Off the Clock
Did You NaNoWriMo This Year?
This year, more than 100,000 unpublished and published writers – lawyers among them – were expected to accept the National Novel Writing Month challenge ending at midnight tonight. And the challenge? Oh, nothing much: just complete a 50,000-word novel between Nov. 1st and Nov. 30th. That’s right, write a book-length piece of fiction in 30 days! Writing novels isn’t for sissies. Just ask lawyer/writer Kimberly Alderman, one of the few lawyer/writers to meet the NaNoWrimo challege, and whose work is excerpted here:
THE LONG WINTER
Backstory: After a global economic collapse, an Outsider named Kilaun shows up in a remote Alaskan village offering a better life for its inhabitants. This is the story of the residents of that village living, learning, and coping over the course of a single, long winter.
“Chu was in a mindless, trekking state as he plunged his walking stick into the snow. It stopped suddenly, a foot or two higher than he expected. He was thrown off balance, and the embankment cracked from the disturbance. As he stumbled forward, he thought he saw the ground moving. Indeed he did. He steadied himself and realized that the earth was rising up to meet him. But it wasn’t just snow, it was a large animal that Chu had most unceremoniously awoken with a poke in the rear end. The grizz stumbled to her feet and roared furiously, half-confused and half-angry, but all ready to fight.
“Chu tried to untangle himself from the pile of steel traps he was carrying but had no luck. Every movement caused them to clang together, attracting the attention of the groggy bear. He did a quick visual survey, but saw no trees big enough to climb within sprinting distance. He backed up slowly, trying to get out of sight of the beast, knowing that disappearing from view was unlikely. Chu reached for his hunting knife, pushing aside the lifeless rabbits roped to his belt. The bear turned to face him and …
– Sample chapter at writingkimberly.wordpress.com
– Ms. Alderman (Howard University School of Law, 2006) is a contract attorney and cultural property law scholar living in remote Alaska. She completed her 50,045-word NaNoWrimo novel four days ahead of deadline. For more about National Novel Writing Month, go to www.nanowrimo.com.