This is the first NaNo I’ve actually felt ahead without doubting that I was really ahead, and this feels? So good?
Current Word Count
Last week, I said my goal was to reach 22,706 words by the time this check-in rolled around. With some grit and determination and the sheer joy of teasing Bigfoot with cheesy Bigfoot memorabilia from one of his adopted nieces, I’m actually sitting at 24,598 words instead!
Maybe I look like the hottest mess this side of the Rockies. Maybe Kieran is too worn out from bringing a knife to a deer fight. Maybe it’s some other third thing I don’t want to bother wasting brain power on imagining. Whatever the reason, Kieran rolls her eyes, but digs her keys out of her jeans, pushing them into Ash’s hand. She crooks one finger while she waits for him to return the favor, and when offered, she takes the Honda’s key fob with more force than necessary.
“I’m doing this out of all the love in my big heart,” she informs him, already dragging me away while Ash gingerly sweeps glass from the front seat of Kieran’s jalopy. “And if you hurt my baby, you’re fixing her!”
I don’t catch Ash’s response, as Kieran is too busy bundling me into the passenger seat and then flopping behind the wheel. She has to fiddle with all of Ash’s careful adjustments, and I suspect she’s relishing the amount of seat pushing and mirror tweaking he’s going to have to do when he gets his car back. He pushes almost seven feet as a human, and she’s lucky she broke five before her body gave up on growing.
It is unexpectedly fun to write the relationship between Kieran and her truck. That old POS is held together by a wish, a prayer, and about six rolls of duct tape, and she adores it. On the other hand, she despises the tiny little Honda that Bigfoot drives, and takes some small joy in messing with the mirrors and seat positions when she has to drive it.
Also, it is a BLAST writing Kieran in general. She’s a spitfire kind of character who brings a certain balance of both grit and levity when she enters a scene. She gets shit done, there’s no question of it, but she also has this element of constant motion that manifests in a refusal to be too dour.
Plus, you might notice this quote is in first person. I switched from third and the voice is starting to come a lot more smoothly. It’s actually a little weird, given how much I tend to write in third.
Guess what! It’s Kieran!
Seriously, everything I said above is true, and more. Kieran Culpepper is (I hope, by the time I’m done fully fleshing her out) more than Roa’s best friend. They’re nearly sisters, yes, for all they’ve been through together and all they share, but Kieran’s still got her own life outside the oddities of Linley Farm. For one, she’s got parents who love her without being especially involved in her life, and she’s waiting for her chance to get out from under their roof and make herself at home somewhere she feels more integral.
She’s also a huge knife lesbian, and it actually stems from the event that sealed her friendship with Roa. There’s all kinds of trauma wound into it (and tbh, I’m saving the details of the Incident for later, since it might make a good short story or a good reveal later in my project), and her way of coping with what almost killed her is to strive towards hyper-competence.
And then there’s her truck. She actually restored that puppy with the help of Everest (you’ll probably meet them next week!), and even though it’s still three potholes from falling apart, and it’s the love of her life, her pride and joy. Everest may have helped a little, but she’s the one who poured the love and elbow grease and determination into getting it road ready.
Whether it survives the story, though, I can’t say. There have to be some sacrifices, right? 😉
Goals for This Week
If all goes well (which I make no guarantees for, between Sword and Shield’s release, the fact that I STILL haven’t watched S4 of She-Ra, and an upcoming family function), I want to be at 35,337 words by next Wednesday’s check-in. I’m not going to make any promises, though, because I know myself well enough to admit I’m going to be VERY distracted.
And that’s where we’re at with Honey and Haunt this week! Stop by again in a week if you want to meet another character and read another quick snippet. Or to badger me on my progress, because it’s totally possible this will be the week I fall behind, and some poking and prodding might just do me good…
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