HOLY CRAP, I DID IT! I mean, of course, the story isn't finished, but I did it! I wrote 50,000 in thirty days. I didn't fail! I mean, don't get me wrong. I really don't think that my entire being would have been invalidated if I hadn't finished NaNo this year, but sometimes you just have something to PROVE. To yourself, to the world. I still have so much anger and so much unresolved emotional baggage about this year. Anger as much about what the doctors did to me as much as the cancer. And along with my "normal" body and "normal" life, I've been struggling really hard just to get my MIND back. Chemotherapy stole my memory a lot of days. It stole my creativity. It made producing a dozen words agony, let alone 50,000. And I just...I couldn't wallow, you know? I had to focus on getting through it, making do, looking forward, looking up. So I forced myself to write and I forced myself to not let this beat me down. And part of that, part of the stuff I needed to get through and to to get back to normal was Nano. I'd done it for the last two years and I'd WON for the last two years and losing this year... It just would've been a big disappointment. Because then it would be The Year I Had Cancer AND Failed Nano.

But I didn't fail. I didn't finish, but I didn't fail. And that's all right. That's mighty damn good. It's kind of making me rewrite my plans for December (omg, it's going to be crazy), but it's good. I'd even venture so far as to say it's great.

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 Winner

50,241 / 50,000 words. 100% done!

Today's Word Count: 4,049
Current Total Word Count: 50,241
Estimated Total Word Count: ~125,000
What's bad: Dead Man's Blood. Man. Seriously. If it was not for the fact that I NEED the Colt, I would've blown this episode off. The thing that I find really amusing and interesting about writing this is that I tend to watch episodes with a pretty high Willing Suspension of Disbelief. But when I'm trying to make sense of the episode for narrative purpose, some of this stuff is just KILLING ME. Skin. OMG, I love Skin, it's one of my favorite episodes, but trying to "fix" Skin almost broke me. Hopefully I did some good things with Dead Man's Blood. The other "bad" thing (for a given value of bad) is the family dynamics. In my mind, there was supposed to be a lot more...resentment, suspicion and misunderstanding and instead the Winchesters are banding together against all external threats and I don't know if I'm going to be able to sell the ending if they keep this crap up, dammit. STOP BEING SO HARMONIOUS!
What's good: Watching the Winchesters band together against all external threats. Also, I like the way Mary handled the vamps a HELL of a lot better than the way John did. There's a reason John was a sniper and that's trufax.
What pleases me: Sam tries to guide Dean into the back seat and Dean balks.

"No way am I sitting in the back seat, dude," Dean says indignantly, pushing back against Sam's insistent hands.


"I'm the oldest, I get the front!"

"You're concussed."

"Even concussed, I'm still the oldest."

It's Sam's turn to sigh. "My legs are longer."

"Yes, but they're not
older," Dean says with incontrovertible logic.

Previous parts can be found here

I'm bigger than you," Sam points out. "And taller. )
Well, I don't think I'm going to make it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to quit. It's frustrating. I'm not panicky, I'm not depressed about it, but I am disappointed. I had--have--things at stake in my psyche for doing NaNo this year and it's disappointing if I don't make it. I know you'll tell me to be kind to myself, that there were and are mitigating factors...and this is all true. But that's exactly WHY I wanted to do it this year. So let's just see what the next couple days bring. I don't have to work Friday...maybe I can make a miracle.

40,138 / 50,000 words. 80% done!

Today's Word Count: 1,783
Current Total Word Count: 40,138
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: Well, my word count, obviously. I got derailed in a big way between the new job and Thanksgiving and I just don't know if I can recoup. If I can, it won't be tonight.
What's good: I really love this story and--for all its deplorable lack of smut, I do think it's a good story to tell.
What pleases me: Dean doesn't really know a lot about demons. From what his mom always said, actual demon possession is pretty rare and on the occasions that they heard of one, his mother had always steered clear, a restriction that's laughably clearer to him now. What he does know of demon lore is conflicting—what they are, what they can do, their powers. So Dean's not sure how much of what happened to him was an evil dream, cast into his head by the demon and how much was real.

