She's a Real Mother

Mutha's got eyes in the back of her head.

Monday, November 27, 2006

That's All She Wrote...

I am drawing the veil on NaNoWriMo with the word count at 25,596.

I decided this weekend that I simply did not have 24,000 and change to produce in the last four days of the challenge. I am sure there are many people who participate in National Novel Writing Month who have full-time jobs and then a smaller group that have jobs AND children and then an even smaller group that have jobs and children and get to 50K words by November 30th. All I can say is, "I REALLY don't know how you did it!"

And I don't mean to make excuses, only offer observations...but damn, I thought I could write fast. Oh well.

I do have more pieces from the story to share. In fact Mac, Ellen and the gang have gotten themselves quite entwined. But I must say, I have a NaNoWriMo hangover right now and will need to wait.

Thanks so much to Khayagirl, First Nations, Doug, Al, Charleston Girl, Joel, G, Petunia's Gardener, and Pod for stopping in and giving out high-fives. You rock!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Flash #12

Word Count: 24,026.
I think I can, I think I can...

Mac can’t imagine that getting the idea to call his brother Neil is a good sign. Sitting on the couch as Friday turns into Saturday, cycling through channels, wondering again – but only briefly – if drinking beer with the pain medications he is on is a mistake, he is determined to stay as far away from Neil as he can. Then why is Neil taking up head space now, as thoughts of how to set a date to get back to work dog him? He lets the feeling of dread fill him every hour on the hour, as if electing to get into a car with no steering wheel over and over again, knowing that the accelerator will stick every time. It makes him worry he has lost his nerve, and that once it is gone, the kids can smell it off of you – there is no going back.

The noise from the door closing downstairs makes him hit the mute button on the remote. His heart pounds for a couple of seconds while he listens to the footsteps, trying to tell by their sound who is coming to visit him. First of all, if they’re on the stairs then they’ve got a key to the downstairs door and that brings the number of people it could be way down. If the steps are at a quick jog, it sure as hell ain’t his mother. Before his front door opens, he knows it is his daughter, Sheila. Mac tucks his open can of Budweiser between the wall and the couch.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Flash #11

Word Count: 22,124.
Thanks for being the slightest bit interested in what happens next.

Jo swears to God that if they show that commercial for Oxyclean again, she is going to throw her heel at the set. Thank God that fuckin Ellen finally went home. She was almost as annoying as this waiting room TV. Jo wonders again if she should call Mac’s mom. She takes the cell phone out and sees Sally’s already called him once. But she puts it away again, reasoning that she’ll call when she has some good news. And it will be good news. It will. She tries to focus on the thought that he won’t die on her, but a terrible voice keeps whispering that God’s trying to teach her a lesson – that they shouldn’t have hooked up at that party. But why, God? This is the father of her daughter. How could he leave her with Sheila to raise alone? The God voice has nothing else to tell her, so she goes back to talking to Mac in her head: Not now, you son-of-a-bitch, she says.
“Are you here for Curtis MacNamara?” a man in scrubs asks her.
Jo startles inside. “Yes,” she answers.
“I’m Doctor Stephenson. Curtis made it through surgery and we think he’ll be alright.”
“Thank God,” Jo whispers and tears are upon her again.
“He’s very lucky. Lucky the wound was on his right side. Lucky the knife hit a rib before it got too far. But we had to take out some bone debris and we were worried there was a puncture to the lung,” the doctor went on.
“Can I see him?” she asks
“You can go in just for a minute, but just a minute, please. He needs to rest and he’s on a lot of medication.”
“I swear,” Jo answers.
When she gets to his room, she takes a deep breath before pushing through the door. Mac is on his back, as grey as if he were dead. He is hooked up to a couple of I.V.’s and a machine that is monitoring too many things. He is wearing a hospital gown, but she can see the thick bandages underneath. She sees his eyes are closed but as soon as she moves closer he eyes open them; as blue as ever, but not shining as they normally are.
“Jo,” he whispers.
“Hey,” she answers, trying to look confident and strong.
“Where’s Sheila?” he asks.
“Don’t worry – at my mom’s.”
He closes his eyes again and Jo puts her hand on his arm. His freckled skin lies beneath redish hair and she strokes it. Jo hopes he can’t feel that her hand is trembling.
“Call my Ma,” he whispers without opening his eyes. “Tell her I’m fine.”
“I promise.”
Mac seems as if he might be drifting off and Jo moves to leave. He opens his eyes again saying, “Stay a minute more.”
“You go it,” she replies, smiling.
“Jo,” he says. “I’m sorry.”
It makes her tears come back and she swallows them quickly. “Shhh.”
“I didn’t see it coming,” he whispers and falls back asleep.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Flash #10

As promised, here's more about Mac.
Word Count: 19,021.
I am very behind my word count at this point. 50K seems a long way away.

