So NaNoWriMo has begun and I got out of the gate at midnight and wrote until about 2:30 am. Then I went to sleep, got up, wrote a little more and then was out of the house all day until now. As I started typing the beginning, I felt kind of rusty. Whether that’s because I skipped last year’s NaNo, because I’ve basically been working on The Sailor’s Daughters for two years, because while I outlined this year’s NaNo, I still don’t have a handle on my main characters (not in the way I do after a first draft is written, for instance), or because omg!Colin got on the subway because this is a contemporary-set-story-wtf!, I’m not really sure. I hope it feels easier as I go on.
Still have some more Day One Word Count to go, but so far I am at 2034 words. Every Friday in November, I’ll be posting excerpts from my NaNo project as part of the NaNo Excerpt Blog Chain 2013 on AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler. In between, I suspect I’ll post about how my brain is melting, among other things.
He sees her for the first time from the stage. He is standing at stage left; she is in the audience. It is still early in the first act. Karina, the actress playing his wife, delivers a punchy line that always gets a laugh out of the audience—well, at least so far—and then they shuffle off to the side while Tom begins singing his first song of the night.
And then a cell phone blares.
The song Tom sings is a relatively quiet one, at first, and the high-pitched screech interrupts the spell. Colin, try as he might, is taken out of the scene for a few seconds. He is already facing the audience, so his eyes rove over the shadowy figures in the house, wondering where the culprit is.
One of the ushers is walking down the aisle in orchestra, toward the stage. Tom, like the pro that he is, keeps singing, of course. The song is building. The drums start in. They’ll drown out the distraction.
The ring tone pierces the air. Jesus Christ.
Who is it?
They make announcements before the curtain rises, for crying out loud!
The lights change as the song changes key. Lisa, playing Tom’s wife, sings a line. Karina sings the next line, to Colin. They face each other here and Karina’s big brown eyes are widened. Colin reads the annoyance in her eyes, in her slightly tight smile. The phone keeps going. The audience murmurs.
Colin turns back to the house.
Second row, seats one, two, and three are turned to the person in seat four. They’re all women in that row. Seat Four rummages through an enormous purse. The usher reaches her on the other side, admonishing her to find the phone and turn it the hell off.
Ha. And it’s only the second week of previews.
Lisa keeps going. Colin edges upstage, into the shadows, and watches. Seats One, Two and Three—he can’t discern any details about any of them, except that they seem young and certainly younger than Seat Four, who has a headful of white hair.
Then Seat One turns back toward the stage and it’s just his luck that the lights change then because her face, bathed in the white lights from overhead, is so clear. She’s scowling. It’s an expressive scowl—that’s what catches Colin’s attention. Her forehead is creased, her mouth is turned down. If looks could kill, that one would. She looks the way he feels.
He checks; Seat Four’s face is glowing in the light of a smartphone. A moment later, the woman drops the phone into that bottomless purse again.
Seat One’s face eases a little. She’s petite looking and wearing a blue shirt, he thinks. Or it could be green, maybe. She has dark hair framing her pale, displeased face.
Lisa sings the final line. That’s his cue. Colin steps back from the shadows to the wings while the scene changes. He shakes his head at Paul, the stage manager.
“Ugh,” Paul says from behind his command center, where his call book lies open underneath a lamp. Three TV monitors show Paul the action on-stage. “There’s an announcement before we start!”
“It’s so annoying,” Karina chimes in. She’s changed into her next costume. “What you smiling at, Colin?”
Colin shakes his head again. “I saw who had the phone—and her rowmates looked pissed. Right orchestra, second row.”
Karina raises a fist. “Orchestra? Shit, I’d be pissed, too. C’mon, let’s give ’em hell.”