A shift is needed…

NaNoWriMo Day 24: Thankful

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Happy Thanksgiving!  My belly is full of delicious turkey, I’m in my pajamas, I’m watching Catch Me If You Can, and I feel a food coma setting it.  Today was a blast.  I did get some writing in before I went to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  There’s a lot to be thankful for, so here’s a list:

  • Salvation
  • Family
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Getting your letter to Hogwarts…finally!
  • Eating food
  • Eating leftovers
  • The Paradigm’s readers
  • NaNoWriMo
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Watching movies while blogging
  • Writing
  • Acting
  • Reading
  • Books
  • The Bible
  • Struggles of a Modern Vampire
  • Punching dudes in the face
  • Italy
  • Pots and pans
  • Rolling pins
  • Superman
  • Jedi
  • Jedi Superman
  • Girls
  • The Three Stars: Stargate, Star Wars, and Star Trek
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Wine in general
  • Water
  • The New York Yankees
  • The Chicago Cubs
  • Pathfinder RPG
  • D&D 5e
  • Xia: Legends of a Drift System
  • Tavarua
  • The Nostalgia Critic
  • Santa Christ
  • The Secret of NIMH
  • The Neverending Story (novel)
  • The Neverending Story (movie)
  • The Neverending Story (play)
  • Jerks
  • Nice people
  • Written in Silence
  • The agent and publisher I’ll one day sign with
  • Emma Watson (she will always be on this list)
  • Photographs
  • “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
  • Dancing
  • Christmas music
  • The 80’s and 90’s
  • Not being a Millennial, even though technically I am one
  • The Ronziphone™
  • Clean dishes
  • Showers
  • Love
  • Pluto, it’s still a planet
  • The Bothans
  • Ewoks
  • The list of books I’ll eventually read
  • The Life of a Tree dance
  • Tom Hanks
  • Q
  • The letter “P”
  • The number 87
  • Lightsabers
  • Taxis
  • Legos
  • Stranger Things
  • 011
  • Eggos

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 64,650/50,000!

Until the fires within remain lit forevermore,

Andrew Ronzino, A Thankful Man

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Between yesterday and today I only got about 900 words written, but I have to look at it positively, that’s 900 words I didn’t have before.  In the world of writing, any amount of words is a step forward.  I would have written more, but the last two days have been so busy with a million other things that had to get done.  I’m looking forward to having two days off so I can get a good chunk of writing in.

I’ve just reached a part in my story were its looking like things might start going up for my main character, Matt.  He may come into a nearly limitless supply of money due to who his sire was.  This would make life so much easier for him.  Little does he know that things aren’t going to get better at all.

Poor guy, he can’t catch a break.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 62,823/50,000!

Until the rain stops,

Andrew Ronzino, Poopmaster 9,000

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I only wrote 100 words today.  *Smacks hand* Bad Andrew.

I had a busy day, that’s my only excuse.  But hey, that’s 100 words more than I had yesterday.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 61,799/50,000!

Until tomorrow,

Andrew Ronzino, Q

NaNoWriMo Day 21: Vampires

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I don’t like vampires that much.

There, I said it.  I’ve never been a fan of vampires in general.  The whole drinking blood thing is kind of skeevy to me, it always has been, and I’m sure it always will be.  I’ve seen a bunch of vampire movies, and I’ve read a few books about them, and so far my favorites things with vampires in them are the Underworld movies, and the Cirque du Freak novels.

I hear you saying something like, “If you don’t like vampires, then why are you writing about them?”

My answer is simple: Because I like the story of it.  The idea of a poor vampire who can’t seem to catch a break no matter what he tries is fascinating to me.  I like the way this is coming out, I like the characters, I like the setting, I even like my version of vampires.

Vampires come in many shapes and sizes; there are so many ways to do them and have them still fit in the category of “vampire”.

Does the blood thing gross me out?  Yes.  Do I wonder every day why I’m writing about vampires?  Yes.

But I’m doing it because it’s so different from my normal style and my normal genre.  Because it’s a challenge.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 61,698/50,000!

