Category Archives: After You

2013-Winner-Facebook-ProfileLadies and gents, I know I have not updated since nearly a week ago. You probably remained in suspense for most of the Thanksgiving weekend, wondering if I wrote the last 1400 or so words to hit that 50,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo.

Well, ladies and gents, I did! And I did it last Wednesday, four days early. So let’s stick with the old school format that guided me all through November.

Day: -2 or 32

Total Word Count: 50,571/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written: “The juxtaposition in the situation was not lost on me, though I did not have time to appreciate it.”

Inspirational Song: You know, it’s hard to come up with one song that sums up this story completely. For Jason’s side of it, it’s easy enough – “Life By The Drop” by Stevie Ray Vaughan… for Richards’, however…it’s a little more complicated. If I had to make a decision right now, it would be the song that the novel is named after (which I can’t find online anywhere): “After You” by Tommy Dorsey & His Clambake Seven.

Fun Little Snippet From Everything:  It’s one of the last things I wrote and I apparently have a knack for writing great buddy dialogue.

“Patience, my dear Robert,” I replied. “Ethan told us we have to take them out, yes? But did he specify when?” A pause for effect. “Therefore, I say let’s take our time with this one. See where the evening takes us and where we end up.” Crum downed the rest of his glass before he replied.

“Keep talking like that, Mister Richards, and you’re going to have to buy me dinner. I don’t always sleep with strange men on the first date.”

I offered him a wink. “Who says this is our first date?”

As I turned away, I swore I heard Crum breathe, “Stalker.”

Problems: Here’s the deal: After You is supposed to be from both Jason’s point of view and Jack Richards’ point of view. I have to decide if I want to keep their sections separate (have Jason’s be the first half of the book, Richards’ the second half) or if I want to intertwine their timelines and alternate chapters.

Where To Head Tomorrow: Keep writing. Maybe take a bit of a reprieve and then jump right back into it. It’s what I did with On The Border and I never had a dull moment that made me want to stop writing.

Thanks to anyone and everyone who gave me any sort of support. Even a tiny mention of NaNo or asking how it was going had a great mental effect. You guys are awesome.


Day: 26

Daily Word Count: 1580/1667

Total Word Count: 48,678/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “I found my focus again, eyes adjusting and taking in Jason’s face to bring me back to the present moment. Pain and concern contorted his face; he understood my agony.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: No song today, but I’ve been listening to Tom Hiddleston read James Bond novels…at least the snippets you can find online because nothing’s available in the US (trust me, I’ve been looking nonstop). (Likewise, if anyone has a link to the full thing, that would be awesome.)

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  How about one of the ending scenes but from Richards’ point of view?!

I grabbed the chair across from her and sat down.

“Back already?” Cassidy asked at the noise, sitting up and opening her eyes. Her expression turned quizzical.

“I’m just getting started,” I replied, doing my best to fight a smile from gracing my lips. Not yet. Play it slow. I kept reminding myself not to get carried away. It was hard not to get caught up in the moment. Eight years since I had been in a situation like this. I could barely remember how to handle any of it. Giddiness threatened to overwhelm me and make me lose my cool.

Problems: Nothing, really…

Where To Head Tomorrow: Finish! Finish finish finish!

Day: 22

Daily Word Count: 2666/1667

Total Word Count: 41,045/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “The actual woman who stood before me—the one who had burned down a convenience store, the one who acted lost most of the time—faded.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: A little less-well-known Simon & Garfunkel number that’ll get your toes tapping (which is apparently my theme). “Baby Driver.”

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  I like the ridiculousness of the general public.

“I’ve tapped into the police scanner channel, or whatever you’d like to call it. In the past few hours, there have been several 911 calls made reporting bears.”

“…Bears?” I repeated.

“Yes, sir. In the forest. Several worried, older women with houses butting up to the forest have seen pretty large movement just beyond their line of sight.”

I paused before asking, “And what does this have to do with anything?”

“Sir—Richards—” he managed to correct. “—The majority of bears in Wisconsin live in the northern half. And there hasn’t been a bear spotted in this area in years.” He let a beat pass while my brain caught up with his. “I’m going on a hunch here, sir, but I think what they’re seeing is the movement of Sundance and Elwood.”

Problems: Nothing, really…

Where To Head Tomorrow: Go to work for 5:15am (coffee shops, ewwww) and then WRITE LIKE THE WIND. Also, if you want to join a ridiculously fake, hilarious “cult following” on Twitter and you love hockey, join the Church of Nyquist! Or read about it over here.

It’s another birthday today! Happy 90th birthday to my grandma!

Day: 21

Daily Word Count: 1372/1667

Total Word Count: 38,379/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “Now there’s a bond between us, and I never really wanted us to bond on something.” Jason fixed me with a straight look. “But here we are.” Ohhhh snap!

Inspirational Song of the Day: Let’s rock out today. One of my favorite songs: “North Side Gal” by JD McPherson. If you aren’t tapping your toes to this one, then there’s something wrong with you (no offense…)

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  It was very emotional today for my characters. So I’m doing something lighthearted…and nerdy…again.

A message waited for me on my phone from Helm. I sat in Lee and Stephanie’s driveway for some time and listened. He gave me perfect coordinates for following them; it seemed as though they were headed northeast, perhaps to Wisconsin. They drove without stopping. I was perhaps two hours behind them, but I need not worry; he had his eyes on them. A true Agent Barton—Hawkeye from The Avengers comics. Eyes everywhere on everything.

I found no need to rush.

