(This is post #333! As three is my lucky number, I expect big things.)
Last night I finished Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint, and while it wasn't the most fascinating writing book I've read, it had some valuable insights. Most importantly, to me, it confirmed that the structure I'm using for my current novel is valid.
I writing with multiple POV (point of view) - the father, the daughter, and the widow - plus I'm including occasional articles from the local paper to provide facts about the case. Well, Ms. Kress includes this very structure as one way to do multiple POV.
*wipes forehead* Phew!
A couple friends who are participating in NaNo have included excerpts from their current projects, and while I've been tempted to share, I haven't been able to figure out which passage is best. It probably would've been easier if I selected one scene each day, but now I have 88 pages to choose from.
Let's see... *peruses Word document*
Here's something I wrote yesterday. It's a little long, but I hope you enjoy it.
Music drifted through a door on the opposite wall. The lonesome notes wrapped around Becca's heart and squeezed. She wished more than anything that she could be out there, sitting next to Justin. Soon the music faded and Reverend Kelly's voice filtered into the room. His words were hard to understand, so Becca let the cadence carry her.
Janet reached for Becca's hand and laced her fingers through hers.
They sat in silence until the music began again.
"We should go," Janet whispered.
They crept out the door and checked to make sure no one was watching. People were still seated in the chapel, their backs to them. Becca spotted Justin's dark head in the front row, and assumed the other dark heads were his uncle and grandfather. There were only about thirty people, much fewer than she assumed would be there, and the heaviness in her chest returned.
Janet tugged her arm. "Let's go, Becca."
They tip-toed down the stairs and hurried through the wind to the car. The weather had turned in the past couple days and fallen leaves swirled on the sidewalk. Janet turned up the heat and they waited for the air to warm them.
"We can go ahead to the cemetery. When the hearse arrives, we can get close enough to watch from the car." Janet peered at Becca. "Do you want to get some hot chocolate on the way?"
Becca nodded. She didn't really want anything sweet, but something to occupy her hands would be good. She knew her mom was just trying to keep her busy, to keep her mind off the funeral and everything that went with it, and she appreciated the effort. She was still a little surprised her mom agreed to take her in the first place. "Thanks, Mom."
"It's no problem. That coffee shop just before the bridge isn't too far out of the way."
"No, I mean for this." Becca waved her hands at the church. "For bringing me, for coming with me. I know it's not easy for you either."
Janet's eyes softened and her lips trembled. "No, it's not easy." She studied Becca for a moment, then wiped at her eyes and put the car in gear. "Let's get going before the service ends."
Neither spoke as Janet drove the short blocks to the coffee shop. She pulled into the parking lot and parked near the front door. "I'll just run inside. Is hot chocolate okay?"
Janet returned a few minutes later, a paper cup in each hand. She set them on the roof to open the door, then handed them to Becca. "They've already got the Christmas flavors in there. Can you believe it? It's not even Halloween."
Becca mumured a non-answer then sipped her drink. It burned her tongue, scorched its way down her throat. She set it in the cupholder between their seats and stared out the window.
Janet turned onto the road and headed back the way they came.
They drove through town in silence. Becca stared at the familiar sights as if seeing them for the first time. When they passed the church, people were walking out the front doors and heading towards their cars. Becca scanned the faces for Justin but didn't see him. An involuntary shudder passed through her. She hadn't left the house since the attack and suddenly the town she'd known since she was a kid looked darker, more menacing. The store where she used to buy candy, the park where all the neighbor kids would play, all of it was changed. The violence she thought would never touch her had forced it's way into her life and now nothing seemed the same.
The cemetery gates were open and Janet turned the car onto the single lane road. Gravel crunched beneath the tires.
Becca rolled her window down a crack and breathed in the smell of freshly cut grass. The cool air chilled her nose but she left the window open. Nearby, someone was burning leaves, and the sharp pungent smoke mingled with the bits of nature fighting for life in the grips of fall. Soon the frost would come and everything would turn brown, but for now the cemetary still resembled a summer park.
"That tent is probably where they'll bury him." Janet pointed at a blue tent stretched above the earth along the southermost boundary. "Let's wait on the other end until they arrive." The car rolled along the path through gleaming headstones with recent dates, then passed those that had long been forgotten, the names barely legible through weeds and decay. "They'll assume we're here visiting a relative."
Becca stared at the tent in the review mirror. So strange that in one short week – less than a week, really – Justin's dad was dead and would soon be buried. If she focused on it just being his dad, she could almost pretend she'd had nothing to do with his death.
Janet turned off the car. "Let me know if you get cold."
Becca felt numb, but she knew that wasn't what her mother meant. "Mmm-hmm." She took a sip of her hot chocolate and tried to concentrate on its warmth, its sweetness. Despite all that had happened, there were still little things that were good, small sparks of happiness that wouldn't let her sink lower than she already was.