The last scene I typed. I’m glad Cinda came back, it’s been a little Jaime heavy recently, although I am starting to enjoy his interactions with Heather.
But getting to sleep late is never good for me, considering my sleep disorder. Getting to sleep late means I’m more likely to wake up in the middle of my dreams, which means—
I wake up and immediately fall, painfully, on to the bed. If I’m lucky and don’t miss.
You see, I levitate while I sleep. I hover about three feet above my bed while I dream. If I can maintain a proper REM cycle, I think I will lower myself down as gently as I raised myself. Hypothetically. Of course I can never be sure if I levitated the night before aside from all of my blankets tossed aside. But that doesn’t mean anything. I could just be a sloppy sleeper.
I really only realize I’ve been levitating if I wake up in the middle of it. Then whatever powers were suspending me disappear and I crash down to my bed again.
But that night was different. I felt the telltale leap in my stomach, like when you experience a huge dip in a roller coaster, and that usually preceded the huge tumble that really woke me up. But this time there was only that first leap in my stomach and then I wasn’t falling. I was gliding back down into my bed. When my head touched the pillow and sank in gently, I felt the energy that had been supporting me recede away like a wave, and disappear through the crack in the wall.
At least I think that’s what happened. The descent was so gentle that I immediately fell into a second, dreamless, following-the-rules-of-gravity sleep.
Microsoft is giving me 50,234 as my total but whatever. I’m over your hyphen-ignoring ways, NaNo!
I count only 4 days of 0 words and 2 more of under 1000, so that’s pretty good, even if I was dangling below the expected trajectory for the majority of the month. Still, finishing a day early thanks to the Thanksgiving climb was pretty sweet, and I think I was better at keeping up the momentum of writing throughout the month compared to last year. And I managed quite a few 3000+ days and then one so very close to a 4k day. That’s one record I’ll have to aim to break some day!
40k+ words in and guys I found my main plot!
“Still,” I said, pulling on my mischief smile, “don’t you think it’s an intriguing idea? I wonder what other sorts of ghosts they have there. Maybe I should contact this Research Society, and see what other kinds of ghosts they have information on at the school. I wonder if they could set up some sort of ghost tour or something. Maybe I could invite you along too!”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why not? It doesn’t sound like any of the ghosts are really dangerous.”
“You’re only basing this on the observation of one ghost, who already had an unpredictably explosive reaction. That boy might not have known why, but I know why, and you do too if you can admit it to yourself.”
“What, you mean because of the psychic thing? Maybe, but we also haven’t completely disqualified the whole female issue!” I tried to laugh off her concern, but her frown was unrelenting.
“This isn’t the same as our little pranks. This is bigger than rolling a pen cap off of someone’s desk to annoy them.” Cinda gathered up her dishes to take to the dish-duty girls. “This is psychic warfare.”
I’ve told you before I slip up sometimes and confuse what I’ve learned from people’s minds and what I’ve learned from speech. I’m not the only one.
The pen cap pranks I played on Jaime weren’t my proudest work. They were born from the wounding of my stubborn pride. I didn’t like to show that side of myself to Cinda, and so I never told her about those pranks I pulled on Jaime during the test.
I sat at the dining table a little longer just to let her reach the room ahead of me. Did she not trust me to tell her everything I considered important? How long had she been navigating my secrets?
I let my anger simmer the rest of the night, enough to let Cinda know I knew what she had done and I didn’t approve. But the next day I did my best to push it aside.
Still, that slip made me more determined than ever to hunt down the ghosts.
Corinne was also really curious about Hans and Grey’s relationship. She herself had been kissing up on all of the watch guards around the castle and knew a thing or two about romance.
My roommate is an awesome writer with awesome characters and I just wanted you guys all to know that. This is now my favorite-est piece of writing ever. You should check out her NaNo excerpts on her tumblr!
Word Count: 3871/40,804
My first over 3k day! And pretty close to 4k. All thanks to my “snow day,” I got a nice 2k in before noon when I had to drive to my parents’ house for vacation.
I got a weird idea for a ghost-otaku club. Feels like it’s going to be plot relevant, but I’m not sure how yet!
But the story is also getting exciting because my psychic girl finally meets a ghost.
I had already shed my blazer and was trying to scrape off the strange slime from under my collar and forehead, when I heard a knock at the door.
