Archive for the ‘Chunks Of Story’ Category

#$10novel – Day 1 : BAM!

Say it again. BAM!

Well, my fine followers, i have succeeded in saving myself $10 while saving Dave from overeating. All and all a good day.

No $10 for Dave. Instead, he gets a picture of a puppy.

With much trepidation, i present a fragment from today’s writing:

    Ras and Beth and Brian sat silently around a salad made from wild Purslane and Yucca flowers Brian had collected. He’d also come back with mulberry wine stolen from Chris’ trailer. “There’s a plan, right?”
    Ras was too sleepy to look at him, and she felt unsure. “Like I said, we’ll need a car.” She hadn’t wanted to mention this part. “The client didn’t pay anything up front.”
    Brian choked and ultimately spit wine. “What?”
    She put her hands to her face. “I know, it’s just…”
    “He didn’t give you any money, how do you know he’ll pay when we get there?”
    She shrugged. There was no way she was going to convince them to do this. “I just know.”
    Beth scratched her nose, looked sleepy. “I’m excited.” She took Ras’ hand. “I’ve always wanted to live up north.”
    “No you haven’t.” Brian looked sullen. But he took Beth and Ras’ hands. “How will we get up there?”
    Their hands felt warm. Ras felt lighter than she had in weeks. “We get a car and just figure something out.”
    Brian used his free hand to pick at a fibrous chunk of carpet remnant. “You certainly have a lot of faith.”
    She beamed. “You have no idea.”

There. Let’s move on…

Now my problem is to get 3000 words done without it taking ALL DAY. Whew!

Tune in tomorrow: As Sean Markey tries to take my hard earned $10!



No, seriously, keep reading.

If you’ve been tracking me, you know this book has been a major pain. Well, i’m done screwing around with it. I’m sick of whining about it, i just want it done … at least the first draft.

So i have a plan.

And you can help.

First off, i’m doing the NaNoWriMo thing. I can have this book completely done in 25 days if i write, rewrite or edit 3000 words a day (roughly 15 pages.) Hell, my friend Devon writes 5000 new words practically every day, and she knits and is raising 200 children and and and … so i can … well … she’s a lot cooler than me, but i’ll still do it!

But like i said, i’m sick of the back and forth, so i’m adding an element of danger and possibly giving away cash prizes in the meantime.

Here’s the deal.

Sign up for a day on the list below. Either in the comments or send me an email. If, on your day, i don’t increase the length of my novel manuscript by 3000 words, i’ll mail or Paypal you $10.

No catches, no exceptions. This isn’t a bet. If i DO succeed in hitting my word goal for the day, rather than getting $10, you’ll get a lovely handcrafted email thanking you for helping me motivate. See? Win win!

Sign up for a day. First come first serve! Send me your name and a site, blog, twitter to link to. I’ll put you on the calendar. Tell your friends! 25 days is a lot to fill up.


[UPDATE] OK! Here’s the lucky contestants:

Saturday, May 16th: Dave Lerner
Sunday, May 17th: Sean Markey
Monday, May 18th: Amal El-Mohtar
Tuesday, May 19th: AnarchicQ
Wednesday, May 20th: John Burridge
Thursday, May 21st: Chris Battey
Friday, May 22nd: Ethan McCutchen and Nina Kiriki Hoffman (DOUBLE DAY!)
Saturday, May 23rd: Beth Wodzinski
Sunday, May 24th: Pati Nagle
Monday, May 25th: Kishi
Tuesday, May 26th: Emily Mangan
Wednesday, May 27th: Loreen Heneghan
Thursday, May 28th: Holly Arrow
Friday, May 29th: Arashinomoui and Bruce Holland Rogers (DOUBLE DAY!)
Saturday, May 30th: Merchimerch
Sunday, May 31st: Dave Raines
Monday, June 1st: Kevin Kenan
Tuesday, June 2nd: Rachel A
Wednesday, June 3rd: The Ferrett
Thursday, June 4th: Diana Standish
Friday, June 5th: Misa Arant and Jerry Oltion (DOUBLE DAY!)
Saturday, June 6th: Lydia Rhoads
Sunday, June 7th: Josh English
Monday, June 8th: Teng Chek
Tuesday, June 9th: J Peters
Wednesday, June 10th: Valerie Polichar and Eugene Fischer (DOUBLE DAY!)
Who wants to make some money? Well, no one, because i intend to hit my goal everyday.

