Crossing the finish line — Goal ACHIEVED!

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner-1

So, that’s it! Weighing in at 50,030 words, completed in 29 days. It’s not perfect, nowhere near finished, but since I’ve been able to let my students begin reading it last week, two are really enjoying it, and three or four are grudgingly continuing to read it either out of interest or pity . . . but they’re reading it.

My kingdom for a better title than the Snowmobile Story!

Still, I’m so happy to have gotten another novel written through Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s a reminder to me of how much I can accomplish in a relatively short space of time. Definitely a boost, right when I needed it — I don’t take transitional weather very well. And even though I know it needs work, it’s a complete draft from start to finish, unlike the piles of unfinished plot ideas and exposition lying around in my notebooks and computer files.

The next step is getting feedback, doing the edits, etc., but now I need to focus back on other priorities at work and at home. You put certain things off for a month when you’re working on a story, and that means catching up when it’s done.

Doing this, though — it makes me want to go out and celebrate. Like Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) having wine while her cat eats a dish of Fancy Feast. Or Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) doing his thing after hitting the final lines of his — what was it, his forty-third novel? True, I’m not even close to being that prolific. But imagine if I could write like this every month. Every day. Imagine being able to produce six or more novels a year. I know I could do that. One day, I will do that. For now, this is enough, though.

Thanks for following me on this, by the way. I really appreciate it, very very much. 365 Days of Blogging will continue, with more updates on this and on the Talbot Trilogy as I complete my final proofreading checks and the promotions for Crystal and Wand kick into high gear. Also coming up is my trip to Ottawa ComicCon (yikes!) and assorted other hijinks and shenanigans . . . work-life balance, indeed!

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Excerpt from my WIP Snowmobiling Story / Camp NaNoWriMo Project

*Desperately needs a better title! Even a better working title!

Have a look at a section of this YA fiction I’m working on for reluctant readers, and tell me what you think!

———————–

I heard once that when someone gets hypothermic, they take all their clothes off and dig a hole. No, seriously, that’s — well, it’s something that Penny read in an article online and then told me about. I didn’t get an urge to burrow or anything like that, but I got to a point where I just wanted to lie down and take a nap, and I didn’t much care anymore where I did it. But I knew that’d piss Penny off, ’cause she was waiting for me, and it was a stupid idea to lie down on the railroad tracks no matter what. My dad would kick my ass if I did that.

No, I don’t talk about my dad that much. He’s not home a whole lot. He’s not even really my dad, okay? Just like my sister isn’t really my sister. He works driving transports, so he’s always going across country or down into the States. The money’s good, so you’d think we’d be doing better, but after my mom got divorced she ended up with a whole bunch of debt, and he had some too from before they got married. They had a cheapo wedding, too, although I don’t know why they even bothered to do that. Should have just moved in together and been done with it, in my opinion. No offense, if you don’t think people should just live together, but it’s honestly cheaper than having a big party just to show off.

When my dad does come home, it’s all about showing off. Mom’s got to show that she’s got it all handled, and that means I have to keep my nose clean, not argue or leave messes, shit like that. It sucks. Why should I have to be someone other than myself? I mean, heaven forbid I leave some dishes in the sink when my dad’s home — I do it when he’s not home, too, and the world doesn’t end.

On the other hand, he’s been around since I was a kid, and like I told you before, he’s pretty cool at teaching me some stuff. He was with me when I shot my first buck, showed me how to dress it and got the rack mounted for me for my birthday that year.

That same year, I heard about this thing where you can put a penny on a railroad track and when a train goes by, either the penny gets flattened completely, or it’ll derail the train. Either way, it sounds pretty effing cool, so I took a penny to try it. I hung around for a while, waiting for the action, but it got boring, so I just left the penny there and went back later, after I’d heard the train go by. It didn’t crash, but the penny was squashed.

You know what’s even cooler than getting a penny flattened by a train? Getting a loonie done the same way.

Yeah, I don’t understand why I’d want a train to derail, but when you’re a kid, it’s just something neat and different. I get it now, why it’d be bad. At the time I was all into explosions and loud noises and stunts and shit. So I take a loonie out of my mom’s wallet, not knowing that my dad saw me do it — I thought he was just watching hockey and drinking a beer — and I go out to the train tracks again.

