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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 2

There was another one.

Claudia stared at the new sophomore, a gangly guy who looked as if he hadn’t yet grown into his skinny limbs. His hair was blue of all things and she almost dismissed him for being a hippie wannabe. He kept his eyes downcast when he wasn’t focused on his own belongings, always just going his own way without glancing at anyone else.

That was what made her seek him out. It wasn’t often at all that a boy didn’t look her way, and she felt slighted. Fortunately for her, maybe not so for him, the pair had the same lunch and she freely took a seat across from him at his table in the corner of the cafeteria.

With a bright smile, she introduced herself. “Hello there! I’m Claudia Henderson. And you?”

He faltered, his roast beef sandwich halfway to his open mouth, one eyebrow arched in confusion. After a second, he composed himself and simply said, “Roy Kingsley.”

“It’s a pleasure.” Claudia made sure to smile again before stabbing a chicken nugget with her fork. She allowed the silence to overtake the pair for a few minutes, letting Roy fall into a sense of security, before asking, “How long have you been here? I don’t remember seeing you around often.”

“Just got here this week,” Roy said.

She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she had no problem prompting him. “Where are you from?”

“Ohio,” was the stilted response.

“Wow.” Claudia feigned interest. “What brought you over here to the east coast?”

“The schools, really,” Roy said after a moment. This time Claudia stared at him until he fidgeted in his seat, drained a quarter of his water bottle, and continued speaking. “I’m, uh, enrolled in the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students.”

Color her surprised. Roy didn’t seem particularly gifted in anything, least of all social skills.

“My parents tried to get me in there,” Claudia said, doing her best not to show how annoyed she was at being declined admission. At that point, she hadn’t known exactly what the school was about, but the idea of not being good enough for their precious student body was enough to make her blood boil. At least she could fish for information from Roy. “What do you do at that school?”

His pause was long enough to make her think he either hadn’t heard her or was ignoring her on purpose. Before she could berate him for either reason, Roy said, “It’s weird to explain.”

“We go to a public high school,” she drawled with a quirked smile. “What could be weirder?”

He finally held her gaze, his blue eyes steely enough to startle her, before he cleaned up his tray and capped his water bottle. “Plenty of things. Excuse me.”

Roy dumped his trash and disappeared from the cafeteria before Claudia blinked. After a moment, she stood up herself and did her best not to scowl at anyone who so much as glanced her way. How embarrassing to be left alone, ditched, at the lunch table! Roy would definitely get a piece of her mind the next time she saw him.

Maybe she wasn’t being entirely fair to him. Roy was a new guy, after all. Claudia took a deep breath and tried to be reasonable. Perhaps he was just shy, which was understandable – most boys were shy in her presence. It was just the effect she had on them, and Roy had seemed to be sweating near his hairline. Maybe he really needed the bathroom. He had chugged a whole water bottle, after all. She could give him another chance.

With her head held high, she cleaned up her own lunch, fully intending on pretending that Roy’s and her conversation had mutually ended, and left the cafeteria to wander the halls until her next class.

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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Productivity

It’s April and it’s snowing out. That’s New England for ya.

Yesterday was perfect. Rachel and I had a productive day, working on our NaNo projects, blogs, and catching up on video games, all while snuggled inside the house while the wind and snow swirled around outside. This morning it’s still snowing and looks gorgeous, but…

Well, Rachel and I were talking about how we’re looking forward to retirement only so we could have days like that all the time. We were staring at the snow and lamenting the fact that we need to go to work.

Don’t get us wrong, we both enjoy our jobs and our coworkers are wonderful. We just had a great time being all productive, and today we have day jobs to go to.

It made us think last night, though. If we were able to have those 6 to 8 hours free from our weekdays to continue working on our writing all the time, would we be as productive? If we had every day free to write, would we still be able to be a disciplined? Were we that productive because we knew that we had work today?

What about you? What motivates your productivity?

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in Home

 

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Sunday Scribble – “April NaNo 2016”

Here is an unedited excerpt from my Camp NaNo project. Not entirely positive where it’s going to end up, but it’s fun so far! Enjoy!

April NaNo 2016
Excerpt 1

It was called the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students and, by all outward appearances, seemed to be a standard boarding school for the gifted children of the world. Enrollment was by invitation only and the school had gained a few enemies of well-to-do families when their children apparently did not make the cut.

Not many truly knew what the school was about. Much of it was hush-hush, kept on the down-low, from the outside world. Many reporters attempted to contact Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs, the headmistress of the school and a well-known scientist in the fields of biology and physics. In the very few interviews she had granted, all she said about the school was that it was a home for higher learning for hand-picked students.

