Before I get started, I just wanted to let you know that it’s my blogging birthday!
Hungry For Motherhood is one year old as of yesterday!
Just for reference, as of today, the goal word count is 35,000. But I’m still a bit ahead! In fact, I have less than 5,000 words left to the finish line!
It hasn’t been easy though. I have done a lot of what WriMos call word count padding. I needed more words to meet my goal for the day, but I just could not find words that might progress the story. Instead, I wrote a sex scene. Or two. Or many. Well, you know how I like for my characters to get intimate. But it does nothing to move the story forward, though I suppose you could argue that it is a vital part of character development. Sorta. Oh well, no excuses. I’m reaching my word count goals through cheap tricks, and I don’t care. LOL!
Now, I’m going to get on my soap box for a few paragraphs. So if you aren’t interested in reading my thoughts about naysayers of NaNoWriMo, then please feel free to scroll down to this week’s story excerpt. *Climbs onto soapbox*
I woke up the other morning and thought, “I should write more for the book.” But instead, I found myself thinking about the comments of some indie authors I follow on Facebook. These people publish themselves, hustle to have their work included in anthologies and have the courage, confidence and that healthy dollop of narcissism needed to believe that what they have to say should be seen by others. I give them so much respect and praise. I want to be one of them someday.
However, a few of them have some thoughts of NaNoWriMo. Not exactly positive thoughts. Oh sure, they participate and post their word counts and excerpts from their writing. But then, every once in a while during November, even as they too are participants, they will post about how if people really wanted to be writers they wouldn’t need an event like NaNoWriMo to start.
Indie authors do not have full media teams to carefully decide what is posted on fan interaction sites like Facebook. They create all their own content and post all their own opinions. I’m sure other, more famous authors probably have opinions similar to these indie authors. But their highly paid public relations firm would never allow them to express anything negative about their fan’s aspirations for writing or the medium they use to try.
It has happened at least three times by my count for a particular indie author I follow. And each time, she has had to write another post clarifying and backtracking about the negative NaNoWriMo post previous. If you really feel the need to deride an event YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN, maybe you should do that in the privacy of your own home. At a bar with your friends. Unload about the sickening sycophants on your fan page to your family. If you want to sell books, and you are actually participating in an event that your fans participate in as well… maybe do not talk shit about it on Facebook!
I have a lot of respect for that particular author. I like her work. Usually I like her attitude of “read my work or don’t but I will not change my writing style to appease the masses.” Hell, I even like her hair cut and day drinking habits that she is so proud of. But I still have not bought one of her books. When I reached 50,000 words I was going to buy one as a prize for myself. And now, I am not sure I want to. She does not owe me anything, but in exactly that same back and forth, I don’t owe her my cash for her work either.
Because it does not matter why you start writing. Or how you start writing. If you have always wanted to write, then whatever method you use to give yourself the impetus to do it is completely valid in my book. And I will not criticize the why or how of your actions. I may not like what you write, but I will always give you credit for writing it. I hope you find a way to be as prolific as the day is long. And whatever you need to help you along the way is not a “crutch,” it’s a tool.
Okay, I’ll get off my soap box. But if you have run into anyone, someone semi-famous or just a naysaying family member, I hope you give them a deaf ear. As many of the NaNoWriMo FAMOUS author pep talks released read, The World Needs Your Story. NaNoWriMo or some other method may just give you that healthy dollop of narcissism that you need to believe your words have worth.
WARNING: Explicit Written Content About Drug Use.
Possibly Not Safe For Work. Read At Your Own Risk.
An excerpt from Chapter Thirteen of my in progress novel, Burning, Man!
He patted his shirt and grimaced. There was nothing in his pocket. Maybe Zang was a smoker?
“Let me know if you see a sign for a gas station. I am all out of cigarettes,” Zang instructed.
“Do you only smoke cigarettes?” Jeffrey asked.
Zang the Rock Star turned to look at Jeffrey, “I have been known to inhale many things.”
