Saturday, December 1, 2012

NaNo on the down low!

A bout with food poisoning, busy work schedule and house (non) sale was enough to keep me occupied last month. On top of that, however, I decided to take ANOTHER crack at NaNoWriMo and the 50,000 word grail. I didn't let anyone know what I was up to this time, because if I missed the mark then only I'd be disappointed. For those not familiar with the game, National Novel Writing Month is just that: Write a novel in 30 days, with 50K being the winning benchmark.

Well, I didn't hit 50K. But early on (or late depending on your perspective) in the process I decided to set a goal for myself. I figured if I could just get halfway, 25K, that would be something. When I pasted my oeuvre in the NaNo validator at 11:45 p.m. last night, it read: 25,119.

Sure there were at least 4 other folks in our OKC circle that went over 50K, but hey, I was happy. An idea for a book finds its way out of my head and into a real manuscript. Not to get too far ahead of myself, it is only a draft, and the finished project will be WAY more than 50,000 words. But it's a start, and that's another of the many NaNoWriMo side-benes.

As a treat, I give you what is now the opening scene in "Deacs."

Deacon Clayton looked out over the ever filling pews.
“Is it me, or this is a lot more folks than usual?” he asked the brothers seated next to him on the raised pulpit in the dusky church. Deacon Morris twisted his lips as he scanned the scene. And Bro. Cherry adjusted his suit coat, looked at Clayton and shrugged.
“I mean don’t get me wrong,” Deacon Clayton chuckled. “I’m glad people came out for a change. But come on, this is …” he laughed again.
Deacon Morris squinted his eyes as he continued his mental count. He started over at least 4 times now.
“Yea,” Deacon Morris cooed in his svelte tenor voice, “I was beginning to think we might actually fill the place today.”
“That’s whaat I’M sayin’,” Clayton replied, rocking forward trying to stifle a laugh. “For a baptism? This is a lot of people! ” he drawled.
Deac Cherry leaned slightly forward. “We must be feeding after!” Then he cackled mischievously.
“Wooo, ha, ha, I was gonna ask the same thing,” Clayton guffawed. He leaned back in his chair and raised his hands in surrender. “But hey, if it briiings New Trinity out, that’ll work.”
Three tall brothers ducked their heads beneath the low balcony overhang at the church’s main entrance, nodded as they took a program from the usher and then strolled down the center aisle. Deacon Morris watched as they glided past one row of pews, then another, and then another. And that’s when it hit him. What had been gnawing at his mind as he’d been counting the people as they came in. He recognized some of the faces. Many he hadn’t seen in church in a long while.
 “Hey,” he cooed again to his fellow deacons, “you guys notice anything strange about the front rows?”
The other two gave him a puzzled look before glancing out. The center aisle split the church in half with each side split again by curved armrests between the long wooden pews covered with fading aquamarine green cushioning. The first row of pews bordering the wide moat like expanse between the pulpit was open, except for a few casually tossed hymnals and bibles and Deaconess Blackstar’s giant white bejeweled hat.
But the next rows right behind were stuffed, on both sides.
“Waait,” Deacon Clayton said as he watched the three tall arrivals squeeze themselves into that the second set of pews. “All the guys…”
“are sitting up FRONT,” Deacon Morris finished with a laugh. “What’s up with that?”
A wiry athletic light skinned man in his 20s bounded up the insteps to the pulpit area. Grinning, he undid his loose fitting navy blue suit coat and slid into a chair next to Deacon Cherry.
“Oh, so you made it ,” Cherry said tersely as he adjusted his cufflinks.
“Aw, I know, pastor already gave me a hard time about being late,” the young man said with a grin.
“Ay, that’s part of your training, Del.” Deacon Clayton offered. “Part of being a deacon.”
“Well shoot, Deacon Sheppard ain’t even here yet!” Delonte retorted.
“And he was supposed to be helping pastor baptize today,” Morris added. He looked over his shoulder with a concerned glance at the waiting baptism pool, bathed in shadow on the left and one steady sunbeam on the right.
“Well, I did my part to help,” Delonte said proudly and leaned back in his chair.
All three of the older deacons fastened their eyes on him.
 Suddenly Bro. Richard was at the piano banging out chords. “Take Me to the Water” slowly engulfed the church. Pastor Peterson smiled and sang as he descended into the pool. His ex-football frame stretched the tight white sweatshirt he wore. Deaconess Blackstar followed; she was wearing a white baptismal robe, no gaudy sweats for her. The annoyed look left her face as she turned back to the steps and extended her hand to beckon the first convert to come down.
A stunningly beautiful woman came into view. The bulky white gown couldn’t hide her ample curves and with each step into the pool the fabric hugged her tighter and become more transparent.
“AAA-men!” Del grunted.
The men in the crowded pews craned their necks nonchalantly as Deaconess Blackstar guided her down the stairs. Then they all, each and every one, leaned forward as if their heads were attached to one string, as the woman settled into the middle of the pool and her robe clung to her stomach just tantalizingly below her bust line.
One of the tall guys managed to avert his eyes long enough to give Delonte an affirming nod, who responded in kind almost imperceptibly. Almost.
The three older deacons were staring at him again.
“OK, to help bring in the crowd I might have mentioned something about thin material…”
Deacon Cherry whipped his head from side to side, trying to speak. Deacon Morris bowed his head and rubbed his eyes, trying to stifle his laughter. Deacon Clayton muttered:
“Son of a b…”


Jeff said...

I got to a bit over 23,000 words myself on this, my 9th year on it.

Achieving the 50 K is cool, but here's the thing: as soon as we wrote down word 1, we were winners. We've done something that the majority of the world never have done: write.

modi.K said...

I hear ya. Still after doing what I did in that amount of time, I can't help but think 50K is doable if I really hunkered down. Course now I have as long as I want and I got a head start.