Friday, December 5, 2014

NaNoWriMo #5 (It's Over!!!!)

    (I read this excerpt from This Box of Matches in class)
     They don’t talk. Henley just listens to the static of the television, not really paying attention to whatever is on screen, and he tries his best not to look at Greer too much.
     But it’s hard not to, especially now when all he can think about is the way he felt wrapped up in her last night—how midnight had felt frosted and blue as they fell back together onto the balcony, heat spreading through their jackets as she fought him, harsh, defensive words melting away into kisses. He remembers the way that Greer’s face had looked so bright against the pitch blackness of the sky, even as tears fell from her eyes, blue eyes so deep that they could’ve been the ocean. He remembers the way that she had looked at him and said, shit, I can’t just be friends with you, but I can’t love you.
     And Henley can’t even take it, all of the love he has for this girl.
     And she’s sitting across from him now, ever present dark circles still ringing the ocean pooling in her eyes, hair falling around her face, and feet tucked up under her seat, body pressed so far into the other side of the couch she might as well just melt into it.
     He should leave, he knows, just like he knows that last night night was a glitch in the matrix, an event that was never supposed to happen. But wine soaked lips had a way of saying all the things no one ever means to say.
     So he should go, pretend that he’s not desperate to ask why can’t you just let me in? why can’t you just love me back?
      Henley frowns, looking away, and then he is chancing another glance at her, his breath hitching as he meets Greer's stare from across the room. Blue eyes watchful, Greer looks at Henley with her mouth quirked up just a little, enough for Henley to see the beginnings of a smile there.
      Henley makes a face, trying to act normal, but his stomach is in his throat, heart fluttering like a moth’s wing in his chest. He’s never gotten used to it, being the focus of Greer’s attention.
      He doesn’t think there will ever be a day when he does.
      Ever since the first day, anytime he catches her eye he finds himself stumbling over himself, too caught up in the radiance of her to remember how to carry on.
     Greer’s smile grows a bit wider, pale light washing over the one side of her face as she looks at Henley, and Henley grins back slowly, shaking his head like he finds Greer ridiculous.
     And she is kind of ridiculous, he thinks, with the way her emotions change so quickly, so warm one moment and ice cold the next.
     A shiver runs up his spine, and he tears his eyes away from Greer to focus his attention on the open window, letting pale light flicker through and falling snow land softly on the window pane.       Cold air is flooding through, and Henley feels his teeth start to chatter.
     Rubbing his palms together, he glances back to the girl opposite him.
    Greer’s smile faded away, but her eyes are warm as she nods towards the empty space next to her on the sofa. Come here, she mouths.
     Henley blinked, quirking an eyebrow, but complies all the same, rolling his body until he was sat next to her- close, but not touching.
     Greer’s eyes flit down at the space between them, and she worries her lip between her teeth for a moment, before swinging her legs over Henley’s.
      She cuddles up into his side, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, and any restriction or restraint Henley had left over from the events of the night before vanished, and he lets his arms reach around her slim waist, pulling them closer, closer, until the only thing he could focus on is Greer.
     It’s intoxicating, being with her, and Henley loses himself in the way she laughs, the touch of her skin, the warmth radiating off of her.
     And the warmth never ceases to stop pouring out of her, waves of heat rolling from her skin and onto his, until the open window is completely forgotten and his palms are sweaty against her pale skin.