Jo is at her desk when her cell phone rings. She’s thinking it is Sheila, telling her that school is closing early on account of the snow. When she checks, she find it is Mac’s number displayed and it gives her a little lift. Let it ring at least a couple times, she thinks. After all, Mac has taken his own sweet time getting in touch with her after their Christmas Party rendezvous. Figuring he has sweated enough she finally takes the call.
“Hey Killer,” she answers playfully.
“Um…my name is Ellen Marris,” an unfamiliar voice says.
“Ellen who?” Jo demands. “Why the hell you callin me on Mac’s phone?”
“Because…” she says in a shaky voice, and Jo’s insides plunge, “I work with Mac and I’m afraid I have some really bad news.”
“Say it,” Jo whispers.
“Mac got stabbed this morning…a man stabbed him.”
All the blood leaves the top half of her body. “Where?” Jo demands.
“In the reception area of the Community Center.”
“Not where in the world you stupid shit! Where in his goddamn body?”
“Oh. Right. Sorry. His chest…I’m afraid it was his chest.”
“Left side?” Jo pushes.
“Uh…I think, no,” Ellen stammers.
“You think NO?” Jo demands. “What are you, fuckin retarded? Right side or left side?!”
“It was my left,” she babbles on, “His right.” Jo has had enough of this worthless bitch.
“Where is he?”
“They just took him to Boston Medical Center.”
Jo hangs up.
She grabs at her things: coat, keys, purse and heads for the door.
“Where you goin?” someone asks her.
“Boston Medical,” she answers breathlessly.
Jo is unlocking her car before she realizes that it is covered in snow and she is still in her heels. She grabs the scraper from her glove compartment and clears her windshield. Tears are upon her without any warning. “Please God,” she whispers.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flash #9

Word count:17,734.
Let's see what is going on at the Community Center where Ellen and Mac work:

Ellen takes out the packet of information to be gathered for the in-take and settles into her seat. Just then, she hears a male voice in the hall, loud and aggressive. Marie looks like a rabbit cornered by a dog.
“You okay?” Ellen asks.
“I think that’s my boyfriend,” she whispers. “He’s mad at me…about something. And....he didn't want me to come here today.”
The voice happens again, this time cursing.
“Maybe I –” Marie starts, but Ellen stops her.
“You stay right here.”
There is more yelling, which makes Ellen worry that -- what ever it is, Josh the security guard doesn’t have it under control. She picks up her phone and dials Mac’s extension. He doesn’t pick up and her bad feeling deepens.
“Don’t move,” she instructs Marie and goes for the door.
As Ellen turns towards the reception desk, she sees Mac talking to a big guy in an even bigger down jacket and no Josh to be found. The guy's hands are out as if to defend himself and she can see the muscles of his jaw tighten. Mac looks calm to her, but then again he always does in a crisis, it's what he is trained to do. She is thinking of leaving him to it, of stepping back into her office to check on Marie when – she sees it. The guy has a knife in his hand.
Ellen grabs the phone in the hall and hits intercom.
“Emergency up front,” she hears her voice say over the loud speaker.
Her mind is still trying to work out whether the knife is fake or real, when Mac goes to grab it. In one quick motion the guy snakes the other way, turns the knife to face downward and it disappears, unbelievably, into Mac’s chest.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flash #8

Word count: 15,934
Here's Sally MacNamara, Mac's mother, on a morning in January.

