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NaNoWriMo 2014 – The End Edition

I knew I was close.  But the closer I got, the further away the end was.

The last scene went on.  And on.  And on.  Someone decided it’d be a great idea to add a small sex scene too.  I mean, it is a reunion scene, right?  They ought to be pretty happy.  But this tired, plus writing in the car for most of the evening with That Man’s crazy driving… Yeah, it was hard.

But I finally made it.

New personal record:  8,454 words today.

NaNoWriMo total:  48,573 words

Total book:  91,318 words, not including the last 30K of chapter breaks.

I have some [notes] to fix.  A read-thru is in order.  Then I’ll be shooting it off to my Beloved Sis.  If any other sweet souls would like to beta read this new book, drop me a note.

I was going to say I’m too tired for a snippet, but there’s one bit in particular that I wrote tonight that made me laugh.

If anyone but Charlie had brought me to this deserted location, I’d swear they were going to leave me out here to die.

P.S. There are howler monkeys in Belize.  I had to look it up for that scene.

P.S.S. I’ll be busting my ass the rest of the week to turn around edits on Bilionaire #2, FLEs on Never Let you Down, and an important first step for this book I just finished.  I have news coming soon!

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 17

As usual with weekends, I don’t have a ton of wordage to show, but I did keep up with at least 1K a day and I’m still slightly ahead.  Even better, I got over the typical hump between end of Act 2 and beginning of Act 3.  The story is overall nearly at 75K, one of the longest books I’ve written in quite some time.

Even better:  I only have 10-20K left to write and this book is DONE.  GRINS HAPPY DANCE YAY!

NaNoWriMo total as of last night: 31,818

He fisted his hand in my hair and forced my gaze away, up to his face.  “This isn’t about what you want, Ranay.  This is about what I want.  I want you to stop me.  I want you to have a limit that you don’t allow me to cross.  I need to be able to trust you in this or we can’t be together.  I’m too dangerous otherwise.  I need you to be able to stop me.”

 

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 12

No D&E this morning as expected.  Middle had a late basketball game last night so I didn’t even try for early today.  I did manage a couple of hundred words in the car after dimming my laptop screen so it didn’t affect That Man’s driving too much.

Story wise I’m on the very edge of the first shocking reveal.  Ranay is going to hear some very disturbing things.  Is it really Charlie’s work?  Or someone else?  But why would the FBI think it’s him…?  She’s on her own and heading into the darkest point of the story.

Yesterday’s final NaNo count: 24,634

Snippet:

His pants hung open enough to reveal the dark cotton of his briefs and the bulge hidden beneath.  He tugged the black T-shirt over his head, bare skin drawing my gaze up.  He was as lean as I suspected, chiseled muscle that made my mouth water.  More chest hair than I’d seen on a man before but not so much that I thought of a burly backwoodsman.  Both his left shoulder and pec bore ink.  From the eagle, flag, and skulls, I guessed some kind of hardcore military background, but I couldn’t concentrate on the design.

A silver ring was planted in his left nipple.

I could almost feel that metal between my teeth.

He stood silent and unassuming, not threatening or large.  His arms were loose at his sides, his shoulders down and relaxed.  Nothing screamed domination and control in his stance.

Until I dragged my gaze back up his body to his eyes.

I trembled.  I couldn’t help it.  The fire blazing in his dark eyes seared my brain to ash.  It took all my concentration to force out one word.  “Master.”

His eyes.  Always his eyes.  It was why I’d worked so hard at never really seeing him, or at least never meeting his gaze fully.  Once he saw what I really was, I knew I’d never be able to escape.  He needed no cuffs or chains or collars to bind me to him.  All he needed was that dark all-consuming need that swallowed me whole and left me crying for more.

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 11

Made it two out of five days this week Dark & Early so far.  This morning, I got the most words I’ve ever gotten that early:  over 1400.  It was all dialogue and went quickly.  In fact, I’ve been writing to that scene … for quite some time now.

The bottom fell out.  Of everything.

Maybe it’s because this story started as a 35K novella, but I’ve always thought of it as three separate parts, each with its own three-act structure.  Part 1:  Owned.  It even “ended” with a high point for the romance.  Part 2:  Betrayed.  Yeah, that doesn’t sound good, does it?  This is the opposite.  Everything is falling apart.  Charlie is actually gone, completely off page.  I know what he’s doing, but Ranay (and the reader, since it’s first person) doesn’t.  I just brought the story to the end of that section.

Now all of the plot that’s been so carefully hinted at and laid down from the beginning is suddenly tightening into the real weave of the story.  Part 3: Redeemed.  This next part is suspense, dark, and probably violent.  It’s also going to be gut wrenching because Ranay is alone.

She has to be alone to pull this off.

Part 2 is currently 28K, which is about where I was thinking.  I allowed 30K but I think I need to go back and add a scene, so that was a pretty good guess.

