And November is over. This has been one of my worst Novembers in a long, long time.
While I didn't find writing itself stressful, I had over a week where I could not put pen to paper. I call that survival mode-it's the rerouting of power to keep a machine from breaking down in the most literal sense. We encountered an emergency that left us scrambling and stressed, and anything that was not a requirement for daily life had to go away. I'm not sure how many other people react like that, but I'd sort of like to think it's a parenting thing. There is always extra things to be taken care of, and when something implodes/explodes, you survival mode until you don't have to anymore.
I'll be honest, I got through only 50 pages of handwritten text, but I'm pretty okay with that, given the situation. And the cool thing was there were several people I know that DID hustle with everything they had and got to or nearly to 50k words. I'm in awe. Because these aren't people who get to come home to quiet houses and don't have a lot to do-they are busy hard-working folks and they did it. And all I can tell you is you should be excited for these blossoming books. They are really good.
I'd like to get this draft finished in February, which is also about the time everything calms down for us. No more giant holidays or birthdays for a few months and the world just seems quieter in the winter-y sense, so I hope I can manage it.
I figured since I've been busy and silent for a few weeks, I'd share just a little bit of November's writing for Book II of The Children of Dire Wolf...
"But I need something from you," She took an object from her jacket pocket and dropped it lightly over my glass. The sound still stung my sensitive, uncovered ears. "Forgive the quality of the footage, it's from a soldier's cam," She said.
The slim black circle she'd dropped lit up suddenly, and I saw a film of an Afflicted-heavily rotten, slow, but very large. She was pulling apart what looked to be a human body, almost like a baby would take pieces out of a chunky puzzle. Instead of eating the flesh, the organs, she'd study it for a second and put the pieces down. When nothing but the torso remained, the Afflicted put both hands into the gore flowing out and wrote on the wall Go Away. The camera backed up, lit a larger area. And I saw it. RAIN RAIN GO AWAY COME AGAIN SOME OTHER DAY WE WANT TO GO OUT AND PLAY RAIN RAIN GO AWAY.
Over and over again, Some pieces of it were just browning clots of blood and string, as if it had been written so many times that there were no clean spaces to form the words.
I shook my head. It was a damn nursery rhyme. Some Afflicted had consciousness. Maybe some could only remember a song.
"I know, but we've seen similar occurrences. Not always that legible, but always there posted near places where so many were lost that we had to evacuate. And those that survived the encounter usually didn't survive being exposed to the mycotic infection. I think this, considering your lineage, is a message you can help us decode."
The Afflicted stopped the weird ritual, and seemed to turn and take notice of being filmed. The footage blacked out.
I'm not sure how great the story is right now, but it's a fun ride-hopefully the book will be finished soon and you can get the whole thing.
I'm looking forward to the holidays, but not the stress of it really. The little things to mark the change of the season are beautiful, but the crowds, finance-juggling, and the breaking of routine can be really rough for me, so it really is best to focus on the simple stuff in my case.
Like hand-painting pine cones with the kids. If you haven't done this, try it. Pine cones are generally free, and most of us have craft paint and glitter somewhere. It's relaxing, non-perfectionist decoration that you can even save for next year as a memory piece.