So the first thing I get in trouble for, after I get back, is stealing. And it was just a dollar! Man, can you imagine what he’d do to me if I got caught taking a twenty? Or one of his beers? That’s why I wait until he’s gone on a road trip again, heh. He doesn’t keep count when he’s gone.

Anyway, he kicks my ass for taking money without asking. And then he wants to know what I did with it. I’m just a kid, I’m freaked out, so I tell him. Dad hustles me back to the train tracks, holding me up by the back of the neck so I’m practically on my tiptoes the whole way, and we get the loonie back.

Then we stayed there, waiting for the train to go by. While we’re there, he starts telling me about this one time that he saw a drunk guy walking home on the tracks lay down or pass out, and got his legs cut off by the train. It didn’t even slow down. I didn’t ask whether the guy lived or died.

I did feel like puking, though. My dad’s a good storyteller. I can kill and gut a deer, no problem. I went all that way after getting kicked by a moose and I didn’t whitey even when I wanted to. But you get my dad describing something gory, and I tell you, my stomach just turns over. And you can totally tell how much he’s loving it while I’m turning white and trying not to listen.

“Adam,” he says, looking at me seriously. “There’s a reason why most of the time, houses aren’t built next to the railway tracks.”

Of course, that’s a lie. There’re houses up here that are right close to the tracks. Okay, so there’s a backyard between the house and the rails, but still.

He starts telling me about what a train derailment is really like.

“The cars knock together and push each other to the sides,” he says. “So it’s not just turning over to one side, there’s cars to the left and cars to the right. And as soon as the first ones stop moving, the ones behind them jump on top, ’cause they don’t have any other place to go. If those are passenger cars, you got people inside getting flung all over the place, getting cut by broken glass and squashed under iron wheels and trapped between the seats. They can’t hear themselves screaming ’cause the sound of metal screeching is too loud, but when it’s over, then they’ll hear each other. And if they’re really lucky, someone nearby will hear them and call 911.

“But if there’s a house or a car that’s too close to the tracks,” he goes on, pointing at the spots. “The train pulverizes it.”

That’s the exact word he used. Pulverize.

“It’s going so fast, and it’s made of steel so it’s heavy, that it knocks into whatever’s in its way and smashes right through. If there’re chemicals or gas or oil, and there’s a leak, the steel makes sparks and that causes an explosion. So whoever might have survived in the house or the car, if he lived through getting hit, gets burned alive by the fire.”

Yeah, at this point I’m just about puking.

“This is why you don’t put shit on the tracks to derail the train, understand?” He’s shaking me now, just enough to get me to look him dead in the eyes. “This is why you don’t play on the tracks, or lie on the tracks, or mess around anywhere near the tracks. You get me?”

Then he points behind me, and holy shit, there’s a fucking train coming. I nearly crapped myself. You’d think you’d hear it coming, but you don’t, not until it’s almost on top of you. We weren’t even standing on the gravel, but I could feel the wind coming off of it. You know how you can imagine grabbing one of the handles as it’s going by slowly, through an intersection? Well, outside of an intersection, it goes just a little bit faster. Scary faster.

So I’m walking down the tracks now, years later, knowing my dad will kick my ass again if he catches me, and kill me himself if I even just sit down for a minute, and I’m starting to wish I’d just taken the goddamned trail, when it happens.

Unfuceffing believable.

Coming toward me, way down the track, there’s a freaking train.

————————–

The premise of this novel is that a young man is out snowmobiling and ends up in trouble, first by encountering a moose, then by bogging down his machine. His experience only gets worse from there, with a events pushing him further from home and safety, and into more and more dangerous circumstances. I’m aiming for 50,000 words, currently at 35,389 at the time of this post, with 7 days to go.

WIP update: the snowmobiling story gets complicated and dark

The truth behind the skeleton is emerging. It’s not a pretty story. Also not what I expected — the tale is complicated, and perhaps open to debate. But it’s interesting.

I’ve decided to omit the use of a certain curse word from this YA WIP, switching it to “eff” instead. I’ve been playing with the style, as well, using text that’s been struck out here and there, to represent the idea that the young man telling the story changes his mind about what he wants to say or how he wants to say it now and again. I might do that with the swear words, in the manner that the kids do — starting to say the bad word, and if it all pops out, apologizing for it, or if they catch it in time, replacing it with a tamer version of the slang. But that will come after the whole draft is done.