Bring it on.

art day 50 – [story fragment] Red Hot Rush

Whoa, i’ve been doing this for 50 days? Sheesh!

I didn’t have anything immediately ready this morning, so i did some five-minute writing exercises and this little chunk annoyed me the least.

I haven’t figured out why its working title is, “Red Hot Rush” yet. Maybe it has something to do with pizza. (As always, the views of my annoying cynical characters do not necessarily reflect the views of the author. K? K!)

I think this was about to get seriously surreal when the timer went off.


Increasing night-blindness was starting to put a real crimp in Hal’s driving. Doing pizza delivery at fifty-five was humiliating, but so would being a bum. No driving, no job. No job, no crappy apartment with cockroaches. No apartment, bum.

He already felt like a bum. He dressed like one. If he wasn’t driving a car, he might be indistinguishable from a bum. Some bums had car’s, they lived in them. That was probably a lot cheaper.
And yeah, it wasn’t PC to call them bums. Bums and bag lady’s?

Was there a male counterpart to a bag lady? Were all bums male? He’d have to investigate. He got off the pizza job at two AM and could probably sneak into the library to check Wikipedia.

He had a volunteer pass at the library, and with it he could sneak in at night. There was the constant fear of being caught, but he couldn’t let the damn pass go to waste, could he? Not when the vast Internet lay waiting for him out there.

He was lost. Or rather, he thought he was lost. It was hard to tell when he couldn’t read any of the signs.

In a minute, he’d need to pull over and examine a street sign up close.

Through the fogged window, street signs looked like dessicated trees, buildings looked like the looming walls of a sea canal.


art day 38 – [story fragment] Tap tap tap

This little piece of weirdness came out of a five minute exercise:


Sometimes I type. I sit with my hands perfectly spaced, little j and f nubs under my index fingers. Sometimes I pretend to type and I sit with my hands poised as though ready for action, my brow furrowed as if I had been caught just that second in the middle of the very groundbreaking thought that would set the cardboard manufacturing industry on its ear.
I like to imagine everyone thinking, “Oh, how productive he is. That Johnson is a go-getter, he is.”
Tap tap tap.
Sometimes I type, but without intent. I just tappity tappity tappity with abandon, my mind off in the farthest reaches of time and space.
Sometimes the letters clump together and make all sorts of pretty shapes on the screen. Sometime words spontaneously appear within the noise. Sometimes they tell me things.
Tap tap tap.

art day 25 – [story fragment] Rubber Duckies

This little chunk of cynical just sorta popped out. Hmmm… i haven’t figured out if there’s anybody to like in this, or … um, what anybody’s doing. Ah well, into the “Story Starts” folder with you.


I got the nickname Nix when I was fourteen. I thought it was cool, like the guys had stopped thinking of me as the token girl, like I had finally bought some status in the gang. It was three, maybe three and a half months later when I learned what it meant. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
After that, I think I kept the name because I wanted everyone to think it rolled off of me. Like my nerve endings had gone numb.
Not that I had much choice anyway. Once you were branded in the gang, that was it for life. The same time I figured out what Nix meant was when I started to feel more confused about what friends meant.
Don’t get the wrong idea from the word “gang.” I’m talking about a bunch of nerdy suburban white kids. Ducky, Erik and Eric. Rick, Pat and me. I found out later Ducky spread rumors they were all screwing me. Buying status with kids cooler than us.
The gang weren’t very kind to each other either. Ducky made names for everyone. Eric was Virgin. Pat was Stick. They called Rick Spoon Boy, from some drunken story Ducky made up about a boy who lives on a toilet, eating shit.
Ducky named us all. We each had a superhero name. We each had a Godzilla Monster name, and a wrestling name.
I was Nix, Capt. Pox, Rodan, and The Masked Vagina.
I never figured why we looked up to Ducky. He was our fashion. He made our fads and broke them.
And he always got his way, could lay any chick he wanted. Except for me. And to be honest, sometimes I thought about it.