Oh my! Just 1/3 of the way through November, not even getting to the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s been such a busy time.
Of course, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again. This will be novel number SIX! I wasn’t going to write another one until I edited a previous one, but my writing group friends talked me into it. And I’m glad they did. I’m trying something new, still working at finding what I like to write the most. So, this one is in the Young Adult/Action/Adventure genre. And I’m trying something else new. I’m revealing a bit of what I write. That’s kind of a big deal for me. Because there are two camps of thought about that. One says, “No way, don’t do it.” The other says, “Yes, it’s good.” So, I’m trying it. And I’m thinking about adding snippets here and there to generate interest. I don’t know. We’ll see.
Here’s the premise:
It is November 15, 2016, and America is at war, with itself. During events just before the presidential election in the United States, all hell has broken loose. Republican and Democratic rivalries sunk to new all-time lows and factions of militant organizations across the country were organized well enough to take matters into their own hands. They began shooting, bombing, and burning anything that didn’t fit their ideal of the red, white, and blue. The election didn’t even take place, because armed militia men proclaimed The Second Great Civil War of the United States. Civil War. Again. Only this time, citizens had access to Uzis and hand grenades and all kinds of crazy explosives and war “toys” that didn’t exist in the era of the first Civil War. But it didn’t matter what the weapons were. Yeah, the technology could reach a larger portion of the population and that was part of the problem. But the real problem was the unbridled passion of militants with a skewed perspective who turned that into a cause. Weapons destroyed. Weapons killed, especially in the hands of the power hungry and misguided. It’s the undefined “Us” against “Them” scenario and who can win with that? No matter which era a war was in, people died. And this time, it wasn’t just something 14-year-old Harper Bridges read about in a history book, it had happened right here, right now, and it had happened to her family.
Harper remembered her mother and grandmother having a conversation. If there was ever anything disastrous to occur, they all loosely agreed to meet at the family land in Oklahoma. Loosely. Very loosely. Harper could only remember snippets of the conversation and wasn’t even sure it was real. But she had in her mind to set out to try to reach Oklahoma. And she hoped to God that when she got there, her family would be there. She had a sinking feeling in her gut. A deep-seated knot that nagged and created pain. She was afraid. So afraid.
And here’s the first paragraph:
Harper hated death. She hated the thought of so much of it surrounding her and she hated the stench of it. She bent, placing her hands on both knees and held the hem of her shirt over her face, wishing it would filter the death stink. She tried not to cough, tried not to breathe, really, but had to regain her composure somehow. She had run for so long in the dark, once she had come to the wide-open spaces. But here she was again, running through the remains of a small, charred town. How many of them were there between Texas and Oklahoma? She wished she had paid more attention on the many trips between the two when–well, before all of this had erupted. She was completely out of breath and mentally chastised herself for not being in better physical shape. The occasional evening jog in the neighborhood with the dog had not been enough. Now, she was running for her life. Someone had shot at her twice and was on her trail again. With all of the burned towns and cities and all of the dead people, why in God’s name would someone care if she lived or died? The answer had eluded her for days and she did not have time to sort it out.
(Whew!) (We’ll see what happens. I usually don’t like to write on the dark side. But you have to have the dark side to have the light, right? So it can illuminate the darkness. Yeah. That.) (I’m at 20,000 words, with the goal being 50,000 by the end of November.)
And here are some of the other things that have been going on:
Beautiful fall days! So, if I possibly can, I get outside on the weekends and work, because oh my goodness, my yard needs attention. So, I’ve been pruning and clipping and raking and shoveling … and about that–oh, dear. Last weekend I worked so hard, I could barely move. But it’s looking better out there.
One day, I made a vegetarian lasagna in the crockpot and I ate lunch outside. (Like my work gloves in the above photo? I needed leather gloves because I was trimming rose bushes and wanted to avoid the thorns. So, I found one thick, rubber work glove and one glove that I use for the kitchen. Not effective for rosebush thorns. I’ll guarantee.) (I don’t have time to go buy leather gloves.) (I need toooooo!)
My daughter is getting ready for a yard sale, so she’s taken over my carport. :^D (But I will be glad to have that chore out of the way, believe me.)
This morning there was frost on my car windshield! Frost. That means I’d better get prepared for winter.
And on the drive to work I saw two deer in a chase and managed to honk the car horn before they crossed the road. And the doe listened. Good girl. She stopped. The buck didn’t want to. (He was enormous.) He only stopped because she did. (I’m thankful.) But she turned and went back the other way and he was soon in swift pursuit. Autumn in rural America. Fun times.
Hope you’re all having lovely days and can sit outside and enjoy the weather with a cup of hot tea or cocoa. (And avoid the deer on the roads.)
Okay, too much stuff to do. More soon. ❤