Without another word, Jeffrey pulled a pre-rolled joint out of the infamous pink bag. Jeffrey raised his eyebrows in question and Zang nodded in approval. Lighting up the joint, Jeffrey enjoyed his first drag in over twenty four hours. He had been going longer and longer between toking up. This being sober thing was not so bad. But he would not want to do it forever. After pulling the last bit of smoke he could stand into his lungs, Jeffrey passed the joint to Zang the Rock Star who eagerly took it.
“Thanks man. This ought to keep me from losing my shit for a fix. You are even more awesome than I pegged you for,” Zang said.
Jeffrey let the smoke out in a long exhale and enjoyed seeing the white ghostly vapor hang in front of his face, set against the background of the desert night. He smiled at Zang and let out a little giggle. That started Zang the Rock Star laughing. The driver and navigator tried to keep their giggling in check to avoid waking Tara. But soon, the two were laughing so loud they could barely breathe. But Tara never stirred. Tacos and travel really made that girl sleep.
“How did you end up with a taco truck anyway?” Jeffrey wanted to know.
“Oh man, it is kind of a crazy story. So after I moved out of that guy’s apartment. His name was Brad, if you want to know. I decided that if I could not be in his band, I would work in something else I loved. And as you can tell by looking at me, I love me some food.” Zang slapped a hand against his ample belly and the sound reverberated through the truck with a clap, “So I started looking into restaurant jobs. But you have to start from the bottom up in real restaurants. You wash dishes, then you clear tables, then you are finally allowed to prep the veggies and eventually some day you might possibly be allowed to make the salads or appetizers. It actually does take years to reach the point that you would work as a sous chef. And then you cannot become a full chef until the position opens up. Like as in the chef actually dies or leaves the restaurant.”
“Damn, that sounds like old school apprenticeships and shit,” Jeffrey chimed in.
“Oh totally. It was probably as bad as when Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to be a candle maker. So for a while, I tried to work within that system. I was washing dishes all day, standing on my feet and just falling apart. All for almost no pay. I swear, being a dishwasher is the summer job for kids. I was already too damn old.”
“It does sound terrible.”
“It really was. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. So one day after a really long shift, I was driving home and saw an old food truck for sale. It was like three in the morning but I stopped to look at it anyway. The owner wanted two grand for it. Which is a ridiculous bargain for a truck with a refrigeration system and cook tops. Even if the engine and stuff was busted, it was a good deal. But no, it was in fine working order. It just looked like shit. There was a faded design of a taco on the side and I thought, well hell I could be a chef in a taco truck.”
Jeffrey took the last of the joint that Zang was handing to him. There was enough for maybe two tiny puffs left. The joint was nothing but a roach in the matter of a couple of seconds.
“So anyway,” Zang the Rock Star continued, “the next morning I went back and offered to buy the truck. It was a quick deal, and the guy even knocked five hundred dollars off. Apparently he had run it for a few years with his wife. But she had left him, and the truck was just full of bitter memories for him. So I scored on sentimentality on that one.”
“That is sad though.”
“Oh it was sad for me all the way to the bank. Hey, the guy got what he wanted, and I got what I wanted. I kept working my dish washer job for a while longer while I fixed the truck up. Other than new tires, the truck ran beautifully. I actually hand painted all the designs on the outside of the truck. It took me a while to get a permit to serve food, but when the plan came together it actually worked. I would drive to a street near the college and make bank at lunch time. Eventually I was doing well enough to give up the dish washing job.”
“So, if the truck was working out so well, why did we find you working at a diner this morning?” Jeffrey asked.
“Well, what I did not know was that there was a this sort of gang for food truck workers. Like a pulled pork mafia or something. When I first started, no one seemed to mind. But once I attracted a following, used social media to promote my location and stuff, the food truck dons showed up. I was actually starting to pull some business away from them. I also did not know that they all agreed on where they would be setting up shop everyday ahead of time.”