     Outside, the winter storms on, snow falling, glistening in the morning air.
     Inside, Henley’s body is all summer heat and all he wants is to kiss her again.
     So he does, tipping his head back to brush their lips together, soft. So soft, before he feels Greer’s hands tangle into his hair. She tastes like honey and cigarettes, and Henley never wants to forget it.
     Greer’s rising up then, kissing into Henley’s mouth in a way that makes him sigh. Her lips are soft and warm, burning against his with every movement, and Henley’s heart expands with everything that he’s feeling. He kisses back, seeing stars and planets exploding behind his closed eyelids, and as the minutes pass, their kisses become soft again.
     Pulling back, Henley presses his lips against her forehead before pressing his cheek there instead, heavy breaths filling the space where her mouth used to be. He shifts a moment later, moving down to rest his head against Greer’s shoulder, and then she’s wrapping her arm around Henley’s body, pulling him in.
     “Hi,” Henley whispers, smiling down at her, eyes shining.
      She watches him for a moment, blue eyes heavy, “Hey.”
      Her voice is slow and raspy, and Henley melts into it, letting his eyes wander back towards the open window. Henley thinks that loving Greer is like standing in the middle of a meteor shower.
     Chaos then calm. Something burning and beautiful. Something you can’t forget.
     He thinks back to the night before, the way Greer had looked out at the sky after finishing off another glass, white stars scattered across it like spilled paint and the full moon washing light over her face and across the snow-covered ground below them, luminous, before she turned to him with empty eyes.
     Do you think we become stars when we die? 
     Henley hadn’t said anything, hadn’t known what to say, too caught up in the heat pooling in his stomach from the wine and too caught up in the way the moon lit up Greer’s face, so he just looked away and back into the inky night, taking another drag of the cigarette.
     Tangled up in her now though, he lets his eyes drift shut and his ragged breathing steadily even out, drifting off, thinking, Fuck stars, we’ll be the whole damn solar system.
     Sooooo. I won NaNoWriMo. (!!!!!!!!!!)
     It wasn't really expected, I mean, I was hoping, but at the end of the third week I only had 33% of my goal done. 10,000 words was a lot and I was proud of it, but I was really hoping I'd be able to finish.
     So, I binge wrote a couple of nights that week (I'm a partial insomniac anyways, staying up until 3 or 4 was not something that was new to me, I was just writing now instead of drawing), and I hit 30,000 words at 5 a.m. on November 29. I had written 9,000 words that night, and had been going at it for 6 hours at that point. That was actually crazy and I think as soon as I checked the word count I threw my computer on the floor and fell right asleep (a big celebration, I know).
     I really thought that by the end of this I would be so over this book and so annoyed with writing it, but I'm really not, which, shocking. I really think I'm going to continue this and expand and maybe one day, finish it. I've never written this much on one work, let alone in such a small time-span, and I'm so proud of it.
     This Box of Matches is my baby at this point. I love Greer and Henley and all of my ridiculous side-characters.
     I've never really been one to share my work with people, only posting a few poems here and there on Tumblr, but this class has really helped me get out of that box. A few of my friends have demanded they read it, even as unfinished and unedited as it is, and even a few of my teachers have said they'd like to read it.
     My art teacher, Mr. Long, actually talked to me this morning about letting him read some of it, and then proposed that next semester in his class I work on writing and illustrating some type of children novel. Which, crazy (and slightly awesome).
     I feel like this has been an insanely long blog post and I'm sorry for rambling, I'm just very excited.
     (because I won!!!!)
Abbey Nichole

Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo #4

Excuse me
little girl
sit back down and shut your mouth

I was taught to despise myself

raised by hate as much as by my parents
ten years old
too loud too smart too large
too much

gripping the fat on my hips that wasn’t even there
pulling and tugging and hating
head between my knees with sobs vibrating out of my lips
praying to god to make me beautiful enough
thick skin and all
for the same boys that spat harsh words at me,
so that one day someone could love me enough for the both of us
because that was what really mattered right?

i didn’t realize that the only love i needed was my own

too caught up in reshaping myself to fit into the predetermined figure
sucking in my stomach to zip up jeans
two sizes too small
burning and starving and rearranging the skin that I’d learned to hate
just to be able to say that I am pretty

the platform that all girls are raised upon
pretty and quiet and pretty and soft
pretty and skinny

replayed on a loop in our heads so not to forget
whispered behind our backs so not to believe
to make sure we play our parts but don’t live them
conditioning us to torture and groom the same skin we are conditioned to reject

and growing up in this world makes it so easy to do so
every magazine book movie condemning those who
dare to insinuate that they are beautiful for themselves
and hand-feed the rest of us our insecurities like we need them to survive

because heaven forbid we actually love ourselves
how dare we say that we like us for the way we laugh
for our knowledge for our talents
for anything
how dare we pretend that we are worth more than our weight or the way we dress
or the color of our eyes or the color of our skin

how dare we try to make ourselves into more than just the paper dolls we are.

but i think i speak for all of us when i say that i did not sign up to be held to the expectations of a madman
that i was not placed on this earth to live in the background of those of a luckier chromosome
or to starve my body to look like the girls you hold me against
i don’t remember entering a competition so i don’t know why you keep insisting it is one
because i’m realizing that embracing the way your lips fold over different syllables
and the way you hold anothers hand
and the way your laugh booms across streets
and the way your love can extend to all branches of this earth
is more important than trying to run the race that no one can win

because the size of your waist does not determine your worth
and your worth is not determined by the boys who want you
you are a thunderstorm
you are magic in your own right
a piece of the universe given this body
this beautiful skin that you should handle with care
a body that houses every thought emotion dream raging inside of you
skin meant to be loved recklessly and freely
and not cut out into the shapes that society deems acceptable

excuse me
little girl
sit back down and shut your mouth,
stop taking up so much space.

     Friday I worked with Tia on my poem, and it was really helpful. She gave all of us really good tips and advice, and she was the sweetest person ever.
     The poetry slam went really well, and it was really cool to speak my piece and hear others do theirs.
     In relation to NaNoWriMo, I am up to 20,000 words right now, and have another 10,000 words to go before the end of the month. Hopefully with the coming days off, I'll be able to get it done (I really want to win NaNoWriMo, I wont lie).
     I wish I could say that my writing has become a full on novel, but like before, it's still just a bunch of random scenes that I have written that still need filler scenes in between them to get from point A to point B. So maybe for my last 10,000 words I'll go back and fill in the scenes I need. Maybe then I'll be able to actually see it as a whole novel??
    I think I'm making it sound worse than it actually is. You can still follow and understand what is happening, but at this point I'm just hitting the main scenes that I know I can write quickly. There is just some things I need to add to really advance the plot and the character development.
    All in all, I'm so so close to meeting my goal and it's got me very excited, and hopefully for my last blog I'll be able to share a big excerpt from my climax!
    Like I said, I'm just very very excited.
Abbey Nichole

