Wednesday, 28 November 2012

From the No in NaNoWriMo

This post should probably have been titled, "Who has time to write when writing?" It's the final lap of NaNoWriMo and, I gotta tell you, I've been thinking about how best to post to the blog while not cut too much into my writing schedule. I work days. I write on the train in the mornings - send an email to myself - and I write longer pieces at night. So, at this point, to get to today's word goal of 1667, I need to write 1352 words before I start feeling sleepy. 

How best? Post an excerpt from the novel. It is therefore my pleasure to share the following slice with you - and to save time. ;-) And, by the way, this part is about a not-so-nice-guy.  There are not-so-nice girls, too. Now, who's ready for this story written, adventurously, in the first person?  

"When I'd got back to Canada after my ten-day trip, I got a text from him the very evening I got in, while I was still at the airport. I was waiting on my luggage when my phone alerted me. We planned to meet up the following day, a Sunday. I didn't have a car then. It was during the job-hunting period and affording a car was out of the question. I was living in Etobicoke at the time, off Old Mill Road. He was coming in from downtown Toronto. He picked me up at about two o'clock and we went out for a late lunch and caught a movie afterward.  Being summer, the day was super long and we hadn't made any plans to fill the time. So, we drove down to the Beaches and spent a couple hours chilling, alternating between the Boardwalk and a nice secluded spot lined with huge rocks, just past the dog playground area. It was in that nice spot, with water splashing up against the rocks, and the sparkles of the sun's rays catching our eyes as they glistened off the water beyond, that he leaned over and kissed me. At first, he was kind of hesitant. He hadn't asked, he had just leaned in. But, I had put up no resistance. My right hand was on the rock and my left was in my lap. It wasn't a long kiss and it wasn't a deep kiss. It was just a kiss. I remember him looking away right after and saying how we lucked out for it was such a beautiful day. I agreed with him. We left that spot and sat on the Boardwalk for a little while, people-watching and people-and-their-dogs watching, then we headed back. 

When he pulled into the driveway, he switched off the car. I wasn't quite sure whether I should invite him up. I had, still, only just met him. The majority of our interactions had taken place online and over the phone. Plus, he was not a Christian, as far as I'd heard him talk. I was attracted to him, for sure. But, I wasn't so sure that I wanted him in my home space just yet. So, there we sat for a few seconds until he broke the silence.

"You know, I always find that there's something about women who are in the church. They're always so sweet, but, if you ever get them into bed, it's like they just want to ravish you. It's like, because they haven't been having sex, when they get a chance to do it, they are so hungry for it, and I just want to ravish them back," he said.

My eyebrows were diplomatically raised. How many of these church women had he had? And, was I just another one for him to ravish? "What?" I replied.

"You know what I'm talking about, right?"

"I think so. But, I have no clue how that came up out of the blue - "

"It came up because, well, I'm sitting here thinking about how far we would go if you were to invite me in."

"Ahhh. I see. Well, I don't know that we're anywhere near that," I offered.

"Hmm," he responded. "So, what are your plans for the rest of the summer?" he asked.

"Oh, I dunno. Continue my full-time job of job hunting, I guess."

"You and the thousands of new grads."

"Yep. Can't be sidetracked by that. I know the timing isn't great, either. Hiring should pick up in the fall, but, in the meantime, you never know. It still pays to keep and it and be prepared for that one call. What will you be doing for the rest of the summer?" I asked.

"Well, I'll be getting married," he said, looking straight ahead as he said it, then glancing at me right after. I don't know what he expected to see.

"Congratulations," I said as I met his glance. I even managed a smile and a downward tilt of my chin. "When's the wedding?" I asked.

"Next month, the third Saturday," he replied. He was looking at me now, more engaged in the conversation.

"Well, all the best," I said.


"By the way, when were you planning to tell me?"

"I have been thinking about mentioning it for a while now - "

"A while? Would that while have been before or after you talked to my parents and were all nice and chatty with them, talking about visiting them? Was it before or after you kissed me? Or, no. Was it before or after you talked about ravishing church women? Who are you?"

"Your parents are nice folks! Why would I not enjoy the conversation with them?"

"That is not the point, Stan! So, wait, all your talk about visiting, where, of course, you had me thinking that it's a trip I would be making with you - "

"I said nothing about you and I - "

"Again, that is not the point!"

"So, what is the point?"

"Don't act that way. Don't. The point is that you practically met and hung out with my parents on the phone for close to an hour, giving them a solid impression that you were interested in their daughter, and, quite possibly, meeting them and spending time with them in person. Then, after my sharing those precious persons in my life with you, you now turn around and slap us in the face? Dash their assumptions and possible expectations like that?"

"Are you sure you're not talking about your assumptions and expectations?"

"Mine, theirs, ours. It doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is that you did all of this knowing full well that in a matter of weeks you are going to be marrying someone. Marrying someone! You're getting married, for crying out loud!"