Higher learning indeed. The students of ESES, typically teenagers, were all enrolled in the local city’s high school for their education. It became curious that the teenagers were enrolled in a place that touted higher learning while also in the public education system. The teenagers, when asked, tended to stick to similar responses as to why they were learning algebra and taking physical education with the rest of their peers:

“The Exceptional School is teaching us skills about how to deal with the world, not just the standard subjects in high school.”

“The simplest way to describe our school is that we practice how to navigate in the real world.”

“You kidding? Learning algebra is way easier than the practice I have to do at ESES.”

“High school P.E. is a walk in the park compared to the activities I’m scheduled for at Exceptional.”

Not much else is typically shared. Most of the ESES students tend to band together, seemingly aloof from the rest of the high school populace, earning a few snobby reputations and not many desire to get closer to them. A few try, and a few ESES students are pleasant enough to become friends with those unaffiliated with ESES, but many tend to stay clear.

At least, that was what all the rumors foretold of the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students, and there seemed to be no evidence proving the rumors otherwise. It was with these skeptical thoughts that led Roy Kingsley into deciding whether or not he should go.

He glanced across the table in one of the meeting rooms of the foster house at the woman who came from the Exception School. Vanessa Tucker stared back at him impassively, her green eyes bright against her black skin, apparently waiting with the patience of a saint for him to make up his mind.

“What happens if I say no?” Roy asked.

“You could very well lose control,” was the immediate response. He leaned back from the table at her words and she continued. “We both know what you can do. It will only grow and if you do not keep up with its growth, you will fall behind and get lost.”

“And the Exceptional School can help with that?”

“That is what the Exceptional School does,” Vanessa said. “It is why the school was built, to help those like us.”

“How do you know what I’m like?” Roy asked, his voice quiet.

“Some of our kind have physical evidence.” Vanessa pointed to Roy’s navy-blue hair, and the teen slunk lower into his chair. “Those who do not, however, still share the same activated super gene that grants us our differences from the rest of humankind. That is how we were able to track you down.”

“That’s weird.”

“Perhaps.” Vanessa shrugged. “Nevertheless, we found you and we’re offering you a much better home and education than you would ever get here in the Ohio foster system.” She paused, allowing her words to sink in, before giving Roy a sad smile. “Where do you believe you’ll go after you age out of the system?”

He glared at her, but she wasn’t deterred.

“Roy,” her words were almost gentle, “we both know that you won’t be adopted, not with the medical bills that surround you. You will have the best care available at the Exceptional School for Exceptional Students, and you will never age out of it. The ESES will always be there for its students.”

Roy took deep breaths and trying not to show how Vanessa’s words stung. Of course he had realized long ago that he wouldn’t ever be adopted. He was too much work for a normal pair of middle-class parents. Not only did his blue hair turn off most couples, seeing how he needed to always have water on hand made sure they never took a second look at him.

“I, uh…” He swallowed the lump in his throat as his eyes took another look at the packet of information about the school that Vanessa had given him when they had first sat down together. “I guess I really don’t have too many options…”

“Is that a yes?”

Roy looked back up at Vanessa, her expression schooled into mostly a poker face. A hint of a smile curled on her lips.

He nodded once. “Yes, I guess it is.”

“Wonderful!” Vanessa clapped her hands, making Roy jump with her sudden exaggerated movements, and she stood up from her seat. Her chair scraped noisily across the floor and she took long strides towards the door. Roy heard Vanessa call out to his foster mother, no doubt to get the paperwork rolling so he would officially be under the Exceptional School’s care rather than Ohio’s foster system. He heaved a sigh before getting up himself, grabbing the packet of information before going to join Vanessa.

He probably should start thinking about what to pack.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2016 in Scribbles

 

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Caught Up

Caden: “Forgive me if I’m being too curious, but may I ask why you were all in Akyna to begin with?” … Luyu: “No, you may not ask.”

Hi everyone! After skipping yesterday and being very confused by my word program’s way of counting my words, I’m all caught up to today’s goal of 10k words (with 14 extra words)! I started off great, just typing away, but by the end of it, all I was doing was asking myself, “NOW how many more words?” and “Am I caught up yet?!” I should have stolen Rachel‘s idea to grab a sticky note, write something along the lines of “Keep writing!” on it, and stick it over the corner of the computer where it shows the word count.

So after I was all set and done, it got me thinking. Am I getting bored of my novel? Shouldn’t I be more excited about writing this thing? If I was, I wouldn’t want to stop writing it, right?

I think that’s just the kind of writer I am, though. I’m much more sporadic and I usually do not write the same story every day. My mind goes in all sorts of directions and detours, and I’ve been doing very well these past two weeks about sticking with “Downfall.” I know I like the novel. I’m enjoying the characters. I’m not entirely sure where they are taking me, but the ride has been interesting so far and I have a vague idea as to the ending, at least.

