If You Blink: An excerpt from my Nanowrimo novel

It’s funny how the paradox of busy works.

When I don’t go to yoga or do anything fun, I don’t have anything to tell you guys about. When I’m going to yoga four times a week (like I have been) and doing other fun things (like participating in National Novel Writing Month), I don’t have much time to write – except for the roughly 2000 words a day I have to get in to complete my Nanowrimo novel by November 30th.

So, like my friend at 1874 (who was my inspiration for participating in the Nanowrimo challenge), I’m combining my two writing activities today.

You’ll find below an excerpt of my trashy romance novel, If You Blink (Working Title). The Prologue is probably one of the better chapters, so I was a little less embarrassed about sharing that one….

Wellp, I don’t want to give it too much of a wind up, so here you …. enjoy!

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Prologue

It’s funny how some people just suddenly pop into your life out of nowhere, completely changing your perspective. Altering your existence. Even without meaning to.

You’re humming along as usual, with one day looking very much like the last, and without so much as a moment’s notice you collide with someone else (like balls on a billiard table), and your life changes direction entirely – whether you like it or not.

I suppose it’s like that with a lot of things, but for me it had to do with a person. Intercepting my path on the billiard table.

Removed from the place and time it almost feels trite for me to recount the story. It was nothing extraordinary, after all in the grand scheme of things. But meeting Andrew set in motion a chain of events that shaped who I am – trite or not.

It started on a Sunday, as I prepared to deliver a presentation to my entire department at work the following morning. A rock had settled into the pit of my stomach.

It wasn’t the public speaking, per se, that was giving me the Sunday night willies. I had been in the same job at one of the biggest banks in the world – with growing degrees of responsibility – for the past four years. And while I was well-respected among my peers and considered a high performer by my managers, I was beginning to feel stuck.

No, not stuck. More like… stagnant. And more than a little jaded.

Everything we were doing. All the people I saw. All the things we said. It felt like rehash of a hundred different conversations we’d already had in a not so distant past.

The things people cared about. What they considered “important”. I just wasn’t there. I wasn’t on the same page with them and the act of pretending to care created a lot of tension for me while in the office.

It was a struggle to NOT roll my eyes on a regular basis.

This presentation was no different. It was about being more agile in responding to customer needs. I’d filled it with recommendations for improving cross-functional collaboration, getting a better understanding of what customers were telling us and reallocating resources more quickly to give customers what they want.

Except I knew as long as our Managing Director was spineless and obsessed with keeping up appearances, we weren’t going to get any closer to being agile or getting customers what they needed.

Our problem weren’t our policies or processes – it was politics and people.

And to add insult to injury, I really didn’t care.

With a sigh I hit save and looked at the time. Only eight o’clock – still a few hours left to order Chinese, get in a romantic comedy and go to bed with the TV on – like every other Sunday since New Year’s.

I didn’t realize as I fell asleep to the sounds of New York that I was the ball on the billiard table, just about to get knocked off course.

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