I am a #NaNoWinner2015! The goal was to make it to 50k, but I managed to get past that and got to 64,515 words! Crazy, I know. I never thought I'd get this far or could possibly write that many words in a month.
This past month has been quite interesting. I had always thought about participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) but either couldn't find any time to do it, or I was too knee deep in another project, usually revisions, where I couldn't start something new. This month, I found the time, or thought I found the time, and decided to give it a shot.
The first two weeks, we fairly easy to keep up. Week one had been my best week out of the two. The last two weeks were where I struggled. I started to lose steam, and the fun of writing started to drain out of me. Why? Because that's all I was doing, day in and day out. Seriously. After my full-time job (on a weekday) I'd come home and sit at my computer and write. I didn't make dinner (my poor husband), I didn't work out (really bad for me), I didn't do anything but write. I didn't have time. And weekends weren't much better. I was so afraid I wouldn't make it to the 50K point, I'd try to get over the min word count every day, especiall on weekends, to make sure I wouldn't fall behind. This fear drove me to write more than I needed and I managed to suceed at reaching the 50k mark within 23 days out of the 30, but at a price.
I love this book I've been writing. I love the direction it's gone (the planned book prior to starting it was a bit different). And I love that I've gotten so much done with it (there's still much to go). But I do not love what it turned me into, to get this far. Will I do NaNo again? As long as I have a full-time job, no. There's no way I could do this to myself again. I write because I love to write; because I love creating stories and eventually want to share them all with yoy, my readers. But if I tried this pace, even once a year, I'd want to stop writing after a while.
So, in this reflection, I learned a lot about myself as a writer. I learned my limits and learned what I'm capable of doing if I can really push myself. I do not regret doing this. But I probably won't be doing this for the summer version or the next november one. It has sparked an interesting idea for me to attempt to share my writings with all of you more in some way, but I'm still ironing out the idea. Until I have it ready to share, I'll keep you posted like I have in the past. After for now, here is the last installment I wrote last night for NaNo. THis is in order from yesterday's post:
“Vesser, help,” my mate voice said quietly.
A chill ran down my spine. She had never asked for help before. Rinneth wasn’t the help asking kind. Too stubborn for her own good. What would compel my mate voice to ask all of a sudden?
“What’s wrong?” Vamir asked.
I scanned the room. “Something isn’t right.”
Just then, a commotion could be heard in the hall Rinneth had left down, and then the lighting flickered in an unusual way, as if… Lightning! I bolted out of the room in search of Rinneth, a bad feeling gripping the pit of my stomach. The lighting in the long hall flickered sporadically and I was sure I heard a muffled scream. The only thing that kept me from panicking, I was sure the voice belonged to a male I’d never met.
I turned the corner at the end of the hall and skidded to a halt, unable to understand the sight before me. Sirath had a Black Dragon pinned to the wall, while Rinneth had her hand firmly grabbed on the face of another. Another Black dragon lay at her feet, and behind her, Zalrish sat against the wall in a blood mess. Noticing the blood on the hands of both Dragons Rinneth was dealing with, it wasn’t hard to figure out what what going on.
My feet began moving again and I lightly grabbed Rinneth by the waist when I reach her and attempted to pull her away from the Dragon. “Rinneth, let him go.”
She tried to push me away and held tight on the Dragon’s face, who wasn’t moving much. “He deserves to die.”
“Don’t you dare kill my brother!” The Dragon Sirath was dealing with shouted.
Sirath shoved the Dragon against the wall. “Keep your mouth shut or you’ll be next.”
Rinneths hands sparked and the Dragon’s body twitched. The Dragon Sirath was dealing with struggled more. “Stop it!”
I tried to pull Rinneth away and kept my voice low. “Rinneth, listen to him. You’ve made your point.”
She grabbed my arm with her free hand and shocked me. The electricity wasn’t strong enough to seriously harm me, but it was enough of a warning to make me grit my teeth.
“He deserves to die,” Rinneth repeated. “He tried to kill Zalrish.”
“I know you’re angry,” I said. “But this will only make matters worse.” I glanced at Vamir as he crouched down next to Zalrish and began healing the beat up elf with his natural healing abilities. “See, Zalrish is going to be okay. Vamir is patching him up.”