"Listen, there's no need to get so dramatic? It's not as if you weren't having a good time as well," he said.

"Why would I not? Of course I was, but I am not the one with the hidden knowledge that you are committed to someone else? And about to make an even stronger commitment?"

"I don't know where you have been living but these things happen all the time. Sometimes a guy just wants one last fling before he makes that permanent commitment, you know? Some women do it too. Don't act like you don't know this."

"First, I have been living away from the likes of men like you. Second, I am not one of the women who would ever do that, or do it to another woman's fiancé and third, I have to go."

I let myself out of his car and hoped to God he would not follow me to the door. There were two sets of double doors to the apartment complex. I just needed to put in my code for the second set, get through them and close them behind me. He didn't follow me. As a matter of fact, he didn't even wait until I got to the second set. Once I was inside the first, he drove off.

When I'd reached inside my apartment, I sat in the living room for a while, allowing it all to sink in. It hadn't quite sunk in before I started to cry. I thought then that I must be wearing an invisible sign or something - invisible to me. I got up and, as the sun shone in my bedroom, I lay across the bed, hugged my pillow and cried.  

When I'd finally got a job in the fall that year, I set out for downtown Toronto for the first day back at work in how long. I had thought of Stan on and off for months after. For some reason, in the night and earlier that morning, I thought of him again and how bad he had deceived my parents and me. Maybe I thought of him because I was setting out to work and, deep down, I wanted to show him! Whatever the reason, he was constantly on my mind. I mean , if it were just me, I would not have felt as awful as I did. But, my parents had been dragged into this conniving scheme so innocently. And, I partly blamed myself for it. As the train's light came down the dark tunnel, I couldn't help but feel that if he were ever on the platform with me, at that very moment, I would time the train. How I felt like I would push him off, just in that split second. Then, I'd quickly make my way through the crowd and up the escalator two steps at a time. I would turn my fall jacket inside out, pull my scrunchie out of my hair and ruffle it up a bit. Then, I'd make my way down the other escalator and get lost in that crowd. There are cameras all over. If I did happen to get caught, guess it would mean an early retirement with three square meals a day. As I came out of fantasy land I knew that I didn't really feel like killing him. I just wished him dead."

Oh, before I forget, I gotta say this as a reminder. The above excerpt, like all my blog's content, is copyright material. While I gladly permit sharing of the link to the blog, please don't share, in whole or in part, any of the content without my written permission. Thank you, kindly. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Baby Love

There are several people in my life who are expecting. I've had the pleasure of sharing, in some way, shape or form, in their lives. It's one of the reasons this post will be a short one. This weekend was all about prepping for the baby shower for someone in my family. It was a surprise shower and, oh yes! She was indeed surprised.

Apart from her, my son's mother in Kenya is also expecting. Yeah. That'd be the mother of my sponsored child, Carlen.  He "wrote" to ask me to pray for his mom and for a safe delivery. He's a sweetheart. A couple of friends from church are in the family way, as well. One of them said her's in due in April. Well, I just hope she does have him/her in the best month of the year.

Like I said at the shower today, a quote I've used here before, "Babies are a great way to start people."  But, I shall leave you with quotes from my niece who just turned four. When we asked her to say something for the video (and longevity), she stuck out her index finger toward the parents-to-be and said, "You have to be careful with him, because he's delicate!" (She just got a baby brother.) And, the cherry on top? When asked what should they expect when the baby comes, "You should"


Thursday, 8 November 2012

The WriMo and the Reason

I'm back in NaNoWriMo. That's National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated. :-) It's my third year where I get to write a novel/novella of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. Zowie! Yeah, I'm that overjoyed. No, really. You may have heard the saying. "Writers don't need time, what we need is a deadline"? Well, it's kinda like that.

And, that's why I'm back - to feed off that push; that oomph! NaNoWriMo has helped me with the discipline for routine writing. There's a target word count per day - or night, in my case - and it helps keep me on track. (I had extra words in my "word bank" on the US presidential election night! Didn't let it interfere with the writing, though. But, I had 'em, just in case. By the way, congratulations, Mr. President! All the best to you and the US of A.)

From the past two WriMo events, I've had practice in how to craft a story and hold it together over a longer stretch. This time, I have a feeling I'm gonna go past the word count goal. And, if not, I'm thinking I'll have a bit more to write even after it's done. I've basically tuned out the writing advice on Twitter, etc. The last bit I faved said, "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." (Ernest Hemingway) And I thought, if I write one true sentence after another, this should be good. The other before that was, "Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet." (Zadie Smith). Brilliant. So, that's what I do.

When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was doing NaNoWriMo again this year, he said stteo: "I believe you still have that #1 Best Seller in you. Just write with your heart and soul. You have been writing with your heart and hand; write with your heart and soul."!

So, having prayed about it and asked the Holy Spirit to write through me, that's what I've been doing since November 1.  I imagine it won't be an easy read for some. But, I believe it will be a must read for many.

Cover me, oh God. I'm going in.