Sunday, October 17, 2010

NANO Attack!

With NANO a few weeks away, participants like Tami and I are busy jotting plot notes, character traits, researching settings or time periods and seeing inspiration shining around every corner of life. I call it the hunter / gatherer stage, we're like bears getting ready to den for the winter - gorging ourselves for the ordeal ahead. Prepping for the inevitable dry spell (which should strike at about Day 19, just beyond the half way mark) when NANO seems like a freakish experiment in self-mutilation and the next word is the equivalent of the next drop on your forehead a la water torture.

Let's revisit that bear analogy. It resonates with me at the moment, since my yard was recently invaded. I took the dogs out early one morning, it was pitch black and they FREAKED out, barking, snarling - and frankly, scaring the crap out of me. I managed to get them inside the house, though they fought against their leashes the whole way. When the sun came up, I found out why. A bear had busted down a section of our fence to access our overripe crab apples and ripped down several branches for easy munching. Here's a pic of the damage:

The bear came back a few nights later, so we eliminated the problem - shook all the apples down and got rid of them. We've since fixed the fence and all's well. But, being a paranormal fiction author, I had to question - since we never really saw the bear - what if this incident didn't have an easy, natural explanation? What if something paranormal was at work? What if, instead of a bear, our house (which backs onto miles of woods) was encroaching on the territory of some other creature? Something old, something evil? A starving thing, desperate and hungry?

Like I said, me and that bear have a lot in common. We're both hoarding up all the nutrients we can - only in my situation - it's writerly goodness. And from the bear came the the geniuses of my NANO project. A busted fence, branches down from a tree - with huge claw marks carving up the trunk - black oozy liquid on the frosted lawn, leaving a trail to the woods, and a frazled single parent who poopoos her imaginative teen-aged daughter's foreboding feeling away.

Then things get worse....much, much worse.

Good luck to all NANO participants - here's to hunting down a wicked plot and characters to DIE for!


Leona said...


Tami Klockau said...

Awesome post, Tracy! Glad the tree, fence and your puppies are okay! That's pretty scary! What kind of bear lives around you?

Tracy Belsher said...

Yeah NANO or bust! ;) Good luck, Leona!

We have black bears in town – grizzlies are up in the mountains, but we're in the boreal forest. Behind our house we see – bears, coyotes, wolves, moose, white-tailed deer, skunk, you name it. When the bears get too persistent the town puts these big white tube-ish bear traps in our yard. Once they’re caught, they’re relocated.

Kitty Keswick said...

I'm doing NANO for the first time this year because of Tami & Tracy! Yeah Team!

Wowza Bears! I'm such a city girl, I think I'd FREAK!