I’m not so sure about Caden, the main character. I like his personality, and he’s fun to write, but he has a problem with getting distracted from his curiosity. He had his own goals at the beginning of the story, and now he’s on a totally different tangent. The goal is still in the back of his mind, of course, but he doesn’t have as much of a desire to fulfill it at the moment. Not only that, but his attitude toward “the other race” changed quite quickly since the beginning. He was never truly prejudice against Spiriters, but with the way he was raised, I still think he got used to them too quickly.

Well, we’ll see what happens at the end of this draft. Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Home

 

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Why Writers Are Not Mathematicians

Rachel: “This is why we write. We like English, not math!”

So, usually as I’m writing for NaNo, I pause every once in a while and highlight the words I had written for that particular session to see how far along I am. Let’s use today for example. Rounding the numbers, I was at about 7000 words, a little ahead of my daily goal, and I needed about 500 to reach today’s goal. You with me so far? Okay, so I wrote for a bit, then paused and saw that I had about 200 words, which would logically make my NaNo total about 7200 words. However, upon seeing the whole of my NaNo, I apparently had about 7450 words for it.

… What? How does that even remotely make sense? How did my 200 words turn into an increase of 450 for the story? Which count do I believe?

On one hand, I’m like, “Hey, I only need about 50 more words!” On the other hand, I know I did not write that much just yet. For NaNo’s sake, where it counts the story as a whole, I’m going to update my word count based on the amount of words my Word program claims my novel has rather than just add on my daily count to the previous scores. I just hope the NaNo validator at the end of the month agrees with my Word document!

Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Home

 

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On Par

Caden: “Look, I’m trusting you all not to kill me anytime soon. Can’t you trust the same of me?”

I’m a touch over 7,000 words into my Camp goal, which means I’m on par for the month so far. Hopefully I can keep it up until the end!

I plan on writing a post at some point giving a few more details about this novel, or at least writing a bit about the characters (especially since there have been a couple of posts where I quote them at the top). However, I’m afraid I must keep this post a bit short, because I’m pretending to have some semblance of a social life tonight. 😀 Actually, some of my coworkers and I go to a sports bar and grill that has 25 cent wings on Monday nights. Yeah. We’re cheap. Me, even more so, considering I get free water with the wings instead of an actual drink, haha!

On a last note, I’m liking this little writing routine I have. Whenever I first get the chance to relax and go on my computer or laptop (affectionately called Jarvis and Pip, respectively) for a couple of good hours, I write my story, getting up to the goal I want, then I come and post here. I get my writing done and reach out to a community of other writers, whether their blogs are about books, food, or dogs.

So, thanks to this community, and whatever genius decided to create WordPress. Happy blogging, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Home

 

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Writing and Cleaning

Durail: “What is your business, mage?” Caden: “You ask me that now?!”

My Camp NaNoWriMo characters are on the move. They just performed a daring escape and are on their way to hop the border to enter the next country. The main character is Caden, an Air Mage, and he’s only truly met a handful of the others, while a couple of characters, like Durail, Caden just glanced at while the group fled from their pursuers. Only when they got a break did Durail think to ask about what Caden was doing with them.

The novel is called “Downfall” (for now, anyway), and is about the clash between two different types of magic and people. One are the mages, like Caden, humans whom learn Air, Fire, or Earth magic as they get older. The others are Spiriters, a people whom are connected with an animal spirit guide since birth. The spirit guides themselves are connected with a main element, although the only point to that seems to be to give them an advantage or disadvantage against mages and their magic. Each element is weak or strong against the other two; therefore, if one has a spirit guide with an affinity to Fire, then he/she will not be as affected by Air Magic.

I’m enjoying the idea of the story and the characters, although I’m not entirely sure where the story will end up. Each character has his or her own goals, despite a few of them getting distracted from said goals. There are definitely a few parts I dislike, such as how quickly Caden came to trust the Spiriters he’s hanging out with, but I’ll deal with those scenes when I edit the book. I only wrote about 400 words of it today, while my daily goal is 834 (considering I’m going for 25k rather than 50K). However, yesterday I got ahead and was only five words off of today’s goal.

That’s right. Five. I was only five words away from having two days’ worth of NaNo word counts, and I didn’t even notice.

It was nice, though. I wrote about 400, still ahead, and got halfway to tomorrow’s word count.

Then Rachel and I cleaned. A lot. Our room is still a mess in some areas, but we had a lot of fun on our little cleaning spree that started due to me trying to find a bug on my then-messy desk, but I digress. Spring is coming, everyone; it’s time to clean!

On that note, I hope everyone else’s writing is going well!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Home

 

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