I realized tonight, to my horror (slight exaggeration, although I was very dismayed) that I’d gotten four thousand words behind schedule. I’m closer to being back on track, having written 2,600 words this evening, and I’m tempted to keep going, but at the same time I will suffer in the morning if I push it too late.

Still need a title for this, too. If anyone has any ideas, or would like to read another excerpt to possibly offer suggestions, that would be amazing!

Unexpected Challenges of Writing for Today’s Teenagers

I showed one of my Writer’s Craft students what I have so far of the snowmobiling story, and she gave me some excellent feedback, including some information on current slang being used by teenage boys in our area:

  • “He had stuff to do that afternoon . . .” — my source said the boys she hangs out with would say “shit” instead.
  • “Maybe that explained why they could just change their minds at the last second and do whatever suited them.” — kids up here would say, “whatever the hell (f@#$) they wanted . . .”
  • “It was a perfect day for snowmobiling, so no wonder they wanted to do more than a loop and back to town again.” — “. . . day for a rip, so no wonder . . .”
  • “. . . his hands tightened on the handlebars of his Skidoo.” — apparently they’re called “bars” or “risers” . . . the more you know!
  • “I’m just kidding! Relax, man!” — should be “I’m just kidding! Relax, bud!”
  • “Turning around halfway through a run did not show anything but being a wuss. Adam sighed, anticipating the bad-mouthing he was about to get.” — my first instinct to use “pussy” instead of “wuss” was correct, but I missed the fact that they refer to bad-mouthing as “chirping” or “chirps“, so it should be more like:

    “Turning around halfway through a run did not show anything but being a pussy. Adam sighed, anticipating the chirps he was about to get.”

  • “Smoke break,” Danny told him, grinning. “Want a dart?”

    “Naw, you know I’m quitting.” Adam waved him off and looked away.

    “Yeah, you keep saying that,” Steve said. “But I keep seeing you in the smokers’ pit at school.” — my source says that a lot of the kids she knows who are into snowmobiling only smoke cigars, and then, only when by the fire pit and/or at a party. Again, something I didn’t know, and it’s rather interesting, a reality I didn’t expect.

  • “He exhaled a long puff of grey-white smoke mixed with the condensation of his breath.” — I have been advised to describe the cigar smoke as white and sweet-smelling. Confession: I actually do enjoy the scent of a good cigar, although I’ve never smoked one myself.
  •  “It was in his eyes when he watched her coming to sit down next to Adam in the cafeteria . . .” — I didn’t use the popular vernacular, “caf” instead of “cafeteria”
  •  “They’d goofed around, just being idiots and re-enacting MMA bouts . . .” — her suggestion here was to refer to hockey fighting.
  •  “Girls, they snuck around and snarked at each other and sent nasty texts . . .” — I should use “bitch” instead
  •  I have to remember, also, not to use the terms “snowmobile”, “snow machine”, and “Skidoo” interchangeably, since the latter is a brand and not a generic reference to the thing
  • I’m sorry if I made her uncomfortable,” Danny would shrug, his eyes all innocent. — the suggestion here is to be more meh: “Sorry if I freaked her out . . .

These are all fantastic suggestions, and it was interesting to ask one of my seniors to read it through because we have just done an assignment on appropriation of voice, which is pretty much what I’ve been attempting to do with this story. That being said, when my target demographic read the first page or so, they didn’t pick out any of my errors at all — not even the bit about the gas tank. Did you know that snowmobiles aren’t supposed to have full tanks, like, ever? Never underestimate the value of research, fellow writers!

But as I read through her remarks, I started to wonder whether I should be writing this in first-person instead of the third, to really get into the use of the slang. Should the vernacular stay in dialogue only? Doesn’t it isolate out-group readers who may not understand chirp or dart? I’ll admit, that’s why I made reference to cigarettes and smoke deliberately in the narrative, to help provide the context for the reader. It feels awkward and strange to try mixing slang with regular prose. However, if I move into telling as the character — if I try to become Adam while I’m working on this — maybe it won’t seem so unnatural.

If I do that, I might take some risks with the spelling and grammar. For example, many of these kids forget to capitalize their proper nouns, or drop the ends of their words. (The Grammar Nazi within is cringing, pleading with me to stop it already.) But then . . . if I abandon the rules of grammar and spelling, leave aside my cherished language conventions to adopt the relaxed style of an average 16 year old Northeastern Ontario boy, is that a good thing because it gets them to read? Or a bad thing, because at that point it’s no longer modelling effective language?

