NaNoWriMo 2011

Here I am, ready for another month of writing fun. Yes, with homemaking, homeschooling, and teaching three classes each week, it may seem crazy to add another thing to my to-do list. But, I do enjoy writing when I get to set my own goals!

For those who aren't familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words between November 1st and November 30th, which requires an average daily output of around 1,670 words. I got up at 5:00 this morning, started my coffee pot (which I had primed last night), and wrote 2,153 words in one and a half hours. (Yeay me!)

You may be curious about what I'm writing. Well, I'm not exactly sure. The title is "Once Upon a Tea Room," which I shamelessly took from the (now closed) restaurant of the same name, located in Mannington, WV. I detest outlining a story or article, so I'm winging it at this point. It's exciting to see how things unfold, especially when one is just waking up and downing coffee. The first few chapters are sounding more like a young adult novel than the chick lit category that I put my book in. But, that's the beauty of NaNoWriMo--you are free to write as you like, without editing for spelling or grammar--it's just a month of literary abandon.

Kyla is inspired and she is signed up for the young writers option, and her goal is 25,000 words for the month. She is reading and writing prolifically these days, so I'm excited for her to join me on this journey!

Whether or not I succeed in having a great finished product, I just love the challenge of this. I have a hard time making myself stick to things, and finishing NaNoWriMo last year was great. Hopefully, this year I'll both finish and have a book that I'll be willing to let see the light of day when I'm done. :)

Here's an excerpt from my writing today. If you are willing to comment, I'd love to know what you think!

“Hey, wake up!”

Ellis turned to look at the girl who spoke. She was so lost in her thoughts about the diary that she didn’t hear what she said.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” said Ellis.

“I said that my name is Theria and I’m glad you came. This picnic is so annoying because my parents make me come when I’d rather stay at home. But I am so curious about what it’s like to live in the Wolk’s house that I came hoping to meet you. So, what’s it like?”

Ellis looked at the pale girl with even paler, blue eyes. Her golden hair was a mess of curls, made even more unruly by the wind that had picked up since they arrived at the picnic.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” said Ellis, trying not to giggle as the British accent sneaked out.

Theria looked at her sideways. “Why are you talking like that, you’re not from England—are you?”

Ellis burst out laughing. “No, silly, we moved from Pennsylvania. Actually, I’m from all over. My parents have lived in every state. And we even lived in Canada for a little while.”

Theria’s mouth dropped open. “Get out! Are you serious? What was West Virginia like? I hear the people there are weird and crazy, and they yell a lot and shoot guns in the air and run around barefooted all the time. Is that true?”

“Well,” Ellis pondered whether or not to admit that she was born in West Virginia. “I’m not sure about the weird and crazy part, but they do go barefooted in the summer,” she said.

“Oh,” said Theria, clearly disappointed with the bland answer. “Anyway, tell me about the house. Is it fun? I hear it is haunted.”

Haunted? Her parents hadn’t told her anything about it being haunted. Very interesting…

“…and then there’s supposed to be this room full of dolls and—“

“Wait!” said Ellis. “What did you say?”

“There’s supposed to be a lot of secrets in that old house, and they said the owner, Jane, had a big doll collection that she kept in the room on the west side of the house.”

“What do you mean, the room?” said Ellis. So much for it being a secret room.

“You know, the tea room.” said Theria, with a bit of impatience.

“The tea room?”

Theria huffed, now clearly annoyed. “How can you live there and act like you don’t know about this?”

“Um, because…I don’t?” said Ellis, frowning. “We’ve only been here a week, you know. And I am only twelve. It’s not like my parents give me a full report on every place we move to.”

Theria’s expression softened some. “Sorry. I love mysteries, and I’ve never been able to figure out what’s up with that house. Everyone talks about it, but they don’t say much. At least not much that makes sense. Maybe that’s on purpose. But it drives me crazy! Can I come stay the night with you?”

Ellis tried hard not to roll her eyes. Nothing was happening the way she imagined it would. She thought she would go to this picnic, eat a few pieces of fried chicken, smile politely, and then come back home. Now her secret room was not really a secret, and she was worried that her parents would want to investigate. She couldn’t let anyone find the diary, that much she knew for sure. Maybe letting Theria come over would be a good idea, to distract her parents for a while.

(copyright 2011 Selena Campbell)