He hurts, but not as much—he imagines—as he would if the demon had really peeled his skin back like a grape's to expose the muscles, tendons and blood vessels. His body isn't burned, melted, seared, the sweet-horrible reek of it something that exists only in his mind. He has both his eyes, his tongue, his testicles, the phantoms of pain that lingers in them only that—ghosts. His memories of them being smashed and torn away from his body have no physical anchor, nothing to say
this really happened.

Dean picks up a corner of the blanket and scrubs his skin hard, the dull pain of abrasion better than the memory of agonies he can't do anything about.

Previous parts can be found here

Yeah. That hurts. )
Woot! Another chapter down. One more actual "episode" and then I'm in 100% AU territory, instead of just skirting its shores.

37,051 / 50,000 words. 74% done!

Today's Word Count: 3,000
Current Total Word Count: 37,051
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I'm at that point where I'm starting to question whether I'm going to be able to get this done in 100,000 words. I'm 37,000 in and I haven't done Dead Man's Blood or the denouement. I'm also at the Sloughs of Despair part where I'm convinced it's all dreck, I'm a hack and no one's going to read this anyway, after all this work. That's not a plea for reassurance. It's just the process. And my fear, don't get me wrong, but I'm always like this at this stage, too close to see if it's any good or not.
What's good: The Sam & Mary continues to be golden and I love the pivot of Mary's feelings about Max Miller. Of all the special kids, I think I felt the worst for him, poor thing. Word count's good too; I think that covers my deficit from before. Nineteen days in and I'm sitting kinda pretty.
What pleases me: "Look," Sam says in a soothing voice, "I don't know…I don't know what it was like with you. I know I can't even imagine what it was like for you growing up like you did…"

Mary recognizes the bitter satisfaction that goes across Max's face, the perverse pride of knowing no one else's misfortunes outweigh yours. The familiarity takes her by the throat, a taste like bile in the back of her mouth.

"I couldn't tell anybody, when my visions started. Not my girl, not my mom, not my…my brother." Mary hears the catch in Sam's voice and has to look away, the sourness of her mouth worsening. She looks past the two boys to Hannah Miller, still flattened to the wall. Mary catches the other woman's gaze, reading the mingled terror and guilt. Mary's anger is quick to follow, burning up through her whole body to warm her through. Jennifer McCoy had risked her life and died to keep her son safe and out of the hands of the Aunts and this woman couldn't even protect Max from his father and uncle. She puts her anger aside, out of place and useless to her in this situation and signals with her eyes, indicating that Hannah should edge sideways, toward the door behind her and to her right. Hannah's eyes flick in that direction without comprehension and then back to Mary's.

"…but I know what it's like to be different," Sam continues in that same even, earnest voice. "To be afraid of it. To hate it. To want more than anything to be like the kids you see on the street, the ones you go to school with; the ones that don't even know how good they got it."

"Yeah," Max mutters, half under his breath.

Previous parts can be found here

I know what it's like to be different. )
I don't really have any clever words today.

34,051 / 50,000 words. 68% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,223
Current Total Word Count: 34,051
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I didn't make word count yesterday, so this is really a combination of two days of work. Not so great. Also, it's the part where information is starting to come out and that's always like pulling teeth, trying to decide how much to tell and when. And really, trying to figure out how much Mary knows.
What's good: The Sam and Mary is excellent. Their relationship has changed so much over the course of the story and although Sam still has issues, he understands Mary and their situation so much better than he did before.
What pleases me: Of course, she would say she understood her family long before she knew about them. And that was true and it wasn't true. She didn't need the details to know there was darkness at the root of her family tree; a rot that poisoned the furthest branches and contaminated the earth around it. Even at her most appallingly naïve, she knew that. But in ferreting out the details, in having to dig through the decades—centuries—of incompletely hidden bones and enough blood to salt the ocean…she understands the depth and breadth of that darkness and that there's nothing in her that will ever let her plumb the whole. She knows exactly how ruthless—and how banal—evil can be

Previous parts can be found here

You want to tell me what all this is about? )
Today was a good day! I got a job, I got a super late start on Nano, and I still made my word count for the day. Of course, there was the NERVOUS BREAKDOWN OF DOOM on the phone with my mother this morning (she's fine, it was all about me), but considering how the afternoon turned out, I'm choosing to call it a win. So say we all.