Problems: I literally have three bullet points left on my outline, but it doesn’t take me all the way to the end of my story…hmmm…these last days of NaNo are going to get interesting…

Where To Head Tomorrow: Oh, I have no idea. We’re really just going to wing this one. That’s better, right?

Happy birthday to my awesome fiancee, too!

Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. Firefox froze on me and I lost everything I was going to post. Multiple times.

Day: 19

Daily Word Count: 1967/1667

Total Word Count: 35,001/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “Don’t try to go all Natasha Romanoff on me and say that you owe Cassidy a debt.” (Hooray for me being a nerd!)

Inspirational Song of the Day: It was Johnny Mercer‘s birthday yesterday and I couldn’t post, so let’s take it back to the 1940s! “My Sugar Is So Refined.”

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  Today I switched over to Jason’s POV for a change of pace. And he gets to confront a lot of his hidden problems (and may or may not contain some spoilers, but shhhhh)

This moment, secluded in a coffee shop, just the two of us, had been planned out in her mind for a very long time. Or at least since she came to my apartment and found Cassidy Sundance living with me. My coffee tasted far too acidic. Dark roast, my ass, or maybe the bitterness was due to my predicament and already in my mouth.

“Liney—” I started, though she held up a hand to stop me.

“Jay, you can’t keep putting this off!”

“Well I certainly can’t anymore because you’ve got me cornered in my old fucking coffee shop!” I countered. “You couldn’t have picked any other coffee shop?”

It was true; Liney had picked this place, not letting me turn her down no matter how much I protested. So I sat there and was unable to stop myself from glancing around the place and wondering if anyone recognized me or if I recognized anyone. The group of old men in the front corner was just as loud as they had been years ago. One of them—Patrick, if memory serves—nodded my way when I walked in, but he said nothing. I appreciated it. Still, every time the door opened, my gaze flew to their face.

Problems: Jason has some serious emotional issues, but we all already knew that, didn’t we?

Where To Head Tomorrow: Keep my head up and my fingers running and figure out if I want to switch back to Richards or keep going with Jason.

Happy 150th anniversary to the Gettysburg Address!

Day: 15

Daily Word Count: 2471/1667 and counting!

Total Word Count: 29,570/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “Not very careful, really,” I answered. “Neither of them do anything inappropriate—aside from taking Ben Bailey’s money and forging some legal documents, though I think only lawyers will find fault with that.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: It’s a laid-back day, so a little “Warm Beer & Cold Women” by Tom Waits.

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  James has made an appearance in all of my NaNo novels except the first one. He’s one of my favorite characters, though his own story has never been completed…and also changed half a dozen times.

“There aren’t any good pictures of Cassidy Sundance out there, so I’m just going on that horrible composite sketch, but… when I was in Washington DC a few months back, I went to a hockey game, and I’m fairly certain she was the woman who sat next to my friend. She was attending her first hockey game.”

A cold chill ran down my spine, though I kept my face blank. His story fit with her timeline as well as the story Trevor presented me. “And why do you think that woman was Cassidy Sundance?” I asked, thankful my voice remained steady.

“She introduced herself as Cassidy, and all of the news broadcasts and reports talk about her wild blonde hair and that girl definitely had it,” James explained. “Plus, the news report came out a day later that Sundance tried to steal the Hope Diamond.” He chuckled. “Then again, if the girl at the game was Sundance, I can’t even begin to believe she pulled a stunt like that.”

Problems: I have continuous work to do on a movie for my neighbors and it has to be done by the 26th…I should probably work on that a little bit. (This is a very long story, so let’s not even start…)

Where To Head Tomorrow: Write a little bit of something after my first real shift at the new coffee shop! It should be interesting!

(“Some Sort of Something” instead of “Some Kind of Wonderful,” get it?! ….No? Okay, moving on…)

Day: 14

Daily Word Count: 2529/1667

Total Word Count: 27,099/50,000

Favorite Line (or two) Written Today: “This is Jack Richards. I need you to forward me to the Discovery Channel’s head office,” I commanded. “And tell them it’s damn important.”

Inspirational Song of the Day: I’m in a Steely Dan mood today; I’ve just had their discography on shuffle. Let’s go with “Bad Sneakers” from Katy Lied

Fun Little Snippet From Today’s Writing:  I wrote this yesterday, but I feel it’s just very poignant…maybe it’s because I feel Richards’ pain in his words and the image in my head is extremely vivid.

“She did love ‘Tulsa Time’ a little too much, didn’t she?” I replied, happy to reminisce. She had always been a touchy subject between my father and I, though I do not know whether he actually knew why. I cried to him on the phone the moment I found out about her passing and missing her funeral—sadness and rage melded into one incoherent babbling speech over transcontinental wires… or cutting out cell phones. Even now, thinking about that call, I felt my chest caving in and erupting with buried emotions. I screamed on the phone—screamed at my own grief-stricken father—asking him questions for which he did not have an answer. I will never forgive myself, I vaguely recall bellowing, followed by something about never mentioning her around me until I was ready. Did he still believe that? Did he know it was still true?

Problems: I keep throwing in Detroit Red Wings players as supporting characters. It’s not really a problem, mostly just a comment. Darren  Helm is actually a lot more involved than I thought he would be. And today, I threw in Patrick Eaves as a tech nerd who doesn’t know how to cut his hair, and Jonathan Ericsson as an executive at The Discovery Channel.

Where To Head Tomorrow: I don’t really know. I’m on to the second page of my outline and I think I’ll be able to make it to 50k before I hit the end of it, though I don’t know if the story will be done… probably. There’s not much after my outline ends (since it’s very incomplete).

Brian Williams comes back into the picture tomorrow!