NaNoWriMo and writing prompts

Limestone statuette of a childbirth scene

It’s April, so as usual, I’m joining the National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo2022) with a twist. Last year, I vowed to get my novel completely drafted. I did. Well, maybe not the entire thing during April, but I did get it done. And, I learned a new piece of software, Scrivener, to help me stay organized and allow me to write anywhere.

This April, I’m busy with the revision process. I’m almost half-way through the red-lining an notes. Some writers love this part of birthing their novel. For me, this is indeed labor. Sometimes it’s so painful that I want to stop. I remind myself that labor ends with a flood of love.

Today, I’m mashing up two prompts. One from WordPress and one from Jabberwocky. WordPress’s prompt this month is GREEN. Victoria, from Jabberwocky, wants me to free-write. (She’s joined the NaNoWriMo challenge, too. And she’s busy editing her novel.)

I need some work on a spring scene for my historical fiction novel. So here goes, with some green free-writing.

As long as I’ve lived, I know one thing for certain: Anyone who thinks April 1 marks the beginning of spring is a fool. For two weeks now, I’ve been teased with the promise of buds and blossoms. The dismal monotones of February got erased by a March thaw. Grey and white replaced by brown mud, dead grass, and trash-lined roads. Dismay turned into depression. The only thing that kept me from burrowing into the davenport like a ground squirrel was the daffodils poking their noses through soil that refused to stay warm. Such persistence.

And then it happened. I woke to sunshine dancing off a blanket of snow. The daffodils hung their heads in resignation.

“It’ll be gone by this afternoon,” Eldridge promised before he swept me into his arms and gave me a returned-from-the-war kiss like he always did before he leaves for work. I busied myself with balancing the checkbook, doing dishes, and laundry. Anything to avoid looking outside. And then I did.

A patch of vivid green stands inside a circle of melted snow. It’s as if Mother Nature threw a bucket of ice water in the grass’s face. “Wake up! I was only kidding,” she seems to say. The patch of grass stands at attention, stretching heavenward, triumphant. I’m sure I’ve never seen green this bright before. Any more intensity would surely bring on a migraine. I pull my peacoat tight around me, as a scent not unlike the one Eldridge carries with him mingles with frost and tickles my heart. I pick away dead oak leaves so the grass can get a better look at the sky. Made brazen by the bold grass, asparagus nubs part the blades and peek upward.