31,828 / 50,000 words. 64% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,025
Current Total Word Count: 31,828
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: Complete turnaround from yesterday. Today there is no bad. I think this scene will need some padding and maybe a little more exposition, but I like the way the dramatic tension worked out and, even though I went WAY OFF OUTLINE, I think that what did result works just as well, if not better. This is going to be a short chapter.
What's good: All of it. Mary is finally starting to open up, clues are coming out, and Sam is starting to put the pieces together. And I even got to put Ash in the story!
What pleases me: There are police cars, an ambulance and a whole circus of hangers-on lingering around the address that Mary had wheedled from the Michigan police. Mary drives past and pulls in around the corner before she gently shakes Sam out of his half-doze. He flails at her and she catches his wrist before he clocks her in the eye. "Sam," she says softly, her heart pinching at the confusion swimming across his face. The name Jim Miller and the man it represents mean nothing to her, but she regrets having to tell him anyway. "Sam…we're too late."

The dazed blurriness of Sam's face clarifies into sharp, sudden lines, but his eyes tell the real story even in the shitty yellow light of the streetlights, turning dark and wide and then narrow. John looked the exact same, she thinks distantly, the day they called to tell him his father had died.

Soft, Lillith's voice thinks contemptuously, louder than ever.

Oh, baby, I'm sorry, Mary thinks, fighting with the impulse to ruffle the puppy-dog mess of his hair. He's not a baby any more not matter how much she sees that same quiet and solemn infant in the young man in front of her.

What she says is, "What do you want to do?"

Previous parts can be found here

It's...a family thing. )
Another poor showing. I'm really concerned about the way I seem to be losing momentum. I'm going to Philly for Thanksgiving and I'm not sure what kind of time I'm going to have to write. If I'm going to make count and finish the frickin' story, I need to not lose focus now. I was going to say I don't know why it's so problematical, but I do know why. It's time to start drawing the threads together, building toward the denouement and that always takes more work than the parts where you're just writing whatever and letting the story go wherever it takes you. I have to mind the reins as well as the terrain.

29,803 / 50,000 words. 60% done!

Today's Word Count: 1,484
Current Total Word Count: 29,803
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: My word count. I just couldn't find the flow today, even though I had a good idea what I wanted to do with this scene. And I'm not sure I even accomplished that.
What's good: *headdesks* Is it bad that I just don't know? I don't hate this scene. I actually kind of like it, but I'm not sure it's serving my narrative purposes. It reminds me a lot of when I wrote "If You Let Me (I Could Love You To Death)", where Sam was SUPPOSED to tease Sam so much more and take advantage of his jealousy and then I just couldn't make him do it in the crunch. I feel like there should be more suspicion here, and instead, Sam turns around and decides to throw his lot in with Mary pretty wholeheartedly. Which...hmmm. I suppose that's doable. I don't know. It's too late to tell.
What pleases me: "No, Sam." She pushes off the car and turns to look at him. "You were right to question me. You were right." She rakes a hand through her hair, shaking it out through her fingers. "I mean, the reasons are different, but the end result is the same. I'm not a nice or a good person. I wasn't raised by nice or good people and I tried, Sam, I tried so hard to be someone different. I tried for your father and I tried for you boys, but I'm not. I'm just not. I'm just me. A not-so-great person who's done a lot of not-so-great things, trying to keep us all alive."

Sam blinks, not sure what she's driving at, not sure what to say. "Mom, what—"

"Sam. Are you listening to me? Sue-Ann…she bound the reaper to save Roy. To protect him. I'm not any better than Sue-Ann. I'm not any different. And the sooner you realize that, the better off we'll both be."

"Mom, I know who you are," Sam says slowly. "I don't think we could've spent my whole life on the road with you and not know who you are. You're the one that made Dean beat up kids that were mean to me, and the one that broke Mrs. Parker's nose when she tried to flunk me in algebra. I watched you face down a werewolf because Dean was hurt and couldn't run. I mean… Jesus, Mom, you're the scariest lady I've ever met in my life."

