Nancy m. long
She crept down the stairs into the basement. She wasn’t usually allowed down here but today felt different. She still took a moment to look over her shoulder. Through the basement door and at the end of the short hall she could see the red glowing outline of the study door. Anna didn’t know what she was going to say. She tiptoed closer to the door, trying to hear any noise that might come out of the room. There was none. All she could hear was her own soft breathing and the tacky sound of the rubber on the bottom of her slippers as she made her way on the bare basement floor.
“Grandmother,” She whispered, standing still. Nothing. She took a few little steps forward until she was right in front of the door. Sticking out her pointer finger she traced the rough wood, coming to no conclusion. She put her ear to the door, gently pressing, and could just make out the scratching sounds she so associated with her grandmother. She could see her crouched over her desk with her pen dripping, dipped in black ink, black drops on the page, smudges down her arm.
“Grandma?” She said again, whispering so low she barely broke the silence. The scratching sounds stopped. Anna took a quick breath in and held it, not wanting to give herself away. Her grandma, she knew, didn’t like to be disturbed. She worked down here because she was very sensitive to sound and light and all the things that little girls do. Even so, Anna wanted to see what she was working on. She wanted to ask for a little sister. She could be quiet. And she’d come all the way downstairs without turning on one light.
She brought her hand up to the door, a little fist, and was readying to knock when she heard the rustle of papers and the desk chair roll across the thin carpet. Her fist was still hanging in the air when the door opened, flooding the hall with red light.
The woman flipped on the switch just outside the study door and the light flickered on to light the empty hallway. With her notebook under one arm she locked the study door for the night before heading up. At the top of the stairs she clicked off the basement light without stopping, leaving everything behind her black and quiet.
“Goodnight.” She whispered to all of her characters, “Sleep tight.”
Little Anna is a character from the story, "Anna Wunsch", yet to be written. I'm hesitating on writing it because actually writing a story down is like setting it free into the wild. It's not yours anymore and even if it comes back it's not the same. You can enjoy it then as something outside of yourself. It's too concrete after it's all down on paper. Anna Wunsch is one of those stories I don't want to give away yet, I love the characters too much.
The above is a quick 3rd person POV practice for Dr. Gorev (Coming soon). Two days till go time!
If you've never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is national novel writing month. It's an event that happens in November where participants attempt to write a 50k novel in the month of November. I'm going to make the attempt this year. I've got snacks and candy ready in my study, loved ones have been warned of my absence and coworkers have been notified, and most importantly, I have my story outlined and plotted out. So really, all I have to do is write it, how hard can that be? The story is one that's been knocking around in my head for almost a year now.
This is going to be the story of Dr. Viktor Gorev. He, his brother and father are the last of their aristocratic family. They've escaped St. Petersburg at the beginning of the revolution, but not without casualty. Their mother is dead and Viktor's face and body are disfigured with deep burn scars. He now wears a porcelain prosthetic over most of his face so that he go out in the world.
Both Viktor and his brother work as psychiatrists and find work in research in London where the family lives together in a small flat. Viktor's happiness happens every Tuesday when he interviews a patient, Clara, away from her aggressive husband and caregiver. He devotes most of his time to studying her case and daydreaming of the life he was supposed to have as well as the one she was supposed to have.
Change comes after his patient with religious and supernatural delusions is about to be committed to Bedlam. She confides in him, giving him a powerful device, capable of giving the wisher whatever their heart desires. He is to keep it safe for her and safe from the Bedlam director. She warns him against using it himself. She doesn't trust it, but she can't bear to destroy it. She believes it might be evil.
As a scientist, he doesn't believe in magic or superstition. But as a man with so much to wish for he indulges himself that night in a wish spoken over the device. That next morning he wakes up to a completely different life. One where dreams and nightmares coexist and the past can be remade.
My goal is to finish this novel by the end of November, my back up goal is to finish it by the end of December. By finish I just mean draft one. "Write first, edit later" is the phrase of the month.
Wish me luck! Let NaNoWriMo begin!
It's official, "Sparrow Box" is out in the world. I say this every time about all of my stories, but this is now my favorite finished short.
Check it out on Amazon. It costs less than a cup of coffee to follow Ollie through the most important moment of his life.
As a little background, sparrows have always had a special place in my heart. When I was in elementary school, my best friend caught a sparrow in a shoe box that had fallen down her families chimney. She kept it in her room. But not long after she caught it her grandmother, who lived with her family, started having severe back problems. I forget who asked who what, but it came out that the grandmother told her that sparrows were magical in some way. That to keep one captive would bring bad luck into the home and the people in it. Needless to say she released it immediately and her grandmother recovered from her intense bout of pain.
The sparrow in the shoe box has always stayed with me. Being the young, impressionable elementary school kid I was inclined to believe her grandmother, the evidence was clear. It's as I've gotten older that my perspectives have changed.
Sometime's it's just more fun to believe and that's what "Sparrow Box" is all about.
Good news, bad news; I started a seasonal job. It's a classic 8-5 kind of job.When I get home I barely have enough energy to feed myself let alone think about writing. Most of the weekend is filled with all of those chores that were ignored through the week.
I know that there are a lot of people who come home after a long day and take care of kids, or work on hobbies or even go out on the town. I am still working on building my workers stamina.
It's also hard not having the free time to just think about stories. At work I have to focus. I work with people and money, meaning I can't daydream. So if I find a couple of hours to sit down and write I'm going in cold. The blank screen just mirrors a blank mind. Also, then it takes almost an hour to get back up to speed with where I was in the story. By the time I'm ready and full of words it's bedtime.
My goal is to write everyday regardless of how I feel, a minimum of 1,000 words a day. -smears war paint under eyes-