National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo. Thirty days of literary abandon. Fifty thousand words. Whatever you call it, those who participate will know the toll such a thing takes on one’s sanity. What encouraged this 24-year-old full-time college student with a job and an internship? To put it lightly, I need motivation. I’m one of those people who talks about writing a novel, but I have yet to complete one. I need something like NaNoWriMo to make this dream a reality.
I am posting two things below. First is my stats page as of today. I’m not far behind my goal, and I also have the rest of today to write (apart from a little homework). I expect to be on track by the end of today or tomorrow.
I’m going to be selfish and admit that I’m not letting anyone read the novel apart from one friend who is also doing NaNoWriMo, who has experience in editing, and is simply an intelligent reader. Apart from her, no one is reading this beast until it’s written, edited, and ready to go. However, I will include an excerpt below that I shared on my writing page. I welcome any input on the contents below.
The body knows when it has been left behind. An invisible film takes form over it and announces instant protection from additional harm. Pain is inevitable at the first sign of abandonment, that moment where the hands reach out and find nothing. Lips smile while the brain pleads insanity. Knees shake in need of structure. Pulse beats faster and slower without warning. Without warning, faster and slower beats everything.
Loneliness isn’t news, that much is certain. Putting on a face of contentment has never been difficult, but the ticking clock growing louder and deeper with each additional reminder of being by one’s self causes irrevocable melancholy. There is no out from this reality, but the reality was never sweet to begin with; it was passable at best.
The world continued to turn outside into new beginnings. Sounds of early morning car horns and church bells echoed from the streets into residential chimneys, down to the burning fireplaces where bodies are meant to be kept warm. Burning embers—shifting from eccentric orange to flirtatious blue—are the only reminder that life continued inside the flat, for the face staring at the flames hadn’t moved in hours. There was a heartbeat, but little more. Eyes shifted, legs crossed and uncrossed, hands produced occasional trembles. The only sound heard throughout the space was the crackling of wood. A glass of brandy was finally lifted from the inhabitant’s lap, sipped, and set down again.
Beside the breathing body was a small stand, and on it an envelope, unopened. Written in a fine cursive, the name held meaning: Rodney. Whoever it was from, the recipient didn’t feel too compelled to open it, for Rodney took another drink before setting the glass down on the stand, covering a portion of the envelope. His eyes never left the flames.
When he finally moved to stand, his knees performed a slight crack that came with the combination of sitting too long and aging. The suit he put on the morning prior was still on his person, neatly tailored, but no longer freshly pressed. Forced to carry on the day, Rodney left the flames inviting privacy and walked down the hall into his bathroom. He opened the glass shower door and turned on the water, letting it heat to a nearly scalding temperature as he took off his suit, neatly folding every article of clothing and setting the small pile on the counter. He stepped into the shower and closed the door, letting the hot pellets consume him.