Declaring A Win And A Completion

Camp NaNo 2017 Winner

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017 WINNER!!!

That’s right. I managed to pull off the win on the very last day of Camp. As predicted, after the long work week I had, I totally blew getting anything done on Saturday. So come Sunday I was up and writing from the moment I woke up to get that final 5,669 words I needed. Come to think of it, I didn’t even stop to eat until I had validated, which by that point was definitely dinner time. Whoops…

But I pulled off the win! Hooray! *Throws confetti*

30 days, 30,058 words (30,053 after validating), 65 pages, and 4.5 chapters plus a blurb.

It may not have been a pretty win this month, but it’s a win. And guess what else?

That’s right, baby.

Fated to Darkness is FINISHED!!!

SQUUEEEEE!!!

Excuse me while I scream, cry, laugh, and essentially freak out internally for a little bit again.

I can’t believe I’m finally typing those words. I’m in shock. It’s a dream come true. (Or, well, the beginning of a dream come true.) I actually did it. I actually finished my first full length novel after almost three years of working on it with NaNoWriMo’s and spare time.

And this isn’t just any novel to me. This is the first book of the series that is my heart and soul. The storyline that has been kicking around in my head since I was a little girl. The characters that have literally grown up with me in my head. They’ve been waiting for this to happen for as long as I’ve been waiting for it to happen.

I finally did it.

Book 1 of The Dark Heir chronicles is complete.

I’m still in shock, and I’m definitely still freaking out internally. *Happy dances*

This whole month, this whole book, has been a roller coaster. I started out this Camp with the intentions of having Fated to Darkness finished within the first week so I could spend the rest of the month working on Clockwork Heart. (Obviously I didn’t get to work on Clockwork Heart at all.) But I was both excited and scared out of my mind to finish this novel.

I struggled to get through the end of this book for many reasons ranging from frustration to hesitance, but I made it and I managed to type these words for the first time in my life:

end book 1

When I got to those words — which I’m not going to leave them in come edits, I just wanted to be able to write them, lol — I had to stop and just stare at my Word doc while I tried to process the fact that I actually did it.

It was quite an interesting day of writing on Sunday to get to that point. Because I was so frustrated with Chapter 41, I left it off with my lengthy ranting note to redo the chapter. I didn’t try to pick up from where I had stopped, but I did jump ahead just a little to the end of the chapter where I knew how it was going to go down to the smallest detail.

Once I got to that part the words just started flowing again full force. The end of Chapter 41 went down without a hitch — though it could use a bit more bang — and I went onto writing the Epilogue. (That was another word I had to stare at whenever I typed it because I couldn’t believe I was seeing it.) I thought the Epilogue was going to be a bit difficult to write because I have to be very careful in what I reveal in it. (No I’m not going to tell you why. Mwahaha!) Surprisingly it didn’t give me the issues I thought it was going to, and it even ended up setting up the Prologue for Book 2!

Of course once I got to writing the words “End Book 1” I realized I was about 150 words short of hitting goal for Camp.

Go. Figure.

I was not going to write a 150 words of something new or another WiP, and I realized the blurb I made years ago for Fated to Darkness needed some tweaking and kind of sucked. So you know what I did? Yep, I took that final little spurt of words and wrote another blurb!

Gods I hate blurbs…

This one wasn’t that bad to write though, shockingly.

It got me to the NaNo win so that’s all I cared about. I just can’t believe I’m going to be setting this novel aside now for awhile so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. I miss my characters already. I miss Kailyn, and Matt, and Gods…I even miss Ciara, the evil bitch. It feels really weird to not be working on their novel. I feel lost.

Granted, I’m not putting it away completely yet, there’s still a few things I need to do with it before I’m ready to begin editing — which I plan to be the start of next year — but I still miss them already.

But alas, the explanation of that headache stuff I need to do, as well as my next plans, can wait a couple days. After all, I’m still celebrating my win and the completion of my first full length novel.

Camp may not have gone the way I had planned for it to go last month, but it will definitely be one that goes down in my history books. I did it, baby! Now excuse me while I go celebrate some more and squeal in happiness.

Final Days and Final Chapters

This is it.

In more ways than one.

The final days of Camp NaNo are here. Only three days left to write to get the win. Now is the time to push hard and commit yourself to losing sleep if you still have a long way to go. (I’m not the only one who does that, right?) Now is definitely the time to panic and make a mad dash for the finish line as you curse to yourself for procrastinating so much earlier in the month.

My brain to me: If you hadn’t procrastinated so much and stuck to your self-imposed day off work goals, do you realize how many words you could have had by this time? Do you realize how far you’d be in Clockwork Heart too?

*Dead stare* Unfortunately my brain has a point. I really did slack this month on Camp. If I had stuck to my self-imposed 5k word goal days on the days I have off work, I would have had 60k alone just from those days already, 70k by the 30th. And that wouldn’t be including my word sprint days or any words I wrote on work days.

Sixty thousand words! If I had just held myself more accountable throughout the month, and stopped hesitating and being so unsure about finishing the novel. But no, I essentially screwed myself this month.

The funny thing is… Okay, maybe it’s not funny, but more like a distant sobbing moment of yelling at myself. Anywho, I’ve said throughout this month I had hoped for a repeat of last year’s Camp NaNo in April where I did 61k in a month. My Facebook “On this day blah-blah years ago…” throwback post ended up showing me my win status from last year’s Camp NaNo in April today, when I did that 61k.

I looked at it and just started sobbing internally, wishing I could have done that again. I validated two days early last year, with that 61k, and somehow managed 128 pages and completed six and a half chapters, plus starting a new one.

I’m nowhere close to that this year.

I wonder if part of my reluctance this month to write was not just because I was going to finish the novel and that both scared and excited me, but also because I hate splitting my NaNo project into two separate novels. It’s weird to me to do that. I don’t know why, I’m just strange like that, and a bit of an OCD nit picker.

Even though I didn’t get to up my goal at all this month, I’m more than likely still going to run into the issue of needing a thousand to two thousand words of…something to hit goal.

Maybe…

I don’t know for sure. Right now the only thing I know for sure is I want to rip my hair out on this final chapter. It’s…ugh. I don’t even have words anymore except a fluent, colorful string of curses and some screaming.

The chapter is worse than sucking now.

It still feels fake and forced, and there’s still no bang to it or tension like I envisioned. The scene in my head is not flowing out through the fingertips in the slightest. It’s maddening, it’s infuriating. I’m so damn frustrated over this chapter that I was inches away from deleting it to start over Wednesday night.

