NaNoWriMo Excerpts

Post by Elliott, Information Services staff

This November writers from Waterloo Region and beyond gathered online to try and write 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. Writing and chatting about our projects was great way to escape the world for a bit. For me, it was so fulfilling to find time to write regularly and create something.

Congratulations to everyone who participated and met their goal, no matter how many words you wrote in November!

Check out these excerpts from the talented writers who attended KPL’s virtual write-in sessions!

“I know things are rough for you right now Zander, but we are so close to cracking the mystery of the sawmill.” Rin said, pulling out the picture she printed off from the library and showed it to Zander. She had circled the man she knew to be the spirit causing all the havoc with a red marker. “He is the one behind it all. Whatever happened to him, either in life or during his death, it’s tied to the sawmill.”

Zander gave Rin a puzzled expression and took the picture to examine it himself. “How did you know all this?”

Rin pointed to her left eye, “When I stumbled upon this picture at the library, my eye started to twitch… throb… when I took it off, I saw the glow around this guy. He has to be the ghost behind all those accidents and deaths. But there’s no name on the byline. It’s from your family’s personal archive, the name has to be here in your house somewhere.”

“What good would a name do?”

“Well… not much, or everything,” Rin shrugged her shoulders. “With a name we can figure out who this guy his, what his life was like and maybe find a way to connect with him and help his spirit cross over.”

Rin looked up hopefully into Zander’s face, what was once excitement and wide eyed wonderment, was now pure skepticism and indecisiveness. Was his interest in the paranormal fading? Did his dad really strip him of his one passion?

The Haunted Sawmill, N. J. McKay

My Mom was partial to outfitting Emmy and I in home-made floral dresses – and I liked this look pretty good too, but If I’d had my way I would have been always dressed up as Gem and The Holograms. Half punk rocker, half Lady of the Night was my idea of true beauty and glamour.

This aesthetic shifted a bit in the mid 90s when my family drifted into a sort of beatnik vibe. We walked to Uptown coffee shops where I ogled the free magazines for homosexuals and I saw women playing acoustic guitar and singing about their feelings. I followed Emmy and my Mom around in awe through Goodwill, searching for peasant skirts and plaid flannel shirts. I listened as they talked about and shared poetry.

Material World, Ellie Anglin

Any dark thoughts?” the counsellor asked.

“Dark? Like, do I spend time pondering the night sky?”

The counsellor sighed and drummed her fingers on the desk. “Do you frequently deflect questions with sarcasm?”


A note on the slate.

“Dark thoughts—negative thoughts? Do you think poorly of yourself?”

“I mean, only when I’m hungry?”

The counsellor sighed.

Wilder Queen, Vanessa Ricci-Thode

A blaster finally got in a lucky shot. The bolt pinged off of the ground and shot Remy right in his boot thruster. Remy was sent flying. Unable to slow his speed in time in the tight maze of the Scrap Grave, Remy banked awkwardly, “Wait wait wait!”

Remy balked, waving his hands wildly, his reflexes saving his life but causing him to crash into a wall of ship wings with an unruly clang. His body instinctively rolling itself to fall into the momentum, Remy was glad no one but the Zigguli was around to see that. Muffling curses and blinking away the dizziness, Remy heard, rather than saw, the bolt and rolled away as it pinged off of the metal he had landed on. “Ho boy.”

The man breathed out, scrambling to his feet and taking off again at a sprint. The scrap tower hadn’t even slowed them down. “I guess those extra packs are good for something after all.” Remy breathed. Or puffed, rather. His lungs were cold and his legs were burning. He hated running.

The Calling, Amanda Scheifele

One of my favorite photographs is of Hal spinning me with his lips curled up into a surprised smile as the red dress fanned around me in a perfect circle. The rest was teen pop idol history- our publicists and managers got wind of our interaction and came up with a ten step plan for a whirlwind romance that would generate publicity for both of us.

And we did genuinely fall into a sort of love- his edgy British bad boy schtick and my All-American girl plucked from obscurity into stardom narrative go well together. He makes me laugh until my sides hurt and I help him remember where he put his car keys when we go out dancing.

Once we finish our pap walk to Hal’s apartment, I sneak out the back entrance into the car my driver has waiting for me. Hal heads into his apartment to meet up with his boyfriend. I head to my apartment, alone.

Girls Like You, Elliott Whitson

Written During NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has inspired writers to race through a rough draft for more than 20 years! Take a look at these fantastic books that started out as NaNoWriMo projects.

Not sure what to read next? Looking for new music or shows to binge? Ask us! Our staff can suggest new items from the library collection, picked out just for you. Let us know what you are looking for and we will create a personalized suggestion list for you. Fill out the form here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s