Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaNoWriMo Work in Progress - Excerpt #2 (Day 11)

Come hell or high water, I will hit at least 15,000 words in the NaNoWriMo novel before I go to bed. (Actually, high water is pretty likely, as it has been raining all day with much more to come.)

I've had a few rough days of NaNo-ing, I'll be honest with you, which is my excuse for my lagging wordcount. We should be closer to 18,500 words instead of the 15,000 I'm closing in on, but I still have hope that the gap can be made up. I was starting to doubt this story and in my non-caffeinated enough moments, was having delusions of grandeur by envisioning myself as some sort of Salmon Rushdie figure because of some of the controversial points in this novel. (I've also been procrastinating a tad by working on some Christmas presents that I'm making.)

But hopefully, I've turned a little corner here, if only for today. I think I'm having a decent writing night, but I'll let you be the judge of that with this excerpt:

She knew who was going to be on the other end of the phone even before she picked it up.

“Hello, how can I help you?”

“Is this Maggie?”

“Are you in a safe place?” she said automatically, grabbing her clipboard and pen.

“I am. Maggie, is that you?”


“It’s Jorie.”

Jorie, one of her regulars. She had been calling the hotline for months now, talking only to Maggie. In Jorie’s mind, she considered herself one of the lucky ones because her husband had never hit her. (“That would be the last straw,” she once said. “So help him God, if he lays a hand on me or my kids, I’m gone.")

But Maggie knew Jorie would stay, despite the insults veiled in concern and caring that could fly faster than his fists, despite his verbal assault-rifle barrage leaving her with even more emotional collateral damage.

C’mon, honey, do you really need that ice cream? You would look so hot if you'd just manage to lose a couple pounds, you know? Tell you what, when you do, I’ll buy you the most gorgeous dress at any store you like. And then I’ll take you out for an expensive dinner downtown. And then I’ll dress you up in a little something from Victoria’s Secret just for me.

Maggie heard it all, through Jorie’s sobs in her calls after her kids were in bed, when she was alone and her husband was working late again. So he said.

“I know he’s sleeping around, I just know it, because he tells me all the time that I’m not good enough for him,” she said. “That I’m lucky to have him. Meanwhile, he’s probably fucking some intern whore from his office, as if I’m stupid and I don’t know he hasn’t done that before. I mean, what if he comes home with a disease, with AIDS or something?”

Maggie drew in her breath, went silent.

“Maggie? You there?”

“I’m here,” Maggie replied, clearing her throat. Dammit, keep it together, she thought. Who’s the professional here?

Maggie continued, her composure regained. “Well, there are resources, you know … places that do free and confidential testing, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“I just don’t think I can do this anymore. It’s just been too long … too much for too long, you know?”

I know what you mean, Maggie wanted to say. I do know. And I don’t think I can do this anymore either.

copyright 2009 MelissaF (pay attention to that, content thieves ... you scum of the earth, you.)


Niksmom said...

This is intriguing to me...keep writing!

Anonymous said...

Intriguing, my friend. Don't stop. Don't think. Just write.

I don't know if I've ever shared this with you, but the best advice I ever got (though I did not know it at the time) is that the first draft has one purpose: to get you to the end. The real work, the real writing comes in revisions. (Unless, of course, you do happen to be Salmon Rushdie!!)

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Both of you are such wonderfully gifted writers, and so this means a great deal. Thank you so much!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You are so talented. I'm so glad you are doing NaNo!