Well, I’ve survived to the middle of Week Two. Monday was little sketchy as my normally bionic immune system threatened to fail me, but it seems to have repaired itself (as bionic things are prone to do) for the time being. I very rarely get sick, but about once every four to five years, all the bugs I’ve managed to avoid band together and launch a full-scale attack, plunging me into a pit of sickly despair. I’m about due for another pants-kicking, but I’m just hoping my system can wait for the reboot until at least December.
That being said, once I broke through Sunday’s bout of writer’s apathy, the writing began to go fairly well. And by well, I don’t mean I’m writing especially great material here, but the staring contests between myself and the blank page have become relatively short. I’m to the scenes which were the jumping off point for this entire story, so I’ve been riding the wave of joy at being able to write these bits that have been playing around in my brain for about a year now. If all goes well, I might just be able to break 50k by the end of the weekend, which would be a speed record for me. Of course, I’ll still have another 25k to pound out after that landmark, but it’s always nice crossing that 50k hurdle.
I will now break from this NaNoWriMo update to tell you a short parable.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who lived with her two little dogs in a typical suburban neighborhood house. After spending the evening hours writing at a coffee shop, she came home parked her car in the garage, lugged her computer, her purse, two bags of write-in materials and her coat into the house.
She then poured herself a small glass of red wine and settled onto the couch to unwind by watching House, after which she put the dogs in their kennels and went to sleep. At 11 p.m., this was a bit late for her, since she would have to be up by 5 a.m., but such is life. The caffeine in her system made getting to sleep a bit difficult, but by the time the calendar flipped the page, she’d slipped into a light sleep.
Half an hour later, she was abruptly awoken by the barks of her two chihuahuas downstairs. Vaguely annoyed, she waited for them to stop, figuring they’d heard a noise outside and would quickly quiet down. But instead their barks grew louder and more ferocious. She started to grow concerned. She saw a flash of light through her blinds. Lightning? Was it storming? She peeked through the side of the blinds. She felt the rush of dread accompanied by adrenaline. There were two dark figures in her backyard. One was coming down the deck. They had high-powered flashlights.
The woman scrambled out of bed to her cell phone, which was on the floor a few paces away. Crouched in the middle of the room, she could see lights flashing under the door. Were they in the house? What if they’d seen the light from her phone from underneath the door? She couldn’t hear them in the house, but what if they were and what if they heard her if she called the police? The stream of thoughts jetting through her brain was stopped by a loud rapping on the front door. Shaking, she pulled on a T-shirt over her tank top and walked down the hall, down the stairs and to the front door.
Through the window, she could see a police officer standing on the front stoop. She pulled open the door, stumbling a bit as it stuck and then released.
“Hi,” she said, her voice unsteady.
“Hi, ma’am. Your garage door is open, and we just wanted to make sure everything was all right.”
“Are you all right?” the officer asked, obviously not realizing the trauma he’d just put the woman through.
“Yeah, I’m OK. Just a little freaked out. My dogs were going nuts and the lights…”
“Oh, sorry about that. We didn’t mean to scare you.”
“No, it’s OK. I appreciate it. I didn’t know the garage door was open. Thank you.”
“No problem, ma’am. Sorry to wake you.”
“It’s OK. Thank you.”
The two officers left the stoop and walked to their car. The woman closed the door behind them and then walked, almost zombie-like, and opened the door into her garage. Sure enough, it had been open. She pressed the button and watched it close. “Holy shit,” she muttered to herself, shaking her hands in an effort to get rid of the jitters. She spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, the combination of the adrenaline and remnants of caffeine combining forces to ward off sleep.
The moral of the story: DON’T FORGET TO CLOSE YOUR GARAGE DOOR, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT!
While I was obviously rather traumatized, I was pretty impressed by my two pint-sized dogs who rose to the occasion rather magnificently. Obviously, when you hear “long-haired chihuahua,” you don’t think “guard dog.” But they did a great job of alerting me at least. And, while the officers’ approach might have been a little gung-ho (they circled my house, checked all the doors, including the one on my rickety deck, and were about to try to find out how to phone the owner), I do appreciate their dedication to attempting to keep me safe. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ll be checking at least twice to make sure my garage door actually get shut from now on. Oi.