Until I fight for the sake of the kangaroos,

Andrew Ronzino, Explorer of the Vision Quest

NaNoWriMo Day 20: Fun Day

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Today I broke 60,000 words!

I had a fun day.  I got up early, got ready, started to write, then I went out with some friends of mine down to St. Joseph to go wine tasting.  It was a little cold out, but we had a lot of fun anyway.  When I got back, I did a little more writing.  Not a bad day at all.

I don’t have much else to report other than that.  Remember: In vino veritas!

Wine and words go so well together.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 60,007/50,000!

Until I learn how to fly,

Andrew Ronzino, Co-creator of the Megagram (not the unit of measurement)

 

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My word counts have been lower than normal lately, however, they’ve still be above the daily goal, and I’ve hit 50K already, so I can’t complain.

Up to this point in this journal, I’ve shared the plot of the story, and gave you the first, second, and third excerpts.  However, I have yet to tell you of my secondary main character; he’s Matt’s best friend and confidant.

Meet Jordy Polanski, the secondary protagonist of Struggles of a Modern Vampire.

MEET Jordan Polanski

Name: Jordan Richard Polanski

Nickname: Jordy

Age: 26

Hair: Short, unruly, brown

Skin: Caucasian

Favorite color: Red

Favorite Music: Rap

Favorite Food: Greek food

Likes: Swimming, hunting, boxing, watching movies, his family, vampire movies/books/TV shows

Dislikes: Spiders, eating turkey, preachy vegans, cats

Most prized possession: An old handgun that belonged to his grandfather

Why?: His grandfather gave it to him before he passed on.

Personality flaws: He worries too much, he has a tendency to cover up his mistakes

Personality strengths: Kind, optimistic, cares for others over himself most of the time

Jordan, or Jordy to his friends, met Matt Donavan in high school.  They two became fast friends, even though Jordy had ambition to finish school with high marks, and Matt did not. Their friendship lasted though school and when they graduated, they decided to enroll in the same college.  It was shortly after they started their freshman year that Matt simply vanished.  He dropped out of school, and no one saw him since.

After a few years of trying to contact Matt, Jordy moved on with his life, got married, had some kids, graduated, and started work as a physical therapist.  Things were going well, he was happy.  Every now and then he would think of his old high school friend and wonder what ever happened to him.

That is, until he walked into the Red Room Pub and saw Matt Donavan for the first time in seven years.  Matt confided in Jordy and told him he was a vampire and Jordy stuck around, wanting to help his friend in any way he could, including helping him find work.

* * *

Jordy is a nice guy who likes to help people.  The story is mostly told though conversations between Matt and Jordy.  I really like Jordy as a character.  He’s been a lot of fun to write.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 57,507/50,000!

Until Pluto is a planet again,

Andrew Ronzino, Master of the Lord of the Dance

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There were several subjects I wanted to discuss today, but I’ll get to those later, I wanted to share another excerpt.  If you would like to go back and read the first two I’ve shared this month, the first one is here, and the second one is here.

This excerpt is from the scene I wrote yesterday, the one where Matt had to say goodbye to Jenna.  Thus far, it’s my favorite part of the story, and I wanted to share it with you.  Please remember that this a a vomit draft and is likely to have errors, though I have read through it to eliminate as many of those as I could.

Matt walked into the Jenna’s room.  He sat down in the rocking chair next to her bed.

“What would Miss Jenna like to hear tonight?” he said reaching for the books on the small bookshelf.

“Mr. Matt?” she said in a soft voice.

“Yes?”

“Why are your teeth so sharp?” she said with the bluntness only a child could use.

Matt paused for a moment then looked at her.  “What?”

“Your teeth are sharp.  You don’t like to smile, but you do sometimes.  Your teeth are very sharp.”

Matt’s mind raced.  Obviously a five year old would have no concept of a vampire and wouldn’t be able to connect the dots of his pale skin, avoidance of the sun, refusal to eat garlicky foods, and the sharp fangs as signs of a vampire, but her asking this question showed how observant she really was.  This could be dangerous.  He was happy she asked him instead of her mother or father.

