Day: November 1, 2013

Nanowrimo: Writing a Mom

frazzled mom

So for the month of November I am going to be posting sections of my book so hopefully I can edit a little along the way.  As I have previously said on the blog there are 2 main characters, Marnie and Becca.  Becca is a stay at home Mom, army wife with 4 kids.

I want to share with you my introduction to Becca.  As I’ve never been a stay at home Mom can all of you give me some feedback?  I’d really appreciate it.  You can message me if you feel more comfortable.  Don’t worry about offending me.  I’ve got very thick skin.

I haven’t had a chance to go over grammar so this is mainly on character and realism of the scene.

I will also be posting my introductory scene of Marnie probably tomorrow.  Fun!

So here goes, Becca:

Becca introduction

“Sir take a look at the scene?” Spencer says as he shows me the human view screen.  I can see Marnie and Becca.   They both look like they have been run over by a horse.  Tired, haggard, worn out.

Becca is at her home surrounded  by her four kids.  “Mommy,  TJ won’t leave me alone.  He’s bothering me”

“That’s not true.  Julie won’t stop bothering me” says JT

“Ugh.  Would you both stop bothering me!  Geesh.  Could the 2 of you get along for one second!”  Becca says with a hint of sarcasm.

“Mom, I have a book on hold at the library.  Can we go pick it up?” Callie her 8 year old was brilliant but very persistent when she had a request.  “Can we?  Can we?”

“I don’t know.  Cal.  I will try.  Can you go with a friend?  I have to make dinner?”

“Wa, wa, wa, wa”  The baby Addie falls and bangs her head as she crawls into the kitchen.

“Mom, can we go.  Can we go?”

“Callie if you ask me one more time we are never going”

“What.  That’s not fair”  Callie begins to cry and storms off.   Grabbing the baby  Becca tries to calm her and kiss her forehead.

“Poor thing.  Here’s some kisses”

“JT pulled my hair”  Julie yelled pulling at Becca’s skirt.

“Look you go to your room, and you go to your room” pointing at JT and Julie.  “I need you to think of how lucky you are to be a part of a family.  Your father is counting on you to keep our family going while he’s away”

Becca’s husband is in the army and was on the tail end of a service deployment sent to help at Hurricane Teresa in Mississippi.  While grateful that her husband had the chance to serve other people and the country sometimes she wished he could serve her more.  Being a single Mom was hard.

“Look everyone the babysitter is coming and I am going to come in an hour and you are all to be on your best behavior. You’ve got it?”

Seemingly right on cue the phone rings.  “Mom” “JT says.  It’s for you!”

“Hi Mrs.  Richmond it’s Claire and I’ve got a temperature and don’t think I can make it tonight.  I’m sorry”

Becca’s heart sunk “What?  How come you didn’t’ call sooner? Now it will be too late to get anyone else?”

“I’m sorry but I kept hoping I would feel better.  I really am sorry”  Claire says with a cough into the phone.

“That’s Ok.  I hope you feel better.  Take care.  Bye”

“Bye”

Becca didn’t know if she was going to cry or scream.  Tonight was to be her night off.  Her night off to spend with her friend Marnie, her best friend from the time she was 8 years old.  Lately it had seemed like they were living such different lives and they hadn’t seen each other for months.  Something like this would always happen.

As she began to call Marnie’s number Addie pulled at the phone and began to cry.  Babies seemed to know when they were just being held and not the center of attention.  Everything was a mess.  Everyone in the house basically hated her at the moment and her long anticipated relief was going down the tubes it was almost too much.

“Hi Marnie.  I have bad news”

Chapter 3

“Bad news?”  Marnie would like to say she was surprised by Becca’s call but she’d learned to never buy tickets in advance for anything with her best friend.  Reliable was not her middle name.

“You have to be kidding!”

“No.  The babysitter called and she’s sick.  There isn’t time to find anyone else.  The kids are all upset and I have to make dinner.  I’m really sorry”

“This is the 3rd time you have canceled on me.  It’s not easy for me to free up time in my schedule” Marnie begins to say and then changes her tone not wanting to cause a scene “It’s ok.  I understand”

“Let’s keep trying”  Becca said in an exasperated tone.

