Thanks for the shoutout from fellow nanowrimo writer and blogging friend mikecoville.wordpress.com. Show him some blogging love and the other nanos he mentions.
Before I start. We got the 300th follower on the blog today. It is very exciting! Thank you to everyone that reads. Please don’t forget to comment and add into the discussion which I try to start. I love my readers!
So today I did the Nanothon which is a day of writing. After I got back from volleyball I wrote for 5-6 hours straight and got over 5k added to the story. I have had repeated requests on twitter and this blog to share a bit of what I am writing. I am hesitant to do so because I’m not 100% in love with my story. Plus it is very, very rough (how can something you write in 30 days be anything but rough?)
But I’ve gotten enough requests that here is a section. We are introducing the single character who grew up with a single Mom who felt that romance was a fairy tale and that life was going to be hard so you better be prepared.
She told her daughter about something called ‘The Girl Tax’. This meant that any woman was going to have to work twice as hard as a man for success because they are a woman. She wants her daughter to prepare for the hard work and to not expect anything in life to be handed to her, especially a big ring on her finger.
I feel like there is potential in this dynamic. I know people who feel there is a ‘girl tax’ or at least there certainly was and I can picture a weary single mom giving such advice to her only daughter. Like I said, this is just my initial thoughts so don’t be too tough on it but the concept for a character is there. Enjoy and I’ll keep sharing with you!
This wasn’t the way life was supposed to turn out. Growing up in a home with a single Mom Marnie knew that as a woman she would probably have to make her own way in the world. In fact, she hadn’t spent much time with men. Aside from Becca’s husband she didn’t know her father and never bonded with male teachers or neighbors. They were like a foreign oddity.
Her mother hadn’t helped with this either. She would start her speeches with a give away about ‘saying I’m sure you will meet someone great who will love you but you need to make sure you are protected and can stand on your own. A few people are happy with men but most of us get a harder handout in life.
She would always end her speeches saying ‘nobody is going to hand you anything. You better be ready to pay the girl tax”
“The girl tax?” marnie would ask.
“Yes, any woman is going to have to work twice as hard for everything as a man and don’t trust a man anyway. They have the luxury of a world that expects them to lie and cheat and be successful. It’s a man’s way in this world and life will not give you any favors” she says with more than a hint of bitterness. It had been a hard life.
Marnie had seen her mother go through men like candy and a few of them were great. There was one named Randy who would give her candy and take her to the movies. Unfortunately he only stayed around for a couple of months. Another nice one was named Sam who showed her how to bake bread.
It was amazing to see the yeast bubble and then punch down the dough as it blew up like a balloon. The smells while it was baking was intoxicating and there is nothing better than hot bread with butter and honey.
Sometimes the speech would varied with men being “scumbags” and “disapointments” depending on the romantic entanglement of the moment. That was why Marnie had moved so much. Different men with all the same outstanding character traits of laziness and apathy. Luckily none of them had hurt her but she couldn’t say the same for her mother.
Really the only constant was the playhouse her friend Becca and her shared at a field behind their homes (former home for Marnie but she was close). It was beautiful, quiet and perfect. This was the type of home she wanted.
One thing is for sure she would have a different life than her mother. She wanted a career where she could support herself, a husband who loved her and kids that knew they were protected and supported.
She wanted love from more than just a mother who took care of her, fed and bathed her. She knew that her mother loved her as much as she could but she also knew that she resented her for the life she could have led. A life without a little girl to tie her down.
High school was the worst time of all. She didn’t fit in with any of the clicks and all of the classes seemed so boring. She wanted to be active, and busy not sticking her nose in a book. That wasn’t the life that would work for her. Fortunately she had her best friend Becca who stood by her no matter how many ear piercing or nose rings she got . She had even thought about getting a tattoo at one point but Becca had talked her out of it.
Thank goodness for that because she’d still have a four leaf clover on her arm from a guy named Mike that she thought was her lucky charm. For that act alone Becca was a lifetime friend but as long as she had been alive she had known that she had a friend in Becca.
So off to college she’d gone and so had Becca. They spent every minute together but the boys were more taken with Becca than Marnie. It was unclear exactly why but it wasn’t long before Becca was pairing up on dates with different men and eventually one stuck named Scott. He was a handsome man with dreams of a career in the army.
They would excitedly tell the story to anyone who would listen about meeting at the ROTC on campus and how Becca helped him register for class and how she had sworn off dating. For some reason that whole sworn off dating thing worked better for Becca than it ever had for Marnie. In fact, dating at all wasn’t her thing. She couldn’t figure it out.
“A man in uniform” she remembered Becca saying with a sigh. “That is the life”
Now a marriage and 4 kids later Marnie’s best friend seemed to have gotten everything in life. A handsome husband, beautiful kids and a house in the suburbs and what did Marnie have to show for her life?
She had gone into hospitality and then on to the culinary institute to become a chef. Food had always been a fascinating thing for her and was a way she could make her mother happy on her long days of working in a factory making wheel barings or waiting tables. Food was love and she learned early h ow to make stews, sauces and pastries. A specialty of hers is called Indian fry bread and it is fried dough that puffs up into a cloud and covered with powdered sugar. Marnie and her mother would make it and get powdered sugar all over their noses and take photos of their sugar whiskers.
Sadly her mother was now gone. She’d worked hard till the end and had a stroke 2 years ago. Becca had been there for Marnie but she still felt so alone. She hadn’t been able to give her Mother any grandbabies or show her what a great life she had gotten for herself.