Part 3 will be fast and furious, maybe shorter.  We’ll see.  I think I still need at least 20K to make everything happen and wrap up all the threads.  Possibly as much as 30K but that’s pushing it.

I may not have enough story to hit 50K for NaNo, but that’s okay.  I just want to finish the book!!

NaNoWriMo count as of this morning:  20,117

Snippet:

“What are you hard limits?”

“I don’t have any.”  He arched a brow, so I rushed to clarify.  “At least not that I’ve ever found.”

I’d lived as a full-time slave for a year and had a breakdown when I had to leave.  How could I have any limit if I allowed myself to fall into such a black hole?  Staring up into his eyes, I felt like I was tottering on the edge of an endless chasm.  One step toward him and I would fall.  Hard.  People said they fell in love all the time, head over heels, like it was wonderful.  Sunshine and bunnies and floaty hearts weren’t in my repertoire.  When I fell, I crashed like a flaming meteor that wiped out an entire planet.

“Well, we’re going to start slowly.  You have limits, whether you think so or not.  And if you don’t…”  He narrowed his eyes slightly but the full force of his determination rocked me back on my heels as he set me back on my feet.  “Then I’ll help you develop and enforce them.  You need to learn to protect yourself, especially from men like me.”

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 9

Weekends are crazy around here.  I had to be up at 6:30 Sat. to get Middle around for basketball practice.  Then Littlest had two basketball games that morning (different location).  That Man took her to her first game, I picked up Middle from practice, and then we all went to watch Littlest’s last game.  Papa came down to watch, so then we went out to lunch and I did some tech support on his laptop when we got home.

After getting up so early, I was exhausted early, so each word was a struggle.

Then yesterday, I took Princess and Littlest to church and watched the remainder of the Chiefs game.  After that, Middle took my laptop to continue working on her presentation, so I got Dropbox installed on That Man’s (my old backup) laptop so I could still work.  But naturally she needed my help, so I got a couple of hundred words at the most.  We spent the rest of the evening doing homework.  She had to get this presentation done since she’s got a tournament this week (her first games!) and she’ll have other homework all week to struggle to keep up with.

Unfortunately, she remembered she had math and science homework too.  At 10 PM.  Which I had to help her with and then check all her math work too.  Ugh.  So it was after 11 PM last night before I got to bed and I had hardly anything to show for words all day.  That late, I thought it’d be difficult to get up D&E this morning, but I actually woke up at 4 AM and then had a hard time going back to sleep until the alarm went off.

Miracle of miracles, I made over 1K this morning too, bringing my total to 15,975.  I’m still behind, but that’s a doable amount to make up.

As I said above, Middle has a tournament this week and it’s a 30-45 min drive away.  Wed. night she doesn’t play until almost 9 PM, so it’ll be late, lots of traveling, and somehow we have to get her homework done too.  D&E will be crucial even if I’m exhausted or I’ll never be able to keep up this week.

PLUS, I have first round edits on Billionaire #2 in my inbox, and line/final edits on Mama C are just around the corner.  Busy, busy, busy.

Snippet:

“Hear me now, Ranay.”

His voice made me shiver, all raw and barely leashed violence.  I’d never imagined he hid that kind of aggression behind his sweet dimples and curly hair, but I loved it.  Oh how I loved it.  He was my bad boy and my Master and my gentle lover all wrapped up into one tidy package.

“I never break my promises.  Never.  If you give yourself to me, I will treasure you.  If you feel weak, I’ll help make you strong.  If you have a need, I’ll meet it, whatever it is.  And if at any time I’m not good for you, then I will free you to protect you.  I won’t leave you high and dry, alone and afraid, but I refuse to tear down anything you’ve built for yourself.  If you need to be free, I’ll do it,” he said, his left hand rising up toward his right eye, “even if I have to take a bullet to the skull.”

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Day 6

NaNoWriMoParticipant2014_zpsdddc8654

Graphic courtesy of Lynn Viehl.

I’m still grinding through that same BDSM scene (that just started to turn into a sex scene Dark & Early this morning).

Fun Fact:  I ought to go figure out my longest scene ever and then count the words in this one and see if I beat it.  There are scene breaks — to give the reader time to draw breath — but there’s no break in location or anything like that.  They’re still going at it.

I made it D&E every day this week!  Even this morning.  Fridays are hard and I usually want to sleep in, but NaNoWriMo doesn’t care whether it’s Friday or whether the monsters have basketball games/practices early tomorrow (they do).

Still lost my laptop awhile last night so Middle could continue working on her presentation, but she didn’t get home until after 7, so I had plenty of time to get work done first.  My eyes were pooped by then anyway.

2480 words yesterday, bringing my total to 11,330.

