I don't have a lot of time to Gather. I have not been commenting much but I have tried to pop in where and when I can. I'm currently just over 25,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel at the half way point! Here's the first draft of the introduction, errors and all:
Karen pulled her shawl around her hoping it would make her feel warm inside. Nothing could do that lately. There was too much hidden inside of her that was making her chill from the inside out. She hated that. It wasn't her nature but she couldn't help it. Her life had not ended up as she had thought it might all those years ago. No fairytale life for her. No dream ending here. She pulled the shawl tighter and leaned in closer to the logs burning in the fireplace.
She had a lot to be thankful for, even happy. From the outside looking in no one around her could possibly imagine that Karen had anything but the happiest life. Everyone thought she had everything she could ever want. No one knew the nightmare that haunted her waking hours as well as her sleep. She tried. There were a lot of times that Karen managed to forget and live happy, even if only in the moment. She had to hang on to those times. It hadn't always been like that.
At first Karen had been able to forget the bad stuff and revel in the happiness she had stumbled upon that soggy November day years ago. She had been able to forget her name and the life she had left behind. She had washed it all away with the salt filled tears she could taste now as she remembered that time. Karen didn't want to cry. In fact, she couldn't. Crying would stain the facade that her friends and neighbors had come to know as Karen. They would not understand. She could not tell them. Perhaps that was the one saddest and loneliest parts of the life she had withdrawn into. She could tell no one. No one would ever know her sadness and her pain. No one would ever know the darkest depths of her lonely life. Then there was the most horrible thing: losing him. It had destroyed her when he had left her. He had promised they would always be together. She would always be able to count on him. But now she couldn’t. He was gone. It was he that she confided in on those sleepless nights that made her heart ache to have him in her life now. With him her life would be complete. Her tears were shed alone. Her heavy burdens solely her responsibility. By necessity it would remain that way forever. That was the only thing Karen could be sure of.
Karen got up and quietly walked to her son's room, careful not to trip in the darkness so she wouldn't wake him. She pushed the door open slightly and saw his sweet face as he slept. She smiled. It was these little things, these moments she treasured. It was these slices of her own life that carved themselves into the pictures that kept Karen's heart filled with the will to go on. The will to go on and carve out the life she knew in her heart she and her son were meant to live. Together.
She blew him a silent kiss and pulled the door almost shut to keep the warmth in and the light out. The morning light would come through his window and fill the room before long. She went back to the fireplace for a while. She knew she had to try to sleep even for the few hours left of the night. She'd need the rest as soon as her day started. She needed to be alert. She always had to be. The opposite was a luxury she couldn't afford and hadn't enjoyed in the years since she had become Karen Williams.