Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNo - Day Seven

Trinity here!
Well, up until now, I haven't been able to justify writing a post when I'm so far behind. I will catch up though, I swear it. (Great, I'm starting to talk like my characters)
Okay, lots to talk about, not much time or brain power to do it with. I cannot guarantee this post will follow a logical sort of... linear... something. Line. It may not make a lot of sense. It's gonna be in a sort of stream-of-consciousness format.

My total word count for today should be at 11,669 words. It's at 6,859. I'm  4,810 words behind. And I'll be 6,477 words behind tomorrow (if I don't catch up tonight). I'm starting to get discouraged. I'm told that the second week is the hardest. However, I'm seeing people that are writing several thousand words in one sitting, and I'm determined to do it as well. I will finish this novel by November 30th, and I will do it without becoming a recluse when it comes time for Thanksgiving.

My method of writing is to put everything down longhand in my notebook and then type it up on Scrivener (I'll explain exactly what that is some other post. Suffice it to say it's a novel writing/organizing program.). That way, I can get a touch of editing done as I copy it over. Just enough to fix a sentence, or add in a paragraph I meant to put in in the first place. Nothing major.
It is more time consuming to do it like that, but this way I can write anywhere without having to be in front of the computer, and I can reference past scenes while writing.

I've been using my new headphones like crazy. I've discovered the wonders of white, pink, and brown noise, which help tremendously to block out the sound of siblings, music, and just general outside noises. I also listen to my "Epic Music" list while writing (which you can see and listen to on the sidebar). My current favorite song is Dream Chasers by Future World Music.

Dream Chasers

This Saturday, I hope to do as much writing as is possible for me to do. I intend to get myself caught up by the end of this week. Also, once I get to 10,00 words, I'm planning to reward myself, though I'm not sure with what yet. I want to do that every 10,000 words. If When I reach 50,000 words, I'm planning to purchase this ring with the words "NaNoWriMo 2012" engraved on it. But only if when I finish.

Finally, an excerpt from my novel:

Cassie Lyndon frowned at the instrument in front of her and then glanced at her work. They couldn’t possibly be right. She must have made a mistake. Again.
“Professor? Could you come look at this, please?” She asked tentatively.
Professor James looked up from another student he was helping. “Again, Cassie? Haven’t you figured it out yet?”
Cassie swallowed hard and blinked back tears of frustration. It had been a very long day and she was so tired. Tired of standing, tired of sitting, tired of hunching over and studying, but most of all, she was tired of thinking. She just wanted to go home and go to bed. “No, sir. I thought I had it, but these readings aren’t right.”
The professor sighed. “Alright, I’ll be there in a minute.”
Cassie sat down, adjusted her glasses and began going over the readings again, desperate to find the mistake she had made before the professor pointed it out to her. She could hardly focus on the words and numbers, but she managed to work through them once and couldn’t find the error. A few seconds after she finished, Professor James was at her shoulder.
“Let’s see your work.” He said quietly.
She handed her papers over and waited.
After several very minutes, he frowned. “I don’t see any problems, Cassie. You clearly understand the concepts we’ve been going over.”
“But, sir, look at the seismograph.”
Professor James leaned over to study it. “That can’t be right. It must be malfunctioning.”
From across the room, another student called, “Professor, my seismograph is going crazy! I can’t get a proper reading.”
“Me neither!”
“Mine’s freaking out, Professor!”
Students from around the room joined the chorus of confused complaints.
Professor James darted from station to station, a slightly wild look in his eyes, muttering, “China, Australia, Hawaii… they can’t all be… It’s not possible…”
Suddenly, the classroom began to shake and everyone fell silent, looking to the professor.
“Under the desks!” He snapped abruptly, startling everyone into action.
Cassie dived under her desk, nearly colliding with one of her classmates. They exchanged frightened glances as the shaking intensified. A cup on one of the desks fell over, dumping out a large collection of pens. It continued on and on. No one spoke, but Cassie heard a girl whimper from across the room.
Her companion under the desk glanced up from his watch and murmured, “Average earthquake length is two to four minutes.”
“How long has it been?” She whispered.
Cassie huddled deeper underneath the desk and they waited. The shaking went on and on. After fifteen minutes, the adrenaline had left her system and Cassie was exhausted. She slumped against her classmate but couldn’t fall asleep. So they waited.
Finally, after what seemed like an hour, but was really thirty minutes, the shaking died down and then stopped. Cassie cautiously began to crawl out from under the desk, and so did several other students.
“Aftershocks!” Professor James snapped, and they scrambled back.
Sure enough, less than a minute later, an aftershock hit.
Cassie covered her face as she saw the walls of the classroom flex. This isn’t happening. It’s not happening. It’s just a nightmare. It has to be a nightmare.
It was almost two hours before the professor finally let them leave their desk refuges. Cassie snatched up her purse and ran for the door. When she opened it, a cloud of dust billowed in and covered her from head to foot. When it cleared, she stepped forward and then screamed, “Professor!”
Professor James darted forward to take a look around. His shoulders slumped and he ran his hands through his hair. The entire school has collapsed around them. Their classroom was the only one left standing. In fact, as far as the eye could see, there was no other building left standing. Sirens could be heard all across the city.
The other students crowded around to look out the door, gasping in shock. One of the girls began crying. The student that Cassie has sheltered with, Steve, pulled out his phone and tried to call home.
“No signal.” He reported. “The cell towers are probably down.”
Professor James walked back into the classroom and opened a drawer in his desk. “Try using mine. It’s a satphone. It should still work.”
Steve dialed while the professor watched him nervously. Steve put the phone to his ear, waited for a long moment, then shook his head.
Professor James took the phone back, hands trembling slightly, and dialed another number, saying in explanation, “Maybe your recipient has no signal either. I know someone else who has a satphone and always keeps it close. Let me call him.”
The class waited with bated breath. The professor waited for several agonizingly long seconds. Finally, he shook his head as well and set it down. He was silent for a minute, then looked up and said, “It’s not even connecting. Does anyone realize what that means?”
“Aliens are attacking and they’ve shot down our satellites!” One girl exclaimed hysterically.
The professor, as well as most of the class, glared at her. “No, Samantha. This is no time to panic or entertain such ridiculous thoughts.”
He took a deep breath, then gave them a small, sad smile. “This may be your last class for a long while, so pay attention. It seems that we may have just had, as impossible as it may seem, a worldwide earthquake.”
“Worldwide?” Steve exclaimed. Then he stared at the professor, open-mouthed. “The satellites… No way.”
Professor James nodded. “Back in 2010, there was an earthquake in Chile. The sixth largest earthquake ever recorded. It was large enough to pull the earth’s circumference in about three inches, and shortened the 24 hour day by 1.26 microseconds.”
Steve nodded, but the rest of the class looked confused.
The professor sighed and said, “Satellites depend on very, very accurate timing to work properly. A worldwide earthquake would render years of careful calculations worthless. The satellites are still up there, but they can’t connect to us. If they’re still on course.”
One of the students spoke up and asked, “So? Why should we care if a bunch of space satellites aren’t aimed right?”
Steve whirled on him and exclaimed angrily, “Because if the earthquake was big enough to knock satellites off course, what do you think it did to New York? Or London? Or your home?! We’re obviously really lucky that this room didn’t collapse and kill us!”
The professor broke in. “You are correct, though, Jamie. The satellites are the least of our worries. An earthquake of this magnitude, even if it wasn’t worldwide, has devastating consequences. Tsunamis. Teletsunamis. Ground ruptures. Floods, fires, landslides and avalanches. This is a disaster like we’ve never seen before.”
“Professor,” Cassie said, “I want to go home.”
“I doubt the dorms are still standing.” He sighed.
“No, I want to go check on my family. I want to go home.”
“Do they live in town?” Steve asked.
Cassie shook her head and blinked back tears once more. “No, they live two hours away.”
Professor James gave her a sympathetic look. “Cassie, traveling that far… The roads have probably been destroyed. There’s more aftershocks on the way, and people are probably panicking, if not rioting in the streets. It’s just not safe.”
“I want to go home.” She repeated stubbornly.
“Cassie,” The professor began again, but Steve interrupted him.
“Is your car in the parking garage?”
Cassie blinked in surprise, then said, “No. I parked in the field. I always park in the field.”
“So your car’s probably okay then. I’ll make you a deal. My family lives nearby. If you help me get to them, I’ll help you get to your family.” Seeing she looked doubtful, he added, “There’s safety in numbers.”
Frowning, she said, “That hardly seems fair, though. My family’s a lot farther away than yours.”
He grinned ruefully and explained, “My house is really hard to get to. And besides, once we get there, if it’s still standing, we can get some food and and I’m sure my parents will let you crash there for the night.”
“Well, the dorms are probably trashed. And it’s already seven-fifteen. Where were you planning to stay?”
“At home.” She said numbly.
“You might’ve been able to make it there in two hours yesterday, but it’ll take two days after this.” He said, almost apologetically.
Cassie glanced around the room. The professor had moved along to discuss a course of action with the other students. Most of them seemed to want to stay, to hide from the disaster in their cocoon of normality.
“Yo.” Steve waved a hand in front of her face. “You in?”
“Yeah,” Cassie nodded, “Yeah, I’m in.”
“No point in waiting. It’s not going to get any better out there.”
“Let’s go, then.” She said, slinging her purse over shoulder and they walked to the door.
Steve put his hand on the doorknob, looked at her and asked, “You ready?”
“No,” Cassie took a deep breath, “But let’s go anyway.”
He opened the door and they stepped out into a changed world.

Keep in mind I didn't do a lot of research on earthquakes, seismographs, etc, etc, so my terminology may be off, and that this is only a rough first draft. 


  1. Dream Chasers is one of my favorites, as well. ^.^

    By the way, would it be possible for you to add a members widget to your sidebar? It'd be much easier to follow your blog if I could join the site and be updated on all new posts on my blogger dashboard.

    Oh! Good work on the exerpt, as well. I was behind the other day and stayed up late to write about three thousand words to catch up. I did it, and so can you. Keep going!

  2. Whoops! Sure, I'll get that up right now.
    I think I may have to get permission to stay up late and devote myself to writing for a couple solid hours if I want to get caught up.


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