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Day 17 of NaNoWriMo for me has come to an end. This day has been a great success. The week past though was definitely a trying one. A creative and focus road block seemed to be securely in my way. Some days I struggled to even meet the minimum average of 1667 words. Still worse on a few I could not gather the energy to write at all. I let work be an excuse on a couple of days. Granted it is hard to write when one is mentally exhausted from a day at work and working full time.  It is the mid month lull. The excitement of the start of the project is wearing off and the real work seems to set in. Add in that there are some days where the new medications I am on cast a fog over me that is hard to shake and it was a perfect mess.

Today though was the kind of day that re-energizes me. I was able to get my best day of work in. Over 4500 words in and I even felt like I was reaching a nice flow. I brought my average count per day up and I am well on pace to finish the contest goal early. The next challenge will be to see my story to an end. The end being the most difficult part of any of the stories I have written in the past. With this looming over head I did something very different. I skipped ahead, all the way ahead. I wrote the ending to my novel. Brought the story to a climax with a thrilling show down. I loved writing it. It gave me the power to push my characters so far ahead and bring in some new ones as well. This will surely focus me to bring events in the right direction. My stories always seem to sprawl out and I have a hard time bringing everything together to an end. now I have something to work towards.

13 days remaining and I am about 12ooo words from goal. I am excited and hoping my focus stays where it is at now. Wish me luck.

 

Dan

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I will not be posting much of my story here. especially since people tend to take things and claim them as their own. However I did want to share some of the early work of my fantasy creation. A small excerpt of the main character, Sai, encountering an odd occurrence in a nightmare world. all the works below are my own and the rights held by me 🙂 the author. I have not done any editing and there are surely mistakes. This is an absolutely rough first draft. Enjoy

 

 

 

Sai finished another row of the palpa field and unhitched the oxen from their hard task. He began to lead them back towards the homestead and the shelter that housed the work animals. The sun already seemed to be making its decent towards the west and the Sun’s rest mountains. It hung at it’s apex for just a bit before heading back towards the darkness of the horizon that was to come. The chill was out of the air and the work in the fields had brought a sweat to his brow. Sai wiped at it as he finished leading the cattle into their pens in the shelter. He leaned against the doorway that lead into the yard and looked towards the road that lead into town. His pap would be back soon and surely his mam would be making a hearty lunch to steady them against the work to finish the day. As he looked the song of the wind began to dull him again. The sound was so sweet and so barely there that to focus on it was to hear less. Not actively listening he thought he could hear a voice to the melody. The spots of light began to play at the sides of his vision again .

Furiously shaking his head he dug the palms of his hands into his eyes until spots and stars appeared. He blinked into the light of the day and wondered if he was losing his mind. He put his gloves in his back pocket and left the shelter behind walking towards the main house of the homestead. Off towards the right there was a small bunk house that was occupied by the hands that stayed on year round at the farm. There were a handful that had such positions. Someone to help with the animals and some to work in the press house. They were all rather good men and they liked to give Sai a hard time as well, but mostly for some good natured fun. Some of them were coming back from their duties, grabbing a quick bit of food to tide them over before the dinner his mam and the house marm would have prepared for each night. They had one large common room in the house that had a huge oak table. Come dinner it would always be laden with enough to fill the stomachs of the hands and the Serik family. In all aspects the whole group was a family and Enoch made sure they all knew that. It was a good reason why some of the hands had been around all of Sai’s life. Some of them had surely been around in the time of Sai’s grandfather, back when the ranch was his and Enoch was Sai’s age.

Some of them nodded at Sai as he made his way towards the house. Lunch in the great house was reserved for the family only. It was really the only time that they could eat together and alone. . Breakfast was always a quick affair, some hard bread and butter and off to the fields to get as much work in as possible in the fleeting daylight. As he reached the steps onto the large porch that circled the house the melody began to grow in his ears. The dull sweetness took his mind and he saw one of the spots of light come right in front of his face. a soft voice called out against the melody. “Be Still” the two words said and at that Sai collapsed into darkness.

