It’s been a long, long time, writing blog! Much has changed since I last updated this thing, most of which you don’t care about, so I’ll make it brief: New job, newly married, new house, things are crazy.

And it’s National Novel Writing Month yet again! It always seems to hit when life is the craziest. But the process of writing 50,000 words in 30 days wouldn’t be as fun if I didn’t have to work for it.

I went back and forth on what story to write this year. I desperately wanted to finish last year’s One Dozen Roses, but inspiration never struck. Instead, I decided on something that would come easy to me, which happens to be anything related to Walt Disney World. If you didn’t see my NaNo profile, it’s over HERE for you to check out before you continue on to my update and then a fun, relatively long snippet.

cover 2Day: 2

Daily Word Count: 1028/1667

Total Word Count: 4058/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “The darkness engulfed the boat once more and echoed uttering’s of “Dead men tell no tales” floated through the air as we came to a beach with that awesome anamatronic crab.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: It’s mostly been stuck in my head, but Postmodern Jukebox’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” is quite fantastic.

Now, for the snippet. If you’ve ever dealt with crowds, this one’s for you.

It took nearly twenty-five minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom, by which time I felt ready to push and shove my way off this bus, even if it meant toddlers and babies and old people. I felt beyond polite. As soon as the bus stopped, I jumped to my feet and attached myself to the girl’s backpack to make my escape, deftly deking around her to get the edge into the park…

Only to find a flood of a hundred or so people coming down a nearby ramp where the Monorail looked to be stationed (this after a five-minute walk down a winding pathway past a boat dock). I wanted to beat that crowd as well, but that was when my eyes found the next line I would have to stomach: the security checkpoint, each line holding at least a dozen waiting patrons.

Checkpoint sounds nicer than it really was. It was just counter-height tables with officers on both sides who poked and prodded every nook and cranny of any bag of which they caught sight. Or so I thought since my particular officer asked me to open up every zippered compartment on the inside of my bag, compartments I didn’t even know it had! I chanced a look at the line to my left and saw that officer glancing into bags, shifting around the contents, then giving a little shrug and handing it back.

I fought not to clench my teeth at my own impatience.

The next line, much shorter than the last one, came the entrance into the park itself. I hopped in behind a younger couple who looked about my age and felt my jaw drop as I watched them provide their proof of entrance.

Disney really was decimating my expectations already, and I hadn’t even made it into a park! I expected a turnstile, maybe some kind of scanner for the wristband, and then you would have to walk through one of those padded metal bars.

Nothing even close.

There stood a bronze-colored pole with a ball on top that housed a Mickey Mouse head full of LED lights that swirled white. I watched, jaw dropped, as the couple in front of me took their turns entering. They held their wristbands up to the Mickey head, then immediately pressed their index finger against a fingerprint scanner atop the ball. The Mickey head glowed completely green, and the Cast Member welcomed them.

I stepped forward, never more self-conscious in my life. What if I screwed it up? What if it didn’t turn green when I pressed my finger to the scanner? Would they require proof of purchase? I held my wrist up, then pushed my right index finger against the warm scanner. Before I had time to come up with an excuse, Mickey turned green. I stepped past the pole and into the Magic Kingdom itself.

When I came out on the other side of the tunnel walkway that took you beneath the train station, I found myself on Main Street, Cinderella’s Castle on the opposite end. And all I could think was…

“Weren’t there more trees?” I asked out loud, ignoring the crowded sidewalks and walking in the middle of the road until Cinderella’s Castle stood center between the two sides of the streets. I remembered trees lining Main Street. Not a lot of trees, but enough to give it some color.

There were no trees. The view of the castle was unobstructed and picture perfect for any angle and at any distance. I sighed at how time changes things, sometimes not always for the better, and then I noticed the sheer amount of people.

Please disregard my complaints from before about my hotel’s food court. This was ten times as bad. Were there even sidewalks? Was I even standing on pavement or was it the remains of trampled tourists from vacations past? I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breathe. I found myself bolting into the nearest shop in hopes that it would alleviate my sudden agoraphobia.

It didn’t.

The sheer amount of things hurt my very being. Things everywhere. I took a deep breath and waded through the displays and the makeshift rows.