"Occupied," I yelled out, slamming the lock-bolt as far as it would go into the door jamb. I bent my head under the faucet, hoping to ease some of the slime from my hair. This was one moment when I was thankful to have cut off all my long hair into a nice, easy bob.
The knock came again, this time followed by a plaintive “Miss Bright?”
I turned down the water and listened. That didn’t sound like either Dr. McKean or Jaime, who would have called me Heather anyways. Was that one of the boys from class? Here to revel in their prank?
"Go away!" I yelled again.
"Miss Bright, I have a towel."
At that I hesitated. This bathroom was only stocked with a pile of paper towels in a basket on the back of the toilet seat. There was a larger pile of toilet paper rolls, but the last thing I needed was the flimsy remnants of toilet paper sticking to my clothes as it disintegrated under the slime.
I turned off the water and walked to the door, opening it just a crack. Through the opening, I saw a short, pudgy guy whose face was mostly obscured by the towel he offered up. I pulled it through the crack—it was soft! So soft. It felt more like a bathrobe than a towel.
"I got the message," he said, and now that the door was open, I could hear him panting heavily.
"Did Dr. McKean send you?" I asked. "Wait, you’re not in my class, are you?"
"No, Miles did." He wiped a sheen of sweat from his brow. "I got his text just as the event happened. The video he was broadcasting was cut short inexplicably, so I knew this was an emergency."
"Miles? You mean that freak with the cell phone? He actually filmed me?” I couldn’t hide the anger in my voice, and I actually tried to slam the door in his face, but he stuck his foot in the crack at the last second. He grimaced, so I know it must have hurt.
"We’ve never recorded such a large reaction from the Drooler, so you’ll have to forgive us. We think your presence may have triggered something larger that we wish to investigate. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
Seriously, can I count the number of words I’ve spent replying to parent emails for my NaNo total?
Is this just the effect of teaching more students or is everyone crazier this year?
The bullies are bullied and everyone’s mental health is slowly degrading. Thank god this is a snow day. We’re all ready for vacation.
Word Count: 36,933
School cancelled due to chance of frost-dust on the roads. So that means I have the rest of the holiday weekend to catch up!
Only really got through a Jaime chapter today, explaining a familiar figure if you’ve read any of my pre-NaNo brainstormings.
Some of the boys, the ghost fanatics, theorize that Faceless was an actual student at Carmichael in the eighties or nineties who went a bit off from exams and jumped through a window to his death.
To which I say—DUH. How obvious can you get? Still, I guess they haven’t officially found the identity, or rather, the “Face” of Faceless. No matter how long they’ve pored over old newspaper clippings or yearbooks, they still haven’t put a name to his lack of face. That isn’t surprising though. The school is remarkably good at keeping such things hush-hush.
Although I don’t think it was the exams that did him in. The first time I entered a hall of silence as a victim of Faceless was in the first month of school, and the first time I had ever been tardy in my life. When I found my seat, red-faced after the teacher’s berating, the boy next to me leaned over and whispered, “Faceless get ya?”
But I had no idea what he was talking about. Because I hadn’t even realized I had been the victim of a ghost. The overwhelming feeling of isolation and loneliness I felt in those first few months was completely indistinguishable from Faceless’s ghostly field.
And I think that’s really what did him in at the end.
Word Count: 34,479 (5.5k short of target… TT-TT)
Crazy week + weekend. Of course I had to go to the Janelle Monae concert last Tuesday, and I had to catch the Catching Fire premiere, and on top of that I lost the catch-up weekend having to drive out of town and back for the weekend.
I did bring my notebook while I was waiting in the theater for Catching Fire (we were the first in line /dorks) and got the perfect bit of backstory for Heather while waiting for the movie. Writing by hand helped me get past the block that was tripping me up for the last few days, but that meant I had to spend today typing it all up DX
Can’t wait for the holiday weekend to really catch up!
Still, I kept digging through their minds, hoping to find the one thing that could hurt them as much as they hurt me. Then the balance would be shifted and nothing they thought or said could pack any punch any more.
The moment came in science class one morning.
The Capitol are the enemy: its citizens are vapid, selfish, exploitative, narcissistic and worst of all apathetic; they don’t care about where their new dress comes from or who is making their dinner or how many children died making their new emerald necklace; they live in such excess that they purge between meals at parties while the people who sourced that food are starving in the fields; they literally place bets on the deaths of children! We really feel like we can’t drive that one home enough. Like, they just make kids kill each other on live TV and then the kids who survive grow up to be sold into sex slavery or to abuse alcohol as a coping mechanism or to be so PTSD-stricken that they can’t even talk anymore. We know what you’re thinking right now: “damn, that sounds sweet, I want to be just like the people in the Captiol.” Right? No? Yeah, us either. But that’s what CoverGirl and Lionsgate seem to think.
