Divorce, Death & the Holidays

So, I'm driving in the slow lane on the NaNo expressway and along comes this eighteen-wheeler pulling not one trailer but three. The first trailer has "Divorce" spray painted across the gleaming silver surface. The trailer sways a little and I swerve. I slow as I swerve and lose a few days and nights of word counts. It seems no matter my intentions, I cannot escape its proximity. I speed up, it speeds up. I slow, it slows. So Divorce may not have ran me off the road but it has certainly created a great deal of worry in my life.

When I finally become comfortable with Divorce and I'm once again staying between the white lines and moving slowly but steadily forward, another trailer creeps up beside me. It's black and shiny. In a beautiful script hand is a single word: Death. It sways and I swerve. It strays into my lane and I pull of the road. Tears pour down my cheeks and my heart aches with memory and loss. The pain lingers still but there is nothing to do but to get back onto the NaNo expressway and try to find the will to move forward.

Only, there's construction barrels and flashing arrows directing me off the expressway. They leave no option. I have to take the exit ramp marked "Thanksgiving & Holiday Shopping". With a sigh...I do as I must and I merge with traffic. There's a mall ahead and a food center. They look both daunting and appealing.

I guess I'll have to settle for getting back on the NaNo expressway after the weekend.

Now for the Real Scoop

Divorce

My parents (dad and step-mom) are getting a divorce. Can't say the separation came as a surprise but the circumstances surrounding it did. Let's just say you never know someone as well as you think you do. People are capable of the most astounding and heartbreaking actions.

Death

My great-grandfather passed away Sunday, God bless him. He was 91 years old. He lived a full and wonderful life. I mourn not for what he will miss but for what I will miss and what my children will never know to miss. Goodbye, Grandpa.

Holidays

Thanksgiving is at my house this year. Supposed to be with Dad and step-mom this year but...well...considering the circumstances, I invited my in-laws to sup with us. I hope they prove a helpful distraction--Dad gets really emotional at any family gathering. The kids' birthday parties have been hell.

Friday I'm going Christmas shopping with my sister-in-law-to-be. I can't believe I'm getting up at 5:00 am so I can leave here by 6:00. I must be daft.

NaNo Progress Report

Word Count: 5150 words total

Story Tidbits:

I just started Chapter Three and entered the hero's POV. So far it's been an easy and fun chapter to write...all 361 words of it. Unfortunately, even with all my preplanning for NaNo, I've managed to write myself into the land of uncertainties. I've known all along that Makenna's "research paper" and Cade's academic specialty would be key elements used to draw the two of them together. I had been thinking in rather abstract terms about the paper, though, and hadn't given much thought as to what it would say. Silly of me. It needs to contradict his considerable research on the subject...enough so that he's inclined to meet one-on-one with her.

So...now I need to do some vampire legend research and write a faux paper on the topic. Then, once I have a firm grasp on what he would be able to find & what theories he would support, I'll need to purposely twist some of the concepts until she's in direct opposition to him. Should be fun. Vampires are some of my favorite beasties.

NaNo Progress Report

Word Count Data

Over the last five days I have managed to write 3868 words. Not bad. I'm hoping to add 2K to the tally by day's end. I'll keep you posted.

Story Tidbits

As you may or may not know, beginnings are the worst for me. Just writing one and forcing myself to accept it has been a bit of a challenge. A rule of thumb in romance is to have your hero and heroine meet ASAP. Chapter Two is going to have to be soon enough. Although, I did have my heroine think of him once or twice in Chapter One--nothing mushy at that point, just random general thoughts.

Chapter Two is about a quarter completed and they're just about ready to speak to each other. Page 16. Although they have had a strange shared experience. Here's a little snippet of the experience:

~Begin snippet~

She lifted her head and looked toward the bottom of the room. The guest speaker seemed not to have noticed the lagging enthusiasm in the back row. Dr. Michaels, on the other hand, seemed intently aware. He was staring right at her and, while his expression betrayed little, she could sense his irritation.

The intensity of her awareness stunned her. The sensation was reminiscent of telepathy and yet altogether different. There was both more and less focus. His thoughts were muted by emotion, while the emotions were distracted by thoughts. The two were joined and yet separate. Only the most dominant thought or emotion managed to leave an impression at any given moment. Everything else was simply too elusive to identify or distinguish.

Concentrating on expanding the link between them, Makenna focused her energy on the professor. Within moments the lecturer's words faded into obscurity and the students seated along the descending tiers disappeared from her peripheral vision. Even the room seemed to dissolve.

The space separating them collapsed upon itself until she could see the dark blue ring encircling the lighter blue irises of his eyes. As if he were caught in the same madness, his eyes widened and his irritation gave way to fear and amazement.

What the hell?

Makenna came to herself with a start She strove to keep her breathing normal. Needing a moment to regroup, she looked down at her trembling hands and tried to calm herself. She dared not glance in his direction again. The suddenness of the shared intimacy frightened her.

She had heard his voice, not with her ears but with her mind. His bewildered question had left no doubt as to his awareness of the link he had forged, whether knowingly or unknowingly. She shivered. In all her long experience she had certainly never encountered the like. Even the telepathic link bonding fledgling vampire to Master had not been so intimate.

What the hell indeed.

~end snippet~