Previous parts can be found here

Just because I didn't kill her--them--doesn't mean I wouldn't've. )
Writing this, this year, has been such a different experience for me from previous NaNos. On the one hand, I see very clearly the things I want to do. More than just knowing how the plot goes, I have actual images. Gesture, expression, facial tics... I know the blocking of the scenes and--more or less--how they intersect. At the same time, actually hedging the words around my vision has been so excruciating. The window into the page has been flimsy and fragile, apt to dump me out at strange times, mute and frustrated. And, of course, there's the lingering fear that the vision itself is faulty and the end product will be a forgettable piece of go se that no one but me (and maybe [livejournal.com profile] baileytc will care about. *laughs*

28,319 / 50,000 words. 57% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,793
Current Total Word Count: 28,319
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I feel better about this scene than I did when I started it (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] technosage), but the end of it definitely needs work. I rushed it and it needs some filling in. Other than that, I think it actually went pretty well for as far AU as it went. I was really afraid that I wouldn't be able to bring Mary around to the righteous indignation she needed to be able to act against one of her own, but I think it actually did, without me having to steamroll at all. It's funny, because Mary is totally a made up character at this point, but I see a little bit of canonical Dean in Mary, which is kind of a hoot and makes me think that I'm doing SOMETHING right with her characterization.
What's good: Mary. I love the way she went from reluctantly confronting Sue-Ann to the moral impetus to bring the situation to a close. I love that she has a moral impetus, whatever Sam might think.
What pleases me: "I ask again: would it have made a difference?" She holds out her hand, ushering Mary into the seat across from hers. The room doesn't look like it's used all that often, but there's no mustiness and only the faint lemony reek of polish. Mary guesses it's probably only used for Sunday's dinners. It isn't often that she lets herself indulge in might-have-beens, but here, with another McCoy for the first time in decades, she feels a vague sense of longing for her own house and all the Sunday dinners she'd dreamed of and never gotten to have.

"No," Mary admits grudgingly, taking the seat. The aging wood is covered with a crocheted cushion that doesn't really ameliorate the hardness of the chair. "Probably not." Sue-Ann makes a pleased, subvocal noise, sitting back in her chair. "You still should have told me."

Sue-Ann snorts. "You've been away too long. That's hardly the McCoy way."

Previous parts can be found here

Let's not pretend to be morally outraged now, Lillith. )
Well, I only had 1,200ish words done by midnight, but I decided to plow onward until I had 2K. It's 2:30am and I have 2,005. Ugh. Such a long time for such grudging effort. I'm having a lot of flail about this part again. The problem with interleaving canon and AU is not always being able to tell if this is all making logical sense. There are a lot of balls in the air and I'm terrified I'm dropping them and not realizing it.

25,523 / 50,000 words. 51% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,005
Current Total Word Count: 25,523
Current Project Word Count: 78,750
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: That it took me this frickin' long to get 2K today.
What's good: Sam. Sam is a rockin', stand up guy and I love him for it. And Mary, because she is a cold-hearted bitch about everything except when it comes to her kids.
What pleases me:Mary sighs and scrapes a hand through her hair, making a bigger mess of it than it was before. "Sam, I love you. Your father and you and your brother...I would do anything for you. Anything."

"I know that."

"No," Mary disagrees. "You know the bullshit that people think is anything. But when I say 'anything', I mean it. It's not just bullshit. I haven't cut a swath across America killing everyone that gets in my way. I don't like it. I don't enjoy it. But if it comes down to a choice between anyone else in the world or you and your brother, then I pick the two of you. Every time. And I'm not going to feel sorry for that."

"Well, what if I don't want you to?"

"What makes you think you have a choice?" Mary's eyebrows arch. "I'm your mother, Sam. Not your friend. And I don't answer to you."

"No," Sam agrees, "you don't. But I do. And I'm not leaving here until I figure out what Sue-Ann did and stop her from doing it to anyone else."

Previous parts can be found here

What does that mean, 'blood-gift?' )
Wow. So by tomorrow, I should be halfway done. With my NaNo goal, anyway. I can't even talk about what that feels like. Next year, it's going to be such a bring-down. *laughs* The main draft is up to 175 pages, 76,000+ words; I need to blow the ink and print it all out and start trying to think where I'm going to do breaks once I start posting. The thought of editing this monster makes me want to cry, just a little bit. But I'm being strong and resisting the urge to start posting unbetaed. *flexes* See? Totally strong.