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NaNoWriMo #4

If there was truly evil in the world, it takes the shape of grocery stores, Greer thought angrily as she rolled the cart through the throngs of people loitering in the cereal aisle.
She managed to push her way through, finally getting out of the mass with a box of Lucky Charms in hand and temper slightly decreased. She huffed again, looking back over her shoulder as a small kid wailed at being denied some sugar-filled box.
      She was turning back around, ready to continue her shopping when she felt her body slam against someone elses. A hand curled around her waist, steadying her as they tumbled together.
     “Oops,” the smooth voice currently wrapped up around her said, apologetic tone seeping into the one syllable.
      She chuckled a little bit, as she felt the warmth of the strangers body up against hers, closer than she had originally thought.
     Too close, she realized suddenly, practically yanking their bodies apart. There. Some distance is better, at least from here I can’t scald him.
     The stranger coughed slightly, uncomfortable, and she looked up at that, seeing the amusement and the confusion clear on his face.
     His almost familiar face.
     His almost familiar very attractive face.
    Big green eyes and full cherry lips stood out against pale skin, nose red with the cold air; dark hair curled down and framed his face, reaching towards his shoulders; he stood tall, limbs long and lanky, legs fit into skin tight jeans and a loose sweater hanging off his shoulder slightly. Tattoos peaked out from his chest, and Greer averted her eyes back to his face.
     “Hi, uh sorry bout that, was is a rush and wasn’t paying any attention,” Greer rushed out quickly, not wanting to seem rude or insane (even though she was, some days).
     “No no, it’s not a problem, I don’t really have any bodily control, that was probably my fault,” the stranger said, a strange smile creeping onto his face. He still looked eerily familiar, the long curly hair and green eyes pulling themselves out of the back of her mind.
     She really couldn’t place where she knew him from though.
    “I’m sorry, this is going to sound really strange, but do I know you?”
    At that, the boy let out a loud laugh, slapping his hand over his mouth as soon as it spilled out. He nodded a bit, before smiling, “Yeah Greer right? We met once, I delivered you flowers? You had like mountains of them on your counter, yeah?”
     Greer’s mind suddenly clicked at the memory, going back over that night she had gotten spectacularly wasted and had tried to sleep it off but only managed to sob into her pillows. The doorbell had rang so many times, she recalls, it had killed her head. So many people brought in flowers. This boy had been one of them.
     She nodded, feeling a blush rise high on her cheeks, “Sorry yeah, forgot about that..”
    “Henley,” the boy, Henley, offered.
    “Henley,” Greer repeated, pulling her best smirk, “sorry for running into you, and for whatever I might’ve said the other night.”
Henley opened his mouth like he was about to comment on her last statement, and it took no time for her to decide she probably didn't want to hear it, so quickly turning on her heel, Greer darted from the aisle.
She finished her shopping relatively quickly, the majority of the food being bought being for Finn anyways, even though he has his own flat with his own food, because he always seems to complain when Greer doesn’t have anything for him to snack on.
        He’s probably just worried she’s not eating again. He can fuck off honestly.
       After checking out, she took her bags in hand, and set out on her trek back to her flat, where she could curl up in bed and try her best to keep her mind blank.
        Stepping outside though, the smell of wet pavement flooded her senses and she groaned when she heard the steady pounding of rain on concrete.

   I'm halfway to my goal, which is insane. I've never stuck to a project for this long, but with all of my friends and everyone urging me on it's been going really well. My sister actually yells at me when its been too long since I had writen.
     I'm really excited about everything so far, and while it is a bit hard to get into the headspace to write from a male point of veiw, I'm slowly learning to slip into it easily. It helps though, that it switches points of veiw and if I get too stuck on something happening in Henley's perspective, I can just switch over to a different scene with Greer and go back to the first later.
    My realization that I don't have to get everything perfect the first time around came to me during this last round-table, where I got a lot of positive feedback from people. I had been so nervous about it not making sense or being awful because I hadn't really gone back and edited it, that it was such a relief to have people tell me they really enjoyed it.
    The moments of relief kind of sparked that realization that, oh right, I can write, and that's why I'm here, and over-editing things isn't always what needs to be done, sometimes it just needs to get written. So I'm very thankful for a lot of the comments.
     The excerpt from above is from pretty early on in my book, and it's the second meeting of my two main characters, and what really leads into them becoming friends then becoming more. When Greer gets stuck waiting out the rain, Henley walks out, groceries in one hand and umbrella in the other, and offers to walk her back to her flat under the safety of his umbrella. It all goes from there honestly.
Abbey Nichole

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nanowrimo #3

    I'm about eight thousand words into my novel at this point, and I'm slowly accepting that the entire thing is going to take place along a single street in Boston.
    I'm okay with it, mainly because it makes me think of my book like a sad, supernatural version of Friends, which is weird and only makes sense in my head, but yeah.
    I think the only problem writing lately is that I've been jumping around so much. I keep straying from one scene to another without adding stuff in between to tie them together, mainly because I want to write as much as I can and by writing like this, I go faster. The problem though, is that right now any outside reader would be confused. Very confused.
    I'm refraining from editing though, as suggested, and am just going to continue on as I am.
    Other than that, writing has been going really well and I really love my characters and how they are developing.
Abbey Nichole

Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo #2

   So I've finally picked names, Greer Alexander for the girl and Henley Moore for the boy.
  Now that that is done, it's a lot easier to coherently explain my plot, and just so it's out there, the novel is going to be written in the third person.
   My story opens with a flashback, just a few paragraphs in which Greer is stuck in a house fire, and she is trying to get to her family, but those trying to put out the fire pull her out while she's screaming. In the middle of the screaming her eyes turn from a pale blue to a violent purple color, and the windows shatter. 
   It then switches back to present day (a year after the fire), where Greer is curled up into herself on her bed as Finn, her best friend and only person who knows what happened the day of the fire, is trying to convince her to get out of the apartment. The apartment is a small, studio space completely bare of any sort of decorations, the only thing really in it is her bed (no frame just a mattress) and a desk littered with papers. Greer completely shuts him down though, and tells him to go without her. She is left alone in the apartment. 
   From there it moves on to Henley, where he is working for his pregnant sister, Shay, in her flower shop, a job he loves, while he is finishing up his photography major. You see him interact with Shay as they close up the store, where they find a forgotten delivery that was supposed to be made that day, and then see more of his character as he agrees to deliver the flowers, saying it's on his way home even though it isn't- he always wants to make things easier on Shay.
   The inciting incident is when Henley makes the delivery. He climbs the stairs and knocks on the door, only to be opened by a disheveled Greer. He sees her long, tangled hair, bright eyes rimmed by dark circles, and thinks she's beautiful. He hands her the flowers and just smiles at her, which causes her to make a sarcastic remark, and he is immediately taken with her. She just bids him a goodnight and shuts the door though. 
   On his way out though, he runs into a sad-looking Finn, who is carrying a bag of take-out for him and Greer. Finn notices where he'd just come from and strikes up a conversation. They get to talking and exchange numbers when Finn notices the interest Henley has in Greer. They part ways after Finn promises to meet up and get drinks soon.
   Finn then goes home and you meet his roommates, Levi and Clay, who have been together since the three of them were in grade school, and he talks to them about the girl.
    The five events that build up to my climax are:

  • The reader learns about Greer's powers, and how she can't control it sometimes, and when her eyes turn lavender she is using her powers (she can start fires, make things move with her mind) 
  • Henley meets up with Finn and Greer, confused because he thought he was only seeing Finn, and they end up getting along really well
  • Greer and Henley fall in love, even though Greer is still very afraid and sort of distant, and her powers get more uncontrollable
  • Henley takes Greer to meet his family, Greer gets sad again and closed off after they return
  • Henley sees her sorrow and she tells him about her family, but not the circumstances that they died
    In my climax, Greer and Henley get into a fight, I'm not sure what about yet, but it will force Greer to lose control completely and start a fire, in which she and Henley get trapped in. Henley saw her eyes flick colors, but chooses not to think about it until later on, doing his best just to get them out of the fire while Greer starts screaming and crying and goes completely limp. They get out of the fire, and it dies off as soon as Greer is calmed down, but her eyes still haven't changed back and she is hot to the touch. 
    Greer is okay though, and after Henley gets her cool her eyes change back to blue and everything is fine. Except that now Henley is starting to understand, and that terrifies Greer so she runs away. 
     In the falling action, Greer shuts herself away again, not telling Finn what happened, so Finn assumes Henley did something wrong, and helps Greer hide. It goes through about a month of Greer shutting out Henley.
     Henley ends up getting through to Greer, coming with a big delivery of flowers, and they do make up in the end.
     My resolution isn't going to be the perfect ending. Greer is still struggling with  her depression and magic, but her and Henley are together and he is determined to stay with her throughout the process of her healing. The closing scene is going to be in Greer's apartment, with pictures now hung on her walls of her family and of Henley. The pair are going to be sat on the bed, with Henley asleep and Greer almost there. It's going to close with Greer's eyes turning a shade of purple right before she falls asleep. (Side Note: The falling action and climax still need to be fleshed out and this is just my idea of what's going to happen at this point. It will probably change by the time I get there.)
    So that's my story, or what is going to be my story.
Abbey Nichole