“That’s just how my teeth are, kid,” he said.  “What story?”

“But they’re so long.”

“Yes, that’s how they are.”  He wanted to make a joke about using them to bite children who asked too many questions, but he didn’t want her parents to think he had threatened her in any way.

“Oh,” she said.  She picked out a story and I read it to her.  I tucked her in and turned off the light.

“Mr. Matt?”

“Yes, Jenna?”

“Can I have a goodnight kiss?”

It was said with the innocence of a child.  She had never asked for a kiss before, this was something reserved for a parent, not the babysitter.  She hugged him all the time, she was an affectionate girl.  It never bothered Matt at all; he liked kids.

“Okay,” he said.  He walked over and kissed her forehead.  He couldn’t help but smell her blood.  When he was that close to her, he could almost taste her O- blood.

As a rule, he left children alone.  There was something terrifyingly immoral to him about drinking the blood of a child.  He ignored the smell of her blood like he did every time she hugged him.

“Thank you,” she said.

He smiled at her and said goodnight.  He walked out of the room.  He cleaned up the bathroom and hung the towels up to dry.  Then he plopped down on the couch and flicked through the channels he couldn’t afford at home.

The pay he was getting from the babysitting job was enough to pay rent and his bills, and a little more to throw into his small savings account, but he hadn’t quite have enough to start paying for things he didn’t need just yet.

He had this job for three months now and it was looking like Mr. and Mrs. Nessin were happy with Matt’s work with their kids and often spoke about how much the children liked him and didn’t pout when he watched them unlike a lot of other babysitters they had had.

These things, he hoped, would secure him the job for a lot longer.  Maybe he would eventually make enough to get a better place to live and maybe get a computer again.  He wouldn’t mind not having to go to the library when he wanted to check his email.  Or maybe pick up a smartphone.

There was the sound of wheels pulling up the driveway.  Matt stood up and looked at his watch.  It was far too early for the Nessins to have returned from work.  That was odd.  He walked to the window and looked out the curtain.  Stomping down the long path to the door was Mr. Nessin, he was on his phone and his free arm was waving about like crazy.

Something was wrong, Matt could tell he was angry.  He stepped away from the window and waited for Mr. Nessin to walk in.

The door opened and a well suited, slightly rotund man marched in, his voice angry and his face red.  “I don’t care, Dawson,” he was saying into his phone.  “Make this happen, I will see to it personally that she pays for this.”  A pause.  “Me?  I just got home.”  A pause.  “You’re damn straight I left her there.  I’m not driving with her in the car after that.  And get this, Dawson, you know my fine crystal pen?  She gave it to him as a gift.  A gift!  That pen cost more than the ring I gave her when I asked her to marry me!”

Mr. Nessin looked up at Matt, who tried to act like he wasn’t listening.  “No.  No.  No.  Dawson, no!  I want those papers drawn up immediately.  Yes, I know what time it is.  Why the hell am I paying you millions of dollars?  Are you my lawyer or not?  You get your ass to the office and draw up the papers.  I want them served as soon as possible.  No!”  He shouted into the phone.  “This has nothing to do with who I am or am not sleeping with, this is about who she’s sleeping with.  To think I trusted Mitchel.  I should kill him.  No.  No.  I won’t regret this.  Draw up the papers.”  He threw the phone across the room, shattering it.

“Uhh,” Matt said.  “Mr. Nessin, your kids are asleep.”

“I don’t give a damn what my kids are doing, Matthew.  I just learned my wife has been screwing my partner, for two years.”

“Uhh,” Matt said again.

“Not only that, but she’s done in it my house!  I’ll show her.  I’ll teach her a lesson.  She had the gall to bring up the several affaires I’ve had.  Which I only did because she refused to bang me, but rather Mitchell!

“So,” Matt said cautiously.  “You’re both cheating on each other?”

“She started it.”

I heard the patter of feet.  Jenna had woken up because of the noise.  “Daddy?  Where’s mommy?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care.  Go to sleep!”

