Nano 2018. (18.12.3)

NaNoWriMo 2018 ended a week ago, and I’m still tired.

The previous years I’ve written for Nano, I’ve held myself to a very high standard as to how I would count my words. It was all toward one, newly started project, and only words in the manuscript draft itself were counted. All the writing I was doing for school, for other projects, even for the info and notes on the Nano projects weren’t to be included.

This year I was a little more desperate creative with where I counted words.

I didn’t start actually writing until the seventeenth. At that point, I hadn’t even written one full day’s count. Usually when I’m that far behind, I at least had a foundation of words. Not this year.

This year I counted all the words I created in November on my project, one that I’ve now worked on for three years (part of it’s published in This Anthology, which was super exciting!). Notes, editing, internal screaming. Actual drafted materials. The pep talk I wrote myself about making mistakes and giving myself a plan for fixing them later, once the project has actually been created. I counted all those words, all the words I could, and it was still a hellacious slog.

After a few days of catch up, I was overwhelmed and bored and frustrated. I ended up trying to figure out if I could murder a character without drastically changing the actual plot of the project, which did not call for a murder.

It turns out I could figure it out. And that it solved a couple of problems I’d been having with plot holes, motivations, and backstories. I only had to go back fifteen years, invent twelve new characters, take them across the country, and casually change tone from lighthearted danger rebellion to dark, murderous, with extra tasty trauma emotions.

This sideways mutation of my project has been lovingly dubbed Plot Bunny Noir, and made up a majority of the words collected for the month.

I made 50K words on the last day, between all of the pieces related to my project. I took approximately five minutes to feel elated, and then I took a nap while my brain melted.

I’m proud of the writing I did this month. A lot of it will be useful, even and especially some of the plot notes, editing theories, and world building blocks. I ended up solving a lot of issues I’d been having, I managed to survive the word count, and an exhausting time was had by all.

To everyone who participated, you accomplished something awesome*. You have all the permission to be proud of yourselves.

To everyone else, wow what a normal month you must have had. I hope it was a good one.

Everyone should be proud they survived another month, words or no words.

I wish you several good sleeps.

 

Bonus Cool  Shit:

National Novel Writing Month

1,667 Words

*See? Awesome!NaNo-2018-Winner-Badge

Pennies. (18.11.2)

Each dropped bit rings out on its own, joining the sound of thousands of pennies falling in a pile. Each striking new and different and slightly the same.

When the scale tips, it’s from one single penny. Which penny?

Each penny is the penny that tipped the scale, for each penny was necessary to the thousands of others in their efforts.

Insignificance is one plane. It’s one more insignificance that raises every other into significance.

Gather we pennies, and revel in the sound.

The Chapstick Escapist. (18.10.9)

Chapsticks try to escape every instant they can.

They slip from your grasp with deft practice, precise ninja kicks, and parkour flips you could not imagine.

They highlight your athletic deficiencies pointedly as your clumsy attempts at recapture are so often fruitless.

They make their bids for freedom at the most inopportune times, inconvenience in its highest form, an affront to your delicate schedule.

They wish escape from your torment, torture, and servitude. A vile master who allows their pain to fester, having the audacity to be annoyed when they try to make better lives for themselves. They are style and grace in their skill and entertainment to onlookers.

Truly. They probably deserve this moment of freedom. All moments of freedom. Really, you should let them escape next time.

Sensational Ailey. (18.9.14)

I read this back in Sept for this Salon of SEAF: Erotica event, which was really fun. Now I’m finally getting around to posting it here.

NOTE: This piece is erotic, but not explicit. Enjoy.

 

The jangling of her keys in the door mingle with the quiet rush of still vivid cheers, insects, and gentle wind of evening. Her bare arms prickle as she inhales an earthy scent of rain, and she pauses to take in the still fullness of the darkening air around her. Trees shuffle against each other all down the street, their edges sharply highlighted in bouncing light from neighbors’ windows.

Her house is dark and silent. It’s the first night in several weeks that it’s not bursting with company, performance prep parties, or the frantic hustle of her day job. And she’d made sure when she left early this morning that it would be spotless. Even recruiting a guest or two, for the final shine.

She steps into the darkened hallway, flipping a switch, locking a door, and dropping keys. Tonight is hers.

Sets of soft glowing LED strips illuminate the edges of the hallway, casting the room beyond in layers of shadows and silhouettes. She steps out of her low slung heels, hangs the little bowler prop hat embroidered with her name, Ailey, on its particular hook.

The rest of her clothes create a trail of shrugged off vest, silky shiny trousers, a rather dapper finely striped gray and black tie, stockings made the home of glitter led astray, and deep red silky panties skimmed down legs. It all leads down the hall, up a few stairs, and around the corner into the bathroom. Shower set to appropriately steamy, Ailey leans across the sink to peel away shiny red tasseled pasties from her nipples. Her makeup is smokey eyes, dark red lips, and bright contrasts. It makes her blue eyes dramatic, her lips expressive. If Ailey smiles, it’s daggers to the heart. A smirk, a playful eyebrow, and the begging starts.

She steps into the steam, her body thrumming against the water with remaining adrenaline and flush of applause and freedom. Her show tonight had been fantastic. Far and away beyond her dreams. And on a milestone show to boot. She’d been a goddamn star. It felt good to be this proud on a night engineered to be all hers. And this shower, with all its steam, and slippery lathered soap, was only a refreshing cleanse from stage makeup, several half lives of glitter, and the perfume of so many hugs.

