My Attempt at NaNoWriMo 2009, Part 1

In preparation for NaNoWriMo 2010, I’ve been going back over my unfinished attempt at last year’s event. I got close to 18,000 words, and though that’s a far cry from the goal I think I began formulating some pretty good ideas in the semi-satirical, soon-to-be-sci-fi story I was writing.

So as November approaches I’ll be posting my 2009 work in chunks after I tidy them up a little bit, and I’d love to hear your feedback. I fear it will get a bit rambling at points, but I think it starts strong:

“We could open a record store.”

Jeromy stared blankly at his friend. Their conversation about ways to make money was already proving more fanciful than productive, and now it had taken what he felt to be a depressingly nostalgic turn.

“And then we can buy a sinking ship, and captain it,” he replied.

“I suppose you don’t want to start a newspaper either, then.”

Jeromy grinned.

“Both those things would be fun, Cam. But we need sources of income, not high-risk anachronisms.”

Cam considered this briefly before his face lit up as if he had a tremendous idea. Jeromy knew this to be a bad sign.

“What about some sort of heist!”

“A heist?” Jeromy asked.

“Yeah, a big heist.” Cam paused. “Or a string of small heists.”

Jeromy was still somewhat puzzled.

“Do you mean like, train heists?”

“Probably not. Maybe. Why, do you think we could pull off a train heist?”

Jeromy was irritated to find himself seriously evaluating this question.

“What other types of heists are there, anyway?” he asked. Cam’s response was distressingly instantaneous.

“Well you know, bank heists, car heists, truck heists, liquor heists – and of course, the ol’ Leaky Faucet.”

Jeromy decided not to ask about the ol’ Leaky Faucet, and instead turned to his computer.

“Forget about heists,” he said over his shoulder. “Let’s see if there are any odd jobs that need doing.”

As Jeromy scanned various online listings, Cam stood to look around the room. It had changed since he’d last been there, though very little seemed to have been added or removed. The furniture – mostly shelves – had been rearranged, and the eclectic decorations Jeromy was so fond of had been selectively recombined into new clustered focal points. Though the layout was different, the total effect was unchanged: something between an eccentric private museum and a diorama competition at a madhouse. Cam was examining a display consisting of a wooden ocarina, a set of wind-up chattering teeth, a single lapis lazuli cufflink and a cheap souvenir medallion commemorating one of the Apollo missions when Jeromy spoke up.

“Here, what about this,” he said. Cam picked up the ocarina and played a few notes, then walked over to the computer. The headline on the screen read “Creative Minds Needed”, which in his experience meant there was unlikely to be any money involved at all. He said so, but Jeromy encouraged him to read.

Creative Minds Needed

An innovative company seeks creative-minded individuals for a bold new venture. Experience an exciting new way to apply your raw inspiration, help forge a brand new form of expression, and earn big money in the process.

Artists, scientists, musicians, mathematicians, writers, entrepreneurs, philosophers – all talents are welcomed, but only one is required: the ability to think originally, to imagine, to create and distroy ideas with the wonderful power of the mind.

We do not require experience or credentials, so please do not send résumés or portfolios. Everyone who replies to this listing will be sent a brief questionnaire, and the results will determine our interview selections.

Email us at participate@directexpression.web

“I know, I know – it’s weird,” Jeromy said. “But still, it’s not quite the average type of weird is it?”

Cam took in a long hiss of breath through his teeth. “I don’t know,” he said. “It could be a scam. Or a church.”

“Or both, I know. But there’s no harm in getting the questionnaire, is there?”

Cam looked dubious, but afer a moment he shrugged. “I guess not. Send them an email and then I’ll log in and do it too.”

As Jeromy tried to craft an appropriate reply to the unorthodox ad, Cam tried to play a tune on the ocarina, but it wasn’t a very good ocarina.

So that’s that. There’s a lot more to come, and it gets a lot more complex (probably much too complex), but maybe I’ll sort it out into a coherent work some day.

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