Rinneth refused to give in and she shocked both the Black Dragon and me.
“Rinneth, that hurts,” I said through gritted teeth. “Please, stop. I’m trying to help. You’re better than this.”
“This is our way.”
“No, it’s not. Killing in cold blood is not our way.” I cringed when she shocked me again. Words weren’t getting through to her, and her clanmate wasn’t helping. The only thing left to do, was to rest my forehead in the crook of her neck as best as I could. “Please…”
The electrical attacks stopped immediately, but her grip remained tight. “You didn’t see him trying to kill Zalrish. I did.”
“I know. I know it’s hard to walk away after something like, but you’re better than this. You’ve made your point and put them in their place. Don’t be consumed by your anger.”
“Rinneth, love, I’m fine now,” Zalrish said. “Don’t be killin’ anyone over me.”
Rinneth clamped her hand tighter over the Dragon’s face, but thankfully didn’t unleash an electrical shock. Black Dragons may be able to withstand lightning better than any other creature, but even they had their limits, and I was sure this Dragon wouldn’t be able to take much more, if his limit hadn’t already been met at this point.
“Doll, let the boy go,” Zalrish urged. “He’ll have to live with wounded pride and an ugly mug at this rate. Far better punishment than death.”
He had a good point, but Rinneth refused to let go. The tenseness in her muscles told me she was still too worked up to make a proper choice, but if this went on any longer, with the press in the other room, this night could get worse. I had to do something dramatic, and stupid. Be assertive with her. In Dragon culture, she ranked higher than me, even though I wasn’t in her clan, so trying to force her to do something--stupid idea. But at this rate, letting her continue would be more stupid.
I pulled away and grabbed her the wrist of her hand that held the dying Dragon. “Rinneth, let go of him, now.”
Her eyes snapped up at me and the two of us stared it out in a dominance battle. I never imagined I’d have a non-lethal battle of this type with a female, but it also wasn’t every day you crossed paths with a female with a higher ranking. Politically that is. That wasn’t to say females weren’t beneath us males, on the contrary. Our racial culture placed females higher on a social rank. We respected, cared for, and protected them with our lives, no matter the cost or their color. The only exception was us Half-colors, but females had it easier than us male Half-colors.
On a political level though, ranks get more complicated, and more often than not, females don’t push for higher ranking. Most don’t have much reason to worry about politics, so they accepted wherever they ranked, since, unless they were of a higher rank, rank change didn’t typically affect them.
Rinneth’s eyes softened as her rage finally subsided, and I let go of her wrist and broke eye contact first, giving her the win in the political battle. My intent wasn’t to challenge her rank. I only wanted her to calm down. Rinneth let the Dragon go and he fell into a crumpled heap.
She looked a Sirath. “Let him go.”
Sirath complied and the Black Dragon rushed to his brother and other fallen clanmate. Rinneth focused on Zalrish while I paid close attention to the Black Dragons. The ones Rinneth harmed were still breathing, but the one she had by the face didn’t look so pretty anymore. He’d need quite a lot of specialty surgery to fix him up, and I doubt his insides were doing much better. The brother who had been lucky to escape Rinneth’s wrath looked up at her with hate, but seemed to know better than to go after her. Not with me between them, Sirath tense and ready to jump when needed, and several more of Rinneth’s clanmates who had gathered during the altercation standing at the ready to protect her if needed.
The sound of Rinneth whacking Zalrish pulled my attention to her.
“What were you thinking?” she demanded.
Zalrish rubbed his head. “That I was right and you were wrong…”
“And what did you learn?”
“That you were right any I was wrong. Did you really have to hit me? Why do you have to be so violent all the time?”
“It’s how female Dragons show they care,” I joked.
“Messed up,” he complained. “You need a better caring outlet than violence.”
Rinneth crossed her arms and stuck up her nose at the idea. She was too stubborn for her own good. Her defiant attitude changed to a scowl when Hallion ran down the hall and pushed through her clanmates.
He looked at his three clan members and then at Zalrish who was still being healed up. “What the hell happened here?”
