2014 NaNoWriMo: Day 1, and a Blurb

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and I have decided to participate (again… see the previous post for the sordid details of my 2012 endeavour).

The title of the book is The Islands Beyond. I’ve decided that posting excerpts from my daily writing will help incentivize me to keep at it.  But before excerpting, allow my to blurb.  Here’s the one-sentence version of the story:

When Ethan and Pete, brothers who have never set foot on a sailboat before, are swept out onto Lake Winnipeg during a storm, they discover a frozen archipelago, where adventure awaits and the impossible becomes possible.

I made a working (temporary) cover to give myself something pretty to look at when I need it (note that I don’t own the rights to the photo, but I did create the map superimposed over it). The excerpt for the day follows.

Islands Beyond Cover

When daylight finally filtered through the portals and into the cabin, it was dull gray. The air was frigid. The wind did not seem to be blowing as hard, and the boat, which had been tipping and lurching on the waves the previous evening, only dipped and swayed slightly. Pete shook Ethan awake.

“Hey, get up!” He lowered his stiff legs to the floor. “Let’s go up on deck.”

Ethan followed him up the steep ladder onto the deck. The air was cold and damp. The sight that met their eyes made them both gasp aloud. A thick layer of dark clouds hung low over an expanse of grey water that seemed to go on forever. In every direction they looked, they saw more water, stretching on like a sea, without even a tiny dot of land anywhere.

“I never realized Lake Winnipeg was so big,” said Ethan. “Can you see anything out there?”

Pete, who’s eyes were better than Ethan’s, scanned the water. He shook his head sadly, and jerked the hood of his jacket up over his head. “Nothing. But it sure is cold. I’m glad I wore my thick jacket.”

He kneeled down on the deck and dipped his fingers in the water. It was terribly cold, and he stuck his fingers in his mouth to warm them. A look of surprise came into his eyes.

“Ethan, isn’t Lake Winnipeg a freshwater lake?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“This water is salty.”

“Let me try,” said Ethan.

He dipped his finger into the water and let a few drops fall on his tongue. It was most certainly salty, and extremely cold.

“I don’t understand. It tastes like seawater.” Ethan gazed out over the water again. “It even looks like the sea.”


About jackfrey
Jack Frey lives somewhere in Northeast Asia with his wife and two young boys. He finds the letter K to be the most aesthetically pleasing of all the consonants, in both its upper and lowercase forms. Like many of us, he is currently seeking publication of his first novel.

2 Responses to 2014 NaNoWriMo: Day 1, and a Blurb

  1. I liked the excerpt, it made me curious about this book. I can’t tell from this much what kind of story it’s going to be other than survival. Why would two boys who’ve never sailed be on a boat? I’m interested to see how you dealt with that.

    • jackfrey says:

      Hi Molly. It’s sort of an adventure fantasy, in the sense that the boys get stranded on the sailboat and brought to another world. They find out that their father has come looking for them, and try to find him (having learned how to sail a little bit). Thanks for the interest!

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