And I don’t do that. I don’t delete to start over. That’s what editing is for.

Believe it or not on top of the this total hell week of work — no it has not gotten any better at all, let’s just say that by Wednesday I had more hours on the clock than my boss, and I’ve still got one more shift tonight — I did manage to do some writing Wednesday night with a friend, about a thousand words I think. And…

Well, the writing went something like this:

-*Is writing*
-*On the final chapter of Book 1*
-*Nothing is going according to plan or how I can see it in my head*
-*Mentally starts to throttle both my main characters*
-*Whole chapter feels forced, fake, and non-directional; hate every bit of what I’m writing*
-*Keeps writing anyways because that’s what you do*
-*Starts to think I’m finding the groove finally and getting on track*

Five minutes later….

-*One main character says something they shouldn’t, and AREN’T, supposed to make known*
-*Starts swearing like a sailor*
-*Bashes head off wall*
-*Throttles characters even more*
-*Stops writing and leaves lengthy ranting note to rewrite the whole damn thing because I give up on this chapter because it royally sucks monkey balls*

Yeah…

I’m that frustrated with Chapter 41.

Never before have I been this fed up and frustrated with a chapter. Never before have I wanted to delete something so badly and start over with it. Never before have I said I’m skipping the chapter and moving on to the next one because I don’t do that.

But guess what?

That’s exactly what I’m doing for the first time.

I don’t know why this chapter is so hard to write, but it is driving me insane. Is it because it’s the final chapter of the book? The big cliffhanger ending and the final show down? Is it because I know if the ending is no good then no one will want to read Book 2? Is it because I need it to be perfect because it’s the end of the first book?

Whatever the reason is for this chapter being so damn hard I am still ripping my hair out and screaming over it. It’s a miracle I didn’t throw something (like my laptop) Wednesday night when I got to the point of giving up on it. I was ranting up a storm.

One friend offered to take a look at the chapter and give me any pointers or opinions, and surprisingly — after a lot of hesitating — I finally agreed. I mean, I’ve never showed a whole chapter of Fated to Darkness to anyone before. This story is my heart and soul, this series is my heart and soul of writing. I was terrified out of my mind to show it to someone, especially completely unedited, and especially because it sucks monkey balls in my eyes.

But perhaps that was part of my problem. I’m so close to it and in knowing what it should be, that I can’t see what it really is. So eventually I agreed and sent the chapter to her for a fresh set of eyes. To my complete and utter dumbfounded shock, they actually liked it. That for a first draft they found it pretty good, and with coherent thought.

I was…speechless.

Hell, I’m still speechless over that.

Granted, they didn’t know the full context of the rest of the book since this was the very end, so it’s hard to give more specific pointers or opinions, but just the fact that they said they liked it and it was pretty good for a very first draft with no editing yet blew me away. I will admit it lessened my frustration and doubt a little. It lifted my confidence just enough that I debated on continuing to write the chapter as it was with my character’s blunder to see where it went, but I haven’t. I’m reluctant to let that train continue because I know she was not supposed to let known what she did.

It can’t happen. Just can’t.

So that leaves me back at square one on wondering what to do about the chapter.

Another friend suggested two things: Either keep writing and see where it leads me, or stop and write another version of it where the screw up moment doesn’t happen.

Writing a second version of a chapter is something I’ve never done before. I’ve always been reluctant too because I think that makes for a double headache in the editing phase, and I also believe that if your second version happens in the middle of the book, it can royally mess with details all throughout the rest of the book. That was a maze of confusion and editing nightmares that I did not want.

If I end up rewriting and changing some things in edits later, fine, I’ll deal with the out of place or missing details then, but I’ve never wanted the hair pulling of multiple options to edit with.

However, for the fact this is the final chapter of the novel and a second version wouldn’t affect anything more than the Epilogue perhaps, I’m toying with the idea of writing a second version just to see what happens. There’s a chance the second version and first version could both have the parts I need combined to be what I’m looking for. I think I’m starting to lean toward writing a second version just to see where it takes me.

Even if it’s complete and utter shit too at least it’s words written for Camp and provides me with more options or ideas for when I come back to it in edits. I mean, once I finish the chapter it will sit for a long time before I reach it again, and by then I might have fresh eyes on the crap I wrote and not find it as big a pile of crap as I think it is now.

Who knows, and I won’t know until I get to that point.

She also gave me another piece of advice that I think I need to print and frame and hang where I can see it every day:

BoCFoK!

Butt on Chair, Fingers on Keyboard.

(Read the link, it’s like a mini pep talk. Which is exactly why I need to print and frame it. Thank you, P.T.)

Right now though I still need 5,669 words to hit goal for Camp, with only three days left and one more work shift to go. So I better put my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard as soon as I can. I’m hoping that final 5.7k of words will entail only Fated to Darkness, but I’m not sure the characters will manage that, and I don’t want to be dragging things out just to make that happen. On the other hand, I still don’t know what I can finish with if I need more words because I’m reluctant to do a thousand or so of Clockwork Heart this late in the month.

I think what I’m going to do is skip forward and write the Epilogue to see how that goes, and to put some distance between myself and Chapter 41. Depending how many words are left at that point I’ll go back and try to write a second version of that last chapter. At the very least I’ll skip the hard part of the chapter right now and write the very end of it, because I know exactly how that part goes down. I’ve known how those final pages end since the very beginning of this novel. I can at least write that part without issue I know, and then find a way to tie it all together in edits.

But as soon as I finish the Epilogue and that little bit, I have officially finished the first draft of Fated to Darkness, Book 1 of The Dark Heir chronicles.

I’m oh so close…

Now I’m just praying the Epilogue doesn’t give me as much trouble as Chapter 41 has, because I know it’s going to be a bit tricky to write as well. Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck for smooth sailing on the Epilogue because this is it.

This is the final days of NaNo, and this is the final chapters of Fated to Darkness. If my next post isn’t a declaration of a win and the completion of this novel, then my dear followers, do smack me.

Five More Days

Five more days.

There’s just five more days left to the first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017.

Remember on Friday I had said I had a huge writing sprint of 8.2k words and had caught up to par and even surpassed it again, even finishing the chapter I was on? Remember that I was excited and confident that I’m oh so close to the end now?