Sally MacNamara is making her breakfast when she thinks to look at the calendar. Brand new and turned to a fresh January, she see it is the fifth, and for some reason that fact gives her a shiver. She watches the snow fall out her kitchen window for a couple of minutes as she sorts out that feeling. Nobody in the hospital, no anniversary of tragedy on this day, and Neil…well, Neill seemed pretty good at Christmas although Lord knows about New years Eve with that boy. Still, she would have had a call by now if something happened, at least that is what she will tell herself this morning.
Then she hears Curtis in his boots coming down the stairs. Without another thought she rushes to the front door, wrapping her robe tighter around her. Sally swings her front door open, just in time to catch him before he goes down the porch steps.
“Hey Ma,” he says, looking a little surprised. “I shoveled the walk, but it’s supposed to snow all day.”
“You’re not going to work are you?” she asks, and she gets the shiver again.
“Go inside,” he tells her. “Don’t want you to catch cold now.”
“Curtis,” she starts, but doesn’t have the rest of what to say. “If you’ve gotta go in then be careful,” she finally adds.
Her boy smiles at her warmly, but with a twinkle in his eye. It reminds her that he looks more like a Reilly, her people, than the MacNamaras.
He hugs her and then tells her, “Go back in Ma. All is well.”
Sally locks her front door and tells herself she is getting batty in her old age. Curtis has been doing that job for years and years and nothing has ever happened to him. She goes back to her breakfast, talking herself out of the feeling; reminding herself that the day it happened to her husband she had felt it so bad she was nauseous. This is nothing like that. It’s probably just the snow. All that weather kicking up, it’s enough to unsettle an old girl.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Flash #7

Word Count is 15,400! Yee Ha!
This is an introduction to Mac's ex-wife, Jo. The scene takes place at Mac's mother's Christmas party.

Mac laughs weakly before taking another drink and he can feel Jo’s eyes staying on him.
“What’s your story?” Jo asks.
Sally snorts a laugh.
“Jesus Christ you two,” Mac mutters. He glances over at the garbage and is relieved it needs to be emptied. “I’ll take this out back, Ma,” he says.
“Thanks,” Sally calls, heading back into the living room.
“I’ll go out for a cig with you,” Jo announces.
It makes Mac wonder what’s up. Over the years he and Jo had gotten along pretty well. After all, the marriage had only lasted two years, the divorce fourteen – they’d had a lot more practice being each other’s ex. It helped that they both loved Sheila so much. Mac had always held a job, always paid what he could for child support and with Jo’s apartment only a couple of blocks away – she’s made it easy for him to see his daughter, always talked about the important things with him. But this had a different feeling tonight. It made him look over her shoulder at her as he placed the bag in the barrel out back. He was looking for some kind of a cue, but her face was cast in the deep shadows of the back porch light.
Jo takes a pull from her cigarette, does a quick inspection of one of her long nails and says, “Are you okay there, Mac?”
He shrugs, “Fine.”
“That’s not like you at your mother’s party – hiding out in the kitchen,”
she observes, “You look a little blue.”
“Maybe,” he concedes. Mac couldn’t help but think of Ellen. She looked so beautiful tonight and he was stuck talking to her goofy sister. And then there was Charlie. It wasn’t enough the guy just rubbed him the wrong way, now he had to wonder whether he should tell Ellen what he had seen.
“About anything in particular?” Jo asks after Mac has grown quiet again.
He digs his hands into his pockets and stiffens against the cold. “Nah.”
“You bring a date?” she asks, taking another drag.
Mac shakes his head, “You?”
“Anthony couldn’t make it. He bartends on the weekend.”
“Still seein him? That’s good,” Mac says absently, although he thinks Anthony is a jerk.
“Well, you know…on and off. How ‘bout you? You gotta a girlfriend?”
“Look at you, twenty questions,” he bristles.
“A crush?” she adds.
Mac looks up at her quickly and Jo smiles wide.
“It is a crush!” she bubbles. “Who?”
“Nobody you’d know,” he replies kicking the snow piled by the back steps.
“Somebody from the neighborhood?”
Mac shakes his head.
“Work?” she asks.
Mac wonders where he left his beer. “I’m goin inside, I’m freezing.”
“No, come on now. I won’t ask anymore question. Just stand with me, I’m almost done,” she adds taking another massive drag. Jo blows the smoke straight up into the night air above her. Mingled with her icy breath, the effect draws Mac’s eye up to his porch on the second floor.
“Do you remember when we used to sneak up there after school?” she asks quietly, as if it’s still a secret. Her face is half-lit, but Mac can see her trademark smart-ass grin.
Mac hasn’t thought about it for quite a while, and it makes him laugh. “As if I could forget,” he says, going back to kicking the pile of snow. “That’s how we got Sheila.”
He looks up when Jo takes a step closer to him. “We were bad,” she says, smiling still, “And I wasn’t the only one. Teenage boy with a key to an empty apartment – you were quite a player – I heard all about it.”
The second floor had stood empty for three years after his grandmother died. A mattress and box spring had been left up there. A blanket and a six-pack had set the rest of the scene, and Jo was not lying. Mac had taken full advantage.
“Well then, I guess you’ll need no further detail from me,” he replies.
“Honest though – how many girls you bring up there?”
“Christ, Jo. I don’t kiss and tell.”
“Yeah,” she laughs, “but the girls did.”
Mac laughs, but he also feels a little embarrassed wondering who told.
“Sheila’s almost that exact age,” Jo says soberly. “What do ya think about that?”
“Why do you think I want to meet these guys?” Mac tosses back. “Don’t shit me kid,” he laughs, “I know what’s on your mind.”
Just as Mac and Jo begin to laugh at that one, they both hear a booming voice from the kitchen and then Tommy say, “Hey Neil! Long time no see.”
“Fuck,” Mac exhales.
Through the kitchen window, he can see Neil laughing and smiling shaking hands and slapping backs like the bullshit artist he has always been.
“He looks better,” Jo observes, finishing her cigarette.
“He looks better than when I found him passed out in his apartment last month, yeah.” Mac replies. He knows there is no way he can go back into the party with Neil there. In this mood and with this many drinks in him, the evening will end with his mother’s baby boy in an ambulance.
Mac looks up to his back porch again and checks for his keys in his pocket. Jo turns to him and asks, “You goin upstairs?”
Something about it…the way she says it…makes him think of old times. And even though it his place now, fully furnished with his things, Mac knows that tonight it will feel as empty as when he was in high school.
Mac steps closer to his ex-wife and says, “Wanna come up for a drink?”

