Prologue: Discovering Home

So my attempt at NaNoWriMo 2015 was a bit on the Go Slow. Life got in the way. But I intend to finish the story I started.  So far I’m calling it, Discovering Home, but that’s its working title and may change.

The longest continuous piece I had written before NANoWriMo was only 1200 words and I beat that on my first NaNo day with 1696 words. But I hadn’t actually expected to hit the 50,000-word mark on my first attempt. I feel like I’m ok with beginning and ends, but struggle with the middles. It’s probably why I love writing the Friday Fictioneers 100 word stories, there isn’t room for middle fluff. Next year I will definitely try to plan for my book, rather then just seeing what happens like this year.

I decided to get myself motivated again I’d share a little bit of my work in progress.

Disco Home CollageBlurb (thus far): Joe is a young woman trying to decipher the secrets of her family history after her grandmother mysteriously disappears.

A fictional story about family with a romantic (maybe) and paranormal (definitely) twist.

* * *   Prologue   * * *

My Grandmother’s house only had two bedrooms, but those two bed rooms held a lot of secrets. So many secrets that I believe that still don’t know them all. But I’m getting there. For the past six months I’ve been reading through my grandmother’s diaries. She wrote in a diary every day. There is a half-finished entry from the day she disappeared. It reads “the trees are quiet and look still, but I can feel something moving, hiding in their branches. I think it’s about time I told Josephine about th…” and that’s where it finishes.

Finding the diary open and my Grammy Mac missing has prompted me to sift through her private diaries. A part of me keeps expecting her to walk into the bedroom and scold me like when I was five and caught going through her things. But she never does. And the longer she’s gone, the more I wish she would.

I always thought my grandmother and I were close, she practically raised me. But in reading her Diaries I realise there was so much more to her. So much more I wish she had shared. My dad went AWOL when he found out my mother was pregnant with me and my mother chose the voices in her head over me the day she drove of off the Newton Street jetty.

My grandmother was born Martha Josephine Fionnula Mac a’Bhaird, yeah it’s a mouthful. She was born in 1938 in Glasgow, Scotland. But grew up in the small town a Cranford away up in the snowy mountains of New South wales, Australia. She was raised by three aunts, they brought her over from Scotland when she was only seven years old. I’d never heard her speak of her mother or father. I wished I’d asked more, but I always felt uncomfortable bringing it up.

I am lost. I am struggling without her here. Even with the age difference between us she was always my best friend. I stare out of her window and glare at those trees. Oh how I wish they could tell me something, anything, about where my Grammy has gone.

Today is the 25th of December 2005, Christmas Day and it’s my 18th birthday. Six months Grammy’s been gone. Six months since I’ve slept or eaten properly. Endless reading of yellowed pages and elegant handwritten script. I can’t even remember the last time I left the house or showered. I don’t smell too bad, so I’m guessing it’s only a few days. I know this isn’t how she’d want me to live.

I’ve made the decision to move all the furniture and Grammy’s personal items into a storage unit. I intend on selling Grammy’s house. My boss at the local newsagents was really kind and understanding, it took her two months of me not showing up to work to fire me. There really isn’t anything left for me here.

I can’t really explain how I feel; I know it’s not natural. I understand grief and depression, but this is something more, it’s like I can’t physically do anything but obsessively read through the diary’s. Sometimes I think I can feel a presence in the trees, but then I realise I haven’t slept for thirty plus hours and I am just sleep deprived.

© Sarah Fairbairn

NaNoWriMo: I’ll give it a go

crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76For those who don’t know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. On the 1st November each year a bunch of crazy people partake in NaNoWriMo, working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. That averages out to 1667 words each day for 30 days – scary.

I will be one of these crazy people this year!!!! I had intended on partaking last year but psyched myself out.

I’ve got four book reviews to publish before November and a blogiversy post on the 28th. I intend to keep up my Sunday Bookish Babble post, but I won’t be posting much else in November.

I have no idea what I’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo. I’ve got some short stories / flash fiction pieces that I might extend on, but i’ll probably just sit down on the first of November and see what comes out.

NaNoWriMo Oh No!

So it’s just occurred to me that I’ve missed NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I first heard about it last year when I stepped into the Twitter & Blog world. It was founded back in 1999 by 21 authors from San Francisco area who wanted to motivate themselves to produce more written work. I wasn’t ready to have a go last year as the challenge requires authors to produce a complete 50,000 word novel during November. The novel doesn’t have to be spectacular and there are no rules that say you have to publish it. The main goal of NaNoWriMo is to get writers into the habit of regular and disciplined writing with a clear end-goal in place.

It’s only just dawned on me that the date is the 24th November and that NaNoWriMo is November 1st – 30th NOOOOOO!, I’d been so busy with TAFE and setting up our new home that I’d completely forgot about it.

I’ve just gone and put a reminder in my phone for the middle of October next year and in my diary so I can get myself organised and signed up in 2015.