Heh, yeah, I’m not excited anymore. And I’m no longer at par. Once again I’m 2k below, and my odds of getting any word count added until possibly Saturday or Friday night is slim to nothing.

*Sigh*

It’s been a rough weekend, and yesterday started five days of work hell. (Our assistant manager is on vacation which leaves three of us to run the store, and more hours than I want because of NaNo.) What makes it even worse is all the shifts I got are the long ass early afternoon till close. The shifts I don’t ever get a damn thing done at home with. Why I get all the closing shifts and the other keyholder gets all the openings is beyond me. I don’t see how that’s fair but whatever.

I am ending up with one opening shift instead of five straight days of closing, only because they needed to switch shifts with me due to previous commitments that were overlooked. But switching the shift also leaves me with even more hours, as well as two long ass back to back close and open shifts that always kill me.

So, yeah, I’m not expecting to get any words written until Friday or Saturday, which then leaves me three days — not even — to write 6,811 words.

I know it’s doable for me if I can do 8k in a day, but I also know from experience by Friday I am going to be so worn out that my motivation and energy to write is probably going to be non-existent. Which means Saturday will pretty much be a bust day more than likely, and I’ll have to write all that on Sunday.

And did I mention there might have to be some other things I do that weekend to help get ready because there are only three free weekends before the camping season starts for me.

In other words, I’m starting to worry, and stress — more than I already am over too much shit, and panic.

Five more days, and 6,811 more words.

And four more work days of hell. If they’re anything like how yesterday’s shift went, I am done.

It’s not just the stress and frustration dragging me down on writing again either. I started the final chapter to Fated to Darkness on Sunday — not the Epilogue, but the final number chapter — and I could see it in my head as this tension-filled, edge of the seat, drama and action extravaganza. I could see it perfectly right after I had finished Chapter 40 last week, when I was on a roll.

I should have said fuck sleep and kept going when I was on the roll last week.

This chapter is…sucking now.

It feels like I’m pulling teeth and everything feels almost…fake. There’s no real tension to it, I can’t even tell where the damn dialogue is going. I’m essentially drowning in this chapter and not getting where I wanted it to be. It doesn’t have an ounce of the bang I wanted, and I want to rip my hair out and throw it across the room.

Quite honestly, I want to just skip it and go write the Epilogue, but I don’t do that.

Maybe it’s the last few horrible days getting to me that has stunted how the chapter was supposed to go. Maybe I’m writing crap because my emotions are crap right now.

I don’t know, but the frustration and lack of excitement to it now is certainly not helping the fact I’m running out of time to get the NaNo win.

I’ll be glad when this week is over. I think I’ll be glad when NaNo is over, too, and I don’t normally say that. And I’m about ten seconds away from just hitting delete on his post instead of publish. Am I just ranting instead of talking about NaNo and writing because I’m fed up and have no one to talk to?

Gaining Momentum

We are officially in the home stretch of April’s Camp NaNo madness. Only nine days left. Yesterday the site officially announced that validating had begun, and to those who don’t follow NaNoWriMo that means that there’s no more changing your goal. It is set in stone now so if you’re slacking, you better light a fire under your butt and work like mad to come out with that win.

Validating is essentially the proof that you did the work throughout the month. If you’re using Camp to write it means you have to copy and paste every single word you wrote that month into the little box they provide and click validate so it can compute the number of words to prove you haven’t lied on your word count.

(Which is exactly why I write everything for NaNo in a separate Word doc. It makes it that much easier to copy and paste at the end, and that much easier to update your word count during the month.)

Then if validating accepts your progress as a win… Voila! You get a nice big winner badge, banner, gold star, and goodies! Not to mention the satisfaction that you made it! That might be the best part about the win.

(I’m not quite sure how validating works for anyone who’s used Camp to edit by page numbers, or an X-number of hours put into working on writing-related projects that month. That part is still really knew to me and I’ve never used it.)

So with only nine days left to the madness, where am I sitting at now?

On Tuesday’s post I was sorely failing in all accounts for NaNo. I was below par by 5k and I had blown every single day off I had in a four day stretch for writing.

Before I went to bed Tuesday I forced myself to write. I had a little help from a friend who wrote with me, and I also had a little bit of motivation in the form of a snail-mail letter bribe if I hit 2k before I went to bed, and that eventually got me going. Needless to say, I ended up making the 2k before I crashed around 4am.

Wednesday was my final day off, and my last chance to get some serious words written. Of course, it’s also my Shard day, and I had a couple errands and menial chores I needed to run as well. Unfortunately. That meant my writing didn’t start till late afternoon again, but once I got started…

There was literally no stopping me. The apocalypse could have started and I would not have stopped writing. I was on fire, the words were just rolling right off my fingers, bleeding over the keyboard. You would have had to pry me away with a crowbar, kicking and screaming bloody murder, to get me to stop writing.

At the start of Wednesday I didn’t think I was going to catch up to par, I was still 4k below once midnight hit that evening, even with the 2k I did the night before. I expected at the most to get maybe another 2k or so and then that would be it.

So boy was I blown away when my final numbers showed I had managed to write 8.2k in twenty-four hours by the time I crashed for bed Wednesday night — which was again somewhere around 4am.

Not only did I catch up to par, I passed it by 1.2k again. I’m still caught up to par right now, and I haven’t done any writing since late Wednesday night thanks to work and exhaustion. (Granted once midnight hits I will drop 800 words below par again, but I have a nice, free, undisturbed night tomorrow after work, and I am going to use it.)

You know the best part about my 8.2k frenzy?

Chapter 40 is finished.

I am one chapter closer to the end of Fated to Darkness.

I’m on the final chapter, and after that is completed all that is left to write is a short Epilogue. The first draft of Fated to Darkness will finally be completed after almost three years.

I have no words. None.

The range of emotions coursing through me over that fact are unreal.

I will finish this novel this month. I won’t get to bump my goal up any now because I struggled so much in the beginning of the month, and I won’t be getting to write anything in Clockwork Heart for the month more than likely — at the very most it might be one or two thousand words, if that. I’m not going to have a 60k month like I did last year in April, but I will be finishing this novel, and right now that is all I can ask for.

Nine days left. Only 8,750 more words to validate.

April’s win, here I come. My momentum and motivation are back, baby, and I can see the end of the novel that much closer within my reach.

Could’ve, Should’ve…Didn’t

How do you write a blog post when you have absolutely nothing writing related to talk about?

The answer is I don’t know, but I guess I’ll figure it out as I go because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.

