When I was writing for NaNoWriMo 2012 last November, I started posting my daily word count on my personal Facebook page as status update. After a week or so of this, I realized that those updates were probably pretty boring. That's when I started posting short snippets from each day's writing along with my word count for the day.
Just for fun, I have decided to put those snippets together here so they can be read together. And since I know how many words I typed each day every day of the month, I will be able to go back and find some snippets for the earlier-in-the-month days when I didn't post one. (Did I mention that I finished on November 30th with a completed manuscript and 100,169 words written?)
Keep in mind that these snippets are part of a very rough first draft and, as such, are subject to changes, some small and some drastic, and even subject to deletion from the final novel. Also, they will not tell you the whole story, only give you pieces of it.
To make the story a little easier to understand, I will start by posting the working title ("working" meaning I will most likely be changing it - and I am open to suggestions) and the (rough) synopsis.
Marie is a single mom of four who finds herself helping a couple of guys
who fight demons and spirits. She's blown away by meeting these guys
and some of the creatures they hunt because it changes how she views her
world and how safe she feels she can keep her children. She's not a
demon hunter and has never before had any dealings with the paranormal;
she's completely ordinary, or so she thinks until strange things start
happening, suggesting she might have some inhuman powers of her own.
Two men were out there, and so was that thing
, the thing that had
made the night feel so wrong. One of the men was swinging at the dark
creature with a sword, a sword that glowed fiercely, pushing back the
“You’re in no condition to fight another one of those beasts tonight,” I reminded Jake.
“It doesn’t matter,” he answered. “Someone else might get hurt if we don’t get it off the streets.”
They discussed different strategies for protecting the house, and when
it sounded like they had come up with everything they could think of, I
spoke up. “I want to learn to fight.”
No choice now. I raced headlong at the beast, swiping my dagger against
its throat and dashing to the right before its claws connected with me.
kids were all still asleep. Watching them sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder
what I had been thinking when I ran out there to face down the giant werewolf.
I mean, I could have so easily been killed. In fact, by all reasoning, I should have been killed. My children
would have been left here with no mommy. And no one would know they were here.
They would have woken up and not known what happened to me. That is, if the
monster hadn’t come and attacked them in their sleep after killing me. How
could I have taken such a risk?
I was freaking out inside about this news, but I didn’t show any sign of
my inner turmoil. If they knew I was freaking out, they might not tell
me the rest.
“Our life – it sucks. And although Jake feels responsible for fighting evil, he feels as though he has
to do it, he’s never really wanted this life."
"I think - I think maybe we just found you too late. I think maybe we
should just find a way to help you get on with your life and leave our
life behind you."
“But what about the necklace?” Jake asked. “Can dream walkers bring things from their dreams into the physical world?”
When the glow faded, the beast no longer stood before me. Instead a
man stood before me. He was dressed as a knight, and he fell to one knee at my feet.
I looked between them, still not sure what the right thing to do was. I
had decided that Sir Rowland was telling the truth and my instincts told
me he wasn’t dangerous, so I invited him inside. Jake’s scowl grew
He looked into my eyes, as though trying to
make sure I was listening. “And you saved one of them! You released her
from captivity. I have never seen it done so quickly before. An exorcism
usually takes days, sometimes weeks, and even then, the vessel, once
released from the demon’s hold, often dies. You saved her with a touch.”
I got dressed in the leather catsuit and Jake
and Sean helped me strap on different weapons. There were straps for
daggers and knives on my legs and ankles, one for holding a short sword
on my back and the guys affixed a belt around my waist with holsters for
two guns. I hadn’t trained much with guns, but I knew the basics.
I threw a pillow at him, but it missed him as
he ducked out the door. I smiled. We had survived, all of us. I could
barely believe it. After facing my certain death and accepting it,
after facing down those insurmountable odds, I was still here. And
everyone I cared about was still unharmed. I sobered suddenly. It was
all too good to be true. I suddenly knew that something really bad would
be coming for us. Would I be ready?
If only it were that easy to stay safe. The
shadow dragon man was dangerous. I could feel it in my bones, and what’s
more, I could sense that he was here, close. I knew he would be coming
for me. And I had the sinking feeling that none of us were ready for
I moved just in time, as seconds later, the
window shattered and the huge werewolf I had faced once before, the
first time my powers appeared, crashed into my living room. I felt tiny
stings as pieces of glass scraped my face. I dove to the side, barely
out of range of the werewolf, and rolled easily back to my feet.
“He said the same thing. He said I wouldn’t be
able to resist him. But what choice do I have? I’m going to have to
face him eventually. Isn’t it better that I face him without risking the
safety of my children when it happens?” I looked Jake in the eyes,
trying to convey my seriousness. “I have to go.”
I was glad he had confidence in me. If only I
could find confidence in myself. Even after using my gift time and
again, I had no real idea of how it worked or how to control it. I
didn’t know why it drained me, so how was I supp
to figure out how to stop it from happening? Before my power had been
awakened, I was a normal woman, a mother. Now suddenly I was powerful
and supposed to know what to do with that power. So much was being asked
of me, and, for the sake of the people I loved and, in fact, even
people I’d never met, I would have to figure out how to access my power
and control it. I would have to learn to become a weapon against
darkness. It is what I was supposed to become and what I was meant to
Imps were small, about the size of a toddler.