“Seriously? There are people who work food trucks out breaking knee caps?” Jeffrey was so absorbed in Zang the Rock Star’s story that he did not notice when the cherry of the roach reached his fingers and cursed when he was burned.
“You okay, man?” Zang the Rock Star asked.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I might have burned the floor a little.” Jeffrey replied. “But what happened with the food truck mob?”
“Oh, so yeah. One day when I had a line a mile long, these two guys show up. They hand out coupons to their trucks to everyone in my line. I mean, I guess it is a free country, but that seems rather rude. So I confronted them about it. And they said they were from Willie’s Pulled Pork Pagoda. And that if I knew what was good for me, I would stop showing up there everyday. I addressed them with the respect they deserved,” Zang flipped the bird to emphasis what he meant. “And I told them to suck my dick.”
“Wow. What happened?”
“Nothing for a couple of days, but then I came out to the truck one morning, and it would not start. Got it towed to a garage, and it was as simple as the spark plugs were missing. The fuckers were sabotaging my truck! And well, after that it was on.”
“Seriously? Did you know for sure it was the pulled pork guys and not some hooligan kids goofing around?” Jeffrey asked leaning closer in the darkness of the truck.
“I did not know for sure, but when I went to Willie’s Pork Pagoda there was a lot of snickering. I might have addressed the entire line of people waiting for their sandwiches and told them that the folks running the truck were sabotaging fucks. The police might have been called for me creating a public nuisance of myself. And well, a lot of things might have happened,” Zang the Rock Star said.
“Things like what?” Jeffrey asked eagerly.
Zang smiled and decided to tell all, “Okay, so after I was released I slashed the rolling pagoda’s tires. Unfortunately, I already had the motive for being the one who did it, so Willie’s guys were on to me. They retaliated, by destroying the outside of my truck. I do not think that Brigham Young University students want to buy Faggot’s Tacos. So I had to stop selling for a few days while I repainted the truck. And while I had my paints out, I broke into the garage the pulled pork mafia had started storing their truck in and painted testicles on the picture of the pig on both sides of the truck. I did it so subtly and matched the paint so well, that they did not even notice it when they drove out the next day. They were cited for displaying pig pornography on their truck by Salt Lake City cops.”
Jeffrey could barely breathe from laughing so hard. Pig pornography! Being cited for pig pornography sounded like a stereotype of the south.
“So what happened next?”
“Well, one day I tried to turn the truck on and it made a horrific noise. They had put sugar in the gas tank and just ruined the engine block. It was barely even staying inside the truck when they were through with it. It was like they had taken all the mounting pieces out so that it was floating under the hood. Maybe they had actually meant to steal the engine and when they could not lift it out, they put the sugar in the tank. Either way, I was ruined. There was no recovering from an entire engine destroyed,” Zang finished.
Dawn was just starting to creep up over the horizon behind them. Zang adjusted the rear view mirror and squinted at the unwelcome daylight. A sign by the road read Elko – sixty miles. Looked like a good place to take a break.
“And that was it? You did nothing else to them?” Jeffrey asked, feeling as if the story was not entirely finished.
“Oh, I did one last thing. They were unaware of the surveillance system I had installed in the truck. It was connected to a battery I had hidden in the dashboard. So I had all their faces on video of them surrounding the truck and opening the hood. And I had audio of their shenanigans. All I had to do was press charges, show the tape in court and then file a civil suit for damages after they were declared guilty. I took the diner job while the litigation went through. Just a couple of months ago, I got a fat check. It was just enough to rebuild the engine. And I decided, while I was at it, to convert the beauty to biofuel.”
Jeffrey was enthralled by his new traveling partner. But he would never fuck this dude over. He was smart and a damn fine cook. Zang the Rock Star was someone you really wanted on your side.
Next week is the last week of NaNoWriMo for this year. I really hope I’ll have hit my word count goal of 50K or more by then. And, of course, there will be another excerpt.