clauderainsrm (clauderainsrm) wrote in therealljidol,
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therealljidol

Work Shop - Episode 3, NaNoWritMoordie

One post during triple duty! Why? Because I said so!

Point One is to remind people of the various “Ways to Support Idol”. The more support we get, the easier it will be to start Season 9!
The donation tab is on the tool bar to your left (if you are viewing this on the Idol page) as is the link to the Idol store!

Point Two is to congratulate everyone on their work thus far in their NANOWRIMOORDIEAHORRIBLEDEATH efforts. Give yourself a round of applause. No, scratch that – just get back to work! Stop slacking off!
You have until Wednesday November 14th to 11:50 to add 6,500 more words!

Point Three is this is also another installment of the WORK SHOP! Why? Because it’s awesome! So sit back and enjoy! More importantly, add your thoughts and discuss how it relates to your own writing experiences! This episode is from your friends, fan favorites, and married couple, team_jessie and hosticle_fifer


***
"The topic this week is 'Cold Sweat', so here's what I'm thinking," I say over the occasionally protesting head of my daughter as I try to coax her unruly curls into a somewhat more manageable braid.

My husband is doing what I call "the daily wander", searching for my son's shoes which we swear to God were by the front door last night before bed. If we're honest though, we were maybe two glasses of chardonnay into it before we got to bed, so who knows where I saw them.

Maybe she was two glasses of chardonnay in. Me, I had stayed up for another three hours and another two glasses of Johnny Black, propagating a terrible nocturnal lifestyle that I should have eschewed after college. Point is, those shoes are GONE. Wait, no, there they are. Who puts shoes in a bucket? Is that a game?

I work from home now, so even as I strap sneakers onto a toddler who insists on sitting in my lap for the procedure, my thoughts are already blearily wandering around a half-dozen problems of the working morning. They lurch distractedly, eventually, to the topic my wife is calling over about from the bathroom.

"Danny. Danny. FOOT. Come- come on, bud, other foot. Oh, yeah, I read that. At first I was thinking horror, but then I realized that damn near everyone is going to do horror. That, or embarrassing school stories."

"So, remember when I was pregnant with Danny, and we had been snowed in forever, and we took Veronica to Manderach Playground?"

"You mean when she almost got killed by that asshole who never even apologized? Yeah, I'd imagine that qualifies."

I am holding my daughter by the face, wrestling a toothbrush into her mouth as I respond, "Yes. Douchebag dad with the no-training-wheels... Good Lord, Honey, please say 'AHHHHHHH'!"
The next few minutes are a blur of zipping coats, double checking book bags, and wrestling with two (count 'em, TWO!) car seats.

As I wait in the car line at school, I am reminded of a few probably-not-important-but-maybe details about that day. I pull out my iPhone, which I am not supposed to use in the car line, and surreptitiously activate voice-to-text function on the memo pad.
"34 degrees,snow melt finally started. Dad had loafers and no socks. Who does that?"
"Trotting 30 yards behind his daughter. Kid had no effing clue what she was doing."

From the back seat I hear my son pipe up.
"Mommy. You can't talk to 'comma' again!"
I am suddenly aware of the fact that I, apparently, insert punctuation commands into my text documents, even when they're not strictly necessary.


Sitting at my desk, I stare grimly at my inbox. All those orange-highlighted subject lines mean I have a busy day. I start on the first task, and in accordance with my usual cadence, begin drifting away mentally the first time I have to wait for something to load.

I take a sip of coffee and rapid-fire some images through my head. Cold Sweat.
Obvious choice: horror. Have enjoyed doing that in the past but it's tricky, easy to fuck up. Plus the prompt title will make people expect it.
Cold and sweating. Could do a story from when I worked plowing snow. The 36-straight-hours of manual shoveling during the blizzard of '96 has a lot of hero-story weight. The time the asshole neighborhood kids followed me around and shoveled snow back onto the sidewalk is a good one. People love getting riled up against an unambiguous villain.
The time my Dad dropped us kids off at the sledding hill, we got soaked wrecking our sleds off the ramps, and then he didn't come back for two hours while we froze. No cellphones in 1989. Ehhh, call that a maybe, might sound like a bitter-against-parent story.
There was the time a piece of rebar fell off the truck and speared the ground right under my crotch, scraping my jeans and missing my junk by millimeters. THAT was a cold sweat story.