*******
A buzz flowed through his thoughts as he opened his eyes. He was standing but he did not remember getting to his feet. The world around him was devoid of colors. That was not entirely true. Faint lines and whisps seemed to flow from object to object. Light strands of gold gossamer thread flowed and hung in the air. They wound and past through the trees, the grass and all that was. Sai looked around in detached wonder. He held his hands up in front of his eyes and gazed at the golden threads that emanated from his fingers and connected the landscape around him. The flow of the threads passed through him and as it did he could feel the warmth and vibration, a tingle that traced his body. The hands in front of him though were somehow different, not his own. He looked at them again and with detached effort let them fall to his side. Moving now he was walking in a clearing, the muted colors around him eerie. The once vibrant autumnal colors gone into varying shades of gray. Sai gazed into the woods that circled the clearing. His vision could not see past the first few trees. Deep infinite blackness saturated beyond. The seemed to move around him instead of him through it. The clearing center was now behind and the line of trees closer and closer. The golden threads seemed to spark and shimmer more and more clearly as the darkness approached. He willed his hand to come up and feel their warmth again but it would not listen. A drumming began to fill the silence, a lub dub, lub dub, lub dub. His heart beat pounding forcefully in his chest and head. The pain of it so intense thoughts of death came to him. Let go. He wanted to just collapse right there in the clearing the the black forest came closer greeting him with its cold outstretched limbs.

The flowing threads disappeared, the woods claimed him, claimed his vision and the clearing ceased to be. The beat of his heart was unbearable now, the pain so great he would cry out if he could. Blackness filled his eyes but his mind sense the world moving around him. creatures filled his mind. Black beasts that melted into the night. The world began to close in. The phantoms circling about closer and closer. Claustrophobia, panic.

A light broke through the darkness, It was of pure white. The light that twinkle from the stars of the night sky. The light came closer and barely larger. Its glow an inviting break in the abyss that was his world. The light came closer and Sai could make out a tiny creature. It looked like something that the old men of the village would tell of in their stories, myths. A sprite. Sai desperately wanted to say hello. However his mouth would not work. He tried to feel his tongue but it was not there. The creature came right up to his eye, so close that any closer it would have been a blurry spot. It looked at him and smiled. If he had to say anything it was a she. Her image a pure white body with a furry glow where arms would have been. She had the palest skin that he had ever seen, white with specks of gold that seemed to be jewels adorning her cheeks and legs. Her smile was reassuring and mischievious at the same time.

“Be Still” her only words to him and in a blink she was gone, the world was rushing up around him, still blackness. With greater and greater speed. The blackness, the phantoms and the beasts of nothing flew up around him. Sai began to scream silently in his head. Nothings lurched for him, touching, clawing. His body began to twist and tumble. Mumbling grew into a roar filling his ears. Jolting, shaking. “ Sai…..” A faint calling through the noise “Sai” He called for vision, he pleaded for light. He begged to be released from the nightmare that wanted to devour him “SAI!”   

 

by Dan Bahr

 

 

 

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Another year and another nano under way. So far I am off to a good start. Four days in and I am just shy of 11k words. Not too bad of a start. I am treating it a little differently this year. Usually I go a little crazy and over do it in the beginning, days of 5000-8000 words and sometimes more. This is great till I get near the end and can’t quite find the energy or will to complete my story and see it through. Now this is not to say that I have not succeeded at the challenge. One year I had a late start and had my own nano in a 30 day period, just not in November. Two years ago I was able to complete Nano in its normal time. I actually wrote a story that was well over 100,000 words but could not bring it to an end. This year I am trying to take a much different approach. My goal is to consistently write around 2500 words a day and even if at the end of the month I am not at the end of my story I have to keep working till the story is at its end.

This may be a fun challenge but my bigger goal is to craft a novel that I would be proud to share with my fiends and family. If I am very lucky I would love to be published or self publish.

As the story goes I am pretty happy with how things are progressing. I am discovering some of the key characters and beginning to craft the magical system that glows through the world. I have already introduced some interesting creatures into the story and have some great ideas for more to show up in later pages. I have set the scene and the action is about to take off.

🙂

Outside of the writing which was a success, it was a good weekend. My step son was up and on Saturday the three of us went to a concert. It was a Christian rock festival. Not my normal thing but some of the music was pretty good. The message might not have been the same for me but live music is live music. I do feel like a little bit of an outsider at those sort of things. Like at some point one of them is going to point at me and shout nonbeliever! I am paranoid and over anxious about it bit it is a weird thought that I have. I tried to just concentrate on the good tunes. I did love that we were able to go as a family.