Friday, November 10, 2006

Flash #6

Word count as of this minute: 11,143!

Dionne moves the baby uncertainly into the crook of her arm and tickles his cheek just as Ellen suggested. The baby turns eagerly and begins feeding again, looking strongly up into her eyes.
“He knows his mommy,” Ellen says. “Tell me his name Dionne.”
“Elijah,” Dionne says.
“That’s a good strong name. You’re gonna have a strong man on your hands there.”
“I just want him to be good,” Dionne says quietly, her eyes still locked with his.
“That too,” Ellen adds. “He wants to be good for you. He came that way.”
There’s a light knock and Ellen and Dionne both look up. Mac is standing in the doorway, smiling broadly, his shoulder leaning up against the doorframe like he’s been there a while. Dionne stiffens a little and the baby pulls away from the bottle.
“Dionne this is Mr. MacNamara, he runs the Teen Center,” Ellen offers.
“Call me Mac,” he says, nodding. “Quite a little guy you’ve got there,” he adds.
Dionne doesn’t say anything, she turns back to the baby and tries to get him to take the nipple again, but the baby is transfixed in Mac’s direction, stunned by the sound of his low voice. Ellen gently cups the girl’s hand, guides it to stroke Elijah’s cheek. It only takes a moment for the baby to start feeding again.
Ellen looks over at Mac to ask what he wants, but she feels a funny sensation when she sees his expression. It is something more than warm, something more than she is used to from him. And for a second, she thinks that Mac senses it too, because he shifts his eyes to the floor before moving from her doorway.
“Nice to meet you Dionne,” he says, “You’re in good hands. The best.”

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Flash #5

But what about Charlie? Here's a bit about Ellen's husband.
Word count: 9,514.

Charlie goes to the kitchen and dishes up the end of some kind of casserole. One bite turns him off, not much flavor and the texture was probably better two hours ago. It reminds him of something his mother would have fed him. But he is starving, so he keeps eating.
“Remember when you used to make Shrimp Scampi?” he asks as he crosses through the livingroom.
Ellen looks at him bewildered from the couch. “Yeah,” she says. “What about it?”
Charlie shrugs taking another bite of casserole. “I don’t know,” he tacks on, realizing what had started out as a compliment (Why don’t you cook your great scampi some time?) will most certainly end up in a fight.
He enters the girls’ room and finds Theresa sitting on her bed wearing nothing but Little Mermaid underpants, her hair long and somewhat tangled.
“How’s my big girl?” he asks.
Theresa looks up at him with a serious expression. “Daddy, why is the bad witch in Sleeping Beauty pretty and the one in Wizard of Oz so ugly?” She says it as if Charlie and she had been talking just two minutes ago.
“Um, don’t know,” he answers. “Show me the pretty one.”
Theresa turns her copy of Sleeping Beauty so he can see the picture.
“It says Evil Queen,” Charlie notes, running his finger under the words. “Is she technically a witch?” he asks, taking another bite of casserole.
“Good question,” Theresa says earnestly. “Maybe not. Maybe that’s the difference.” Her eyes stray to the bowl Charlie is holding. “I didn’t like dinner,” she whispers.
Charlie smiles. “Me neither,” he whispers back. “But I’m hungry – and Mommy made it so I’m going to eat it up.”
Theresa nods soberly. “She’s mad at me,” she says.
“Me too,” Charlie concedes.
Theresa sweeps a piece of hair out of her face, closes her eyes and shrugs. It is a carbon copy of an Ellen gesture, and he can’t help but smile at it. An image of Ellen flashes in his mind: standing in front of South Station on a cold night, when he didn’t want her to go home, her hair was long, she kissed him on the cheek and shrugged exactly like that. It had made his heart pound.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Flash #4