You would think that because I’ve had the last four straight days off work that I should have a ton of words written and be done with Fated to Darkness and have moved onto Clockwork Heart. You would think that I should have done 20k or more in these past four days and be close to goal, or upping it.

But no. You would be wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Four straight days off. FOUR! And I haven’t written a single word.

Why? Why, me? Why do you do this to yourself?

It’s Camp NaNo. You are supposed to be WRITING.

(Yes, I am yelling at myself.)

*Sigh*

In my defense — or maybe this is my excuse, which, *slaps self*, bad me! — it has been a fairly busy four days. Saturday was spent catching up on everything I didn’t finish the beginning of that week thanks to holiday madness. Sunday was Easter of course which meant spending time with family and apparently it also meant coming home sick that night with a splitting migraine. Monday was a friend’s birthday so that meant I had to spend time with them, and I was still feeling a bit iffy that morning. And today…

I don’t know what happened to all of today. I think I pretty much screwed my own morning and afternoon. The evening was spent at the hair dresser where I got my first ever coloring. (I got highlights, and it’s amazing how stunned every single hairdresser was I had never done any coloring with my hair before. I was like a star. LOL) But let me just say… AHH! I love it!

*Clears throat*

Anywho, as I was saying…

My four days off were pretty much screwed. I know I should have had writing time in every single one of them, but it just…didn’t happen. (Well, except maybe for Easter.) I guess I really am just making up excuses now, because I know I should have been writing Saturday night after I finished things and settled down, and if I had been up a bit early on Easter I could have written something before leaving and ending up sick the rest of the night. Monday I could have done some writing before I went to bed, and today I should have done some before my hair appointment.

I could have, I should have on all accounts, and I…didn’t.

I’ve pretty much completely failed at Camp NaNo this time around.

You know what the really scary and disappointing bit to this is though?

Facebook does those “on this day so-and-so years ago” memory posts and do you know how many words I had last year in April on the 11th?

40,131 words. Forty thousand, one hundred and thirty-one words.

In just over a week I had managed 40k last year.

This year?

*Snorts*

I’ve just barely broken 13k and we’re almost three full weeks into this month. It’s half over already! And I’m below par by 5k, about to be 6k at midnight. I haven’t written a word in a week.

Like…

What the hell happened to me?

Did I just completely and utterly fall apart this time around, or… ??????

Like… GAH!

I don’t even know anymore.

The good news is I have one more day off before I go back to work, which means if I really light a fire under my ass, I can pull off probably 8k words easily, especially if I write a lot before I crash tonight too. And I’m pretty sure there’s someone who can light the match for me… The same person who is already glaring at me from the virtual world, and threatening me playfully in a way that I can’t tell if its bluffing or not — and I’m not sure I want to find out, and who also may or may not be ready to chase me with a sword as my Muse instead of the ever so popular…

writing muse

Okay, well, maybe not chase me. That would defeat the purpose of sitting and writing, but the gun in that photo might turn into a sword instead pretty soon. Or a whip. Or… Yeah, I’m going to stop imagining what she might have the capability of pulling out to make me write. I really can’t tell if she’s bluffing. LOL.

The bad news is as of right now my “At This Rate You Will Finish On” date is May 12th, I need an average of 1.3k words a day to win on time, I won’t be bumping my goal up anymore this month like I had hoped, and after this last day off I will essentially be screwed the rest of the month because our assistant manager will be going on vacation now, which again means more flipping hours I don’t want right now.

Go. Figure.

Nothing like a closing in deadline and running out of time to make me write, right?!

…..

Gods I hope so. This novel was supposed to be done in the first week of NaNo.

Falling in the Black

Camp is…sucking.

And right now that’s putting it lightly.

So far nothing this month has really gone to plan, or even close to how I had hoped it would. The last several days are no exception to that trend.

Exhaustion has been my constant companion since Tuesday’s work shift. I have trudged through the last several days with bleary, burning eyes and a complete lack of focus in most times. Somehow I’ve managed to not royally screw anything up in my exhaustion, but I’ve definitely done and said some delirious things.

Thursday was supposed to be a day off for me, and I was looking forward to it because I could hopefully sleep and try to get somewhere on Camp again. And then… Walking into work on Wednesday morning changed everything, again. For once I can’t blame it on my boss, but I can attribute this one to my DM (District Manager).

Apparently him and my boss held a conversation something along the lines of this before I came in that day:

DM: How are you doing for Easter? How is payroll? Do you need more hours to bring more people in?

My boss: We’re in good shape.

DM: What about payroll? Do you need extra hours? What are [Daelyn’s] hours like this week?

My boss: About 30.

DM: Take another 10-15 hours and give her another day.

*Sigh* Thanks, man. I so wanted an extra day. Not.

At the very least, my boss let me choose which day I wanted to work — Thursday or Saturday. I definitely did not want to work Saturday knowing how much madness THAT was going to be, so I took Thursday and screwed over every plan I had once more. Unfortunately, I also ended up with a longer shift today thanks to those extra hours our DM gave us.

So not only was I disgruntled over that the rest of Wednesday, that night looking at my email I also received some bad news that I feared hearing one day. I’m not going to go into it yet — I don’t have the heart or decision to talk about it yet — although I will have to eventually because it does involve my publishing. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty upset and stressed over the news. I feel like a fish out of water, uncertain and worried.

As a result of those extra hours, exhaustion, and now more stress, I’ve finally fallen below par for Camp. Yesterday I was only 13 words above par, and since I didn’t manage to write anything in my bleary-eyed state, I’ve officially fallen below as of today.

I know I’m not going to get anything written today with work, and right now I have no idea how tomorrow is going to go. There’s other things I need to address now.

The bad news also shook my enthusiasm for writing, and its taken my heart out of it right now. In a way, it affects the tentative plans I had for Clockwork Heart, the other novella I was going to work on this month. The one I wanted to finish and release this year. But now…

Now I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with it again. For the second time this year. (It’s like the universe is trying to make me doubt myself, and it’s working.)

Right now I guess all I can do is force myself to write for Camp and figure out what options I have left, but that doesn’t bring back my motivation and confidence, that doesn’t help me make a decision. A decision I don’t have all the time in the world to think over and make. A decision I really don’t want to make during Mercury’s Retrograde, but will have to.

None of this now is going to help me figure out where I’m going from here. I think I’ll be lucky if I make my Camp goal this month, no upping it this time. Or if I find my heart for writing again. I can’t even honestly describe what I’m feeling and thinking now. I’m falling in the black.

