50,000 words in one month is an incredibly challenging task to accomplish. Especially for a brand new, wannabe author, with no experience with serious writing!
I have two themes that are close to my heart. Over the last few years I have pondered about them now and then, and kicked around the back ground, characters,theme and setting for a while. I tentatively started on my ideas last year, but made little progress. Until now I haven’t taken my writing seriously.
A few weeks ago, I started noticing references to NaNoWriMo again, as November approaches. I always perform better when I challenge myself and am on a deadline. So this seemed the perfect time to put my ideas on paper, commit to a deadline and see if my ideas are any good 🙂
NaNoWriMo officially kicks off today at midnight. I hope to write a little each day. So let’s see how far I will get to by the end of November. If you are a budding author like me, Good Luck! May the force be with you!
Here’s another snippet, a teaser, in passing for your enjoyment…
Disclaimer: As always this is work in progress, not edited for grammar and punctuation. Constructive feedback always welcome!
“There is nothing wrong with your flying,” I said, as I wrote in the log book. “Don’t be shy. If you let the aircraft get ahead of you, you are going to have to work doubly hard to return to normal. It’s okay to anticipate and aggressively correct your attitude. Don’t be afraid.”
“John Francisco Adams, there you are,” said Chung. “Do you have a moment?”
The world has Cher and Madonna. We had our Chung. No one knew whether it was a first name, last name or a nickname. He was only known as Chung. He worked the front desk daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, efficiently and reliably. He had the annoying habit of addressing every one by their complete name including their middle name. But we forgave him. Simply because he was the most efficient and reliable front desk helper we had in a long while. He was good natured, helpful and always cheerful. So who were we to complain? Especially considering he had to put up with the Beast, we were happy to let him handle the Beast, which he did with much aplomb. If there was anyone who could manage the Beast, it was Chung. We were happy to leave him to that and accepted the “Chung”.
Most people called me “John or Frisco”. But to Chung I was still “John Francisco Adams”. It was traditional at Desert Flying to give a nickname to all newly minted Certified Flight Instructors in the tradition of Naval Aviators. Mine was “Frisco”, not the least because I was born and brought up in the great city of San Francisco, but also because my middle name happened to be Francisco.
“Is this important? As you can see I am finishing up with my student,” I responded apologetically, not taking my eyes from the log book, as I finished adding my certificate number. “It’s Louis,” Chung voiced, as though that explained everything. For some reason, Chung never used Nathan’s full name. It was always Louis. I could still never understand why Nathan Louis Pierce was always Louis to Chung. Granted we all knew Nathan for what he was. Once he had his daily fill of alcohol, no one knew, if what he said was the truth or not.
Nathan was the local AME, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and looked after all the flight school airplanes. He was a distinctively, unique character on the airfield. How he got away with it was another matter. To him, everything he said was important. There was always some conspiracy or the other. Once he started talking you might just question the logic of your reasoning. Nathan also had another quirky trait. He thought, none of us knew it, but we all knew: his large thermos supposedly filled with coffee, was spiked with alcohol. He thought, no one knew. But he didn’t fool us. But we let it slide. Because he was the best Mechanic in the desert. In his sober mood, he was one of the best there was. And he could tell incredible war stories.
“What about him,” I asked
“He wants you to stop by his shop,” he persisted.
“Okay. I have a few minutes free, after my next student, and I will go visit him,” I replied, preoccupied with my next student.
It was after 4:30 pm that I finally walked over to the hangers where Nathan Pierce lorded over his maintenance shop. I was still pre-occupied with my thoughts. How can I get my latest student to realize that he needed more practice? I understood he was on a budget, but heck he was nowhere near finishing his training.
“Nathan,” I called out, a trifle irritated. “Where are you? I have another student in 30 minutes. You know, I am too busy for your games,” I called out.
I walked into the hanger: irritated and preoccupied with my next student. Fred was a good student. But not one, who resonated confidence or due diligence. I needed to really work on Fred to get him prepared to take his check-ride. It was still too soon to schedule a check-ride.
“If you don’t come out in the next few minutes, I will not be here, you lousy man,” I shouted. Why did I ever give Nathan a damn? He was just drunk as usual and passed out in the rear of the hanger. A good night’s sleep was what he needed to get over his drunkenness. Why was I wasting my time here? I turned around the corner, and there he lay in the back of the hanger, as usual, too drunk to respond.
“Nathan, wake up,” I muttered as I shook him repeatedly. He opened his eyes, “John! Good you are here. I wanted to tell you about Amelia and Doc.” And the ridiculous man dozed off.
“What were you saying about Doc?” I interrupted him rudely, wanting to press on, so I could return to my next student.
“Nathan,” I kicked him over, not too gently. “What did you want to say to me? Wake up you sod!” I kicked him again none too gently. I was almost about to turn and return when I heard him feebly mutter.
“Doc, no please don’t. I won’t betray you. Please. You are hurting me,” with that he trembled uncontrollably over and over again in fear, for what seemed like incredibly long moments, before he went completely still.
“Nathan,” I shouted and patted him. But there was no movement. He remained completely still. “Wake up you fool,” I tried again and again. But he remained immovable. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I wanted to believe it.
But even I knew, he was long gone. Nathan would never wake up again.