#NaNoWriMo2019 #WritingLog: #writing a 7th #chapter

Only a few days of November remain, my friends! Clearly this novella won’t be done by then. For sake of time, then, I think I’d like to jump, just a smidge, to another critical moment. (If you need to catch up, here’s a list of current chapters for What Happened When Grandmother Failed to Die.)







Sal and Chloe flew through the sliding doors. “We have to close these,” Sal called to Thomas, “NOW.”

“What happened?” Thomas was almost lost to the darkness of the room, too far for the firelight’s reach. Only his eyes glowed to Chloe, wide with fear when he saw the blood on her hand, the panic in her face.

The fear locked Chloe’s jaw but she fought it as the men fought time and warped wood to close the doors. “A b-b-body, Dad. They ch-ch-chopped someone up.

Laughter: Reg hopped up, a smile so big on his face you’d think it was Christmas Anywhere-But-Here. “It’s done!” He clapped and leapt over the sofa to hug his sister tight. “It must be done done done! The signs, they worked!”

But Chloe ran to join Sal at the doors. Stuck. So damn stuck. The wood groaned, denying them. “The Sumac guy and the doctor–” 

CRACK. Thomas’ side splintered free above him. He slammed his side to the center and said, “I knew that damn plowman was no good.” He came to help Sal and Chloe, but his strength only made the wood louder, louder, its moans surely echoing throughout the Crow’s Nest. “Get furniture. We’ll block the rest.”

“What about your mom?” Chloe asked Sal as they took the ends of the sofa.

“It’s her bloody curse.” Sal grunted under the load, faltering after only a few steps. “Let her face it.”

Thomas rushed to Sal’s side and shoved him towards Chloe. “Ang, come on!”

But Angela’s shape stayed to the window, her darkness one with Reg’s, her fingers spread out upon the glass.

The caws.

Oh, the caws.

It began as one, lone but strong. Then another. Another. Another. And in a heartbeat it was a chorus of murder ringing through the air. A cloud of black feathers beat the windows as the crows flew by. Their song seemed to wrap around the house, filling its rooms and all their hidden spaces–


The walking shroud of Madame Yana Perdido stood, hands upon her cane, in the last space of the sliding doors. 

Sal dropped the sofa and stood, empty and limp as a scarecrow after a storm. Reg let out a cry and buried himself in Angela’s arms.

Only Angela held her chin high…though she did not move one inch from the window. “Mother.” The word fell, small and hard, into the air.

The grandmother’s head slowly swiveled from adult to adult until at last she stopped with Choe. “Has the sign been made?” That the sofa was but a few inches away from blocking her entry apparently meant nothing.

Chloe pointed at the pile of drawings about the desk. “Reg has made a hundred, all right? You need to get in here before that doctor–”

Thock. “He means nothing. Did you make the sign?”

“We need to call–”

Did you make the sign?!”



Not a caw.

Not a groan.

Not a flutter.

Only a single, long, growl. Very deep. And very near.

Word Count: 513 Total Count: 12,324

Gah, I didn’t get to my part yet! Here’s hoping the kids behave well enough tomorrow for me to write before we venture off to another Grandmother’s house… xxxxxx

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

39 thoughts on “#NaNoWriMo2019 #WritingLog: #writing a 7th #chapter

  1. Did you realize I had no conception of what NaNoWriMo was until you made note of it several posts back. Plainly that doesn’t say much about me. Now it crops up everywhere I have an awareness as to what it is. May I say that it is rather brave of you to take on this challenge. Impressed, from a place that rains every day. Regards, The Old Fool.
    PS – Bearing in mind Amercianisms why is it not called NNWM? I thought only the Brits went for the confusing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Americans do so love abbreviating wherever possible–its our innate laziness at work 😛 xxxxxxx That said, National Novel Writing Month is a fun challenge. I know I won’t get anywhere near 50,000 words, but it’s fun to aspire to. Plus I’ve many teacher friends who use the challenge in their classrooms. It’s amazing how a community challenge like this gets young ones writing, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If it inspires then that can only be a good thing. As to abbreviations I believe you Yanks are masters of the art. Also, I rather like the way American English rids itself of letters words do not need if to be logical to pronounce. For example a pointless ‘u’ common in English when preceded by an ‘o’ yet here the child who leaves out the ‘u’ is cursed. You have long since deleted such ‘u’s. Also, say for our town name Worcester, we pronounce it ‘Wusster’ where as American pronounces it ‘Wor Cess Ter’ as is logical in most ways other than for those living in Wusster! Most strange is this shared language of ours.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pronunciation is most interesting. Regional takes on words amuse me. In the West Country they drop the letter ‘h’ from everything. It becomes redundant, whereas 150 mile east in posh Surrey ‘h’ is dragged out, hence posh talk. You Americans have got spelling right. ‘Logical’ English I call it. I’d bet good money that, say 7 year old kids in The States spell better than their English equivalents. You spell ‘humor’ logically…we spell it ‘humour’, hence the English kids have to remember a pointless ‘u’. I know a million words yet still to this day struggle spelling a good chunk of them because of ‘illogical’ English.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, but your spelling is so creative! In the States the terms themselves change from region to region. Wisconsin’s notorious for “bubbler”–aka, water fountain. The term started in Milwaukee because the city fountains “bubbled up” the water. You use the term bubbler in any other state, you’ll get the stink eye. States can’t agree on soda or pop (and then in the South all carbonated drinks are called Coke no matter what they are. If you want a Coke, I believe you actually have to say “Coke Coke.”) As you say, every region’s take is unique. xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fascinating info re The States. I’d not considered that you have quirks beyong reginal accents. I shall have investigate this. Back to English, one last ‘quirk’. I find it annoying that ‘humour’ becomes ‘humoruos’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • How strange! And yes, traveling to different regions always invites a bit of alien adventure. Heck, just crossing the Wisconsin/Illinois border feels like you’re entering another country where the mere act of driving can cost a small fortune due to all the tolls on the highways…


    • Thank you so much, Cath! I had hoped to do another 1000 words, but with all the Thanksgiving cleaning and cooking…yeah, it didn’t happen. 😦 But you’re right–getting this much done is something to be thankful for! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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