23,518 / 50,000 words. 47% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,314
Current Total Word Count: 23,518
Current Project Word Count: 76,745
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: Believe it or not, there is no bad today. Voices were loud, flail was quiet. It was a good day.
What's good: After wrapping up last night's word count, I proceeded to write another 1200 words towards today's count, which nicely covered the five hours I spent having a lovely fangirl lunch with [livejournal.com profile] nyerca! And then I came home and slipped right in the story window to write another thousand. I had to make some moderately big changes to this part, but they feel good and I think it's really working. I like the idea of exploring Sue-Ann as a McCoy.
What pleases me: "Layla, dear, come on. Roy's just about to start…" It takes Mary a moment to recognize the woman that bustles up to Layla. Grief and time have not been particularly kind to Sue-Ann, though she doesn't look particularly old. It's more that the lines of stubbornness and pain have set into her face as if drawn by pen, belying the unfaded cinnamon color of her hair and her smooth, unspotted skin. "Lillith," she says flatly, nostrils flaring.

"Sue-Ann." Mary nods. She and Sue-Ann were never friends. Sue-Ann lorded every day of the three years that separates them in age over Mary, too busy with her own schemes and her own friends to pay much attention. On the other hand—and perhaps more importantly—they were never enemies. And things changed when you had children—sons. At least in their family. She hopes it'll be enough.

Sue-Ann inhales sharply and then pivots, ushering Layla toward the tent. "You go on in, honey. Your mom's already found you seats up in the front."

Layla nods, her smile burgeoning into brightness like a star. "Nice to meet you all," she says politely, nodding at Sam and Mary before she ducks through the flap, only slightly unsteady.

Previous parts can be found here

Why're you here, if you're not a believer? )
Today doesn't feel like much of an accomplishment, but I guess it's not a failure either. I might be over deadline, but I made my word count today, for a given value of "today".

21,204 / 50,000 words. 42% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,000
Current Total Word Count: 21,204
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I was really unmotivated for a lot of today, meaning I just barely scraped word count. I am also DEEPLY KICKING MYSELF for making Zacharias a demon, rather than an ordinary, HUMAN agent of Mary's family. It was all fun and games until I had to roll someone under a semi. I'm just saying.
What's good: I think the scenes I have down are rough, but I think they're narratively pretty strong. I hope so.
What pleases me: He closes his fingers over hers. They're much colder than her cheek and he's again haunted by the image of her and Dean standing close with Dean blowing and rubbing heat into the fragile bones.

It had surprised him that Dean would send him after mom, after his notes and hints, but it shouldn't have. Dean had always rent himself in half to take care of Mary and whatever the bad blood between them, Dean could only be the man that Mary had made him.

"Just…go save Mom, okay?"

It occurs to him, in a way it hasn't before, that—warnings aside—Dean has passed the torch to him, trusting Sam to indeed save their mother and keep her safe. He doesn't know how good a job of it he's done so far but, with her bird-bone fingers almost completely enveloped in his, he's conscious of the strange, fierce protectiveness cradled like flame in the center of his chest.

Previous parts can be found here

If she faints, they're both dead and twenty-two years of hiding and scheming and fighting will be lost. )
Success! Chapter Five is finished, as I thought/hoped. As usual, it's going to need some revision and padding, but the point is, DONE. And that means I can move onto "Faith" tomorrow. I've also come to the conclusion that, although the outline doesn't call for Mary to share certain information until "Nightmare", there's no way Sam's going to hold his cork for that long and Mary's going to be feeling a lot of guilt for getting Sam into this. So some of that information is going to have to come out in "Faith", though not all of it. I've also had some interesting thoughts about the denouement. I don't know if I can make them work in print, but it's certainly a lot more than I knew before.