Friday, October 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo #1

     For this nine weeks I plan on doing NaNoWriMo, and I'm going in a completely different direction that I did for my 20% project last nine weeks. I feel like the poetry collection I came up with is very complete other than a few things I need to add and I'm ready to try something new.
     My story is going to revolve around a girl (I'm toying with names right now so yeah) who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Living in the city, she has a small, studio apartment where she spends most of her time, holed up trying to paint and trying to take photos but never really getting out of bed. The only time she really leaves the apartment is when her best friend forces her to spend time with him. She's depressed, and kind of giving up, at this point shes just going through the motions, sleeping, working, eating what she needs to. She's taken to smoking just to feel fire in her lungs and she's taken to not sleeping to get away from the nightmares. She's alone and she's falling apart.
    He's (like I said still trying to find names that I feel truly fit) tall and lanky and sunshine condensed into a single entity. He works for his sister, in a flower shop in his favorite part of Boston. He lives with his two best friends, who have been together since the three of them were in high school in a town by the shore, mainly because he's too broke to live anywhere else. He's happy anyways, because even as broke as he is, he gets to see the people he loves everyday, and he gets to make people smile.
    Like I said, he works in a flower shop, but he doesn't really do delivery; he usually just mans the register and tells people the meanings of different flowers, but one day they have a last minute request to be sent to an apartment down the road and it was after the delivery girl had left, so he tells his sister he can just take it because its on the way to his apartment.
   It ends up being delivered to her, ends up that someone sending her flowers for the one year anniversary of her families death, which he doesn't know of course, and she opens the door all dark rimmed eyes and messy hair and a sharp tongue and he is automatically taken with her.
   The story is going to follow these two as she tries to stop pulling herself apart and he tries to get her to let him in. While it is going to be about their love story, I don't want it to be one of those things where the boy saves the girl, and I plan for it to be more about her saving herself and him being there to hold her as she does.
   I'm thinking of setting my goal at 30,000 words. I really want to do my best to go over this goal though, and I'm excited to start writing. I think the hardest challenge for me is going to be not going back and revising, because I'm so used to going back and redoing a lot of what I had previously wrote before carrying on the story.
   I really need to start mapping out the course of my story in this next week, because even though I can see the whole story playing out in my head, it will help me organization wise to have in fully planned out.
    I think NaNoWriMo will be an interesting experience for me, and I seriously cannot wait to get started on this.
Abbey Nichole

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014

    For my presentation next week on my project, I've decided that I'm going to design a cover for my poetry collection, which still isn't titled by the way (oops). I have this image in my head that I really hope translates well onto paper.
    I think I am going to do a reading as well, and I think the only challenge with that is that I will have to pick just one to read.
    For how my actual presentation part explaining my work, I plan on starting off talking about how I moved around a lot, how I struggled with depression, and about my long-distance relationship, all of which directly affect how I write. Then I'm going to go on to talk about how I first tried to write a novel based around a long-distance relationship, and how that was going really well, my experiences really helping with the writing process, then suddenly just faded until I couldn't continue it anymore without getting frustrated. With this slide I plan on having some of the character sketches I had done.
    Then I'll explain my poetry collection, and why I picked the central theme of home and how all of the poems fit into this category. This slide will also include sketches I had done. There are a few poems where I loved the imagery that came out so I drew them out, and I think that will be cool to include into this explanation.
    I will then talk about the challenges of writing this collection, and how writers block, rhythm, staying on topic, and trying to tie all the poems together caused some problems. I'll also talk about how these challenges helped me grow as a writer by now being able to take those experiences and apply them to my other writing.
    After this is when I plan on doing spoken word.
    For my closing remarks I'll explain how I hope to add more to this collection, as well as add short stories in between certain poems.
Abbey Nichole