Once a year the writing community goes NUTS and tries to write a 50,000 word novel…
This annual fun-fest is known as National Novel Writing Month or (because we LOVE to abbreviate everything) NaNoWriMo!
It really is a blast and brings together writers from all over the world, all working alongside each other to achieve their dreams. As insane as it is to try and put life on hold for a month to bang out 50,000 words in 30 days, it’s a great process that really pushes you to become a better writer (or at least I know it did for me!).
I was a 2010 participant (though not a finisher…only made it to 20,000 words!) but this year I’ve got no excuses, so I’m going all in starting November 1st for the 2012 competition.
2012 NaNoWriMo Project
Two years ago, Jacquelyn Ryan left New York City in a (possibly) stolen Lexus SUV carrying (in no particular order) an unused wedding dress, (possibly) stolen golf clubs, an enormous mutt named Otis and her three year-old son named Milo.
At the Florida/Georgia state line, she took a hard left and drove until she hit the ocean. Along the way, she passed a long line of cars fleeing the coast ahead of a coming storm. But while all those folks were evacuating from a silly hurricane, Jacquelyn was evacuating from something much bigger.
Now she’s settled nicely back into her life as Jac Dawson, native of Crab Island — albeit with a few changes. She still resides at her family’s old Florida motel, the Crab Inn, but now she shares the two double beds and kitchenette in Unit 5 with Milo (and Otis). She works for the island’s largest employer, Florida University (commonly referred to as Crab College) promoting the school and its athletic department.
And though her plate is always full — balancing life as a single mom, working a full-time job and trying to keep her mama and granny from killing each other — Jac is happy.
Until the day her tiny quiet island explodes in the wake of a student’s murder.
When questions arise about the timing of the grizzly murder and the reappearance of Jac’s brother Skeeter (fresh from his latest stint in rehab), Jac is caught in between. As the residents of her tiny island home draw a line in the sand (almost literally) and choose sides, Jac has to decide if she thinks her brother is innocent or guilty.
But the choice is not a straight-forward as it seems. Milo’s fate has recently become tied to that of his uncle, which leaves Jac no choice but to defend her brother, regardless of what her gut is saying.
Can Jac convince the rest of the island that her brother is innocent when she’s not sure she believes it herself?
2010 NaNoWriMo Project
On his deathbed, a vision of his mother coming to claim him and drag him down to hell leaves Hank Harris praying that he’s done the best job he could with the only four criteria he figures God will use to pass judgment: his children.
Hunter finds out about his father’s departure from the living just moments after being fired from his job as a cruise ship karaoke DJ following an incident involving a fling with a passenger that resulted in her husband throwing Hunter’s prosthetic leg overboard (long story…). Hunter is uninterested in anything regarding Hank until he finds out his dad has an estate on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida.
Carson gets the call from the Florida panhandle at her desk perched high above her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. At first, she’s confused by the man on the other end of the line who says that her father has passed because Carson’s dad died of a heart attack three years ago. Then she remembers the man her mother told her had wanted nothing to do with her from the moment of her birth. She figures it might be worth a trip to Florida to spit on his grave.
Will is standing in his kitchen with the barrel of a gun to his head when his mother arrives to give him the news about Hank. Her sudden knock startles him and the gun goes off. As he slides to the floor in a pool of red, he hopes the light will come to him fast. The sooner he can join his departed fiance the better. And with any luck, he won’t run into Hank on his way to the afterlife.
Harper paces the floor of her father’s tiny seaside abode, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the three siblings she’s never met. With her mama on death row, Hunter, Carson and Will are the only three people standing between Harper and a return trip to the foster care system. What will they think of the sister they didn’t know existed? Will they take care of her, or will they discard her along with anything else that reminds them of Hank Harris?