Last year about this time, my friend Renee and I decided to conduct an experiment. We would participate in NaNoWriMo so that we could bash it properly and with brain-splattering facts at our disposal.
Boy did that bite us in the ass.
Renee and I both wrote novels as a result – she “finished” 50k within the required 30 days. I did not. I did, however, manage to finish, demolish, rebuild, polish, and submit a book called REAPER which was picked up by Melange Books early last month (look for it next fall.)
Don’t misunderstand – the process was ANYTHING but simple. I started with a detailed (kind of) outline, but still found myself rehashing the plot when I was already thousands of words behind. I hated every second of it. The pressure was maddening! It didn’t help that every day greeted me with a feed filled with tweets by other NaNo-ers who COULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS. They’re all fucking liars. Really. Writing is fun. NaNo is torture.
But guess what. I’m doing it again because deja vu and karma are sleeping together now. And because Renee possesses magical voodoo powers of persuasion.
This time, I’ve got a little less than a month to prepare and I think I’m ready, which of course means I’m not. I’m knee deep in the first draft of another WIP, SACRIFICIAL LAMB CAKE, which needs to at least be close to finished by the time November 1 comes around. Provided there’s no major disaster between now and then… No, I’m not even going to say it.
Anyway, here’s a very brief synopsis of what I’ll be writing about – I’m calling it THE EVENING HOUSE:
Her name is Blythe Evening. She grew up on the Shoshone Duckworth Reservation in Nevada, but left when she turned eighteen. Being trapped on the Res wasn’t something a free spirit like Blythe was prepared to face.
Years later, her (barely legal) brothel is on the rocks. Sure, according to Nye County law, her establishment is on the up and up. But with mounting registration fees, girls skipping their tax payments, and having to navigate the treacherous waters of having her “unique” girls medically examined on a monthly basis, it’s getting harder and harder to keep her head above water. When officials from the tax collector’s office show up to The Evening House with an official notice to shutdown, Blythe goes to visit an old friend – a shaman by the name of Bud Firehorse – not for guidance (she doesn’t believe in all that mystical, vision quest crap), but for the best whiskey this side of the Rockies.
Drunk, she spills her issues to Bud and he gives her the same advice he’s been giving her for nearly two decades: go on your vision quest. Find your spirit guide. According to him, Blythe’s life has been destined to go downhill since her refusal of her guide’s help. Against her better judgement, she agrees to go on the quest.
Early the next morning, severely hungover and high on the shaman’s special peyote, Blythe wanders the wooded area surrounding the Res. She’s gone for nearly 12 hours when the hunger and peyote deliver a punch to her mind. She collapses and dreams of the Snake guide.
Snake, like all reptile guides, is despondent, violent, and prone to abnormal mood swings. But Snake is also the guide for change. Rebirth. At daybreak the next day, she is collected by Bud and Blythe tells him what she’s seen. He doesn’t seem hopeful.
When she returns to The Evening House, Blythe comes across a woman with scaly skin and a forked tongue – it’s her guide, Snake, and she’s here to help… or so she says. It doesn’t take long for Snake to turn Blythe’s life upside down, forcing her to have to not only try to save her business, but also to save Nevada from Snake.
Hope you all are as excited as I am. By that I mean take cover.
The end is Nye.
(See what I did there?)