06 November 2012

NaNoWriMo Time

It's November, which for some people means no shaving, and for me means participating in National Novel Writing Month. Writing a novel (original fiction of at least 50,000 words) is something I've always wanted to do, and NaNoWriMo has helped me meet my goal the past two years. Here's an excerpt from the first 5,000 words of this year's novel, a sci-fi romp titled Berkeley Waters, Intergalactic Detective:

            Berkeley got up and paced around the small room. Ordinarily, he would be doing paperwork for various cases he had coming up. Alien tourists on Earth were always getting into trouble over currency, personal space, and parking tickets. There was usually no shortage of extraterrestrials to shepherd through Earth’s legal system. Granted, many of them skipped atmosphere without ever showing up in court, but they knew they wouldn’t get back on land if they had outstanding legal problems. And for most members of the Sol System, visiting a planet that was completely ignorant of the rest of the universe was too good to pass up.
            He sighed. Janet was too efficient at the paperwork. Everything was finished, and now he had no new cases. Usually on a day like this, he’d be looking into more serious crimes ignored by the Earthling policemen, but his case against the Verbanski brothers of Jupiter was going nowhere, and he was in no mood to be frustrated. It was already a frustrating kind of day. He woke up on the wrong side of the bed, as the Earthlings said. He was out of toothpaste, which made no sense because he had plenty the night before. He suspected he was eating it in his sleep. Mint was one of his favorite Earth flavors. But in his sleep, he couldn’t taste it. What a waste.
            Then he had come to work and failed to enjoy coffee for the hundred and ninety-first day in a row. Janet wasn’t wearing anything especially provocative, and was extra snippy with him for making her work on a Saturday. His contact at the spaceport never replied to his supra-e-mail about a potential sighting of a known catnapper from Venus. And finally, it was another sunny day in Las Vegas. He was tired of sunny days. He wondered how much trouble he would get into for taking his little planet-hopper through the clouds to sow some rain crystals over Nevada. He was in the middle of calculating how far away from the spaceport he’d need to be to avoid detection when his computer beeped. It had taken a few modifications to be able to receive supra-e-mail on an Earth computer, but it was well worth the trouble. He eagerly read the mail, but his face fell as soon as he realized it wasn’t about the rogue catnapper.

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