It’s Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m on a DEADLINE.
In fact, that’ s the title of my project, Deadline. I am bound and determined to finish the first draft by the end of this month.
It’s a contemporary thriller (assuming you consider 1993 contemporary) so it is a departure from The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam. Yet I think you will find that the hero, Archie Harlanson, shares some qualities with King Bewilliam.
I’ve got a good start on it. Here’s an excerpt.
Even over the cellular, the urgency in Debbie Stenowitz’s voice could not be missed. “Ah, come on, Archie. This is an excellent opportunity to spend some serious time with my family.”
“Debbie. Baby. I …” Archie Harlanson stammered, making a last ditch effort to get out of this trip.
“I know you think they don’t like you.”
“I know they don’t. They don’t think I’m good enough for you.” And they might be right. Marvin and Miriam’s beautiful and brilliant daughter probably did deserve a moneyed Big City doctor or lawyer, not some humble country-boy truck driver struggling to make a go of his own company.
“Oh, don’t be silly, my parents aren’t like that. They just haven’t had a chance to get to know you. This visit will give them that chance.”
“Shit!” Archie downshifted so abruptly he almost ground the gears. “Not you, Deb. Got a four wheeler in front of me driving like he’s all alone out here.” The car’s driver wove in and out of the lanes as if playing bumper cars on I-95. “Honey, I’ll make it if I can, but you know how these things go. Got loads to haul.”
“Sure. Those become progressively more important in direct proportion to how badly you don’t want to do something else.”
Over the cellular, Archie could hear her draw a breath, rallying for a new onslaught. “We’d be together for Valentine’s Day.”
Archie sighed. “OK, OK. I’ll meet you there, how’s that?”
“Great.” Her smile was audible. Archie pictured the way the corners of her Cupid’s bow mouth would turn up.
“You know how to get there? Salt Point, New York?” she asked.
“Babe, if there’s a road leading to it, I’ll find it.”
“Isn’t that the truth?” Debbie’s soft chuckle told him all was forgiven, for now at least. “See you Thursday then,” she said. “I love you, Superman.”
“Me too, babe,” Archie grinned. He loved the way his handle sounded on her lips. He pressed the end-call button and laid the cellular phone on the truck’s passenger seat. Last year when he’d first gotten the Nokia 101, one of 1992’s hottest gadgets, he thought three hundred bucks steep for something the size of a candy bar. While it would never replace the CB—it didn’t work everywhere—it did sometimes come in handy. Like now, when he would call his dispatcher and see if they had a drop and hook from Raleigh where he was now headed to Salt Point, New York, where clearly he was headed after that.
He downshifted another gear and prepared to pull the next grade.
If the Fates hang in there with me I might have this for you by the end of the year.