#NaNo – gram

throne a-hunting

Day 6 and I still feel like I’m scrambling. Getting the word count up there though, which is what matters for NaNoWriMo. People I haven’t heard from for months call to take me out to lunch, I get selected for a focus group ($ is $) – hard to say no – plus still cleaning up after the electrical work in the house – next up furnace cleaning & duct cleaning – thar’s plasta dust in them thar ducts now.

throne de-throned

I’ve only covered two of my thirty plot points – which is a good thing as each one took more than two days to explore – this is when I enjoy my writing the most – when the story unfolds itself and moves in directions I wasn’t expecting – plus I see places for expansion on what I’ve already done – sweet.

I even managed one section with a conversation between five characters – kept it brief enough and I think it is fairly understandable too. My major story substructure has kept everything moving forward – the impending, or is it, miner’s strike –

throne dappled by sunlight

Instant research has been great as well – what kind of china might the priest have in his house – found correct period dinnerware and even a pattern to name. What can I call his parish without naming a real Cape Breton parish. Gaelic swear words – why thank you google there’s a page of them – are they period – who knows but it doesn’t matter either.


a sample from NaNoWriMo day 2:

After the third load Birk got his lunch pail from the niche by one of the support stavings. He hunched with his back against the wall and opened it up.

Clancy leaned gingerly against the wall, his legs stretched out as far as he could in the space they had. He rubbed at his back

“Being big’s not so good eh?” Birk said. “Some never gets to stand up straight after a few months down here.” He took a swallow of his tea. Didn’t taste right without a bit of sugar. He rinsed his mouth with it and spat it out. Cleaning his palate as best as he could before biting into his lunch. Bread with some grease drippings spread on it. Today he had a piece of the wedding cake. His sisters had already licked the icing off it so it. The bit of sweetness left almost cut through the taste of the coal in his mouth. The cake was as tasteless as the bread. He wondered if he could dissolve it his tea to sweeten that some.

“Done?” he shut his pail.


“Back to it then b’y.”


“That all ya got ta say?”

“Not much of a talker.”

“Couldn’t shut Manny. Talk the head off a rat given the chance.”

“Yeh, well, its bad enough t’work with one let alone wanna to talk to one while I’m eatin.”

Birk twisted around.

“I’m a rat, eh? Monkeys bad enough.” He swung at Clancy and slipped on the uneven ground at the same time.

Clancy was on top of him batting at his ribs then ears.

“You half-size rat giving me orders all day. Think l’m going to put wid that.”

Birk got one knee into Clancy’s stomach and pushed him off. The tunnel wasn’t tall or wide enough for either of them to stand and take punches. They wrestled each other to his knees. Head butting when possible.

Birk could taste blood in his mouth.

“Yer a tough guy for a rat you know.” Clancy had his forearm under Birk’s chin. “Smell worse than one, too.”

Gasping Birk hit Clancy as hard as he could in the side.

“Christ, breakin m’ribs.” he rolled off.

“Ya stay there for now laddie.” Birk leaned against the wall. “I got work to do. This way yer not underfoot.”

Birk went back the face he was working on. Each blow of his pick axe was a blow into the grinning face of Clancy. No one pushed him around. At eighteen he’d been in the mine for five years now. He knew what he was doing and how not to take anything from anyone. If you took it yer were on the losing side.

He could hear Clancy raking away the scree. The need to prove he was the top man here was as important as making sure they got enough coal loaded.

They worked the rest of the shift without speaking. Eating their supper in separate nooks in the shaft.


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