For this coming week I am looking forward to seeing my doctor again. Things are getting a little better. I am definitely more level. Have not have the moments of breaking down for no good reason. I do feel that even though I am more even it I a level that is still on the downer side. That is okay though as they are going to add an antidepressant into the mix this week. The anxiety is still pretty bad though. That is one thing I am going to make sure to let her know.

Well that is a quick summary. I hope to have an update again later this week. Maybe I will post an excerpt.

Dan

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It is October 31st, also known as Nano Eve. I had a slight moment of panic and crisis. I had some ideas down for the direction that I wanted to head for my story. Then a few days ago I lost my path a bit and started thinking about something else. It seems though that this morning in the quiet and peace of the early morning hours I was able to go back to the short notes I had and solidify my focus into the story I was already mentally developing. So I have my basis. I had my Fiance check over some of my notes and she thought it was a good start that I just had to go into more details. That works for me because what I had was just the lay out and back story that my mind needs to get going and discover from there. The working title is going to be “The Shadow’s Thread”. It is going to be a fantasy novel based in a land where magic has been practically extinguished. Children born with what is dubbed the shadow upon them are executed. A tyrannical government controls the common lands. The story starts in a small town with an odd stranger coming into the village at the time of harvest. The stranger has a message for the young man that the story revolves around. Events take off quickly from there.

I will be posting some excerpts as I go and giving updates on the progress. I am excited and a bit anxious. Wish me luck on that front 🙂

———

As my personal life and mental health go things are slightly improved, if only for the fact that I have some hope in the direction that things are going. After all of the frustrations and being told to go here and then there and then back again I was finally able to see my family doctor. She knew my history and knew the struggles that I have gone through my whole life. I filled her in with some of what has worked in the past and she agreed that it was a good mix of meds. She started me on some small doses of anxiety and mood stabilizer meds and once those have some time to work she is going to start me on an anti depressant as well. I have definitely been going through an adjustment time. The anxiety is still pretty bad but it is better than it was. I am however a little foggy from the seroquel which helps me sleep. I know I will adjust though. I am glad I have something to start with until I can see an actual specialist. I see my family doctor again in a week. It was definitely a relief to get someone who would actually listen.

Well, off to work I go. I will surely give an update tomorrow how my first day of writing for Nano goes.

Dan

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After a little bit of struggling with my creative faculties I think I have a good start to a story that I would like to write. I was trying to see if I could creatively come up with a decent sci fi story but I just could not do it. SciFi is my favorite genre to read but apparently my mind does not want to cooperate with writing in such a field. I tend to always want to go back to Fantasy and Adventure stories. Coming of age and young heroes put to task, taken from their once simple lives. In this my mind finally came up with something I think I can use. I was able to think up a decent back story and an opening seen. With the way that I write this is usually all I need. I am a discovery writer. Usually I come up with an idea and some characters and a little back story in my head and then I let the story take me where it will. This is an exciting way to write but can also be a challenge. For me the biggest challenge is bringing everything together at the end.

The dilemma that I am having is whether I want to do NaNo in the traditional sense where one has to complete 50,000 words in a month or if I just want to write at my own pace. My dream has always been to be a published author and to be able to make a living off of what I can create. Maybe I should take this as an attempt to reach this goal and work more ardently at crafting a well rounded novel. I have a few days to decide as NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st. One thing is for certain, I am definitely excited to write again since I have not in a good while.

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“Paging doctor emery, Paging doctor emery, ext 246” The intercom sounded and disappeared into the background. LC paced in the emergency room waiting area. He could tell that he was making those around him nervous, the mothers with their sick children, and all the others waiting outside for their family members who were carted off and tucked away in unseen rooms behind curtains being cared for. LC was a bundle of emotions, worry, anger, excitement and furry. He wanted to lash out at something so badly. His fists were balled and his knuckles drained of blood and white, skin taught against the joints of his fingers. One of his fists was to his side and the other was placed firmly against his upper teeth. He dug into it until he could finally feel the pain. There was no doubt in his mind who had done this to his friend. No doubt who would pay for this. The law was now far removed from his mind, all semblances of getting justice were now skewed to getting revenge, which was a whole new game. LC could live with getting shot at and taking a bullet, but when his friends and loved ones were brought into this it was a whole knew game and there was a new set of rules to live by. He could feel his breathing growing deeper and more forceful. Anger began to overcome all other emotions. He was a bull, tormented and caged, trying to break free and run around the arena, finding anything to point its fury at.

