Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nanowrimo Update

So...I sort of completely restarted Nanowrimo from 0 on Day 14 because my WIP was being effected by my emotional state post-election. So I dug through my WIP folder for a couple days until something finally spoke to me in the state I was in. The things I needed to say.

Out of that, Scout's Honor was born.

 I made a cover mock-up because it statistically increases your chances of winning. I've clawed and typed my way up to 24K words over the last six days so...that's good. I'm marginally hopeful that I'll finish this. I've written more than that in week before. I finished in two weeks last year so...Anything is possible.

So, what's this thing about?

When the US has been overtaken by despots, there's only one organization willing to try and take the country back. The Scouts aren't going to let tyranny reign.

Dinah, a Wing Scout and the daughter of the Scout Mistress General (missing for near four years now since a mission gone wrong), takes a major risk. Smuggled on to US soil, this Girl Scout is ready to fight back, find her mother and free a few Scouts while she's there.

And if she can finally throw down the terrible regime choking America? Well, the Girl Scout motto is "Be resist!"

And because I can't help it, my current favorite scene:

“When the doctor said you should push yourself,” Eddy remarked, “I don’t think this is precisely what she meant.”
I shrugged. “Exercising in the rehab gym was depressing.” I continued walking along the top of the fence. “I’m testing my balance.”
She shook her head, leaning back against a post. “If you fall, I will not be blamed for the scrapes and bruises.”
“This whole curmudgeon thing you do, you know it’s like, only more attractive to me. Right?” Did I say that out loud? Oh…fuck.
“And I admit you are pretty damn cute when you’re plotting to overthrow despotic regimes.”
I stumbled, airplaning my arms to regain my balance. Failing that, I tried to fall toward the grass rather than the sidewalk. The sensation of falling, of losing balance, my heart jumping into my throat—and then stopped by a firm grip as Eddy caught me.
Okay, this was not in any way making me less attracted to her.
“I thought you weren’t going to stop me from falling.”
“Never said that.” She peered down at me. “I said I wouldn’t be blamed.” Her nose wrinkled. “Didn’t think it would be this easy to sweep you off your feet.”
I groaned. “A pun? Really?”
“If it works? Yes.” She licked her lips. “I’m really glad you did something stupid and reckless and got me out of jail. Thank you. I meant to say it before but, thank you.”
“Oh, you know, it was nothing.” I swallowed nervously.
“Right.” She nodded, leaning closer to me, strong arms still holding me tight. “Can I kiss you?”
I was entirely okay with that but I couldn’t quite bring myself to speak in the moment. I could only nod, eyes wide as she pressed her lips to mine. I felt like the whole world had shifted suddenly. Kissing Eddy was like electricity tingling against my skin. She was decidedly in control of the encounter from every aspect an outsider could see but I couldn’t ever remember someone stopping to just ask that one little question before.
It made me feel…cherished. Important.
Eddy pulled back the moment I started to cry.
“Hey,” she got me standing again and put a hand on my cheek. Brows drawn down in worry. “Hey, are you all right? Did I hurt you?”
I shook my head. “No. No I just…that was perfect. I don’t know why I’m crying.”
“It’s okay.” She smiled. “Hug?”
“Okay.” She pulled me back into her arms, stroking my hair.
She gave me the time I needed to compose myself, not really caring if I got her shirt wet.
“You know,” I said as we finally began to walk back to the hospital. “If you need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here for you too. I don’t want you to think that I can’t be there for you. I want to be there for you.”
Eddy took my hand as we walked. “I know. Right now though? Right now you need me. And that’s okay.”
“Thank you.”
“Come on, we’ll get you some cocoa and see if we can’t find something decent to eat in the cafeteria.”
I snorted. “I really thought the food would get better once we got out of prison. You know?”
Eddy laughed. “Yeah. I know—maybe we can find a burger place on the way back.”
Here’s hoping.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stand Together

Reading Chuck Wendig's reaction helped me sort through some of my thoughts. Enough at least, to write some sort of reaction of my own.

We started with hope yesterday and we ended with fear. Anger. Despair. The thing that should not have come to pass has come to pass because our country is divided. It's divided, not by principles or religion as those who chose to elect that man to office would have you believe. It is divided by hate.

It is divided by the fear of the Other. Of Women. Of Muslims and Jewish people. Of the Black and Latinx communities. Of the LGBT+ community. They are afraid of us because we are different. They are afraid of us because they think we are somehow stealing from them. But that's not even close to the truth.

This man pointed at all of us and declared us the enemy, and for the shame of us all, white women showed up in droves to agree with him. Young white men. Old white men. They came out and declared with him that the Other was less than themselves.

We can take symbolic solace in the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, the fifth candidate to do so. The entirety of the night, as states began to be called, I couldn't help seeing parallels to the Gore/Bush election night. I couldn't help wondering if the Clinton camp would question the close races.

But Secretary Clinton conceded with grace, reminding us of the hopes and dreams we strove for during this election process. I, and so many others, stepped up to the polls yesterday morning and placed a vote for the woman we hoped we be our Madam President. Now, we look at the future in despair, wondering how to survive the next four years.

But we aren't going to just survive the next four years. We aren't going to hide. We have to use every scrap of political weight. Every right granted us. Every medium of expression.

And we fight.

I don't know what's coming next. I don't even know what our country will look like this evening, let alone come January.

This is only the beginning, and if nothing else we now know that we must renew our efforts for unity amongst the marginalized among us, even as we cut loose the cancer that has been exposed by this election. There are people I never expected to actually support that man who did so. I doubt if I'll manage forgiveness any time soon.

We are stronger together, as Chuck, as Hillary have said. So much stronger together.

I am still scared, but I'm moving into anger. And I'm going to put all of this emotion into my work. Because artists are powerful creatures. All of us. We can influence the world.

We just have to speak up, and stand together.