“Ok.  Love ya”

“Love ya back”

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Nanowrimo Pep Talk

nanowrimo

I am up late waiting for nanowrimo to start  so I can write the first chapter of my book.   They had this great pep talk by James Patterson on the nanowrimo page that I thought I’d share with all of you.  It is so true for life and writing.  Enjoy

So Writer, you’re trying to write a novel in 30 days. Has anyone told you you’re crazy yet?

You’re not crazy. I promise. I know because I’ve written a novel in a couple of months. And yes, I’m a human being (just ask my editor, or my wife) and I do sleep. The book even got published. So anyone who tells you it’s impossible is wrong and you should probably stop taking their advice. Unless it’s your mom. Then just stop taking her advice about writing (you should still floss once a day).

There’s no getting around the fact that it’s hard, though, is there? By now you know that better than anyone. Maybe you should give up on this whole novel business and go relax. Or work at a paying job. But I say, keep at it. Because, like I said, it’s possible. And as you must suspect, it’s a pretty fantastic feeling to have written a book.

So how do you do it? Here are some tips on making it to December 1 without going crazy or giving up. (Though if you have to do one of them, I’ve always found sanity overrated.)

Outline. If you already have: gold star; proceed to the next piece of advice. If you didn’t, don’t worry, because it’s never too late to go back and make an outline. An outline isn’t something to be scared of, it’s just a chapter-by-chapter description of the scenes that, lined-up together, make your book. On the count of three, tell me the story that unfolds in your novel. All the way to the last chapter. Now write that down. There’s your outline. Easy, right?

Lie to yourself. Honesty is a great quality, but we’re writing fiction here, so you’d better get used to a little light lying. Tell yourself you can do this. Tell yourself your book will be great. The world will love it and you’ll be the next J.K. Rowling, J.D. Salinger, Art Spiegelman, or whatever flavor of author you hope to become.

Get into a writing routine. Think it’s hard to write every day during NaNo? Most professional writers keep this kind of pace all year round. Holidays, birthdays, vacations—you name it, we’re writing. The trick is making writing into a daily habit. Same time. Same place. Same hot beverage of choice. Every. Single. Day. Again. And. Again.

Don’t do it alone. If you live with somebody, tell them to be unpleasant to you if they see you doing anything else during your writing time. Buy them a water gun. If you live alone, have friends call and check on you. And if you have no friends, you will have no trouble writing a book in 30 days. What else do you have to do? (I’m not knocking friendless people. We’ve all been there.)

Don’t stress. I don’t mean to undermine the above, but remember this is one month, not your entire writing career. Try hard, learn from it, and if you don’t get to 50,000 words, figure out what you did wrong so you can get there next time.

Stop reading this. Start writing. Now. (Or at midnight your time.)

James

So I got the first 2478 words done (about 3 chapters and I’m really excited about it).  Here is my first paragraphs:

Trading Christmas:

“Mr Kringle the alarm is going off again” Spencer yells across.

Elf’s you see are worriers.  It could be something as seemingly small as a gear on a truck that isn’t quite right or a color of hair on a doll that seems slightly off but it will capture their attention for weeks and weeks.  You will literally see them pacing the halls of the Kringle castle muttering to themselves

“What to do?  What to do?”

A few top level worrier Elf’s are given the special assignment as high human concern liaison.   This is an elite team that watches the human need switchboards and reports to me, Santa Claus when things are looking bad.  There is a large switchboard that monitors human activity, gauging present wish lists, childhood belief levels and human crisis intervention needs.  When a man or woman, boy or girl, calls out to Santa or makes  a wish they are notified  by a blinking light, quickly a team interviews and assess the situation and then notifies me of the best course of action.

On this particular Sunday Spencer found me at the North Pole fitness center getting my pre-cookie body into shape.  You see I can’t fit down all those chimneys singing Christmas carols and you try eating  6 billion cookies in one night and see how rosy and trim your figure is?  It’s a busy time as you might expect and sometimes the gym is the one moment of peace I have for months.  Sadly today was not going to be such a day