The walls of the emergency room began to close in on him, making him feel their presence more and more. The fluorescent light buzzing inside his head, the eyes of all those waiting patients and worried others began to pierce into his mind. He could not take it any longer and stormed out of the waiting area. He jogged past the admittance desk and found the sliding doors that opened to the entrance of the ER. He slowed just in time for the doors to open and burst out into the cold night air. The relief was immediate but fleeting. Indigo, the man in black, they would all pay for this, somehow. His mind was humming with scenes of revenge and wrath.

LC found himself walking away from the hospital. He had no idea what he was doing, just walking, staying in motion, trying to use some of the energy and adrenaline that he had built up inside of him. The private detective had seen some bad things in his life, being a cop it was part of the job, but it was easier to remove yourself and stay focused when the victim was not linked so closely to you. He had however never seen someone so tortured as he had his friend, and especially that he had survived the beating and pain, so far. LC wanted to know more about sam’s chances but the doctors quickly kicked him out of the room when he began to get in the way with his worrying and questions. He was angry at them too, but could not blame them.

As LC walked he looked down at his hands in the darkness and saw the black streaks in the dim light of the blood that was beginning to dry on his hands and shirt. He looked a menacing fright to anyone who saw him, his tan polo shirt stained in blood, sam’s blood. Stumbling over a curb he came to a patch of grass shaded by trees and a bench. The area was meant to be a respite for those visiting sick ones, or a place for workers to get some fresh air. He knelt down upon the grass and rubbed his hands in the cold dewy grass, trying to wipe the blood from his hands. Furious he rubbed them until they were a mix of grass dirt and blood. He pounded his fists into the ground  and slouched down, feeling defeated.

He could not get the image of the basement out of his head. No man should ever have to endure such pain. If he wanted to hurt him just do it, just finish it. The tormentor had to enjoy this, get some pleasure from it to inflict such agony and still have the man alive. The means used were interrogation at its darkest. The kind that the outside world did best not knowing about. This character was a real threat and not to be taken lightly. He sent an obvious calling card by his actions tonight. Sam was in this place because of him. LC brought this on his friend, he was the bringer of death to those he was closest too. He began to beat himself up, more and more, his fists now pounding into his thighs. He even punched at his wounded side so that he could feel the sharp pain that he deserved. His scream cracked through the stillness of the night.

As he sat there on that cold November night, snowflakes began to fall from the sky. Their white icy dots landing on the man’s thinning hair, melting quickly. The season was changing again, soon fall would turn into winter and the snow would stay around longer forming a blanket of white everywhere. Hiding the death of the season past. LC tipped his head back and closed his eyes letting the flakes land upon his face. The cool feeling was a relief against the heat that had built up from his emotions. He did not move. The body of the detective stayed still, trying to let the cold take him to his core, to let it cool the fire inside of him. It only served though as a sharp contrast, the cold and quiet of the late autumn night, versus the fire and passion of the emotions inside of him.

“LC?” A man called out as he approached the grassy area from across the parking lot. LC did not respond except for to lower his head again. The moisture from the snow streamed slowly down his face. “LC what are you doing out here?” Barry stepped towards the man and lade a hand on his shoulder. “You are going to get yourself sick”

“I deserve it Barry, I deserve it” He said not looking at the man, his eyes still closed.

“Are you alright? You look terrible. You are shivering” The man shook his shoulder lightly trying to get him to look up at him, it was no use though. “What happened….I am not taking a statement right now, the time will come, I am just asking as a friend” Barry remained standing behind him, hand still resting on his shoulder.

“I should be the one in that hospital room, not Sam, he did not do anything wrong!” Anger filled his voice again.