19,204 / 50,000 words. 38% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,872
Current Total Word Count: 19,204
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: The last scene with Dean and YED. It's not working for me and I'm not sure why. I think it needs to be longer, for one thing, but I'm not sure how to stretch out torture without making it gratuitious. At the same time, I think it's too short right now to give proper impact. I also think I screwed up some with the inclusion of Emily at the end. I'm going to have to go back and revise the scene from yesterday in the storm cellar to move Zacharias around. I'm also not sure about the last part in the orchard. It seemed like this part would be much more urgent in the outline and I'm just not getting the proper sense of urgency and I don't know how to fix that either. [livejournal.com profile] baileytc and anyone else who's reading, if you have thoughts, I'd REALLY like to hear them! Please.
What's good: On the other hand, I do like how much more active Emily is here. Because she's now an extraneous female (because of Mary), she's no longer a damsel in a dress, she's a rescuer. I really like how her character has changed and strengthened for me. And I think that I actually changed the action around pretty well. I think the scenes need some tweaking, but I don't think I'll have to totally rewrite any of them and there's a definite flow to them. I also like how strong Sam is here. There's not enough kickass!Sam in the world and I like that he has to take the lead and be the knowledgable one.
What pleases me: "Emily, I want you to stay in the car." Sam reaches over the seat to rummage through his bag for the few weapons he brought with him.

"No way!" Emily declares staunchly. "I'm coming with you."

Sam bonks his head on the roof of the car as he settles back on his haunches to look at her. "Emily."

"Sam," she answers levelly.

"First of all, this could be dangerous. I don’t know how dangerous. And I've gotta worry about my mom. Secondly…" He sighs. "Emily, they're people you know."

Emily's face is pale, her eyes haunted. "You don't think I know that? God, it's all I've been able to think about since…since I found out." She hoists the gas can up from between her legs. "But I don't think I could live with myself if I just…sat by and let it happen. I'll be careful. But I'm going with you."

Previous parts can be found here

Look, this is going to sound crazy, but they… They're going to kill her. Sacrifice her. )
Well, contrary to my expectations at the "start" of today, which really started for me somewhere in the vicinity of 2:30pm, PST, I made my word count and I'm feeling REALLY GOOD about how the story is going. I can see the places where I'm going to need to fatten it up, but the bones are lovely and starting to knit together into something resembling a skeleton. Have I taken that metaphor as far as I can? Yes, I think so. The eye is a lot better. Which still resulted in a lot of sleep, a lot of squint eyed, one eyed typing and a lot of tissues being used (mostly wadded between my glasses and my eye to hold the lid down), but still...better. I'll take better. And I still managed word count.

16332 / 50000 words. 33% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,355
Current Total Word Count: 16,332
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: Trying to make Indiana's topography conform to Kripke's idea of Indiana's topography. I do not think that state looks like what you think it looks like, Mr. Kripke. Fortunately, I avoided Sam having to hitchhike all the way to Louisville.
What's good: Emily. I really didn't want to make her a bad guy and I found a way to sort of pull it out and to make the connection of information to Sam a little easier. I think the convo with Sam and Dean went really well. And after being very afraid I wasn't going to make my word count because my eye led me to sleep away most of the day, I made it and then some. So yay me!
What pleases me: There's a call from his mom too, a periodic dull vibration of his cell to remind him that the voice mail is there, unanswered, unheard. Sam had felt a certain vicious satisfaction when her number had shown up on the caller ID. Not enough to answer, still pulsing hotly with anger and conflicting cross currents of suspicion, but enough to feel like he'd won. Mary Winchester was never the first to bend.

Of course, her voicemail was probably something along the line of, You tell me where you are right now, and, I am so gonna kick your ass when I catch up to you…

But, as long as he doesn't listen to the voicemail to confirm or deny that speculation, he can hold onto the faint glimmer of victory. Especially since it's the only one he has right now.

Previous parts can be found here

Just...go save Mom, okay? )
Today was actually so much better and worse. The writing itself went really well and feels wonderful. I feel like I really hit a stride here. But this was all complicated by the fact that I completely messed up my eye and so I've been suffering through a headache from hell, a stuffy/runny nose and watering eyes ALL DARNED DAY.

13,977 / 50,000 words. 28% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,366 (WOOT, MOTHERFUCKERS!)
Current Total Word Count:
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I scratched my cornea. That made every word of this REALLY DIFFICULT TO TYPE.
What's good: Everything else! I've been having issues with how close the last chapter was to canon, feeling like I was just retelling instead of reinterperting, but this chapter is really a lot more AU, giving me room to do new and different things. It's also a lot more fun to write when I have this room to embroider and go off the beaten path. I really need to add some physical description for Zach, but I like how he's shaping up, young and powerful and amoral and just a little too excited to be doing this. And I think that, although Mary's was stubborn and codproud to let Sam walk away the way she did, her regret afterward is ringing true.
What pleases me: "So what brings you to Burkitsville?" Emily asks, once she's got the nozzle in and the pump is loudly clicking over the gallons.

