Friday, November 10, 2017

NaNo Madness!

Well, I’ve got ten days of NaNo under my belt and much to my great surprise I’m only a little off track. Be still my heart! And I only really fell behind last night, but if you knew the kind of day I had yesterday you’d understand. My luck wasn’t just bad, it was abysmal!

But enough of that.

Remember how I said how quickly some people are able to finish the NaNo challenge? Congratulations to C.L. Hannah (aka Kittster), whose had a couple of stories featured here. Not only has she already completed 50,000 words, she’s still going. At the typing at this post, her word count is 54,357 and she’s still going strong.

Wow. I was scrolling back through my last few weeks’ worth of posts and I realize that with all my talk about NaNoWriMo, apparently I haven’t really talked about my novel for this year. My very first NaNo novel was finished at 35,000 words. But while I didn’t complete the challenge with it, it did spawn ideas for two sequels and one prequel. My novel this year is the first sequel.

I got the idea for the original novel, Driving Into Forever, one day when I was driving to pick my daughter up from Queen’s University in Kingston. Despite it being February, there was a heavy fog. I LOVE driving in the fog, it’s like driving into forever (hence the title), and I started thinking, what if the fog was a gateway to another dimension? In my novel, the fog became the Myste, a phenomena that spanned space and time and many worlds. My main character, Hannah, unknowingly entered the Myste and there her adventures began.

She left her best friend Sara behind, and I decided Sara deserved a story of her own. Seeing as Hannah found romance, it was only logical that Sara find it too, and who better to hook her up with than Nathaniel, another minor character who disappears partway through the first book?

Turns out that Sara is a worrier. So when a significant amount of time passes and she doesn’t get a phone call from Hannah telling her she got home safely, she sets off to find her. What she finds instead is Nathaniel, who had met with foul play in the Myste.

Excerpt from Lost and Found

The fog began to thicken as Sara turned off the highway onto the road that wound through the woods to the causeway. Unlike Hannah, she’d never liked being out in the fog, it creeped her out. It was at times like this she appreciated her Cadillac El Dorado. It may be a gas guzzler but it would stand up to anything the fog could throw at her.

She could barely see the road but she was afraid to slow down, you never knew what might be lurking in the fog. Every horror movie Sara had ever seen flashed through her mind. The road was in good repair and she’d been down it often enough to be familiar with it. It led pretty much straight to the causeway, which lead straight to the island Hannah lived on. It was probably just an illusion because of the fog, but it seemed to go on forever.

A dark shape loomed up suddenly in front of her. “Holy crap!” Sara slammed on the brakes and yanked the steering wheel hard to the right. The big car jerked to a halt and she sat there, clutching the steering wheel and gasping.

“Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!” Did she hit whatever, or whoever that was? She should go check. Really she should. Just as soon as she could make herself let go of the steering wheel. They might be hurt. It might even have been Hannah. That ratty old Jeep she drove might have broken down and she could have been walking along the road, on her way home.

That thought was enough to make her release her death grip on the steering wheel and scramble out of the car. The fog was so thick she could barely see but she had a vague idea of where the road was. She shuffled forward slowly, hands out in front of her to ward off anything she might run into.

“Hello? Is anyone there?”

She’d always thought fog was supposed to amplify sound, this fog was so thick it seemed to muffle it.

“Are you all right? Hannah?”

Was that a groan off in that direction? Sara followed the sound. Her foot struck something soft. This time there was definitely a groan.

“Oh jeez!”

She hunkered down and could barely make out a dark form on the ground.

“Oh my God, are you okay?” Frantically she ran her hands over the body, trying to determine if there were any serious injuries.

“I am so sorry! You just appeared out of nowhere. I know I was probably going a little too fast, you know, considering the fog and all, but oh my God what are you doing out here in the middle of the road anyway? Didn’t you have enough sense to move out of the way when you heard my car coming?” She couldn’t seem to stop babbling.

The body started to rise under her questing hands.

“Are you sure you ought to do that? Maybe you should just stay put until we’re sure you’re all right. Is there someone I could call for you?” She patted her pockets. “Oh, damn! I must have left my cell phone at home. Do you have a cell phone? Is there someone I could call for you? Although maybe it’s not such a good idea to have someone else risk coming out in this fog. Oh well, it shouldn’t be too far to my friend Hannah’s house. We can use her phone. Wow, you are a tall one, aren’t you? Let me help you to my car.”

So far her victim hadn’t managed to say a word. Sara couldn’t decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. All she could tell through the dense fog was that he was a man, a tall man, and he felt pretty solidly built under her helping hands. He moved slowly, carefully, with her towards the car. Or least towards where she thought the car should be.

After a few minutes she halted them. Sara bit her lower lip and glanced around. “I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but I think we missed the car in this fog.”

The man mumbled something.

“What did you say?”

“Not fog, Myste.” His voice was strained.

“Well, whatever you want to call it it’s as thick as pea soup. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a fog this thick in all my life.”

“Got to keep moving,” the nameless man told her. She had to strain to hear him. “Not safe.”

“Not safe? I don’t know about that, but I do know that it can’t be far to my friend Hannah’s house.” She carefully turned them around.

“Not there.”

“What’s not there?” Sara asked absently. She tried to concentrate on where they were going. Where was that road?

“Hannah,” he said with a great deal of effort. “Not there, she’s with Kelvin.”

“Kelvin?” Sara stopped and turned to him. “ Who’s Kelvin? You’re a friend of Hannah’s?” She peered closer at him but his features were still indistinct. “Who are you?”

“Nathan,” he answered.

She sighed in frustration. “Okay Nathan. Save your strength. We can talk once we’re out of this damned fog.”

He didn’t answer and she got the feeling he was too busy concentrating on staying upright. She had a bad feeling about this whole situation. There was something unnatural about this fog, it was giving her a real bad case of the heebie-jeebies. Worse than fog usually did.

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