Not only that, if I move into Adam’s voice, it makes this story even tougher to write. I will have to ignore my instincts. Adopt local youth culture as my own, for a little time each day. Do more research on snowmobiling and local terminology, because it seems as though each region has its own set of slang vocabulary for the sport (although some overlap). Honestly, it’s really like learning a second language. And the old stand-by words like cool and bro — they’re not going to cut it.

So, I guess I’ll sleep on it for now. I might make a copy of the draft as it is so far, revising the narrative into the first person, and maybe even toy with making it present-tense. I’m also going to have to continue interviewing my story subjects, to really make sure I’m getting the vernacular and conversational tones right. It’s almost like a sub-culture’s time capsule. Like Professor Higgins tracking the particular vocal habits of unfamiliar communities. Like, some of their terms I get because I hear them a lot in class — chromeburntbuzz, etc. — but they’re very much background noise. If I’m going to get this right, I need to pay closer attention. Make notes. And ask lots of questions.

Back to the Snowmobile Story, WITH sensory details this time!

The last echoes of the skidoos racing eastward faded. Adam had turned off his ignition, so the quiet was absolute. Even the wind had died down, and it was too cold even for the ravens to squawk. He opened the engine compartment, closing his eyes for a minute to appreciate the odours of gas and oil, and fiddled with some plugs. He kept checking over his shoulder as he listened for any signs of his friends coming back. Not that he really expected them to do that . . . well, maybe Danny would, if only to ride Adam’s butt about his old machine and his girlfriend.

The silence didn’t stop a bunch of thoughts from cycling through his head. In fact, it was hard to ignore them. He checked the oil, shoving the wire harder than necessary back into its slot, willing his brain to stop thinking.

His buddy never said it directly, but Adam knew Danny had the hots for his girlfriend. It was in his eyes when he watched her coming to sit down next to Adam in the cafeteria, the way he looked her up and down, his gaze settling on her chest until someone yelled at him to pay attention. It was in those stupid jokes

———-

Okay, so I know I’m breaking a cardinal rule here by going back through the draft before it’s done, and adding stuff. I’m wondering now, though, whether I should have more conversation earlier in the exposition, showing Danny’s attitude toward Penny. Hmmm . . . (glances back at the complete draft) — How about this? 

———–

Something in that shit-eating grin Danny had on his face just now really bothered him, when he’d said Adam should bring Penny to the party.

He could already predict what that party was going to be like. It would be the same as always: loud music that would get louder as people got drunker, a bonfire in a home-made fire pit that some fool would try jumping over and end up wiping out next to on the ice that formed from the melting snow (next to the fire, if he was lucky — more likely to wipe out on the fire pit), Danny hitting on every girl until he got one who was drunk or stupid enough to think he was actually funny. And if Danny scored with a girl who actually had a boyfriend, there would be a fight.

Come to think of it, Danny would probably focused on a girls with a boyfriends just so that he could get into a fight.

Adam and Danny had never been in a real fight. They’d goofed around, just being idiots and re-enacting MMA bouts, tossing each other off of docks in the summer and into snowbanks in the winter. Hell, they’d thrown each other off of any surface they could climb onto: the roof of the bottom story addition of his house (winter), the railing of Danny’s back deck (winter), the flat top of AJ’s boat house (summer), the flat top of AJ’s grandparents’ garage (winter) . . .

Of course, they didn’t need a bit of high ground to throw each other down. Back in grade five, Danny’d taught Adam how to sweep a leg out from under his opponent, passing on whatever he’d learned in the karate classes that Adam couldn’t afford. And then Adam had shown Danny how to pile-drive, what it took to do a decent sleeper hold that could really knock somebody out, and the pressure points that Adam’s dad had showed him. Danny loved finding out about those, just little sensitive spots between thumbs and forefingers that could keep a kid on the ground for as long as you wanted, if enough you pressed hard enough.

Good times.

But they’d never yet taken a swing at each other. Hadn’t had a reason to. Especially not over a girl.

And Adam honestly didn’t want to do that. Not that he’d ever tell anyone, out loud.

It wasn’t that he was scared. He could take Danny.

It was just . . .

Adam slammed the cover back down on his snowmobile. The bang startled a distant raven into cawing loudly as it flew away.