At its core, The Hunger Games is a book about the trauma of hyper-consumption–but when it comes to traumatizer vs. traumatized, CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection falls squarely on the side of “traumatizer.” The makeup line comes with a lookbook that will help you “get the looks of the Districts” and is so unaware and self-absorbed that it kind of feels like it has to be a joke. The only time anyone from the Districts looks anything like something in that lookbook is when children are brought to the Capitol and dolled up to be paraded around on live TV as though they were props instead of humans (because of course, to the Capitol, they are props). Then two days later they take the makeup off and kill each other and probably die themselves while their families look on, horrified and defeated. FASHION!!!
But of course, the reason that this line even exists is because we, as a culture, are actually pretty close (metaphorically anyway) to the Capitol. Consumption at any expense is pretty par for the course here, and the people who grow our food and make our clothes aren’t really in much better shape than the people of the Districts. Our culture really, really values outward appearance and it insists that girls about Katniss’s age should be less into leading a revolution and more into getting the right look. The Capitol Collection encourages girls to identify not with rebellion and justice, but with superficiality and self-interest. We think that is not only ridiculous, but scary and super dangerous.
our new project, Capitol Cuties, is a response to CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection line and we are really, really excited about it.
Seconded. Of the many whackadoo merchandising tie-ins associated with Catching Fire (Subway comes to mind), the CoverGirl campaign may be the worst. There were plenty of ways to create cosmetic tie-ins that didn’t fetishize poverty or so thoroughly embrace and sanitize the barbarity of the Capitol.
Yep, here’s the meta part of the Hunger Games Trilogy that surprisingly goes over so many heads. Watching people complain about characterizations and choices made during filming (ie: romance v. non-romance between Katniss and Peeta), and of course the larger marketing campaign’s either total lack of self-awareness or complete immersion into the narrative, play right into it. Largely, these movies are not about showing Katniss’s struggle, but about selling the spectacle to the us as an audience.
Arg, I love/hate these books/movies.
Husband after seeing the Covergirl commercial: ”I didn’t even read the books, and even I know that’s f*cked up.”
I agree to an extent but in the second book/movie, you can really see the change in some of the characters that represent the Capitol. And by that I mean through the character of Effie. She knows that something is wrong and she is even teary during the Quarter Quell 12th District drawing. She keeps saying she wants to be a team. That’s how she expresses herself, and I agree that she is unable to express herself, but that’s only because she’s been brainwashed. She’s not evil. She’s a product and victim of evil. It’s like Frederick Douglass says—you can’t blame the slavedriver or the slave. People weren’t born to know how to be either one of those things.
When Finnick reminds Katniss, “Remember who your enemy is,” she’s not thinking about the Capitol as this vague blob of an enemy. She’s specifically thinking of Snow, of the people who exploit the sheeple.
I totally agree that taking advantage of the fashion is very weird but I also think it’s a little inconsiderate to see the people of the Capitol as anything but evil.
Going off of what Camusinpumas is saying, remember the High Fashion of the Capitol is also what is used to convey Katniss’s anti-Capitol revolutionary spirit, especially in book 2. Cinna is a character who works within the very shallow fashions of the Capitol to get this message across. The very idea of Katniss, The Girl on Fire, stems from his first costumes in the 74th Annual Hunger Games Parade. Each of his costumes for Katniss is carefully calculated to subvert and survive within this system—and it’s instantly picked up by the very people of the Capitol.
And perhaps due to Cinna’s fabulous and revolutionary work, he begins to change their minds. In the movie, the President’s own granddaughter is sporting a Katniss braid and idolizing his enemy. They have fallen so intensely in love with Katniss and Peeta’s perfect relationship, that when Peeta makes the announcement of Katniss’s pregnancy, the TV audience begins a mini-riot, calling for the Hunger Games to be ended. And Joanna makes a very good point after the Mockingjay scene—the people love Katniss’s little sister Prim. If the Capitol had kidnapped and tortured her, there would be riots in the street.
The revolution is spreading in the Capitol. They may not see the entire picture yet, but their minds are changing.