“Like you don’t know,” Rinneth accused boldly.
He stared at her with mild offense. “I don’t know where you got that accusation from.”
“Like you don’t know.” The ice on her tongue sent a chill down my spine, and I wasn’t the only one getting a little uncomfortable about this interaction. Whatever issues her clan had with Hallion, it really brought the worst out of all of them.
Hallion, to my dislike, moved close to Rinneth. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, dear. I really don’t. I would never--”
Rinneth boldly turned her back on him. Pulling a dominance move like that on a clan leader was brave stuff, even for a female. And Hallion didn’t like it. He grabbed her by the wrist, but I wasn’t having it. I forced him to let go and then punched him in the face. Rinneth gasped and those around me murmured with surprise.
“Don’t you dare touch her,” I warned.
“Impudent whelp,” Hallion spat as he picked himself up.”
“The whelp is right.” I looked past Hallion to see Fallon advancing calmly, though his muscles were tight, giving away his anger. “You touch my daughter again, Hallion, and I’ll skin you alive. Do I make myself clear?”
“My intent was not to harm her,” Hallion defended. “It was to teach her her place.”
Fallon punched Hallion and then spoke in dragonic. “She does not belong to you. My daughter. My clan. Not yours.”
A hiss of defiance and irritation came from Hallion and the two stared each other in a dominance battle. Without looking away, Fallon spoke to me. “Vesser, bring Rinneth to the car. The rest of you go with them.”
I stopped Rinneth and pulled her towards the elevator. “Let’s go. We’ve had enough fun for the night.”
She sighed and didn’t fight me. I made sure she stayed close by, placing my hand protectively on her shoulder. Once in the elevator, we rode it down to the first floor and Ramos and a few others from Rinneth’s clan led us out of the building and to a large limousine. Rinneth was encouraged to go in first, then myself, Ramos, and then the rest of our motley crew.
No one started up the lavish vehicle and no one spoke. My teammates looked around to take in their first look of the inside of a limousine, but even they remained silent. Ten minutes passed and I started to worry. Not only was Rinneth now curled up against me, her head resting on my shoulder, but no one had showed signs of doing more than waiting.
Then, to my discomfort Fallon showed up. The dissatisfied look he gave me should have made my blood run cold, but since I hadn’t done anything wrong, I wasn’t going to let him get to me. If I wanted things to work out between Rinneth and me in the future, I couldn’t be afraid of her father. He was just going to have to deal with the fact she didn’t belong to him. She doesn’t even belong to me...yet. I really needed to stop thinking about that. If I didn’t, these next few months were going to be near impossible to get through.
“Rinneth?” Fallon asked.
“I’m fine,” she replied. “I just want to get home, drink, and forget about tonight.”
“I got a few kegs at my place,” Thuldren said. “Yer welcome to have ‘em.”
She smiled. “I’d appreciate that.”
Fallon nodded. “Then we’ll stop by there before we all go back to the house.”
“All?” Zalrish questioned.
“Yes, all,” Fallon said. “After tonight, it would be in the best interest of everyone if you all stayed in one location where Hallion won’t dare to attempt anything heavy handed.”
Zalrish sighed and Rinneth giggled. “It’s your fault.”
Fallon looked at Vamir. “You’re of the Saelethil family, yes?”
Vamir nodded. “That’s correct.”
“The Saelethil family is known for their healers and working in the medical industry. Those who don’t work in that industry, don’t have the healing ability. I assumed you didn’t, but here you are, with the ability to heal.”
“Yes, well, not all of us are cut out to be full time healers,” Vamir said. “When you’ve been unable to save lives, and had to make the tough choice on who to save and who not to, it can become too difficult to handle. I walked away from that when we were unable to save a single person who came into the emergency room after a four car accident.”
Fallon nodded. “That road is not for the faint of heart.” He looked at Rinneth. “You should sleep.”
“I’m not tired,” she replied.
“Then why are you leaning on your friend?”
“Because I can. Now leave me alone.”
Next installment....Nope. This is it. I may post more passages of this book prior to its release, but not more dedicated blog posts like the past month has had. Thanks for following along everyone!