There's some cusin' in this excerpt. So, be warned.
Word count: 8,412

He takes a step back from the door and looks around for a second, trying to think like his brother. He lifts the edge of the filthy carpet. Nothing. He runs his hand along the top frame of the door and finds a key there. Mac tries it in the lock and is relieved to find it works and then that there is no chain in place.
The relief only lasts a heartbeat. As he steps into Neil’s apartment, he smells rancid garbage and old sweat. The place is a mess.
“Neil!” he calls again, with no reply, and his chest starts getting that tight feeling.
He steps around the corner into the front room cautiously, bracing himself for what he might find there. He sees an open pizza box on the floor with some crusts in it. As he takes another step, a mouse darts under the TV stand, and that’s when he sees the man’s leg. It is connected to a form splayed out on the couch – Neil.
Mac holds his breath and he feels blood drain away from his face. He watches his brother’s chest…sees it rise and then fall, and then lets himself exhale.
“NEIL!” he shouts, kicking his brother’s leg hard at the same time.
Neil stirs but only slightly.
“Wake up, you stupid Fucker!”
He opens one eye and pulls himself up, with effort, onto an elbow.
The two men stare at each other for a full minute before Neil finally speaks.
“Hey Curtis,” he croaks out in a horse whisper.
“Yeah, hey yourself,” he spits back. “Ma’s looking for you, ya’ stupid shit.”
Neil rubs his hand across his face. He is staring.
Mac shakes his head. He can feel the dread that filled him only moments ago being rapidly replaced by anger.
“What day is it, Neil?” he pushes.
Neil shakes his head, in a no-contest fashion, and Mac lets out a disgusted burst of air.
“First of the month is coming up – you got the rent? This landlord’s not gonna put up with anymore of your bullshit – and you know I’m not bailin your ass out again. Got it?”
Neil says nothing in response and it makes Mac’s blood feel as if it might boil. If he stays much longer it will be impossible to resist the urge to beat his brother senseless.
“Call Ma,” Mac says turning for the door, but then a thought comes to him and just as quickly he turns back. “But not for the rent, you hear me? I hear you asked her for money…” But he doesn’t finish the sentence. “Clean up this shit hole,” he adds. “You got mice. Probably worse.”
Neil is staring again.
“Do you fuckin HEAR ME!?” Mac yells.
“Jesus, yeah, yeah,” he replies.
Mac exhales loudly, his heart pounding in his chest now. “Fucking idiot. Ya gonna kill yourself, or what, man?”
Neil doesn’t move a muscle, won’t even blink a response.
“ I don’t give a shit,” Mac tells him. “Do what ever you want after Mom’s gone – but you better fuckin stay alive as long as she does – You hear me?!”
“And what if I don’t?” Neil spits back. “Whatta ya’ gonna do then, Curtis? Kill me?”
Mac steps back as if intending to dodge a punch. He stares hard into Neil’s eyes, glassy and dark. It gives him a shiver and he winces involuntarily.
“Call your mother,” Mac says, but it comes out as a whisper.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Flash #3

I think the novel might be called Going Down "A" Street. We shall see if that one holds up. As of right now word count is 6,672.

They identified this early on in one another, the only two “teachers” in the Community Center, and five years later they are still backing each other up – either as the minority opinion or in the way that their programs do sometimes go hand in hand. Ellen runs the Mother and Baby Program, Mac the Teen Outreach. Teenagers make babies. That’s something Mac can vouch for.
“Pretty blouse,” Mac comments quietly as he takes his seat at the staff meeting and gives Ellen a smile.
“You like?” she says nonchalantly, but smiles warmly in response. “I wear oatmeal well,” she adds pointing to what looks like a fresh stain on her shoulder.
He laughs, “How’s that Ruby girl?”
“Just as naughty as ever,” Ellen replies taking out her notebook. “How about Sheila?”
Mac shakes his head, “Sixteen…need I say more? She’s driving her mother crazy. I expect her to be dropped at my doorstep any day.”
“Alright now…alright,” Justine comments to the group’s chatter. “Let’s get goin.”

