Just Keep Writing, Writing, Writing
November is halfway over, which means WriMos have a couple more weeks to “win” the contest by completing their novel. While I’m no longer on track to win the competition, I have pecked 9,107 words into my computer, which is much more than I had when I started. That, in and of itself, is a victory. You can follow my progress by checking out the NaNoWriMo icon in the right sidebar of this blog.
Below is another excerpt from the upcoming novel. After arriving at her grandparents’ house, Sara St. John gets acquainted with her new home and relatives:
“There’s one more thing I haven’t shown you. Lisa, this is even new for you.” He took us back down the stairwell and led us to the back yard. The driveway wrapped around the house and into the mouth of their two-car garage. Above it, he had mounted a basketball hoop. It was the best part of the house.
“I’ve been looking forward to playing ball with you for quite some time,” my grandpa said. He tossed me a ball from inside the garage and its freshness stuck to my fingertips.
“You betcha. We’ve been keeping up with your basketball career, Miss All-State as a sophomore.”
“Your grandpa was on the All-State team when he was in high school, too,” my grandma informed me.
“And I still have some juice left in these old legs, so you better be watch out. Throw me the rock.”
“The rock?” I chuckled.
“Isn’t that what you kids call it nowadays?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually call it that.”
“What do you call it then?”
“We call it a ball.”
“Well then, ‘ball’,” he said and clapped once. I threw it to him and he tossed up a fifteen footer that barely rimmed out. “Just warming up.” After chasing his rebound, he banked in a few layups and lobbed it over to me. I moved back a few feet, stepping behind a crack in the pavement, and sent the ball spiraling through the net.
“Show off,” he teased and bounced it back to me. I shot another that fell through the hoop. “You know, in my day we didn’t have a three-point line. So, technically we’re tied.”
The ball stayed in my possession until a fade away jumper hit the front rim. My grandpa swallowed the rebound in his huge hands and sunk a 10 footer from the baseline.
“How much is she winning by now, Dad?” my mom asked after he banked in his second jumper. “Have you cut the lead to single digits yet?”
“She’s only up by 12.”
“Don’t sweat it. I made her use just her left hand one time and she still beat me.”
The summer sun blistered the pavement as we dribbled around the driveway. I could almost hear the drops of sweat sizzle when they crashed to the concrete. I’d grown up in a place where 78 degrees was considered unbearable, and here, in mid-August the temperature pushed triple digits. Even in the shade of the garage, my mom and grandma were melting. It was a quick glimpse into Hell, but if Hell had a basketball hoop I don’t think I’d mind it there.
My grandpa posted me up near the basket. “You’re not used to playing against Magic Johnson, are you?” He turned over his left shoulder and lobbed a hook shot with his right hand. The ball clanked off the backboard and I tracked down the rebound. “See? Magic missed sometimes, too.”
My grandma wiped her face. “Let’s go inside before one of us collapses with heat stroke.”
“Yeah, you better quit while you’re ahead, Sara. I was just about to make a come back,” my grandpa said.
“I bet you were,” I replied. “And the Cubs were just about to win the World Series.”