A Wrimo Remembers: Episode 3

Corona typewriter

Welcome back to my behind the scenes look at what happened the year I tried to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I’ve been reposting blurbs from my blog and the work in progress that emerged. If you need to catch up, here is part 1 and part 2. This time we meet Ted Jannock, would-be Senator.

from “Nano Update 02”, November 10, 2007

Word count: 5677

mood: bit frustrated, bit happy: dealin’ wit’ it

My antagonist told me he’s really not a bad guy, just the fall guy. I reluctantly had to agree. Now, I’m rewriting a bit of his backstory (which wasn’t exactly fleshed out to begin with). Overall, I feel like the writing is better than when I first started. It darn well should be, right? Isn’t this gift like any muscle that you exercise and watch grow stronger? Tough days ahead… but I’m really looking forward to introducing the protagonist’s hacker friend. I’m sorta saving him for a rainy day and slow word count.

peace to all Wrimos


from Chapter VII

Ted Jannock smiled at Tracy, the bubbly young woman taking his order. She probably didn’t know who he was. The young people of Preston were brutally apolitical, but that was OK in Ted’s book. The less ideals they developed at that impressionable age, the easier it would be to sway their vote when they were older and had enough money and power to care about. He asked for a tonic and lime while he considered what to order. The great thing about tonic was that it looked just like club soda, increasing the chance his waitress would screw the order up. Then he’d have the pleasure of watching her walk away again.

Apparently all the restaurants in town hired from the same pool of swishy hipped college girls. Ted imagined a clandestine factory hidden within one of the city’s many abandoned warehouses. Beneath the flickering flourescents, bustling assembly lines would creek under the weight of their product. One line for short, busty brunettes. Another for chirpy blondes with round butts. Yet another for the attractive specimen serving him today; pale with inky black locks and freckles, she quickly returned with his tonic. He ordered a Ceasar salad and bowl of chili and quietly observed as she left to place his order.

Ted had a loving wife at home. Unlike many of his peers, he waited until he finished college before proposing. He’d had his pick of women even while he was dating Janice, but he understood at a young age the political value of having the right wife. Janice had all the important qualifications: she came from old money, was president of her sorority, and she was smart and extremely attractive. Even now she easily turned men’s heads who were half her age. To Ted’s knowledge she had never engaged in more than aggressive flirting, but he didn’t try too hard to find out otherwise. He knew he wasn’t in a position to complain if she were unfaithful. And although Janice overlooked his occasional straying, he wasn’t willing to push his luck. He considered their marriage a fairly typical one, and if polled, he reckoned over half of the town’s couples would admit to a similar arrangement. And truthfully he had grown quite accustomed to her comforting presence. Janice had stood by him for 26 years. She watched his political career grow from its infancy and never questioned his destiny.

Ted graduated college in the early 80’s at the top of his class. Double majoring in Political Science and Business had placed a great strain on their relationship. However, the effort soon paid off. His first public service position was as a city council member. At the same time, he started and ran a very successful real estate venture. The explosion in tech-based businesses provided lucrative sales to Internet startups. Everyone was high on the possibility of becoming an overnight millionare. Venture capitalists were more than willing to pay unheard of prices for land. The best part was that after technology tanked, Ted was able to buy much of the land back for a song. He and Janice were already rich. They became obscenely rich after selling the same land again.

After a six year stint on the city council, he became the town’s youngest elected mayor. By then he had secured his position among the town’s elite. Yet he never lost touch with the less fortunate citizens of Preston. He frequented shops and restaurants in every section of town, and was liked and respected by people from all walks of life. After 10 years as mayor, he retired to concentrate on personal ventures. His now expanded real estate business included out of state deals that made his name commonplace across the country. His running for Senate was no accidental occurence. He once shared his lifetime plan with Janice. It was a printed timeline with milestones listed by year, including his projected death. She shuddered at the calculated precision of the whole plot and he never mentioned it again. Ted indeed had it all figured out. He had hit most of the milestones he set for himself. Becoming a senator was the next one, but it wasn’t his ultimate goal by any stretch of the imagination. But one step at a time he told himself. Sieze the day, but plan for tomorrow.

Tracy, Ted’s waitress returned with his salad. Again, he enjoyed the unintentional show she put on as she sauntered toward the kitchen and waited for his chili. He nibbled the salad and finally took a sip of his tonic only to discover that it was club soda. He chuckled softly and motioned for Tracy.