Struggling Through Camp

You know what’s a major distraction from writing?

Sunshine. Warm weather. Eighty degree weather.

An all around beautiful day in which it is too nice to stay inside with your butt glued to a chair writing.

I had all the plans in the world to take my day off yesterday and just write. Simply go dark for the whole day and write. I hadn’t touched my Word doc since last Wednesday when I managed only about 600 words and I was getting close to falling below par. I knew the rest of the week was going to be draining with the holiday and work, and I needed to get another cushion built up. Just another 5k or more, definitely doable if I sat down and didn’t touch one ounce of social media all day.

In a way it would have been a nice break of peace and quiet too because Sunday wasn’t a good day for me. I’m blaming Mercury going Retrograde for that one, and the fact I was drained in more ways than one after three long, crazy work days. (Easter madness has officially begun.)

That was the plan.

And that plan then went out the window when I found it was eighty degrees of beautifulness outside yesterday. Warm, bright sunshine. A nice breeze. Considering it dropped to the thirties and snow on Friday, I was beyond happy to have a perfect day again.

Instead of writing my day ended up consisting of being outside most of it. Which is, of course, counterproductive to writing and meeting word goals.

Eventually I did manage to pull my ass inside to sit down and write, but…I was still a bit distracted. Part of me is still dragging my feet on finishing this novel, but I’m trying to force myself to write. I didn’t manage nearly as many words as I would have liked yesterday, but I managed enough to keep myself just above par for today as well.

Today and tomorrow are going to suck though and be a struggle. Gotta love retail, where you can close the store one night and then have to be back to open it again early the next day. So much for sleep, or enough time to regain some energy. Which means I’m going to be dragging to try to get my Shard done tomorrow too.

Unless I just stay up late after today’s shift and lose even more sleep. If I do that I’ll probably end up napping after my shift Wednesday. At least I have Thursday off so I can crash that night and sleep in. Actually, after Wednesday’s shift I should be able to sleep in till at least next Tuesday because Friday I work a late shift, Saturday I’m off, Sunday we’re closed for Easter believe it or not, and Monday I know I have off. Yay!

Anyways, I’m getting off topic.

For right now I’m holding above par by about 200 words, but once Wednesday hits if I don’t manage to write anything today I’ll fall below for the first time this month. I don’t want to fall below, I hate falling below. It’s easier to try to stay above than it is to try to catch up.

However, considering how these next two work shifts may go, I could very well fall below by about 1.5k by the time Thursday rolls around. I hope not, but I’m not holding my breath either. I’ve learned my lesson before on getting too hopeful I’ll have the energy to write after back to back shifts like this, especially in busy seasons.

With any luck, Thursday will go a lot smoother in writing and maybe I can get a lot more completed. I’d still like to up my goal from 30k to something else, at least 40k, if not 50k, but that means I need to get my butt moving a little faster, and start being more productive. I’m really struggling with this Camp NaNo though. On all fronts from excitement to writing in general.

We shall see I suppose. My fingers are crossed at the very least because pretty soon we’ll be half way through Camp already. I wonder if upping my goal now could be the kick in the ass I really need. Hmm…

And I should keep writing now, but, headaches are also major distractions to writing.

Sleepless Tangents And The 100 Word Trick

!DUE TO A LACK OF SLEEP, THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN CANCELLED!

Just kidding. No it hasn’t. A friend dropped that line to my exhausted self when I had no idea how to start this post and I had to use it.

For real though, I am running on less than two hours of sleep as I write this so I’m going to warn you readers now: There is a high possibility very little of this will be coherent enough to understand, or not wander off on a tangent because I am too exhausted to focus.

The lack of sleep was totally worth it this time. Do you ever get so caught up in a book or plot or scene that when it’s coupled with music you just…can’t? Like, there’s not even any words that can describe the feeling. It’s just powerful and emotional and Oh.My.Gods. All you can do is swear, squeal, mutter incomplete sentences, and die while you cry internally at the amazingness that is the plot/scene/book.

Yeah. That was totally me all last night. I would have said screw sleep and stayed up all night — despite the looming long ass early work shift — if a friend and I had kept going in the roleplay because it was just that good.

I just couldn’t stop. Still can’t. I didn’t want it to end. I read back through every reply again before I finally did crash just so I could picture it again in my head. It gives me chills, it makes the heart clench and stop in emotion, makes your breath hitch in your chest. I would have kept reading it over and over if I didn’t put my phone down. Hell, I left the same song playing on repeat the entire plot because it just made it so much more powerful and deep. Actually, I’m still listening to the song on repeat, and it’s been two days straight now. The only time I haven’t been hearing it is in my sleep and at work. Not even gonna lie, I am listening non-stop. (My household wants to strangle me by now for singing it and blasting it so much.) I’m listening to it right now, but with earphones. It’s better with earphones.

It’s just… UGH. I CAN’T. CAN’T EVEN. HOLY DAMN.

See what I mean? Total incomplete sentences because I can’t put the feelings into words when I mesh the plot and song together. Unless you want a long stream of curse words and one word answers, mixed in with some squealing and screaming. All I have to do is think about it and…nope. Can’t even.

So, yeah, the less than two hours of sleep was totally worth it. No regrets. I wish it didn’t have to end, but alas, all plots must end to some degree. Sadly. Ah, well, I’m sure there will be another soon enough that I’ll be slack-jawed and addicted to again. They’re like a drug. A wonderful drug that I can’t get enough of.

Hello, I’m Daelyn and I am addicted to stories.

I’m an author, I’m supposed to be addicted to stories.

Alas though, it is Camp NaNo and the stories I’m supposed to be creating right now are novels, not co-written freaking amazing roleplays. (Though they can give you soooooo many plot bunnies you can actually USE in the REAL story. I’ve lost track of how many things I have planned and resolved to use in the real book from roleplaying it. It’s an insane number. Roleplaying with your characters is seriously an author’s greatest gift of ideas, it is so damn helpful.)

And I’m getting off track. Already. Again. I mean…

Which track was I even on to begin with?

I have no idea.

The first week of Camp NaNo is just about over and I’m still just under 10k. I’m kinda upset with myself for not being further, for not having finished Fated to Darkness already this month. My motivation is seriously waning and struggling this month. Which is weird, because normally I’m excited times a million on the first NaNo of the new year.

