NaNoWriMo words than I expected

81K

This year, I participated in my second NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) competition, although the word competition is a bit of a misnomer but love-fest sounds a bit Sixties.

The last time, about three years ago, I got about a week into it before the realities of life interfered and everything stalled. This year was different.

While the realities of life have generally been pretty easy on me, I did have two solid weeks of distractions in the middle of November (yay, paying distractions) and still managed to reach the goal of 50,000 words by my birthday near the middle of the month (and while on the road).

Unfortunately, because I have never met a 50,000-word story that couldn’t actually be 200,000 words, I am not yet at the end of my story or my novel and so continued to type actively for most of the rest of the month to finish the competition/love-fest/creative circle-jerk just shy of 81,000 words.

I want to pat myself on the back for getting this far (and eventually, I will) but the problem is that having gotten this far, I want to reach the end of the novel, and so on December 1st, 2014, I begin what can best be described as Mo’NaNoWriMo.

And if I’m still not finished by New Year’s Eve, then I shall welcome in the New Year singing:

MoNaNo, MoNaNo, MoNaNo!

Thanks to all of my friends who have been so supportive throughout this process…especially those of you who have no idea what I am doing or why.

Let all y’all know how it goes!

Thera cover

 

Synopsis

At the height of its power, the Minoan civilization ruled the Mediterranean Sea, establishing trading colonies throughout the region and venturing into the dangerous waters of the Atlantic. But unknown to its rulers and priests, the Earth itself was planning an end to the empire; an end that centered on the tiny colony of Thera, the present-day island of Santorini.

The story Thera bears witness to this cataclysmic end through the eyes of a young Mycenaean boy Patroclus, taken from his simple village on the coast of Greece as unwilling tribute and slave into the Minoan court. Patroclus quickly learns the machinations that hold the Minoan world together, but just as he recognizes his opportunity for escape, his world is threatened by Nessa, his Minoan Master’s daughter who sees something special in him.

The clash of cultures takes second stage, however, as the world itself begins to change shape. Only Patroclus seems to be aware of the scale of the omens, adding urgency to his survival plans and conflict over how to deal with Nessa.

See also: Thera–Describing the end of a world

Bloodied remembrance

Flag soldiers

I have no room for anger or hatred in my life, but I find myself perplexed, frustrated and saddened by the events of this past week that saw three men, three soldiers killed or wounded. And all of the efforts to understand or explain the reasoning of the two perpetrators, both killed, do nothing to assuage these feelings.

The two soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, near Montreal in Quebec, were crossing a parking lot in front of a recruitment centre when they were run over by their assailant. One of the men wasn’t even in uniform.

And in a messed up irony that could only accompany a death, the third soldier in Ottawa was standing guard over a war memorial to his fallen predecessors. His only defence from the gun man that took his life? An unloaded gun pointed at the ground out of remembrance and reverence to The Unknown Soldier.

For soldiers to fall in battle or in zones of conflict is painful, but somehow more acceptable as a known risk. For men to die while pursuing peaceful administrative activities or activities of honour is simply unfathomable.

While I am not yet ready to weep for the deaths of the two murderers, I mourn for their families and their communities, who have suffered losses as well. Without more information, I cannot blame anyone other than he who drove the car, he who pulled the trigger.

But even as I grieve, even as I question, I take heart and solace in the arms of my community. The people of Canada have not cornered the market in fortitude and endurance, but we are strong. And in times like this, times that matter most, we speak with one voice, we grieve with one heart and we love with one soul.

Despite the pain of our loss, we only grow stronger when events like this happen. And when faced with the uncertainty and fear of these events, that strength, that resolve will keep us whole, will keep us secure.

The coming Remembrance Day will be a touch sadder this year because the poppies will be more bloodied and the graves they mark will be a little fresher.

Peace.

 

Only the names of the deceased officers have been released: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24 (left, above), and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53.

soldier_andfield_of_poppies