“Did you do something wrong?” Barry asked and then shifted his weight a bit when LC did not answer “I am not implying that you did, just the way you said it”

“I just went after the truth, and found that there was a greater force trying to protect it. They used Sam to get to me, I’m sure of it. The bastard tortured him” LC took a deep breath trying to collect himself. The snow began to fall harder and harder, still not enough to accumulate on the grass, but enough to begin to soak his shirt. It began to cling to him. He began to shiver more forcefully.

“What man are you talking about?” This was the first he had mentioned it, maybe it was a slip. He was going to endanger even more.

LC shook his head quickly “I told sam too much, not even anything important and look where it got him. Do you think anyone who could do that would be stopped by a badge. I don’t think so, if I tell you anything else I am putting you in the damn headlights. I can’t” Barry released his hand from the kneeling man’s shoulder and took a seat on the steel bench that was a few feet away.

“LC, I can’t help you if I don’t know what is going on. I can still leave things from being included in anything official till we know what is going on, but Christ look at yourself, do you think you can handle this on your own, someone is already in the hospital over this!” barry immediately wanted to take the last words back as soon as they left his mouth but it was too late and hurt more for the fact that truth rang through them. LC shot the man a glare and stood up, walking a few feet off into the distance staring off into the blackness of the woods that lined the property of the hospital. “Even if you don’t tell me everything you are going to have to figure out some way to come up with a story for what happened and how you were the one to stumble upon the scene. Nothing can stop that from happening.”

LC hated to admit that the man was right. If he wanted to keep things shielded from the public eye till he knew more he had to have some other reason for finding sam the way he did. There was no easy solution. Barry could be a valuable resource, LC struggled with the idea though of putting someone else in harm’s way.

“LC I am a grown man, if I ask to help you and let me in on this I know that there are risks. I am not Sam” Barry rose from the bench and walked slowly up to his old partner. “I am a cop, I take risks every day, some more measured then others. It is part of the job. If this is risky so be it…. I just don’t want to see you shoulder it alone. You have to tell me what is going on. Otherwise no more coming and asking me for help without throwing me a damn bone. I won’t do it.”

LC turned to his partner, he would have smiled if he could. The man was loyal to the force but also loyal to what he thought was right. The two things did not always jive in the past, but a few years will change some of those feelings. Barry put his arm on his back and began to guide him back to the hospital.

“Now you gotta get back inside, your teeth are clattering worse than a locomotive. Come on” the two of them crossed the dark parking lot and went back into the warmth and light of the hospital emergency room. The night was far from over.

 

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So often I become involved in a grand idea. Whether it is a new past time, hobby or any other means of distraction. I put so much effort into it that eventually I am burned out by it and lose all interest. This really is a regular cycle for me. One that I truly despise but have come to expect that it is part of who I am. Last night I finally accomplished something that is more of a personal victory than anything else recently in my life. Too many people it may not be a big deal or may just be another crazy idea that I am putting all of my heart into. To me though this is something I can finally hang my hat on. Last night at around 10:45 pm I reached the monthly target of 50,000 words, which roughly translates to a novel of about 175 pages. This is the goal of the National Novel Writing Month better known as NaNoWriMo.

This is the first time I have been successful at it, having only really competed one other time. That time I gave up on it like I have with so many other things in my life. I even had a good start and a good idea for a story as was told to me by a good friend. I still have this partial first draft and may revisit it in the future. This is a big thing to me. One of those moments I want to shout from the roof top, if not for the fact that people may believe me to be losing my mind. Now I have to refocus myself on completing my novel in the time frame of the month, which is my personal goal I have set for myself. I do not know how long my story will end up being but I have twenty days to reach that goal.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am holding back on the ideas of grandeur. I know that this is not something I should inflate my hopes too much with. It is still and will always be a dream to be published some day. To be honest though i don’t know if anything I am writing is any good. I will say this though. Some of the characters are feeling more and more alive to me. The character of LC Everett, my private detective seems to ring the loudest with me. There is something about his honesty and drive for the truth and the way he wants to protect his friends that has me drawn more into him than anybody else. It is becoming easier and easier for me to write the chapters that ivolve him because the words come to life inside my head and I just have to do what I can to transfer them to my fingers.

Anyways I just wanted to share in my jubilation. Nanowrimo, check. Novel completion, next on the list. Time to keep plowing ahead.

Dan

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