AMJ and NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, aka, National Novel Writing Month, is a fun project I’ve been fooling around with for a few years. You basically write a novel in a month, hopefully equaling 50,000 words by November 30th. The results are often mixed, but in the end you get a piece of work that you’ve created and can cut and paste into something better. I’m off by a thousand words right now but I’ve still got til Midnight tonight, right? Anyway, I just felt like throwing this up here on the blog before we get into December. Got a lot of stuff going on..

Graphic by Ziona Kocher

Excerpt from The Doorman’s Apprentice: NaNoWriMo 2009

Even in the dim light of the marquee sign, I could see the smoke from his cigarette curling in the breeze. He was a quick smoke, he had to be. Someone would come up, waiting to get in the door and he’d hurl it to the ground in order to keep traffic going smooth. Even a two person pile up inside the door could cause a lot of trouble. In between huffs he’d talk about different goings on, a few complaints about people who had apparently never been asked to show i.d. before, how this band sucked and how my taste in music ranged from the completely awesome to the incredibly bad.

I never felt more at home than when I was leaned up against the cold brick walls, hands stuffed in my jacket, fingering the little hole in the pocket from the time when it got snagged climbing over the graveyard fence. I could listen to the chatter around me for days, never saying a word. I like talking as much as the next person but sometimes you just get tired of talking about the weather. If they recognize me from the paper, I might as well forget it. Expected to spout off the latest and greatest about music at the drop of a hat. Not a horse and pony show.

But as usual, I can’t help it. Residual guilt from being paid to give my opinion gets the best of me. Sure, I’ll listen to your pitch. Leave the cd for me at the usual spot. I enjoy it from time to time but tonight is just not your night, bub. He leaves to go set up for his gig and I shift awkwardly on the stool. Somehow managed to get stuck on an usual spot in the wall. I pull my cap over my eyes a little more and feign a headache.

“Did ya hear about the Print Shop?” the doorman asks. He knows me well. Knows my fake headache signal even better. Passes me a PBR and an empty Tylenol wrapper.

“What happened this time?”

“Some fan broke in again. They had to padlock the doors but talk’s struck up again about just tearing it down. It’s too dangerous.”

I open one eye and look skeptically out from under my hat. “Don’t they threaten to do that every year? To almost everything?”

He chuckles and turns to the next customer, reading her i.d. and stamping her on the hand. From the looks of her, she’s managed to wander in from a sorority house. I’m half tempted to start up a Phi Mu Delta cheer just to see how she’ll respond. I catch a small glare from my friend. Yeah, that plan is done for now.

“I figure they’ll really be after the city to tear it down this time though,” he muses as he lights up another cigarette. “Those idiots actually went upstairs.”

I shake my head in disbelief. It’s one thing to want to climb into that building. Hell, most of us have at some point. But that second floor is caving in. Even the mice avoid it. To try and walk across that floor is tempting fate. I wince a little as the scar running up my arm seems to tingle and burn as a reminder that fate is not one to be messed with.

“Damn fools,” I say.

“Yeah. Police say that they think those fools found something though.”

Well that was new. Nothing in that building but old printing supplies and a bunch of old photos. I leaned in closer. Figures that he’d have my attention now. “Really?”


“What did they find?”

End Excerpt


  1. I actually just have the rest of it on my harddrive at the moment. I'm polishing it up. I'll make sure to post some more of it at a later date.

    Glad you like it!

  2. although this might sound uncool, there's a book by stephen king called “on writing: a memoir of the craft,” which is the most helpful book on writing fiction that i have ever come across ever.

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