I’ve spent this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo session working on PARTHENON, my NaNo novel from this past November which I talked a bit about (and shared stories from!) in these two posts. A lot of the writing has been in fits and starts, a few days of steady writing followed by a couple days of nothing, but that’s more due to life getting in the way than the story. As April draws to a close, though, I have a feeling I’m going to end up meeting my word count goal (25,000 words) but not finishing the book, which was my primary goal. That’s a little disappointing, but given how this month has gone and other things occupying my time, I’ll take it.
One way or the other, though, I’m finishing this draft before the July session, because I’ve got other plans for the next round of Camp. I’ve been working on a beta reading project for someone, and I’m hoping to wrap that up as soon as possible so that my energy and time can be fully devoted to my own projects, with zero guilt. Once I’ve wrapped the first draft of PARTHENON (that’s a working title, by the way; feel free to suggest better ones), I probably won’t be starting any new projects until November. I intend to spend some time finishing up projects that have been stagnating at various stages for too long. All of the four I&I books I’ve started, except for HOWL, need a conclusion to their first draft (though THE SHARPEST LIVES gets a pass since I’ll be rewriting it—again—one of these days), not to mention typing up all the handwriting I did for BLOOD & FEAR after my computer crashed in 2012, before I can start on the latter three books of the series, and I’d like to edit the first book of the jackasses (also known as Bry and Eva, also in need of a title) before starting on book two.
The next big one on my list, though, is finishing the first round of edits for HAUNTED, also known as the ghost story if you follow me on Twitter. I started the process, made it five chapters in, and gleefully abandoned it because… I don’t know. I’m going to fix that as soon as draft one of PARTHENON is done, but it’ll likely be my Camp NaNo project for July, since the progress I’ve made thus far tells me this first round of edits is probably going to take longer than a month as I Frankenstein the story into being.
Believe it or not, I like having so many options when it comes to choosing what to work on, since my usual response to being stuck on one story is to work on a different one. But there comes a time when enough’s enough, and I decide to FINISH SOME THINGS before starting MORE NEW THINGS. (I’ll actually do it, I swear!)
I’m off to continue working on PARTHENON, but in the meantime, here’s a quick little story—shorter than this post, in fact—featuring two of HAUNTED’s main characters, Darcy Quinn and Gage Holloway. (He got his own blog post a couple years back if you’d like to know more about him.)
Enjoy, and I’ll keep tweeting my shenanigans until my next post.
I look up from my takeout. “What’s your motto in life?” I ask curiously.
Gage looks at me like I just asked him to do the hula in a speedo. “My what?” he says after swallowing.
“Your motto,” I clarify, warming up to the topic. “Like a quote or something that describes how you get through life.”
He mulls that over for a few seconds. “Never really thought about it. I suppose you have one.”
I nod cheerfully, intending to wait to hear his before giving mine away. When he only looks at me stubbornly and shoves another bite of food into his mouth, I give in. “Okay, okay. Mine is ‘Do no harm, but take no shit.’”
I’m rewarded by a smile, slow and serious at first before warming into a little laugh as he shakes his head. “Figures. It suits you.”
I beam at him, ignoring the wry tone. “Thank you. Now what’s yours? Pick one, come on.”
He sighs, he rolls his eyes, he mutters, but he thinks about it for three mouthfuls of chicken fried rice. At length he asks dryly, “How about ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going?’”
My cheeks heat up as I recall everything he’s dealt with in the past and is still dealing with—jail, an alcoholic mother, trying to make a living when his income barely keeps him a few steps from poverty. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”
His eyebrows go up, the corner of his mouth pulling upwards. “I was making a joke, Darcy,” he says patiently, his tone exaggeratedly polite, and all at once I’m giggling and he’s even laughing a little and we’re both grinning at each other.
It feels good. Like something I could hang on to, something to remember.