.

“Went home.” Robert hoped to end it at that.

“So you drove to your apartment and she to hers?” Jason knew there was more than Rob wanted to say.

“She wanted to have a couple of drinks so I drove her home in her car.  Later I glided back to retrieve my car.  Then I drove home.” Robert hoped that that would satisfy Jason.

Jason would have none of it. “So she picked out a nice romantic place for you too to eat. Then she had a few drinks and you drove her to her place. So give with the rest of the story.  You know you are going to tell me so drop the coy act.”

Robert sighed and told Jason, “Yes, we had a lovely time talking at the restaurant. And yes, she had more to drink that she would have if she were going to drive herself.  I walked her to her door; she went in, end of story.”

“That might be the end, but I’m thinking that you probably left out some of the middle.  Did she ask you in?  Any good night kiss?  Any …?” Jason pressed until interrupted by Rob.

“She did ask me in, but not for what you might think.  It was late, so I passed on it. …. And I did kiss her …” Jason tried to interrupt at that but Robert continued. “… on the cheek.  It was totally platonic.  Immediately after that she went in and I left.  Beginning, middle, and end of story … done.”

“Did she hesitate for just a small bit before walking into the apartment?” Jason had to ask for just one more detail.

“JASON!  Now stop it!” Robert had already said more than he wanted to.  He did remember a slight pause and a little backward glance as she went inside.

“She likes you.” Jason declared.

“We are friends, so I hope she likes me at least a little.” Robert was exasperated at this point.

“Ask any of your other female friends, they’ll tell you.” Jason said with a sense of authority in such matters.

“I don’t have any other female friends.” Robert retorted.

“So you are just going to have to make due with me.  Trust me, for the next good night kiss, make it on the lips.  Oh and next time she invites you in, say ‘yes’. To tell her ‘no’ twice in a row would just be rude.” Jason remembered something from a magazine that he had to endure when he last waited at the dentist’s office.

“Oh, so now you are an expert in etiquette. You should do a column for the paper.” The barb was a feeble attempt and Robert knew it.

“Alright, let’s just focus on the game. Please?” Robert surrendered.

“Okay, but only because my team is winning.” Jason relented.

As Robert drove home from the farm later that evening, he would have no memory of the rest of the game.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Sample from 11/19/11

Another romantic scene, I think I'm trying for the record of the number of times my characters sleep together without having sex, of any kind.  I wrote a lot of other stuff today, but most of the rest would make no sense out of context, so ... :

Margaret let herself into her apartment to see Robert sleeping on the couch.  She hated to wake him, but she knew that if he didn't want her to he would have gone to his own apartment.

She took a moment to admire how cute he looked to her as he slept.  Then she leaned over to kiss him on the forehead.  “Hey you.” Robert said as he stretched.  “How are you doing?”

“I'm fine.  I slept in this morning, so I was late getting back.  That and I was starving, so I stopped at the first restaurant on the way back.  I never knew fried catfish could taste so good.” Maggie lipped her lip slightly at the memory.

“I know what you mean.  I'm not even sure I ate at all yesterday.  As I finished up my errands this morning, I stopped at a buffet for an early lunch.  I took the 'all you could eat' as a personal challenge. Then I came straight here, I hope you don't mind that I let myself in.” Robert hoped.

“Not at all.  Not every girl has a super-hero boyfriend that can walk through walls when he needs to.  I don't even need to give you a set of keys.” she winked. “By the way, if I ever lock myself out, I'm calling you and saving the locksmith bill.”

“I am at your beck and call, m'lady.” Robert said with a flourish in his tone.

“And don't I know it.” Maggie took her pocket book from around her and snuggled up with her man.  Playful kisses were exchanged,  Robert could have sworn he heard giggles.

“You know, we were on our way back here when we got interrupted Friday night.” Maggie remembered.

“So, were we going to take it to the next level or not?” Robert probed.

“Probably, but we are both way too tired and we don't need to rush things.  It is just truly a joy to be with you.” Maggie kissed him again.

“You, my darling, are turning into a big softy.” Robert teased.

“I can still bring it when I need to, Ghost-boy.  I'm just happy that we are both safe after the other night. That; and for a big geek, you can be pretty sexy sometimes.” Maggie bantered back.

“Like when?” Robert kissed her gently on the lips again.

“Like when you try to help someone. Even someone who tried to fry you with lightning ...” she brushed his lips playfully “ … sort of, kind of, by mistake.” Her lips met his again briefly.

“Any other times?” Robert continued.

“I'm sure there are others, I'm just way too sleepy to recall right now.” Maggie gently poked him on the tip of his nose. “You know, my bed is much more comfy; and it's right over in the next room.”

Robert shifted and lifted the auburn tressed woman in his arms. “I can take a hint.” Robert gently laid her on the bed, pulling back the covers as he did.

Robert lay down beside her and commented “I'm not sure couples sleep together any more and just sleep. I guess my age is showing.”

Maggie pushed him to the side to spoon him. “That's okay, you are my old man, and I like you this way.” She ran her fingers thorough a particularly white part of his hair. “Now go to sleep.”

“Yes, ma'am.” Robert felt himself beginning to drift off even as he spoke.

Maggie listened to the sound of his breathing as she fell asleep herself.

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaNoWriMo: Sample from 11/18/11

My last NaNoWriMo sample was romance. Here is a hint of horror from today. And yes, my novel is a super-hero story.:

Electra was sure that she had killed herself. She scolded her stupidity, while waiting for whatever the afterlife held for her. She lay in the dark, restrained unable to move. What horrors did the demons of hell have for her, she wondered. Perhaps this anticipation was part of their torture.

Suddenly a sliver of light appeared. Just as suddenly, most of that light was blocked as a dark figure approached from where the brightness originated. She could only fear what would happen when it touched her.

She screamed the cry of the damned.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From My NaNoWriMo Work in Progress - 11/17/11

"You are truly beautiful, you know.” Robert spoke across the table to the striking woman. They sat in the corner booth of an Italian restaurant. The lovely odors of wine and marinara complemented her perfume.

“And you know, one of the best things about dating, is that unlike before; you tell me things like that.” Margaret replied, casually brushing her hair aside with a flirt.

“I've complemented you before.” Robert defended.

“Yeah, but now I know you mean it.” Maggie teased.

“That I do. And is there anything you want to tell me.” Robert fished as he straightened himself in his chair.

“Yes, Robert. You have … the most impeccable taste in women.” Maggie batted her eyes.

“I see this is getting me absolutely nowhere.” Robert sighed.

“I don't know, I find a man who can take a little teasing in good humor to be awfully sexy. That and you have a pretty well developed sense of humor yourself.” Maggie had the slightest purr in her voice at “sexy”.
“Moi? Surely you jest.” Robert said in with a mock air of distinction.

“Oh, it's subtle; but don't think I don't know.” her eyebrow raised slightly.

“There's no sense denying it then; I'm adorable.” Robert grinned.

“I've created a monster. But at least you are my monster.” she broadened her smile in reply.