But certainly yeah, ONE of us should do a story about Veronica's playground near-miss.

I get back home, sans children for a little over two hours. This is a good opportunity to brainstorm. Dan is busy in his office, so I begin to unload the dishwasher, and pour some coffee. Coffee, right. I was pregnant when all this happened, so I wasn't allowed to have coffee.

I was groggy then - perpetually groggy, but I sure as hell snapped to attention when this happened. God! We had been so desperate to get out of the house. Just to have some scenery that wasn't that same second-floor condo with absolutely nowhere for a baby to play. Danny was born in April, and this happened when there was still snow on the ground. So I was what... six or seven months along?

I make a mental note for whichever of the two of us ends up using this story: Don't say I was "walking" at a distance behind you two. Say I was "waddling".

I remember there was almost nobody else out. Veronica was only just barely able to walk, and we had the entire municipal installation to ourselves - two-story wooden castle, still-locked, out of season bathrooms, over a hundred acres of cleared land and a three-mile blacktop path around the perimeter. We never could have imagined that with ALL that empty space, the only other people there would force me into the only true action-hero moment of my life. Yeah, this is a good one for Cold Sweat.

Maybe they were just as stir-crazy as we were. Maybe that was what compelled them to think that HEY, you know what would be an awesome day to teach a terrified seven year old with zero experience to ride a bike? Today! The first day of snow melt in three weeks! Yeah! Let's rock!

Ok, time to fact check with Dan.

*knocks on office door*

It wasn't the kid I was mad at. Hell, I felt for her, she was clearly terrified, big dark eyes round as quarters as she turned around from her shaky bike-seat perch, off in the ditch. "It wouldn't stop", is all she said, while I held my daughter aloft, breath coming ragged, a light tire scuff visible on Veronica's pink winter coat. No, it was the fact that her dad shouldered past us, gestured to his daughter, said "Come on", and walked off without even looking back.

Had I been ten inches further from my barely-not-an-infant daughter, I would not have been there in time to save her. Adrenaline coursing through my veins, ears throbbing with blood, I stared at the back of his tasteless tan coat. I could have killed that callous motherfucker with an axe. Heh, I could probably come up with some great metaphors for that moment. I probably shouldn't use the profanity, though, Jess tells me it drives people away.

The door knocks. Okay, so I wasn't actually working at that *exact* moment, but the truth is I'm still pretty busy. And now kind of double-distracted. I call out, "WHAT?", realize it sounded like I was snapping at her, then sigh and get up to open the door. I think we're onto something good, though, so I take my coffee cup with me so we can actually have breakfast together.

Except we can't, really. I forgot that I'd thrown Danny's favorite blanket into the wash just as we'd left for school, and if I don't get it into the dryer soon, he won't have it in time for his nap. So I yell to Dan from the laundry room, "You know, from where I stood, it looked like that kid had actually started to run her over..."

My head is in the fridge. Guess it's just eggs this morning, no cheese on 'em either. I shut the door and look at the nearly empty carton in my hand. Maybe if I rocket through a shower we could go grocery shopping before school lets out.

"Christ almighty, yeah. I think if I'd had one extra second to actually think about it, I wouldn't have been able to grab her. I'm still not sure exactly how that split-second went down. I've been going over it in my head, and I think this is a pretty damn good story for Cold Sweat. Nobody would vote you out when you're rescuing babies in danger. It'd be, like, unconscionable. A vote against babies. Shoe-in.

But which one of us gets that one?"

I'm back in the kitchen now, and already grabbing my cell phone.
"You do. You were closer to the action. Anyway, I just had another idea."

I send off a quick text to my sister:
"Yo, what time does the baby go to bed? "

"8:30-ish. Why?"

"I need to call you later to talk about something. Remember that time we took that really weird shortcut home from school that took us across the train tracks?

"Uh, yeah, when you almost walked into the path of an oncoming trolley. Jesus, why do you want to talk about that?"

"That writing contest."

"Oh. Right.
Nerd!"

I put the phone down and write up a quick shopping list. If everything goes as planned, I might actually get in front of a keyboard before midnight.

I, on the other hand, would be in front of a keyboard until midnight, and still not get any writing done.
Tags: nanowritmoordie, work shop
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