Thursday, November 3, 2016

Intermission: National Novel Writing Month

Welcome to the insanity that is my life.  :-)  November is the official National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.  It is a time when writers everywhere pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Yes, this is crazy, but it's also fun and challenging.

I started doing NaNoWriMo several years ago.  I even published a book, "Crazy", from my work one year.  This year I'm writing an urban fantasy focused on the protagonist, Eva, trying to solve the murder of her boss, Roberto.  The plot involves vampires, Special Agent werewolves, undercover werewolves, money laundering, betrayal, nosy editors, old lovers, and a chicken-wielding housewife.  Suffice it to say, my creative head space is full, and I don't really have the capacity to work on "Grecian Gambit" until December.

Instead, how about an excerpt from the beginning of my new novel?  Assuming no one complains about this, I will publish small bits of what I'm writing this month.  I hope you enjoy it.

Cell phones - an invention of God? Or an invention of Satan?

I debate this point with myself at least three times a day, depending on who’s calling and why. I love getting phone calls from friends; I hate phone solicitors with a burning passion. After eight hours of covering the third shift news beat, I want to take a nice, hot shower and get some sleep. I might be an immortal, but every woman needs her beauty sleep.

But the ring of my cell interrupts my bedtime routine. I almost ignore the call - almost - until I realize it’s the ring tone for Trixie.

“Speak, mad woman! Or forever lose your tongue,” I command my editor and best friend.

“Isn’t that supposed to be ‘forever hold your tongue’?” Trixie giggles into the phone.

“Well, why have a tongue if you’re not going to use it?”

Trixie giggles more, “Eva! How crude!”

I sigh. “I mean talking. Get your mind out of the gutter and tell me why you called me.”

The giggling stops. “Sorry, hon. I know you just put in a long night, and I love your article about air pollution. But there’s been a murder, and I think you’ll want to cover this.”

“A murder?” I sit down on my bed and close my eyes. Trixie knows my secret, has known for six months, and I wonder if she thinks I’m some sort of death-loving monster. “Why would I want to cover someone’s death?”

Now it’s Trixie’s turn to sigh. “Eva, I know you don’t like covering these types of stories, but a college kid found… well, she thinks it was a man. Someone hung him on a cross, and then…”

“And then?”

“He burst into flames as the sun rose.”

She doesn’t think I’m a monster. I open my eyes as I digest her words. Well, this gives me pause. I understand now why Trixie asks me about this. We still haven’t had many conversations about vampires and all the crap said about us.

“Listen, vampires don’t burst into flames when we come into sunlight. You know this, right? I mean, I do attend the company picnic.” I notice a loose thread on my comforter, and get up to grab scissors from my desk.

Now it’s Trixie’s turn to sound relieved. “Sorry, hon, I forgot about that. I can call”

“No,” I interrupt Trixie as I cut the thread. “You already called me. I don’t mind doing this. Besides, Carly’s been touchy for the past few weeks. I don’t want to hear her complaining around the office tomorrow night.”

Plus, Carly is a few weeks pregnant. I know this because she smells pregnant to me, but I don’t mention it to Trixie because I’m not sure even Carly knows yet.

“Fine,” Trixie’s harumph blows through the digital connection. “But I want a lesson on vampires and sunlight after you turn in your copy.”

I laugh, “No problem, mad woman!”

“I might be mad, but I am still your boss!” An evil laugh pours into my ear as I roll my eyes at my goofy friend. “You need to head to east Cobb. The body’s on the corner of Old Canton Road and Sewell Mill Road. And Eva?”


“Play nice with the police.”

I roll my eyes. “Yes, mom.”

“Later, Eva.”

“Later, Trixie.”

I put the scissors away and my shoes back on. Looks like I’ll be missing my beauty sleep today.

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