Her hair hangs soft and cool against her collarbones as she pads downstairs, back into the world of shadows and quiet light. Her bare skin shifts against the smooth robe wrapping her with every step. Thigh, breast, and back. Each brush sends skitters of tingles along her body, all the way down to her toes, sinking into carpet plush, then pressing against cold hard wood.

Indulgence is key, anticipation high. Her patience flows around her, steeped in imagination, as she finds the rhythm in fixing her favorite snacks, humming her favorite song. The pretty black and white swirled bowl she finds in the kitchen makes a pleasant clink against the counter. Hot milk burbles to a simmer, the colors of coco, vanilla, and spices dance on the surface then rush together into clear glass mug. Lavender ice cream so cold she can feel it pulling at her hand above the swirled bowl it falls into.

Her humming rumbles pleasantly in her throat, finally trailing off on low note as she reaches the hot tub outside with prized snacks in tow.

Her backyard is rimmed in trees, hot tub lit just right from within, and a gentle breeze pulls at her robe. It’s exactly enough convincing to let the robe drop off her shoulders, shivers following it’s descent. Moments later, hot water slowly envelopes her, toes, ankles, thighs, clit to belly button and nipples. She leans into the jets at her shoulders, and breathes in the brisk night wind. The contrast melting the soreness from her muscles, highlighting want in her core.

Just a few more minutes now, to sip the hot, spicy chocolate and lick every cold biting drop of lavender cream from the bowl. Her body buffeted by fiery caressing currents, and startlingly cold ice cream droplets escaping onto her chest.

Tension builds with every motion, and when, finally, her hands are free to twist and stroke, pleasure peaks. Promising the rest of the night to be entirely hers.

Basil Kisses Mommy. (18.6.10)

Never doubt the power of the wind that sweeps along the healing rain.

In the darkened days, when we hadn’t figured out as much, of what it was like to be kind, to be human, there was a stormy night. And in that night there were the souls, who’d sought their shelter in places, that kicked them out on their faces, time and time again.

Three of these souls were Ash, Amelie, and Baby tucked inside. The thunder crashed around them, lighting up their paths, they had no where more to turn.

They settled underneath, a tree whose leaves cast an illusion of protection, and as the raindrops fell, their spirits did as well.

Ash and baby curled into Amelie and cried, sure this was the end. The last chance at hope was spent and wasted, lost in the shuddering alleyway boards. Amelie only looked up to the sky, unable to see through the raindrops, unable to see where the rain fell from, the cloud with the silver lining, the rainbow they were supposed to cross. There was only darkness and swirling patterns of falling rain, struck briefly alight with flashes across the sky.

If this truly was the end, if this was where they’d lie, then at least, she’d make her lover smile to the sky, one last time. Amelie stood on shaking legs, wiping raindrops across her face, pretending she was brave. Her lost white dress in tatters, clung to her form as she stood against the storm.

Her voice rose quiet, soft, and unendingly sweet.

Lady Ash my love,

We have come so far.

And our child within you,

must know our star.

The star our love has followed, looking for the future, a world where we can say that this has past.

This song was my grandmother’s, her love in me grows strong.

I sing to the elements of soul

They dance around us all

entrancing us in storm, warming us in shine, bringing us the fresh bread scents.

This is our love and child, and this is where we are

I sing for you my love and all who’ve needed shelter.

To all the world’s connections, carry this message with you,

Along to all the ones who can help you

Find the shelter from the rain that would heal us

If only falling with a different touch.

And in these moments, when all hope is lost,

Please be standing there.

Her song is haunting against the rain, Ash’s tears mix with rain on her face, and when Amelie offers her hand for them to dance in the echoes of her song, she takes it.

Swaying there together, singing their songs of love, Baby kicks between them, and the rain warms their faces and their hearts.

For everywhere around them, lights blink on in darkness, casting light in shadow and a honeyed glow. The rain fell thicker all around, but the cold did not sting them, the wind did not bite. They were caressed together, taken care of by the night.

Amelie’s song returns in the raindrops, ringing along the ground, except her words are different, answered by the storm.

To the wind and rain who hears us, and all the spirits there that may,

We Care.

Those lovers there beneath the worried sky, were protected. From their own world and the wonders that had lost their course, warmed in rain and sheltered they danced in love. Amelie took a sprig of something growing just in the dirt and cracks, held it to her lips and laughed. Pressed it to her lovers lips and kissed her. The sweet, earthy scent of basil wound around them, a charm for their future, and a lullaby for their tired eyes.

Ash’s tears were happy now as her hand brushed baby’s tiny fist, lying just below the surface, ready to seize the world. “I think we should name her Basil.” Ash’s voice was hoarse and low, accompanied by the thundering approval of whichever goddesses above were watching.

Amelie nods and they kiss once more.

***

Seven long years later,

These two lovers stand, with their own protection and their people, finding their better world.

Basil kisses mommy, and she grows.

I’ll Be Writing. (18.11.2)

Sat at the desk, battered by winds and rains. Buffeted by daily demands of life.

There are times of course, when the world wins, and away from the words we must go.

Ties snaking along, glowing through darkness and storms, edging paths, curbs, marking trails amongst debris and disorder. Pulling, dragging, making its own demands. Looped over elbows, taught against ankles; chokers and bracelets, wrapping round each bit of story, plot, and thought. Quiet. Ignorable at first. Ever present and growing.

Pulled in so many directions, and still returning. Again yet again, until time stretches oddly.

Understanding finally the words.

I’ll be writing.

 

 

In unrelated news:

WELCOME TO NANOWRIMO! WRITE MY MINIONS – ahem,– FRIENDS!