Monday, October 31, 2011

The Final Countdown


So, it's Halloween. Not that Halloween is a big thing where I'm from -- this does tend to be the only time of year I really wish I was Stateside, if only because they really do love Halloween. And it's about the only really tacky holiday I can take pleasure in just for its sheer tackiness. Easter's not my thing -- too much surprise!church as a child while living with my grandparents -- and Christmas is a bit tricky in my family (the other set of grandparents inadvertently gave us bad associations), but Halloween? I can get behind Halloween. Although given the spring heat here I've only managed to scare myself with Amnesia and creepypasta stories on livejournal, ha ha ha.

Quite aside from all that, the last day of October obviously heralds the oncoming storm of NaNoWriMo. I'm set up to go, of course, because all I've been doing is writing anyway, but I am hoping like hell this is going to work. I've always found the basic requirement of NaNo easy, when I've bothered to see it through; last year I amped it up by saying I had to do 100k rather than 50k, and this year I am focusing on another problem altogether: finishing things. So, I've got to have a starting point. The novels and their current wordcounts are:

Greywater: ~150k
Hibernaculum: 187,374
The Juniper Bones (part three): 83,188

Greywater has an uncertain count because I'll almost certainly be working on it tonight before the official wordcount period begins. I'm almost a hundred percent certain it will be finished by the end of the week; Hibernaculum might be a couple of weeks, and then The Juniper Bones is far more iffy. It's the real struggling-point, that one; the other two are almost certainties, but the last one isn't. It's got a very complicated ending and I really am not sure how it's going to play out. But if I'm really in the zone...hopefully the finishing frenzy from the other two will coast me through the third, too.

I'll have to update this journal everyday to keep myself strong for this. In the meantime, I ought to go do some writing. As it's Halloween, though, I might as well update with a tiny snippet from a Halloween story from last year. I didn't have the opportunity to do anything this year, even though I rather liked the idea of writing something about a similar holiday in Sarin. This is something I wrote for my writer's group, involving a couple of characters of The Juniper Bones. I do love them so.

*****

“A Halloween party?” he asks, holding the invitation like it might explode. Given its origins, he wouldn’t be surprised if it did. The bearer of these bad tidings, pressed and perfect in his three piece suit, grins as if he has just read Eliot’s mind.

“Oh, yes. Had you forgotten it was coming?”

Eliot hadn’t, but even had he been inclined to turn up at one of Morgan’s soirees, he’s always figured himself to be beyond invitations. His modus operandi is just to show up when and if he feels like it. Examining the engraved card, personally handed to him by the good doctor’s own husband, he realises that he really doesn’t like the sound of this.

“She has them every year,” Baedeker adds, helpful to a fault. “You know what she’s like…throws parties, invites half the hospital around, and no-one can quite work out if she’s making fun of them or actually wants them to come over, and…yeah. At least with Halloween parties they can be fairly certain it’s going to be insane, whereas at most other times they really can’t tell.”

“So glad to hear it’s not just me,” he mutters, and holds the card out. “Not that I’m planning to come.”

“You don’t have to plan to come. You’re coming.” He raises his hands when Eliot makes a stabbing motion with the card, resolutely refusing to take it back. “Trust me, she’ll drag you over herself if you don’t show up.”

“Like she’s that desperate to see me.”

“Do you want to tempt her?” He’s grinning despite the warning note that’s entered his voice. “I know she was reading about Alexander the Great the other day, I saw her with Arrian. Between the thing with Hector in The Iliad and what Alexander did to that bloke at Gaza, and the fact I know she was thinking of buying a racehorse last week…unless you want to see what it’s like to be dragged behind a chariot you really ought to turn up.”

“She wouldn’t.”

“Wouldn’t she?” He arches an eyebrow. “It’s Halloween. Everyone knows the blood is fake on Halloween.”

“That sounds like the tagline of the most terrible B-movie never made.” Something of a guilty look flashes behind Baedeker’s glasses, and Eliot groans. “Oh, please tell me you don’t moonlight as a wannabe screenwriter!”

“Look, you’d better just turn up.”

Eliot’s stuck with the invitation as Baedeker turns to leave, and he looks down at the shimmering lines of his name with a sigh. There are probably worse things than a Halloween party with Viola Morgan, but he’s pretty hard-pressed to imagine what they might be.


*****

And just in case you wonder why Eliot is so afraid of Morgan, here's a recent commission of the two I had done recently by the wonderful Danielle Ellison, otherwise known as thecosmicdancer over on DA. It's gorgeous. And terrifying. And we all know that's the way Eliot loves it, no matter what he says. ^_~

2 comments:

  1. Halloween: The one time of year you can dress like an idiot/slut/douchebag/whore and maybe win a prize for it.

    Happy Halloween!!! (Or Happy SpOOOOOky Day, as my kids have been saying.)

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  2. Your kids have got it right. :D Although we don't usually get much in the way of trick or treaters in Australia or New Zealand...I had to settle for scaring myself with playing "Amnesia: The Dark Descent.' Oh, my sanity. O_o

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