Mary stubs the END button quickly and looks up into Emily's guileless eyes. "Not a damn thing," she admits. "Just passing through, looking for some breakfast."

Emily nods, pleasant expression not budged in the least. "Best place…" Her smile turns rueful. "Well, pretty much the only place is Scotty's Café over there." She points. "But the food's good. And the apple pie is first rate."

Mary makes a face. "I'm not much for canned apples."

"Oh, no! They're fresh. Or…last year's harvest, anyway. Believe me, they taste as fresh as when they came off the branch." She holds up her hand. "Swear."

"Never really thought of Indiana as an apple state." Mary tucks the cell back in her pocket—though not without yet another pang of misgiving—and tucks her hands into her armpits for warmth. It's a lot warmer than standing on the road in the dark of night with Sam, but April in the Midwest is still a damp, chilly time.

Emily laughs. "Well, it isn't. Really, it's just us."

"So you're a local?" Mary's not really one for small talk, but the low level kibitzing of interrogation has become second nature.

Emily shrugs. "My parents died when I was thirteen." She jerks her thumb back at the shadowed interior of the gas station. "My aunt and uncle took me in. They're nice people." Another shrug. "Everybody's nice here."

"The perfect little town?" Mary asks, careful not to let disbelief enter her tone.

Another smile and Emily's cheeks must ache all day from all this smiling. "Well, it's the boonies. But I love it. The towns around us, Scottsburg, Salem… It's not the same. People losing their homes, their farms, drugs coming in and the crime rate rising. But not here. My aunt says we've been blessed."

You should really try the pie! )
I'm feeling like this part is going to need some considerable revision. I'm not sure how I feel about it. But I kept myself from editing it, so that's something. Of course, I also suspect no one's reading this yet, so I suppose the only person it matters to is me. So yes. I was having a really hard time keeping in mind that Ellicott was running the asylum in the sixties; for some reason, I'd always thought/felt it was the earlier part of the century. I wonder how much my mom can tell me about mental health facilities during that time period? I don't think she started nursing until the early seventies and I'm not sure how much drift there was in medical procedures and stuff at that point.

I went a little long tonight because I was within KISSING DISTANCE of finishing Chapter Four by midnight and I felt it was worth it to go a little over my self imposed deadline and finish the chapter than to post one scene tomorrow and then start Chapter 5. *shrugs*

10545 / 50000 words. 21% done!

Today's Word Count: 3,333
Current Total Word Count: 10,545
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: The diary entries. I really need more time to get into the mindset of The Mysterious Diarist and I just didn't have that. I'm also iffy about Sam's diatribe.
What's good: The Mysterious Diarist. He really helps me connect the lines to Daniel Elkins and the Colt, saving me a lot of metaphorical legwork. I also like how crochety Mary is. It's a lot of fun to write.
What pleases me: Mary scribbles a directional note in white chalk on the doorframe of yet another room and steps across the threshold. Though everything has been moved and distorted by the fire and the subsequent searchers—as well as the passage of decades—this room (137) looks like it was the center of some kind of activity. More furniture, piled to either side of the door, like they were once a barricade. The door itself is gone, the hinges twisted and snapped and the frame on the other side is scratched. Rotted and rusted fragments of bedding are piled in the back, like a nest.

Mary thinks of her last glimpse of her mother, before Juneau guided her away; screaming and wild-eyed like a Maenad, a Fury, choking the life out of an orderly—a man nearly twice her size. A man with thick, piggish features and a lewdly sensual smile that had raised the hackles on the back of Mary's neck.

The patients rioted, she thinks, toeing aside an ancient and frightful teddy-bear half-consumed in slick green-black fungus. But what were they rioting against?

