Thursday, November 4, 2010

Novel excerpt #1.

I really love NaNoWriMo season. This year is especially fun for a number of reasons.

1. I feel like the number of people I know taking it seriously this year has gone up considerably from past years, and more people doing it means more excitement all around.

2. Every other year I'd been scrambling to balance nano-ing with classes, homework, and having a job I needed to be at 3-4 times a week. While I am taking a big fat break in the middle to go to wrockstock and LA for about a week, I have altogether more time to spend on my novel this year that ISN'T being shared with homework or being at work. It's much more guilt-free NaNoWriMo this year.

3. Everyone seems to still remember the NaNoWriMo song Luke and I wrote last year and I get messages about it from people a few times a day telling me it's still their anthem for the month. That's really nice for me to hear.

I leave for Wrockstock tomorrow morning and my goal was to have hit 10k words by then. I'm currently stopped at 6,620 so we'll see if I make it to that goal. In the mean time, since I really can't justify spending a ton of time on blogging this month (this post is already 213 words) I am going to share a little bit more of my nanowrimo novel with you.

The response I got from sharing the prologue a few days ago was overwhelmingly positive, and all that user feedback really put me in the mood to keep writing at the fast pace needed to do this. So thank you guys, I really appreciated the comments you left. Here's a tidbit I wrote a couple days ago, and remember, there's been no time for editing so this is pretty raw.


“Mom! Mom look! Lunch boxes with super heros!”
“I thought boys your age were into girls now, not super heros,” I replied, pulled from my daydreams. The cart bumped the edge of a cardboard display, causing about a hundred glue sticks to sway in unison. Oops.
“Well, I mean yeah, but I’m not going to buy a Hannah Montana lunch box because of it.”
“You don’t even pack a lunch, Max. I give you lunch money.”
“I know that. I always thought you were supposed to keep other stuff in lunch boxes anyway. Like your rock collection, or old stale pretzels, or dead bugs. Not actual lunch.”
“Well that makes a lot of sense,” I reasoned. “Buy a whole lunch box for things that would be better suited to go in a trash can, or under the deck, or in a tupperware.”
“Mom,” Max said, rolling his eyes at me in a way that I’m not even sure eyeballs are supposed to move, “They don’t sell superhero tupperware. That’s just stupid.”
“Well excuse me, Super Max. Speaking of super heros, do you need new underwear for this year?”
My son’s eyes widened as his head whipped around, presumably looking for any of his friends from school. “Mom. You cannot just go walking around talking about a middle school boy’s underwear,” he hissed. “Someone might hear you.”
“Well everyone knows you wear underwear, Max. It’d be more embarrassing if they thought you didn’t.”
“Just grab some white ones and throw them in the cart when no one is looking okay? It’s a simple thing to ask. Underwear is not important. Now can I get a cool stapler, please?”
Just as I was about to ask what the difference between a ‘cool’ stapler and a regular one was, Max jumped up on the foot bar of the cart in an attempt to steer it himself, and sent it flying forward much faster than he intended. The wheel grazed the same display of glue sticks, this time toppling about a third of them to the floor. He looked up at me sheepishly from behind the handle of the cart.
I sent him a sidelong glance in return. “Are we trying to destroy this display? I really don’t want to buy it; it matches nothing in our house.”
He giggled, carefully pushing the cart a bit further into the aisle, away from anything that could fall down or break. “I agree, glue sticks would totally clash with the sunflower theme in our kitchen. But that one over there, the smiling teacher cutout? I think that might look nice in my bedroom all smashed up.”
“I never knew you noticed interior design, Maxy. Would you like to remodel the bathroom?”
“Mom,” he said seriously, stopping and giving me a grave look. “Never call me that again.” I don’t think I’d ever heard the kid’s voice so resolute in his life.
“Why?” I asked. “I always call you that.”
“Well it needs to stop. You know when I went to Harrison’s house yesterday?”
“Of course, I drove you there and picked you up.”
“Well he has an older sister, and she is mean.”
“Did she make fun of your nickname, Maxy?”
“Stop it!” he cried. “And no, she didn’t make fun of my nickname! She stuck her stupid gross girl pads on our shirts and you know what they were called?!”
I could see where this was going.
“Maxi pads, Mom. Maxi. Pads.”
I bit my lip, simultaneously feeling terrible for having given my son what I now realized was a horrible nickname for a soon-to-be teenage boy, but at the same time stifling a giggle.
“This is not funny!” He insisted. “I’m making you buy me the most expensive stapler they have in exchange for child abuse!”
I gestured toward the shelf. “Good thing even the most expensive stapler is only seven dollars. It’s all yours, Maxy. Comes in pink and purple! This one has glitter!”
He tossed a green one in the cart with a scowl, saying nothing.
“Do you want it with or without wings?”
“I don’t even know what that means!” He kicked the cart and let out a growl, running off to look at backpacks.
I suppose I deserved that. I made a mental note to cut the pet name and start calling him just Max, especially in public. Guess they had to grow up sometime. I always thought they taught sex-ed too early.


There you go! Please tell me what you think. This is the very first character the pen belongs to, so you're reading a bit about her life/her world. I'll be back with more soon!

Edit: Someone in the comments asked why I would have an adult character in a YA novel... the entire novel deals with YA themes from different types of people's POV. I don't think YA readers are incapable of relating to an adult or a child for 1/15 of a novel to see a different perspective on a situation. So that's my answer. :)