Prepping for NaNoWriMo and Kitsune-Mochi

Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t typically attempt NaNoWriMo in the way that many writers do — I mean, actually writing a new novel — but I do use it as a shameless excuse to dedicate more time to side projects I wouldn’t otherwise. I have no memory of what I did with it last year, honestly, but two years ago I wrote an Renaissance espionage/thriller novella based on too many hours of Assassin’s Creed parkour and a single Within Temptation lyric. You need NaNoWriMo to justify toys like that.

This year, though, I’m working on Kitsune-Mochi, the novel-length sequel to my novella Kitsune-Tsuki. It might sound like cheating, starting with an existing project, but trust me, I’ll probably (re)write my 50,000 words before it’s over. Kitsune-Mochi is well-underway, but it’s got a long way to go before publication. (I have a scene I really want to write, but I’m not sure it’s necessary, so I’ll have to do some serious arguing with myself….)

I’ve gotten quite a few emails and comments about Kitsune-Tsuki‘s ending, and while most have made me gleefully happy (“I thought I knew exactly where it was going, but I was wrong — but all the clues were there when I looked!”), it’s a hard place to pick up and continue if the reader hasn’t started in the same place. I should probably just include a frontispiece warning that the reader should read the 9,000-word short first. ;-)

So I took some time tonight to get organized for Kitsune-Mochi, cleaning up my text in Scrivener and arranging notes and scenes. And since I have had several readers tell me they’re anxious for the sequel, I thought I’d post an excerpt, a bit of a sneak peek….

Tsurugu no Kiyomori sat still, looking over the vivid green of the hills. Wind tugged at his bound hair, but he ignored it, remaining motionless.

Below, he could see the village and the ribbon of road snaking through rice fields and on to the daimyou‘s great house. All was emerald and shadow. The breeze blew cool and clear, but he remained still.

Gradually he became aware of a slow movement behind him. He kept still, his eyes on the horizon. A moment later, a pale fox crept beside him, belly to the ground, chin pressed low as if it cowered or groveled. Tsurugu did not move.

The pale fox flattened into the waving grass and stayed. Tsurugu exhaled slowly, as if the fox could be frightened with too sudden a breath, and extended an arm to rest his hand lightly upon its quivering withers.

The fox flinched but remained where it crouched. Tsurugu waited. After what seemed a long, long time, there was a subtle movement and then a young man bent shivering beneath Tsurugu’s hand. “Kiyomori-san,” he wept. “He’s gone.”

“I know,” answered Tsurugu softly. “I know.”

Whaddya think? And who else is doing NaNoWriMo?

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