Guys fought, didn’t they? They fought and then they got over it. Fighting cleared the air. Girls, they snuck around and snarked at each other and sent nasty texts until they were ripping at each other’s hair and rolling around school hallways. Girl fights lasted for weeks, or even months.

When Danny went after some other guy’s chick, the guy would call him out either at the party where the thing happened, or at school the next day. Adam privately thought it was stupid to do it at school, but there had to be an audience. His mom once said, after she’d heard about one of these fights, that it had to do with something called ‘saving face’. Whether Danny and whoever went at it right away depended on the other guy’s temper — or fear.

Adam sat on the snowmobile and stared at the remains of Danny’s cigarette in the snow, his nostrils crinkling in the cold air. The grey ashes looked like dead snowflakes. Zombie snowflakes.

Sometimes, after Danny had a fight with a guy, and there was snow on the ground, there would be blood spattered on it. He only ever needed to fight a kid once and then the problem would be over. Nobody ever challenged him twice.

If Danny was going after Penny now, Adam would have to fight him. Guaranteed.

Damnit, why couldn’t all of this be as simple as gliding over drifts and along the edges of embankments? It wasn’t Penny’s fault that she was pretty and smart; he was lucky to have her as his girlfriend, and he knew it. How long would it be before someone better than him came along and they broke up?

It might as well be Danny as anyone else. Then he wouldn’t have to deal with wondering who she was with. Then again, he might have to stop being friends with the jerk.

The ticking of the engine as it cooled off brought Adam back to reality. It was too confusing to just sit there and think; easier to ride. Pivoting on his heel, he threw his other leg over the seat, rammed on his helmet and started the motor, leaning into the curve as he turned his snow machine around and headed back down the trail.

It felt better once he’d picked up speed, the dark trees whizzing past him on either side. He relaxed his body into the seat while tensing his shoulders and arms, his legs working to mould him against the machine. The heavy vibration blended into his muscles until he felt like he and the skidoo were almost connected, working together to virtually fly over the contours of the trail. All at once, like the driving was blowing cobwebs out of his brain, he saw clearly what he needed to do: warn Penny that Danny was going to hit on her, and then tell Danny to back off. It was as simple as that. He could even run their conversation through his head — his and Danny’s, not the one with Penny — and predict how it was going to go.

He never had trouble talking to Penny. With her, he just felt comfortable. But Danny had a way of twisting other people’s words that was fun to watch, when it was happening to other people.

Adam gunned the engine as he approached a hill, catching air over the crest and bracing himself right before the impact seconds later.

“Dan,” he’d say, keeping his voice serious and low to keep from attracting attention. “Lay off of Penny, okay? She doesn’t like you like that.”

“Lay her? Sure, I’ll lay her for you!” Danny would probably laugh, and he’d do it loudly too, making sure everyone could hear. “I know you’re still saving yourself for marriage.”

The trail forked just up ahead, with the main branch — the official path — leading off to the right and back to town by following the uneven shore of the lake. Adam bent his left elbow and knee to direct the snowmobile over the rough pile of snow toward the southeast, relishing the thrill of the machine diving into deeper powder. The shortcut over the lake would save him five, maybe ten minutes if he really pushed it. Just had to watch out for patrols, but he could just explain that he was running out of gas and needed to get home fast.

“Dan, I need to talk to you,” he’d say instead, so that his long-time friend would know he was serious. “It’s important. Penny wants you to leave her alone.”

“I’m sorry if I made her uncomfortable,” Danny would shrug, his eyes all innocent. “I was just joking around. Maybe you shouldn’t be with her if she can’t take a joke.”

Adam shook his head, gritting his teeth. The snowmobile shuddered over a patch of rough ice as he zoomed onto the lake. He had to come up with something to say that Danny couldn’t turn around on him, something that his friend would respect.

What if he told him that if he kept harassing his girlfriend, they couldn’t be buddies anymore?

Did guys even do that sort of thing?

Snowmobile Story continued: trying to stay in a 16 year old boy’s head

The last echoes of the skidoos racing eastward faded. Adam had turned off his ignition, so the quiet was absolute. Even the wind had died down, and it was too cold even for the ravens to squawk. He opened the engine compartment and fiddled with some plugs, checking over his shoulder as he listened for any signs of his friends coming back. Not that he really expected them to do that . . . well, maybe Danny would, if only to ride Adam’s butt about his old machine and his girlfriend.