Snippet:

I waited for him to make some lame excuse or joke, to blow me off.  I’m damaged goods.  I should have known I couldn’t hide it from him for long.  Though I’d hoped I would at least have had a night or two to tie me over for the rest of my life.  I smiled at him wistfully.  “Is it okay if I still watch Sheba tonight?  Then I won’t bother you again.”

His face tightened into grim lines that melted the ice sealing off my heart and sent it thumping frantically.  He cupped my chin and squeezed hard enough I’d probably have red marks on my face.

God it felt good.  Too good.  I couldn’t imagine not ever having someone touch me like this again.  Who knew effortlessly what I needed before I could even voice it.

“You’d better bother me again.  It’s taken me a year to figure out how to get the truth out of you.  Don’t give up on me so quickly, Ranay.”

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An End and A Beginning

This past weekend marked the end of the band season, except for performances at playoff football games.  I’m not actually that happy, because now I’m on morning drop off duty since she doesn’t have to get to school as early (they practiced every morning before school).  So I’m driving just as much, if not more.

Now add to that some good news:  Middle made the junior high basketball team!

When Princess tried out years ago, over 60 tried out and only 18 made it.  Not good odds.  She ended up in band and grateful basketball didn’t work out.  The first day of this year’s tryouts, there were 30 girls, so better odds, but Middle was still really stressed out.  She had nightmares, fever blisters (she gets that from me), and one day she came home in tears.  This is highly unusual.  Middle hardly ever cries.

If she didn’t make the team, she was going to learn that awful miserable lesson that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want it, you don’t get what you want.  Thankfully she did NOT have to learn that lesson right now.  She made the first cut Wed. when they downed to 20 girls, and the last 20 were good enough that Coach kept them all.

Now begins practice every single day after school at varying locations and times, some Sat. practices (her first practice was this weekend), and of course, the games.  That Man is determined to travel to these games if he can get off, but some of the towns they go to I’ve never heard of.  So we’ll see.

But yay, I’m so happy for her.  We have an athlete in the house!  She just sparkles on the court.  I can’t wait to see her in action!

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Good Crockpot Recipe

Wednesday nights are just insane around here.  I usually have to go pick Princess up from writer’s guild after school, and somehow manage to feed the two youngest by 5:15 so they can go to basketball practice (they won’t get home until after 8).  I can’t make anything too spicy or weird because they’re going to be running.

I’d gotten in the (lazy) habit of doing something like fish sticks and tater tots because they’re fast and easy, but not the healthiest.  (Plus I hate that kind of processed crap.)

Then I found this recipe for easy Korean Beef in the crockpot.  What attracted me to this recipe is that it uses hamburger — and even better, you don’t have to brown it first.  My hamburger wasn’t even completely thawed, so I threw it in on high for 1-2 hours first, and then chopped it up and added the rest of the ingredients.  I doubled it, left off the green onions (do any kids like green onions?!?), and used ground ginger rather than fresh.  I cooked it on low the rest of the afternoon and it turned out really well.  I added a package of broccoli slaw for a quick veggie (just cooked it 15 mins or so) and cooked some basmati brown rice.

I loved this recipe.  I could eat it for lunch for days.  Middle wouldn’t even try it.  She’s not big on anything Asian, though I think if she’d tried it, she might have been able to eat it.  She had a sandwich instead.  So I guess I can’t put it on our regular rotation, but it was definitely good enough to mention and I’ll make it for myself!

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Harris-Cox Plantation: Part 2

plantationIn this picture, the first floor to the left is where the original log cabin is.  Of course it’s covered over by the same gray clapboard as the rest, now.  In fact, the only place you can really tell it was a log cabin is where they built a hallway in between the old and new additions (I’ll share a picture of that shortly).

The fireplace on the far left end is supposedly original to the 1830 cabin.  Unfortunately, someone who lived there awhile back thought it’d be a good idea to turn the oldest part of the plantation into a garage.  They installed two big garage doors and loaded up the area with junk.

photo 1 (14)photo 2 (14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to see, but that circle up by the ceiling is where the old chimney/flue is, and the red brick/stone is the original fireplace.  There was too much stuff in the way for us to get back there for a closer look.  It was also dark (I’m not sure if anyone ever added electricity to that area), but the ceiling was covered in thin planks of wood almost like a wood floor.  The walls were plastered over.

In one corner, there’s an old cabinet that Mr. Naylor thought was also original to the 1830 cabin.  Again, I couldn’t get any closer to it because of the junk in the way, but it does look rather old.

photo 2 photo 4 (13) photo 5 (13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beside the old garage was a more “modern” kitchen.  I’m not sure when it was redone, but Mr. Naylor described how parts were salvaged from all over everywhere.  Frosted glass was found in the basement of a church.  There were also a few nice antiques, including the stove which was his wife’s grandmother’s.

This clock belonged to a man named Chilson, called Challie by his friends and family.  Molly and I looked at each other and our eyes lit up.  What a cool name!  We’re definitely using it in the book!

More to come…