I mean, some unforeseen stress hasn’t helped matters, and the fact Easter is right around the corner and work is getting crazy because of it doesn’t help either. But… I don’t know. Something just still seems off with me this month for Camp. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Part of me thinks it has to do with finishing this novel. One minute I’m excited and squealing that I’m so close! Then the next I’m almost scared to be finishing it so I think I start dragging my feet. I mean, this novel has taken up two and half years of my life writing it. It’s going to be…weird to be done writing the first draft. Weird is going to be an understatement of the century. I’m going to miss it. As a friend explained to me, maybe I don’t want to stop interacting with the characters.

In a way I think she’s right. Granted, I know there is going to be a Book 2 and I’ll see them all again for that adventure, but… This series is my heart and soul so I think I’m hesitant to finish it and have to let it sit while I work on Clockwork Heart. (I DO want to release something this year, and that is my most logical WiP to complete and release. It’s also a fun story to write.) I don’t have to let FtD sit completely untouched because I do need to work out the notes I need to print with it too when it comes to editing, and all the other concordance notes I want to finish too before I get to the major editing. But…that’s just not the same as writing it.

I’ll get myself moving on it somehow. I must. I would like a bigger goal than 30k for the month, and I would like a decent amount of words added to Clockwork Heart by the end of the month.

The last two days have sucked in writing though. I haven’t touched FtD the past two days. Or… Wait, did I add at least some words to it Tuesday night after I did my other blog post? I feel like I did, but… Oh hell, I can’t think straight to remember that. I mean, I did do some writing the past two days. I haven’t blown it off completely. I did my Shard and I posted to the #ThursThreads challenge again this week.

I kinda really liked what I came up with for the flash fiction challenge this week. I took it my normal dark direction, but I broke the glass ceiling of normal statistics for serial killers, and I also took it to a slightly sexual route, not even straight sexual. And I don’t normally ever write anything sexual, let alone LGBTQ+ sexual.

Was that too much information?

Oh hell, what do I care? I don’t follow the normal stigma. I like open and honest and brave people who aren’t afraid of themselves, who shed their masks and are willing to speak out despite the societal norm. It’s oppressing enough as it is to not lend my voice to the growing volume of acceptance. Change starts with one and grows.

Wow… This blog post really is all over the place. Not to mention shit just got deep.

And this post has had next to nothing to do with Camp NaNo progress, hasn’t it? I should rectify that a bit here…if I don’t end up wandering off on another tangent of thought. (I did warn you folks at the start of this post.)

So week one of Camp NaNo is coming to a close today and I am just under 10k words. I have two more work shifts before I have a day off again, but at least these next two are short shifts. They are also closing shifts which means, thank the Gods, I can sleep. Glorious sleep.

Hopefully since these next two shifts are short and closing I’ll be able to get some writing in without being exhausted or worrying about needing to be up early and if I should be sleeping instead of writing. I truly debated on just saying screw it and staying up all night last night to write, but I had a feeling my brain was going to kick me in the ass if I did that so for once I listened to logic.

It still kicked me in the ass.

Should’ve had that Monster earlier to wake me up…

I wish I had the energy to write tonight — I’m getting antsy from not writing for Camp — since I don’t have to be up early tomorrow, but I’m not sure how well that’ll work out this time. Then again, if I just start writing it might just keep flowing and I’ll forget how exhausted I am as I get caught up in it. Or, you know, I’ll write something so incoherent that I’ll fall off my chair laughing and wonder what the fuck just ran through my head.

Both of which I’ve done before.

Although that reminds me of another piece of advice a friend gave me yesterday: It’s easier to tell yourself “write a hundred words” than it is to tell yourself “I have to write”.

I never realized how true that was until I tried it, and I’m now calling it the 100 Word Trick.

The hundred words comes almost easily, and once you get that hundred words, if you’re lucky, it just keeps flowing and the next thing you know you have a thousand words, or two thousand, or five thousand.

The other trick she just taught me in regards to the 100 Word Trick: Start that hundred words of writing in a brand spanking new pristine white Word doc.

Why?

I asked the same question, and the logic she gave me I cannot dispute.

What’s less daunting? Going from 0 to 100 words, or going from 259,658 to 259,758?

Makes sense when you look at it that way, don’t it? Having a word tracker with charts and visuals like NaNo does helps make it seem less daunting too because you can see your progress in more than just rising numbers. You see jumps in a bar graph and your estimated win date going down, not to mention your “words left to write” number gets smaller too.

So perhaps I really should just drag my zombie ass off to my Word doc and start writing that hundred words. See where it leads me. Some words are better than no words, some progress is better than none.

After all, “you might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Camp Creatures And Eureka! Moments

Happy Camp NaNoWriMo!

Camp NaNo 2017

The first plunge into madness for 2017 has finally begun! Hooray! I’ll be honest, I’m quite a fan of the banners and icons they have for Camp this year. They even named some creatures to pertain to writing and novels. Like the infamous, abundant Plot Bunny pictured above on the banner. I’m not quite sure why the bunny has antlers, unless they’re supposed to represent the branches of scenes and story that make up a plot.

I totally pulled that from thin air but it actually makes sense.

I think my other favorite creature they came up with is the Block Ness Monster. It’s just so perfect in so many ways. They also had the Darewolf, Chore Grizzly, Guilt Monkey, and Storysquatch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think I might end up using these creatures when I talk about writing now, just to reference them. Like when I’m stuck and I’m screaming at my story, I’m going to yell, “Get out of my way Block Ness Monster!” Or something along those lines. I love it.

So onto the stories of NaNo so far!

I did start writing the eve of NaNo before I went to bed. I was a little bit late starting because I was distracted by things and amused with other stuff, but I did write before crashing. I ended up not going to be till about 5am, but I got a little over 2k written and finished Chapter 38 that night.

I will admit I’ve been slacking the first few days already. I mean, I had four days off in a row — today is my last day off, which, heh, work tried to call me in, I didn’t pick up or ever respond — but I should have had oodles of words written by the end of tonight!

As I did in past NaNo’s, I should have had 5k written for each day off. My own little personal goal I set for myself in past years because normally on work days I’m lucky if I do any writing depending on the shift, and rarely do I have more than one day off in a row to gain any momentum. Welcome to the wonderful life of retail. *Heavy sarcasm*

With that math, by tonight I should have a word count of roughly 20k already written. And, ah, yeah. I don’t.