They were the color of a snail with skin that was similar to a slug’s.
Their eyes were red and bulbous. They were bald, and every tooth in
their mouths was sharp and pointed, made for ripping through flesh.
Their food of choice was small babies, but, since it was difficult for
them to get babies, they often satisfied themselves by eating family
pets. They were capable of cloaking themselves for short periods of time
and of moving very quickly.
“But unicorns aren’t real,” I whispered aloud to myself.
Jake heard me. “What makes you say that? Surely if all of the evil
creatures of legend and myth exist, then so do the good creatures, the
ones of magic and light.”
“Whoa! Are you telling us that you got possessed?” Jake asked.
“No. Well, yes. Sort of. It wasn’t a demon. At least, it didn’t feel like a demon.” I was rambling.
“Then what was it?”
“Not a demon?” I know. I’d already said that, but I didn't know what
else to say. I really didn’t know what had taken me over. But I was
certain that it was something less evil and way more powerful than a
I knew I needed a shower. I briefly
entertained inviting Jake to join me. I’d already been considering
allowing this thing between us to go to the next step, and this would be
the perfect opportunity to take that step. But naturally, I chickened
“I am not an angel,” I glared at Rowland. “And
I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure there is no angel inside me.
Whatever it was that took me over, I don’t feel its presence anymore.”
“Maybe this new ability to heal yourself and the extra energy are just
the after-effects of being possessed by an angel or whatever that thing
was,” Jake said. “If it’s just the after-effects, it’ll wear off
eventually, so don’t get too used to it.”
The sand blew in my face, stinging my eyes. It began to coat my throat, making it hard to breath. I shut my eyes, and started coughing as I could feel it filling my ears and muffling sound. I struggled to breath, slowly suffocating to death.
I whispered one word. I don’t even know why I said it as I lay there in
the sand, being buried in more sand. My thoughts just turned in that
direction and I whispered, “Jake.”
And then he was there. He
was grabbing me and shaking me, yelling at me and starting to cough too.
He is going to suffocate with me, I thought weakly, knowing I was about
to die. He leaned in close to my ear and continued yelling. And that’s
when I heard what he was shouting.
“Marie, wake up! Marie! WAKE UP!”
And I woke.
She stopped in front of the statue of an angel
that stood just a few yards outside the cemetery grounds in the field. I
noticed more graves, most of them with smaller, less noticeable
headstones. They just had small plaques lain in the ground over the
graves rather than large headstones. I
looked at the plaques but didn’t recognize any names. When I looked back
up at the stone cemetery angel, I noticed that she appeared to be
presiding over, or watching over, these less noticeable graves. Her
stone façade was crumbled and cracked, the signs of time passing showing
in each smoothed over line and each split in her surface.
“No, there’s been no sign of him, just his
compulsion spell,” Roland said. “Marie, I wanted to kill you. He made me
actually enjoy the thought of wrapping my hands around your throat and
watching you strangle to death. How can he do that? Compulsions aren’t
supposed to make you feel what he wants you to feel, just to do what he
“What do you mean she looks like me?” I asked David.
“She has your hair and your face, Mommy,” he told me matter-of-factly. “Can’t you see her?”
“Not as well as you can, baby,” I said. “Can you hear her?”
“She’s not talking right now,” David said. “She’s too busy trying to hide her wings.”
“Her wings?” My voice was startled.
“Yah. She doesn’t want me to see them, but I can.”
Why did I keep seeing these references to me,
or someone who looked like me, with wings? While wings would be kind of
cool because I would love to be able to fly, I was allergic to down, so
growing feathers would probably not be a good thing for me to do. I
could just see me now, battling demons while sneezing violently into
Oh, wow. Jake was the one feeling insecure. I hadn’t even thought of how my sneaking away this morning might have looked.
“I didn’t sneak out on you, Jake,” I told him, my voice gentle, all traces of my earlier sarcasm and
gone. “I didn’t want to wake you; you were sleeping so peacefully. But I
didn’t want the kids to wake up and find me not there, so I needed to
get back before they woke up.”
He looked at me, the hope in his
eyes melting my heart completely. I moved closer to him and grabbed
both of his hands in mine. “Last night was incredible for me too. I
can’t stop thinking about it, about you.” I let go of his hands and
cupped his cheeks in my hands, looking directly into his eyes. “I was
hoping that we could have a night like that again sometime.”
And just like that his lips were on mine and his arms wrapped around me, pulling my body up tight against his.
I was standing on a giant
book, and, as I walked along its pages, my story slowly wrote itself.
There weren’t that many pages in the book that had writing on them; most
of the book was still blank. My life was still, mostly, unwritten.
To my right was a second book. Jake walked along its pages, but, as I
stopped along the pages of my book to look at him, he stopped to look at
me. And we stood there, our story still unwritten and so many words