November 07, 2005

NaNoWriMo Day WTF

I have stalled. I feel like the story sucks (despite positive feedback!) and am sabotaging myself. Trying to get back on track, I have flung another 350 words of monkey poo at this insane venture, now in its second chapter.

(More below).

Chapter Two
The Surprise

Jake ran down the corridor. His dad, never a man of many words, had rarely spoken more than a sentence or two in a day since the accident. For him to mention a surprise, and not just leave it out where Jake could find it, meant it was probably a big deal.

But what could it be?

As he headed around the last corner before he got to his dad’s quarters, Jake saw his dad. He had always seemed like a mountain to the younger, pre-accident, Jake. Like Olympus M., which could easily be seen above the northern horizon. But the last six months had taken their toll on Paul Robinson. Just as Jake had grown in strength and independence, out of necessity, his father had shrunk. Still strong, but weathered. More like a valley carved through rock, now. Defined by what was missing.

But when Paul turned around to face him, Jake saw something he hadn’t seen in more than a hundred sols. A smile.

“What’s up, dad?” asked Jake.

“Like I said, son. A surprise.”

Paul continued: “Do you know about the big race up in Burroughs next month?”

“The 100-klick cross country?” said Jake, a hint of nervous excitement in his voice. “The Olympus foothills circuit? It’s only the biggest foot race on Mars, dad!”

Paul paused for a long beat then said, “I entered you in it, Jake.”

“But dad!” Jake spluttered.

And thought to himself, without saying: There’s no way we can afford that entry fee! We have ten spiders out of warranty that need replacing or repairing. One of our groundwater heaters is pulling too much current. More than 60% of our habitat is unused and wasting resources. And the price of water is falling as more farmers are getting on line.

What came out was: “Dad… that’s great.”

Posted by JohnL at November 7, 2005 10:07 PM | TrackBack
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