At the end of the first day I was just under 5k. I was tired that day because I was woken up early with less than five hours of sleep from my late night by a whole lot of banging and voices coming through the vents. Gotta love when you have to fix a vehicle. I also had a spontaneous road trip so that didn’t help productivity too much. Lack of sleep helped even less after the week of work I had before Saturday.

Day 2, which was Sunday, of NaNo I severely slacked and I don’t think I wrote anything. I was kind of bleh that day and I also had to get through my taxes so the day was kind of shot when I add on my shows for Sunday night. Or, well, show now. No more plural. ABC cancelled Time After Time with no warning right in the middle of the first season. I was so pissed. Still pissed.

Yesterday was sorta, kinda better. I didn’t start writing until later at night, but I also had a major eureka moment. And I mean like…

“EUREKA! THAT’S IT!”

…kind of major.

Jumping up and down, grinning from ear to ear, squealing uncontrollably kind of eureka moment. The kind where I run through my house crazily to get a drink and make my parents wonder if I won the lottery or something in my excitement. (Winning the lottery would be nice though, because then I could quit my job and just write.)

Surprisingly, my eureka moment didn’t come from a shower this time. I was meaninglessly scrolling through Facebook, trying to find my motivation to write, and I think I was looking at the cover of Paranormal Pleasures, staring at my name in print when suddenly motivation reared its head hard and nearly knocked me off my feet like this:

“You know what, dammit, I want to publish my first standalone novel this year and that is not going to happen with me sitting here mindlessly on social media. I’m going to write. I’m going dark for several hours until words bleed from my fingertips onto the page. And I have absolutely no idea where this is coming from so strongly all of a sudden but I am running with it dammit. Onwards! To Word, and to fantasy lands! *Holds out sword and pen, charges away from the internet*
(Yep. I’ve definitely lost my mind.)”

So at that point I did go dark. However, I managed about 200 words before I started to hit a brick wall. That’s when I realized my lack of excitement for NaNo the first two nights while working on Chapter 38 was because I was unsure exactly how the final chapters were supposed to go, and I was still trying to figure out my Epilogue issue. If anyone remembers my post from Friday I had a slight break through on the Epilogue, but it still wasn’t fitting perfectly.

My problem wasn’t a lack of excitement and motivation this time around, after all, it was that I was unsure how to work out the end of the novel without knowing how to fix my Epilogue. I mean, I was only 2.5 chapters away from the Epilogue, I had to figure it out soon.

Instead of writing then, I grabbed my fidget cube and started pacing my room, talking to myself and in the mirror as I tried to work out what was going to happen. I ran through multiple scenarios of, “Okay, what if she does this instead of this, how would that affect the end?”. That eventually made me realize I needed to change the timeline between Chapter 38 — which I just finished — and Chapter 39, the chapter I was stuck and dragging on at the moment.

By realizing I need to change the timeline just a bit to allow more time in between the chapters so it would fit my original outline and plotline, I stumbled across where the chapter needed to go, and how the next chapter needed to work. That then lead me to working out kinks to better fit my original ending of the novel and then suddenly…

BAM!

The solution to my Epilogue was slapping me in the face, all with a simple town scene, all with a single character showing their face in my head. It was perfect. Instead of using the character I thought of in my shower inspiration, I could use a different character I had never introduced yet, but someone who would become important in the next book. My Mystery Man character would hold the similarity I needed to match to leave my readers on cliffhangers and questions as the hook of the end of my book, and it still allowed me to the use the Epilogue how I originally planned for.

It was absolutely perfect!

I spent probably a good ten to fifteen minutes squealing and jumping around because I was so happy over the fix. (It’s an author thing, don’t judge me.) After that I grabbed paper and pen and feverishly began to record everything step by step I had just figured out in my head. I even went to a couple friends to run a scenario past them to see if they, as the reader, would assume and react in the way I was thinking the reader would.

(It’s not easy being author, reader, and character all at once. At one point I even threw my pen across the room and grabbed another because it stopped working and I didn’t have time for that.)

To my excitement, they pretty much assumed what I had hoped for, and after that I was all set. I’m still going to have to be careful with the Epilogue so I don’t give away anything I don’t want to, but I have my fix and that was all I had hoped for at the moment.

An hour and a half later of pacing my room talking to myself, reciting character lines out loud to see how they would react, much squealing and yelling, feverish writing of two and half pages of scribbled notes, and somehow a pulled muscle in my neck — don’t ask, I still don’t know how, and I finally had the FINAL two and a half chapters and the Epilogue all planned out.

No more uncertainty. No more plot holes. No more hesitance.

I can write like the wind from here on out in this novel, and that’s exactly what I did afterwards. I sat back down around 1am and just wrote. No distractions. Just music, my notes, my Word doc, my characters, and my fingers bleeding away on the page. A little over two hours later and I had written about 5k words and had finished Chapter 39.

There’s only two chapters plus my Epilogue left to write in this novel and I will officially be done with the first draft. I seriously can’t believe I’m saying that. I will be done with the first draft of the first novel that is my heart and soul series. Ho-ly. Shit.

I think my estimate of 20k to finish this novel might be a little bit off, but I don’t think it’s going to surpass 25k. I only have three full chapters to write altogether, and I’m pretty sure the Epilogue is going to be short. Chapter 40 will be the longest one, and Chapter 41 won’t be too long I don’t think, depending how much drama this final scene ends up bringing.

But I’m almost there! *SQUEALS!*

I’m half terrified and half excited to finish this first draft. Like, AHHHH!

Two more and the Epilogue and then I can move onto Clockwork Heart for the month, because I do want to finish and release that novella/novel this year. As of last night I’m just over 9k words for Camp this month already, I think by tomorrow I might be near 15k. Right after I hit the post button on this bad boy I’m jumping into starting Chapter 40. Once I grab a snack to munch on too.

End of the novel, here I come!

Plot Bunnies! Plot Bunnies Everywhere!

Every author out there knows showers and baths can be our greatest source of inspiration for new ideas or plot fixes. However, they don’t always comply with the stories we want the idea or fix for. Why you ask? Simple. Because that would be too easy.

The other day as I was trying to figure out why I was staring through a keyhole at the White Rabbit for my Shard I was completely out of inspiration other than associating it with Alice in Wonderland. Naturally – while I was trying to determine the opposite of wonder – I told my friends I was going to go chase the rabbit down the drainpipe and see where it lead me.

A half hour later of shower pondering and EUREKA!

I had inspiration!