Are we going to talk about it, or is this just it? )

7212 / 50000 words. 14% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,069
Current Total Word Count: 7,212
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: I couldn't focus most of today and didn't get nearly as much done as I'd like. Also, my ? key is doing weird things and not always closing italics tags when I need it to.
What's good: That I still more than made my word count. I am AWESOME.
What pleases me: Dean's note—and the words Don't look for me, and the deep silence that follows them—prickle her like a bug bite, endlessly itching, impossible to be ignored and keeping her scratching until she draws blood. Dean's always been private; a boy who drew hidden pictures on the backs of doors, a boy who didn't speak for nearly a year after his father died, a teenager who would walk six miles back to the car before passing out from blood loss, her first indication he was even wounded. But through those carefully held walls of privacy, Mary's always known that Dean was with her, that Dean trusted her, that he would follow her to the gates of Hell and back if she asked him.

This is why your brother always got the extra cookie. )
Today was an egg-suck of a day. But I still more than made my word count, so yay for perserverance in the face of suck-ass.

5143 / 50000 words. 10% done!

Today's Word Count: 3,007
Current Total Word Count: 5,143
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: The feeling that I'm just rehashing instead of reinterpreting.
What's good: I really feel like I fell into the window in the story today. I've found Sam again. Now if only I could find my Mary voice.
What pleases me: >"Dean…"


"I lost my shoe again." Sam holds the shoe up by its fraying laces.

Dean looks back, makes a face. His shoulders slump and he comes back to Sam. "Here. Sit down. We can fix that." Dean rummages in the overflowing garbage for a couple sheets of newspaper, marked and circled in Mom's red ink pen. He crumples them up and shoves them into the toe of the too-large sneaker. "Here. Now that should help. And then we'll tie them real tight. Double knots. Good?"

Sam nods. "Good. Thanks, Dean."

Previous parts are here

Are we talking 'Two Bottles of Relish' never recovered or 'A Cask of Amontillado' never recovered? )
I really wanted to get more done, it being the first day and all, but today was also my check up PET/CT scan to make sure the cancer is really gone and that always wipes me, so I lost several hours to that, a headache so awful it made me cry and a desperately needed nap. Still. I hit target and that's just fine.

2136 / 50000 words. 4% done!

Today's Word Count: 2,136
Current Total Word Count: 55,307
Estimated Total Word Count: ~100,000
What's bad: God, all of it? I forgot how much NaNo makes me feel everything coming out of my fingers SUCKS OUT LOUD.
What's good: That I've been going on despite that? I don't know yet. Ask me tomorrow.
What pleases me: The fact that Mary relies on Dean is no newsflash—there's a reason he calls Dean Mommy's Little Enforcer—but he realizes that he's always seen it as one directional; Mary accepting her son's service like a particularly angry goddess deigning to take the offerings of her priests. Uncomfortably, it occurs to him now that he's the one who's been seeing it one directionally, failing to see Dean as himself, a man and hunter apart from their mother.

I think I'm going to make myself post at midnight or thereabouts each night to record my progress. What's here doesn't match today's word count because, to avoid breaking in the middle of a scene, I backtracked to the scene break. For those keeping track, this chapter correlates to "Asylum". Previous parts are here

Sam cradles his glass of warming beer between his palms and thinks about how he'd like to talk to someone. )
This is the last bit that I wrote for last year's NaNo. I never posted it because there were a couple gaps in the end part, with Dean, but I've since filled them in. So, in the interest of cleaning my slate before NaNo starts. I really love the part with Dean. *smiles* Tomorrow, I'll start chapter 4.

I'm going to tell you a story. )
So NaNo begins in a few days and I'm really kind of sweating it this year. The last two years, I've been so prolific and so solid with my writing...sometimes I had to bust my ass a little harder, but I always came with a pretty steady word count. This year, me and Kink have been like that high school couple that love each other SO MUCH, but they spend all their time breaking and making up, sometimes more than once in a day.

...and maybe I anthropomorphize my muse just a little too much. *koffs* But that's not the point. The point is, I'm going to take [livejournal.com profile] shotofjack's sage advice and take a run at the story that I feel would be the most fun to write right now. I'm going to try and finish And We Are Ashes, otherwise known as Dark Mary. Which sounds like a great idea, right? Right. The problem--which is the same problem as before--is that I don't know what to do about the denouement.

Let me explain. No. Is too long. Let me sum up. (Contains spoilers for the story) )



August 2009

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