The silence didn’t stop a bunch of thoughts from cycling through his head. In fact, it was hard to ignore them. He checked the oil, shoving the wire harder than necessary back into its slot, willing his brain to stop thinking.

He could already predict what that party was going to be like. It would be the same as always: loud music that would get louder as people got drunker, a bonfire in a home-made fire pit that some fool would try jumping over and end up wiping out next to on the ice that formed from the melting snow (next to the fire, if he was lucky — more likely to wipe out on the fire pit), Danny hitting on every girl until he got one who was drunk or stupid enough to think he was actually funny. And if Danny scored with a girl who actually had a boyfriend, there would be a fight.

Come to think of it, Danny would probably focus on a girl with a boyfriend just so that he could get into a fight.

Adam and Danny had never been in a real fight. They’d goofed around, just being idiots and re-enacting MMA bouts, tossing each other off of docks in the summer and into snowbanks in the winter. Hell, they’d thrown each other off of any surface they could climb onto: the roof of the bottom story addition of his house (winter), the railing of Danny’s back deck (winter), the flat top of AJ’s boat house (summer), the flat top of AJ’s grandparents’ garage (winter) . . .

Of course, they didn’t need a bit of high ground to throw each other down. Back in grade five, Danny’d taught Adam how to sweep a leg out from under his opponent, passing on whatever he’d learned in the karate classes that Adam couldn’t afford. And then Adam had shown Danny how to pile-drive, what it took to do a decent sleeper hold that could really knock somebody out, and the pressure points that Adam’s dad had showed him. Danny loved finding out about those, just little sensitive spots between thumbs and forefingers that could keep a kid on the ground for as long as you wanted, if enough you pressed hard enough.

Good times.

But they’d never yet taken a swing at each other. Hadn’t had a reason to.

And Adam honestly didn’t want to do that. Not that he’d ever tell anyone, out loud.

It wasn’t that he was scared. He could take Danny.

It was just . . .

Adam slammed the cover back down on his snowmobile.

Guys fought, didn’t they? They fought and then they got over it. Fighting cleared the air. Girls, they snuck around and snarked at each other and sent nasty texts until they were ripping at each other’s hair and rolling around school hallways. Girl fights lasted for weeks, or even months.

When Danny went after some other guy’s chick, the guy would call him out either at the party where the thing happened, or at school the next day. Adam privately thought it was stupid to do it at school, but there had to be an audience. His mom once said, after she’d heard about one of these fights, that it had to do with something called ‘saving face’. Whether Danny and whoever went at it right away depended on the other guy’s temper — or fear.

Adam sat on the snowmobile and stared at the remains of Danny’s cigarette in the snow. The grey ashes looked like dead snowflakes. Zombie snowflakes.

Sometimes, after Danny had a fight with a guy, and there was snow on the ground, there would be blood spattered on it. He only ever needed to fight a kid once and then the problem would be over. Nobody ever challenged him twice.

——————————-

Okay, faithful readers — yes or no? Is this sounding like a 16 year old’s thought processes? 

Once again, night is defeating me, and it’s a bad one because we’re losing an hour of sleep with the stupid time change. I wish I could write through until I can’t form words anymore. I wish I could pound this story out in a whirlwind of writing, because tonight, at this moment, I’m convinced I could get it done in a week. Sadly, that’s not reality. 

But guess what? Tomorrow I’m testing my limits in a downhill ski race! So I’d better get some sleep. 

But do tell me what you think of this part of the story, please? I’d love the feedback.

They like it! They really like it! (It = the snowmobiling story)

goodnewseveryoneI showed my struggling / reluctant readers what I have so far on their snowmobiling story, and they loved it! They especially liked the dialogue about going to get beer — apparently I nailed it. And when I related the anecdote to the administrator, she said, laughingly, “You know what’s really scary? That you can get inside the head of a sixteen-year-old!”

Made me feel pretty good, I have to admit. But it’s only just starting. They gave me some great slang to use in the story, and explained how to drive a snowmobile. Also suggested that I look up videos on YouTube (why didn’t I think of that?) I promised them dialogue tonight, more movement in the plot, and I haven’t done anything yet. Plus I’m still working on the video that wraps up the 24 Hour Playwriting Challenge, and I brought home marking and I haven’t taken it out of the bag . . .

So I’ll keep this post short, I think. Get the video done, and go to bed early for once. Busy day tomorrow: my daughter has her final skating show practice after school.