Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The last week of NaNo!

I love NaNo. I really do. But the last few days are just tough, even for those of us rushing through the stories. I'm still writing about 6k a day, but it's getting difficult to keep it up. The story is there. I want to tell the story -- but I can see December looming ahead, and I know there are tons of things I need to get done before December 1. And then there is everything that needs to be tied up for the last month of the year.


I love NaNo.

This is a difficult few days. I can see the end. I can see past the end, and I want to get a head start on those things. However, I also have two unfinished novels here -- Wildlands and Autumn Storm. Since my rule is to finish them before the end of the year, I might as well keep pushing here, right?

Like I need an excuse to continue.

The good news is that my replacement part for the computer is here. The bad news is that Russ is not here to replace it. We're going to try to do with pictures, phone calls, and a lot of really good thoughts.

And here is a fun little snippet of Autumn Storm. My main character has brought a couple fae home while they try to figure out what to do next. They're waiting for another person, Tessa, to arrive. Arinith is a very powerful fae who is causing trouble in the area.

I went out to the kitchen and filled the teapot and put it on the stove. I thought I caught a look of curiosity as I moved through the room -- and I realized that York had never been inside a human home before. That might have been half of why Brandis was so on edge as well.

I wanted Tessa here and right now. Could that bring him? Did I dare try to demand it, the way Arinith had done before? That didn't seem like a good idea at all. I had to trust that Tessa would know what to do. I had to believe that this was not the entire crazed, beyond hope situation that I was seeing.

I wondered what Arinith was thinking right now. From the look of the weather outside, it couldn't be anything good.

Cookies. We needed cookies. I got them out as well and put them on a plate, pretending to be a good host. It kept me busy. That helped at first, but the longer it took Tessa to get here, the more worried I became. Even I gave a little jump when the tea kettle began to whistle. But I had the cups ready, the tray, cookies, several types of tea, honey and sugar cubes -- no more reason to linger here.

I set the tray on the coffee table and began to make my own tea, letting them see what to do. "There are many different teas there. Find one you like. And try the cookies," I said. I sat back with the cup in my hand. "I hope Tessa gets here soon."

Brandis nodded. He made his tea slowly and York seemed to copy his moves. They both sat back and sipped, and seemed reasonably pleased.

"Humans live better than I thought they would," York admitted. "Without magic, I hadn't thought you could do so many things."

He waved a hand to the wonders of a modern kitchen. I nodded. "Technology is our magic, you know. It's not as reliable has having the power within you, but that works for us sometimes, too. It means we don't have to worry about growing too weak that we cannot provide even the simple comforts. But there is a downside. Technology can fail. With a storm like this, we might lose power and then at least part of my lovely kitchen would be useless."

"Power failures, yes," Brandis said. "We have noticed those things, and how they badly affect the people here. I just had not realized what they use that power for."

"We have moved past the campfires and hunting stage," I said with a smile.

He gave a little laugh. "I had noticed when I saw the cities. I don't understand how you can crowd together so much."

"Sometimes neither can I." I reached for the remote. "Let's see what's going on --"

I turned on the TV.

My mistake.

Tea cups flew, tea splattered everywhere. Both Brandis and York were on their feet, magic aimed at the flat screen --

"No, no, no!" I shouted. It stopped them. "Television. News. Communications transmissions!"

They looked at me, eyes narrowed, hands still raised.

"Television," I repeated frantically. On the screen I saw a too cute and precocious little girl child in a witch costume. She sang as she danced around a haunted house, singing a stupid song about her favorite time of the year, which included spending more money at a certain local shop. I tried not to grimace. "Entertainment. Sometimes. And news. It's a one-way system of delivering information to people in their homes."

Brandis looked at me and back at the screen. The child had stopped dancing and now stood holding out a banner for the store. York looked either intrigued or appalled. I knew that feeling.

"It's not dangerous?"

"No. I am going to change the channel." I held up the remote. "This controls it. On and off, change to a different channel which will show us different things." The little witch appeared on another one. "Most of the time. That's a commercial intended to convince people to buy things."

"And this works?" York asked, still looking appalled.

"Sometimes. There. Weather Channel. They'll be talking about the weather in this part of the country soon, I suspect."

York looked around, and with a wave of his hand, cleaned up the mess. Well, that was handy at least. I poured more water. We had more tea and cookies as the people on the screen took the time to explain the about lows in the Gulf of Mexico and highs spreading down from Canada. We watched the local radar which looked chaotic. Then the weather people came back and talked about the horrible weather around the Omaha area -- though from the excited looks on their faces and the sounds of their voices, you wouldn't have though it was hell out there.

Then back to commercials again.

"Amazing," York said, looking at me. "They almost can make sense of the weather without ever considering the magic involved."

"Yes, and they even made some sense out of it," I said with a nod. "But that's what humans do, you know. They want to understand everything. So they make certain that they have answers."

"And what if they learn that those answers are not right?" Brandis asked.

"Then they search for new ones."
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