Steampunk inspiration and resources

Happy National Novel Writing Month!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participantI’ve been wanting to do NaNoWriMo for years, but November has never worked out to be good timing in the past. This year, I finally get my chance!

The goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days. Most novels are between 70-100k words, so if you get technical 50k is more like 3/4 or half of a novel, but it is plenty of words to serve as a foundation. I started my project in October so I could hit the ground running yesterday when it began in earnest.

If I’m going to do a thing, I like to do it well. I’ve got lots of outlines and notes to help carry me through, but I’m also going to need lots of time. So for the month of November, forgive me while I slack off a bit on my posting schedule here on For Whom The Gear Turns. I still plan to be posting regularly on my Facebook author page with excerpts and quirky facts I learn about America in the 1870s, so don’t forget to follow me there as well.

All month long I’m spinning the yarn of Viola Thorne, a con woman who is forced out of retirement when her past comes back to haunt her…Literally. Her story will take readers from the Old West across America on the Transcontinental Railroad and down the Mississippi on a steamer ship, and that’s just to get her back to New Orleans where she must solve a deadly mystery to atone for her twisted past.

Here’s a little piece of Chapter 1 of Mistress of None to wet your appetite.

A gentle sensation as light and dangerous as hornet wings fluttered on the back of her neck and slowed her hands. Miles away from anywhere anyone might possibly want to go, she should have been safe from prying eyes in the hot spring even in broad daylight, and yet she could feel someone watching her. Unwilling to let the peeping Tom know she was on to him, Vi went back to washing her hair but listened for the telltale the crack of a twig or the whisper of cloth to give her an idea of the infiltrator’s approach. If it came down to it, she could always reach out with her other sense, but only as a last resort.

She leaned her head back to rinse, the lather tinged a dull red from the henna she used to muddy her identity. The chance of being recognized out here in the territories was remote, but she still preferred to distance herself from her old life where she could and her chestnut hair was a small sacrifice for obscurity.

Though the frontier night continued to stretch out quiet and undisturbed before her, the presence was somehow drawing nearer. Her fingers brushed against her garter and the knife she always kept strapped to her thigh for just such an occasion. The chance it was a jack rabbit was as good as it was some poor soul wandering in from the gold fields, but naked and alone out in a distance corner of her ranch, she wasn’t in much of a position to take that risk. With a deep breath, she reached deep into herself and quested for the feelings that always tickled at the edges of her awareness.

After spending most of her life pushing the sensations away they were dull and distant, like the embers of a fire banked and left to be rekindled in the morning. She let her mind wash over and through the waiting coals and her long-repressed senses suddenly flared to life.

Even though her audience was over her shoulder, his outline burned bright and blue inside her skull. In one swift motion, her blade flashed moon-bright and hurtled toward the place he stood. A hollow thunk told her it had hit the tree behind him, just as she’d expected from the color of his aura.

“Are you crazy? Throwing around knives without looking,” the ghost cried in alarm and patted his chest where the knife had passed straight through him. “You could kill someone like that!” He took a few noiseless steps away from the offending blade as if it was going to jump out of the tree and bite him.

Vi’s mouth curved up in one corner. “You’re already dead,” she mocked. “What are you so worried about?”

Good Luck to All NaNoWriMo Participants This Year!!!

2 responses

  1. Good luck to you too! The Benthic Times is also trying to fit a novel into the busy business of life … I’m currently wondering if adding my shopping list to my word count is cheating?

    Like

    November 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    • Ha! I haven’t heard that one before 😉 Personally, I keep a word count tally for my fiction + blogging already, so even if I don’t add it to my NaNo total I give myself credit for all the brainstorming/note-taking I do somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm

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