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NaNoWriMo 2014: In the Bag

yes, yes, I know. There are still 10 more days(okay, more like 11 since it’s not even 6 a.m. on the 20th, we could still count this as a full day), but winning is open at the NaNoWriMo site as of today. So, I compiled what I have of Scars and All and got this pretty thing:Winner-2014-Square-Button

This makes the fourth year in a row I’ve won(and it’s the fifth year I’ve participated). This is the fastest I’ve done it though. I actually hit 50k yesterday, so that is 19 days, but I actually only wrote 15 of those days. And the first 2 days I only wrote a total of 1k. Still, that’s an average of 3387 words on the days I wrote anything. That’s pretty good. Last year it took me 21 days to hit 50k on Flames of Redemption and I had over 80k by the end of the month.

I still have more to write on Scars and All of course. 20 more scenes planned, so the first draft will probably end up somewhere between 70-80k.

In honor of winning, I will share the prologue for Scars and All here. It’s still rough, of course, and may not even end up in the final draft. And there may be some of [xx] mixed in there for details(probably names) I need to fill in later. This takes place about 10 years(actually about 9.5) before the actual story starts.

October 7, 2005

Doren Holland wiped his arm over his forehead then settled the helmet back over his head. He didn’t need to glance at the scoreboard. It flashed in his head. Down by four and the other team had the ball. He was up.
He joined the huddle of players, listened to the coach’s instructions, but he could already see the play forming in his head. Backs were slapped then they were heading out to the field. He met the eyes of the other two linebackers on the field, and they nodded to each other. Then, he turned his focus back to the game, particularly the quarterback. As soon as the center snapped the ball back into the quarterback’s hands, Doren’s feet moved.
He didn’t think about much except reaching the quarterback before the ball left his hands again. His feet dug into the soft ground as he moved forward. He could feel others moving around him, but his whole focus was on that quarterback. The ball was still in his hand as Doren lowered his shoulder and took the other boy to the ground. He saw the ball fly from the quarterback’s hands, but nothing else as the ground flew up at him.
The fall knocked the wind out of him, and he rolled to the side as a whistle sounded. He got to his feet and held a hand out to help the other kid to his as well. Then, they separated and went to their own sides as they waited for the decision. When the ref held one hand toward Doren’s team, he nearly pumped his fist. Someone had intercepted the ball. Now, they just had to get it down the field and score a touchdown. With just under two minutes on the clock, he knew it was possible, but it was going to be close. But, it would be nice if for the first time in his high school football career, they could win at least one Homecoming game. It would be his last.
He dropped onto the bench, grabbing a bottle of water and squirting some of the cool liquid into his mouth. A hand slapped against his shoulder pads. “Nice sack there, Holland.”
It was one of the defensive ends, Chris Soranno. They’d been in school together since Kindergarten. It was something he could say about almost all of his teammates. The joys of a small town. “Who got the ball? Did you see? I was a little busy getting rid of the birds around my head.”
Chris laughed. “You’ve always been an odd one, Holland. It was Morrey. He managed to keep his hands on it before they all piled on him.”
“Good. Maybe we can pull this off.”
“Thanks to you, Man,” Soranno said, slapping him on the back again.
Doren shrugged off the praise. He never quite felt like he deserved it. He kept his attention on the field as the team took the offensive now. A band around his chest tightened as the ball left their quarterback’s hands, sailing over the heads of the opposing team. “Come on, come on,” he muttered.
A long breath expelled as it hit the hands of Josh Brewer, one of their wide receivers. He was one of the quickest on the team. Doren watched as he tucked the ball to his chest, spun on his heel and sprinted toward the end zone. He darted around the other team’s defensive end and cornerback. The rest of the opposing team was converging on him, but their team came in to block them. Doren let out another breath when he passed into the endzone. The other teammates on the sideline started cheering, but he just slumped there. Ahead by two, and as long as the kicker didn’t screw it up, they’d put another point up there. Unless the other team scored in the last minute of the game, they’d won this.
Cassie Siddell watched the football players file from the field. She’d cheered right along with the crowd when the other team had failed to score again in that final minute. For that minute, she’d barely taken her eyes off Doren. Not that he had ever bothered to look at her.
She ran a hand through her tight black curls. She was being ridiculous. He was a Senior, and she was only a Junior. Why would he look at her? Why would any of them look at the half black girl who had always been under their feet? And their attention apparently.
A shoulder slammed into her, and she stumbled back. From muttered comments, she knew it hadn’t been an accident. She didn’t bother with tears anymore. Most people treated her fine, but even though she’d lived here as long as any of them, she wasn’t accepted. Simply because of her mother’s skin color.
“You’re such an ass, Morrey.” The honey sweet voice was nearly next to her ear. “You all right?”
She looked up into Doren’s deep chocolate eyes and saw concern in them. Genuine concern for her. It sapped away her voice, so she just nodded. He still held his hand out to her though. Her smaller one slipped into his, and he helped her back to her feet. She heard one of the other players yelling his name. “I’d better go,” he said slipping his hand out of hers.
She nodded again, and he turned away. “Good game, Doren,” she said as he started to trot away. He turned and flashed her a grin then took off for the stairs that would take him up to the school’s locker room.
Cassie had to wait for her heart to stop fluttering before she could turn away from the field. She needed to find her friends for her ride home. But, she was sure she would carry the memory of his smile. It wasn’t a moment that was likely to happen again. He had just felt sorry for her.
She could live with that though.


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