“What’s that smell?”
“Oh my God. You’re not going to…”
“Well clutch the pearls at the very thought! Of course I’m not going to track dog shit onto your pristine wood floors. What kind of barbarian do you think I am?”
“Are you mad at me?”
“No. I’m mad at the fact that there is dog shit in our yard but we don’t own a damn dog. I’m mad at the fact that no matter what I do, it still comes down to the killing. So much death. I’m sick of it.”
“Then perhaps you shouldn’t have taken the job.”
Clarissa turned toward her sister, hands flexing closed slowly. Each knuckle uttering a small pop at the tension in her tightening fists. Her sister’s bone structure had always been slight. A twist of the genetic code that gave her sister the frailty of a bird and Clarissa the density of an ox. The effort of reaching for her sister’s throat would cost more energy than snapping her neck once Clarissa had her throat encased. More death. Clarissa’s shoulders slumped. She instead sat heavily in the large wicker chair on the back porch, directing her hands to concentrate their murderous intent on loosening the laces of her steel toed work boots. By the time she was done, her sister’s shade had evaporated back into the ether from which her over taxed psyche had conjured it.
“Damn it!” Lorna swore. “Never start off with a flashback or a dream sequence.” She threw the pen down in frustration. Technically, the few lines she’d written didn’t constitute as either, but that didn’t matter to the writing teacher slash demonic critic she carried around in her head. Each workshop, every writing class, all the tips and techniques she’d learned over the years about the craft of writing, sat in her inner critic’s library. Said inner critic being all too happy to trot them out at the slightest provocation in order to shame Lorna into believing she’d never, ever, get published.
Yeah, so about my NaNo effort this year…so far anyway. I don’t have a block; the story is there, the characters are talking and my Muse is right here with me whispering His sweet nothings of encouragement. I know what I want to write, I know how it’s all going to end. So why hasn’t my word count begun the incline to NaNo victory yet? I have very little idea. I used to be able to blame Facebook but I deleted my account months ago now, along with Twitter. I don’t have any of the other time sucking, social media distractions, er…profiles. I do enjoy my WordPress reader feed, but even that isn’t a legitimate distraction as the bloggers I follow tend to post at a reasonable rate, so once I read through in the mornings, there’s no need to keep coming back for hours and hours at a time.
The truth is, I just don’t feel driven to race to the finish like I have in the past. Mind you, that didn’t stop the above Plot Bunny from hopping into the field this morning. There’s a story there, I just know it, so I’ll be adding that little tid-bit to a file folder on my hard drive. Perhaps something will come of it, perhaps not. Meanwhile, I’ve got another book on my Kindle that’s screaming to be read, and a promise to a writer friend of mine to finish a book of his I started a significant number of months ago. The book is fantastic so far, just a bit more grand in scale than my usual fare. I tackled an English translation of Les Miserables and it took me a year, I think, to read that. His book is along those lines in terms of length and detail but I did promise to finish it before the year’s over.
You see – distracted again. I “should” be writing. I “should” be knocking my NaNo word count down like it was nothing. I’ve got the words, I’ve got the time, and ample opportunity. Instead, I’m staring at my Kindle wanting to hurry up and get back to reading. I sat up last night until three o’clock this morning, racing to finish the latest Dresden Files book. O.M.G. well worth the lack of sleep, let me tell you. I could blame it on a drive to finish another challenge I entered this year – my reading challenge on Goodreads. I challenged myself to read 30 books by December 31st and I’m just shy of the goal by four books I think. But eh, I’m not really driven to read because of the challenge. I’m not sure why I started shoving all these books into my brain. I do know something changed and I just started reading. I’ve tossed back seven books since October 1st. Not sure how many words or pages that equals, but I do know my eyesight is suffering for the effort.
Could that be what keeps me from popping open the lap top once I’m home and pulling up my NaNo project? The fact that by one or two in the afternoon, looking at a screen has me seeing double?