For the Wrong. Damn. Story.

I eventually figured out where the rabbit was leading me by the end of the shower, but the White Rabbit was not the plotline my brain original solved. No. Not even close. Instead, my mind decided to wander down a different path and throw me a possible solution to my epilogue issue for Fated to Darkness. I mean, I’m not totally sold that it will work yet, and it definitely needs some playing around with to make it work, but…it might work, and still allow me to use the epilogue how I wished to without hinting a major spoiler. Either way, I’m going to be playing carefully with words and description when I write this epilogue.

More than likely it’s still going to give me a headache no matter what.

But this eureka moment is a good start!

You know what else every author out there knows? That you can never have too many plot bunnies. Never ever. And that we need to invent immortality to write them all, but even then we’d never write them all because they would. Just. Keep. Coming.

Unfortunately, a cure to mortality has not yet been found.

But when I say they just keep coming, I mean that they literally never stop. In the midst of chasing the White Rabbit down my drainpipe and then writing the Shard, the whole thing suddenly took off with a full storyline and complete conflict and even a half spurted scene in my head and then, and then…!

Then guess who had another full on novel idea?

Yep. Me.

Just another novel screaming for attention now. A darkened, twisted, slightly altered version of Alice in Wonderland. All from a single picture. All from a Wednesday Word prompt. All from a simple, seemingly harmless Shard.

It’s not harmless anymore.

Alice in Wonderland has now become Alice in Court, and Alice is demanding her twisted version of the story be written before she decides to checkmate me instead of the Black Queen. (It makes sense in my head, I swear.) What makes this storyline even better is that a friend told me the copyrights to Disney for that story and characters are long past, which means I could still use the same names and all. Granted, I might change the name of Wonderland for the realm. I’m thinking something like Dreadland, but I need to play with it because the whole storyline evolves around a game of human chess, in a twisted way.

It’s amazing in my head right now. I was grinning from ear to ear for a good long while after writing the Shard.

If I’m keeping score too, this is probably about the sixth or seventh Shard screaming at me to become way more than flash fiction piece. (I’m blaming you, P.T.) Let’s count them all, shall we?

Starting from the beginning of my Shards, first there was Accident Twin that’s been vying for a plotline for awhile now. Originally it was sparked from a conversation with a friend. Then there’s One Little Secret that was originally sparked years ago by a simple phrase. After that came Embermyst, which most of my followers should know I did finish as a short story and got it published with Victory Tales Press last October. Mercy Me started to really nag at me too for it’s own storyline in at least a short story of some sort, so did Dead Souls Walking. After that Clockwork Heart reared its head, and that one is becoming either a short story or a novella, probably a novella. It’s also partly what I’ll be working on next month for Camp. Traitor is trying for its own novel, and one day probably will be its own because it involves a huge secondary – partly another main – character of Fated to Darkness. It would be a prequel kind of novel. Then there’s Betrayal in Duty, which is still trying rather hard to spark something more then the general idea I have already, but hasn’t gotten any further than the Shard yet. Dragonstone was rearing its head pretty damn hard, and really making me want to write a dragon/elf/leprechaun cross fantasy story. Last of all is Alice in Court now with a full on novel idea.

Ten. That’s ten Shards trying very hard to become something more than a Shard.

I’m going to need a lot more NaNo’s to write all of these, along with all the other novel ideas and half finished or partly started novels I already have, plus all the other ones planned in my head involving series or standalones or… UGH. I need to become immortal.

When is too many plot bunnies too many again?

Oh, right, never they say.

Well, at least two of them will be worked on in April. One of which will finally be finished!

Maybe I need to stop writing flash fiction so I stop sparking so many ideas.

……

Nah! Why would I do that when they’re fun and a good exercise for writing? Besides, I’m on my fourth week in a row with a place in the #ThursThreads challenge hosted by a fellow Snippeteer author! I got an honorable mention again this week! The best part about this week’s mention is it’s the 5th anniversary of the challenge which means there were prizes! Woooohooooo!

(I will share my honorable mention tale at the end of this post.)

Now, moving on a bit since it IS the eve of first Camp NaNoWriMo of 2017…

There’s a half hour left until the plunge into madness of Camp NaNo begins for me and my normal excitement for the challenge is revving its engine full strength! (I mean, that could also be attributed to the fact I’ve had a Monster coffee, but…) I can’t wait for it to start, because my first order of business is finishing Fated to Darkness! And I’ve got the first four days of April off to write like crazy! (Thank the Gods too because everything has gone to hell the past two days. I need a vacation, badly. I need a campfire and alcohol is more like it.)

Who else is participating in Camp this month? What do you plan to work on? What’s your crazy goal?

I’ll be starting my writing at midnight, per normal tradition for me now. Expect all the stories of Camp NaNo for next month of blog posts, it’s sure to be a fun ride!

And now I’ll leave you with my honorable mention tale to sign off for the week again:

The blast knocked me off my feet. Debris pelted me with an alarming force, tearing at my skin and clothes. Plumes of smoke and dust swallowed my vision and sucked away the air from the world around me.

My ears were ringing loudly, normal sound was muffled and far off. Cries. Screaming. Weeping. Shouting. Car alarms blaring in the background.

Anguish. I could hear anguish, and pain. Panic.

“Ma’am?”

I coughed and shakily pushed myself up to sit. My gaze traveled upwards. Smoke and flames licked the sky from the center of the 911 call center I had been walking past. Ash and dirt rained from the explosions like a spring shower. My eyes drifted around the block, ears still buzzing with a thousand bees.

Someone was scream-crying to my right, mere feet away, yelling someone’s name. A little boy was sprawled unnaturally at the woman’s side. Crushed under a too large chunk of cement blocks. Blood was pooling rapidly around his head.

Dead. He was already dead.

People were running frantically, passing by in a blur. A man tripped over my legs, then kept limping along. I pushed up more.

“Ma’am? Are you alright, ma’am? Can you hear me? Don’t move now.”

The bees in my ears quieted slightly and I registered the pedestrian kneeling at my side, checking me over. First responder training? Maybe. Another explosion rumbled the ground and I looked to the burning building. Someone else screamed shrilly.

Terror.

I heard someone yell terror attack.

thursthreads honorable mention badge year 5

And here is what thy judge said about my tale: No, the narrator is not alright. Are any of us, knowing that scenes like that take place all over the world day after day? Sometimes we need to crawl into the darkness to understand the problem.