During the meeting Mac’s mind wanders to Ellen and her family. Ruby is a doll, someone he got to know before she was even born. The older one, Theresa seems a little bratty now and then, but she’s as smart as a whip, anyone can see that. And of course, Ellen is great. Mac concedes privately that he has had a little crush on her for quite a while now, which seems pretty harmless considering she’s happily married to Charlie-the-sculptor. Mac knows that he and Ellen are just really good buddies, but he can’t deny he finds her incredibly cute. Not cute in a girlish or superficial way. It’s the kind of cute that just kills him – like if Doris Day had an edge, if Donna Reed cursed. She’s sarcastic as hell, tough in a crisis, but then you see her holding a baby and it’s like there’s nobody else in the room. Mac will stop by the playroom in the Center just to watch her do it sometimes, especially when she’s working with a new mom that is one of his teenagers. It’s a wonder.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Flash #2

Word count as of last night: 3,571.
Here's the latest flash:

It isn’t a guest, but a smiling Bing at the door, holding a tower made up of three bakery boxes, each tied in red string.
“I couldn’t decide!” he announces with relish and sweeps into the room.
“Jesus, what did you get?” Ellen asks, grateful for the shift of fresh air Bing’s entrance always brings.
“Fruit tart with a custard filling – gorgeous, wait ‘till you see! Cookies for the girls, because – come on, they’re adorable. And then, I swear I was leaving, but then I saw this chocolate cutie right at the end and had to get it too.”
Ellen can’t help but laugh. Only Bing would call a cake “cutie.” He hands her the boxes and leans forward to give her a kiss on each cheek.
“You look cute yourself,” Ellen reports.
Bing runs his hand through his artfully rumpled almost-shoulder length hair, and does a quick adjustment to his black-rimmed Buddy Holly/Elvis Costello glasses. “Well, you know…You never know who might show up,” he says, adding a tuck to his t-shirt and a tug to the funky velvet blazer he wears over jeans.
“Anyone in particular?” Ellen asks on her way to the kitchen. “Not Gary still, right?”
“Yuck, no!” Bing replies. “But Seamus…” he dangles, leaning on the doorframe.
“What?” Ellen demands, lifting Ruby from the highchair. “He’s too old for you Bing!”
“Bing!” Ruby echoes and runs over to hug his leg.
“Here’s the naughtiest girl!” Bing cheers, patting her diapered bottom. “And anyway,” he tells Ellen, “he’s not too old or too rich.”
“Seamus does have money,” Ellen concedes and smiles, remembering a flash of Seamus young and vowing to never take the trust fund awaiting him at thirty. That birthday came and went with no protest. “Didn’t know you were in the market for a Sugar Daddy.”
“You heard no such thing from me,” he replies, crossing his arms and smiling.
“Still, you’re twenty-what? Twenty-three, my little baby?”
“Yes, mother,” Bing drones.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Flash #1 from the Novel

Here I am with my first sample. Word count after day one: 1,646.

Further up the block he can see the old guys hanging out on the corner in front of Barry’s. The sun is mellowing everything with a late summer twilight glow, so that even this cast of characters seems beautiful in their own way, and it makes him laugh to himself. He’s known most of these guys his whole life, having been bounced on more than one of their knees on this very corner as a little kid, so it’s not as if he doesn’t have a lot of affection for most of them - but beautiful? On any given day that would be damn near a miracle.

Lou looks up when he hears the basketball and tossing his chin says, “Here’s Mac, right on time.”

He had been called Curtis his whole life right up until the day of his father’s funeral, his dad the one they called Mac. It had been these guys, his father’s friends, who had pulled him aside, toasted his father the night after the burial, raised their shot glasses in honor, “To Mac, may he rest in peace,” and then immediately bestowed the name upon him, as if they could not bear it dying as well. It was his first shot of whiskey. He was fifteen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gone Writin'

Well I begin National Novel Writing Month today! I am packed for bear and psyched to begin as soon as I post this here note on my blog. I will be posting short snip-its of the novel during November and occasionally word counts. Keep thinking "50K" for me! I can use all the momentum I can get.