Matt had never heard Mr. Nessin every talk to his children this way before, in fact, Matt would have said it was against his character, but he did only know him for a few months.  He didn’t really know the man all that well.

He looked at me.  “Have you screwed her too?”

“What?!” Matt said shocked.  “No, sir.  I would never.”

“Whatever, it doesn’t matter.  Get out, Matthew, I have work to do, and frankly, none of this is your business.  I’ll send you a check for you work this week.”

Matt was crestfallen.  He didn’t like the way that sounded.  “Sir?”

“You services are no longer required, get the hell out of my house.”

Matthew blinked.  He didn’t want to believe what he was hearing.  He was being fired for no reason at all other than Mr. Nessin was angry, and he was in the way.  He finally found a job he liked that worked with his vampire ways, and was paying the bills, and he lost it because the Nessins were banging other people behind each other’s backs and it all came out tonight.  What about the children?  What was going to happen to them?  They were about to get dragged into a nasty divorce that would likely last years, scarring them for life.  His heart broke for them.

Jenna was crying now because of the shouting, and Matt wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be okay.

Instead, he grabbed his jacket and hat and started for the door.

“Mr. Matt!” Jenna’s sweet voice called to him.

He turned, and she was standing there with tears in her eyes.  “Where are you going?”

I looked up at her father.  “Can I say goodbye?”

“Make it snappy,” he said.  He was pulling off his tie.  He stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door.

Matt heard a series of curses and what sounded like a shower curtain being tore off its rod.

Matt knelt down in front of the little girl he had been getting to know for the last few months.  He had not expected to feel like his insides were being ripped out when he looked into her tear-filled face.  He felt the burning pain of trying to keep tears in.  Jenna and Ryan had found a place in his heart.  He loved these kids as if they were his own, and he didn’t notice it until the moment he was asked to leave.

“I won’t be watching you and Ryan any more, Miss Jenna,” he told her.  “Your daddy asked me to leave.”

“But why?”  The tears were freely flowing now.

I smiled at her, willingly showing her my fangs.  “Because he’s angry at something else that happened.  You’ll understand one day.  I have to leave.”

She grabbed him and hugged him tight.  “Don’t go!”

I couldn’t stop the tears from coming.  I realized that these were the first tears I’ve shed since my first few tastes of blood.  I hugged the girl back.  “I have to, Jenna.”  I pulled away from her and looked her in the eyes.  “Do me a favor, okay?”

She nodded.

“Promise me that no matter what happens, you will always take care of your brother.  Always be his big sister and keep him safe.  Can you do that for me?”

Jenna nodded again.

“Say it, Jenna, tell me you promise.”

“I promise, Mr. Matt.”

Matt hugged her again.

“I love you, Mr. Matt,” Jenna whispered in my ear.

“I love you too, kid,” Matt said.

“Are you still here, Matthew?!  I said make it quick. Get out!”  Mr. Nessin was standing there with a wet face and a mostly unbuttoned shirt.  “Go to bed, Jenna.  Now!”

Matt kissed Jenna on the head again and stood up.  He looked at Mr. Nessin.  “With respect, sir, keep these kids out of the divorce shit as much as possible,” he said.

He didn’t wait for his response.  He walked out the door and to his bike.  As he rode back to his apartment he considered getting another babysitting job.  It was honestly something he enjoyed doing, and frankly, he was good at it.  But when he thought about the devastated look in Jenna’s face when he told her he was leaving forever, his heart broke again.

He honestly didn’t think he could do that again.  He couldn’t watch a child’s heart break over and over again, which due to his condition, someone would eventually find out and or he would have to leave for some other reason.  He couldn’t do that again; never again.

-Excerpt from Struggles of a Modern Vampire; Chapter 26, by Andrew Ronzino

A bit heartbreaking, in my opinion.  It was a little hard to write.  Sorry for the long excerpt, but I wanted to showcase most of what happened in that scene.  I very much enjoy it.  Poor Matt, he can’t seem to catch a break.

Current word count for Struggles of a Modern Vampire: 55,547/50,000!

Until the last leaf falls,

Andrew Ronzino, Cool McCoolster

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