This and That

I feel like I tell and tell and tell that I’m actually doing something with myself, and yet offer no proof. So, let me share a bit about what I’m working on now – if you have projects you’re working on, please, shamelessly promote in the comments below!

At present, I am in the midst of editing the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2012 – Paper Moon on a Crystal Sea. I’m a horror at writing pitches, I’ve learned, so let me just offer you a little excerpt:

The place he was in was dark and empty, a great black void that threatened to swallow him entirely. He couldn’t feel his own presence, couldn’t make out whether he still had all his limbs, his breath, his being. He was utterly alone.

Somehow the sensation hit him that though he did not move, a cold breeze was blowing against his skin, raising goosebumps. His stomach was hot inside, roiling, ready to cast up it’s accounts. Dread rolled through him like a mighty wave, threatening to overcome him altogether.

A door opened somewhere. In the blackness, movement stirred about him and something burning and furiously painful was swallowing up his feet and ankles. He knew nothing, nothing at all, except that he was horribly, horribly afraid.

Padget sat up with a sharp cry, sweat pooled at his collar bones and on his temples. Cold white light washed over him through the open window, and beyond it he could hear the hooting of owls and the cries of a lone wolf. He was not a man given to nightmares. Why, then, did he wake each night to a sense of utter loneliness and despair?

Padgett said on the edge of his bed, the ice of the floor on his bare feet a welcome sensation of truth and the real world. His grandmother had had the Sight. He didn’t want to be burdened with such a thing, and yet the weight resting across his shoulders, invisible but bowing them all the same, told him that perhaps the thing he had feared most was true.

When he was just a lad, perhaps six or seven, before he’d come to Hamsberg House, he’d heard a young woman who came to his grandmother because she believed she’d been given the Sight. He remembered his grandmother as a tiny bird of a woman, hair white as ripe wheat, rocking in her wooden spindle rocking chair and staring into space through eyes blue and rheumy.

“You see, I see things sometimes, and sometimes they come true,” the girl had whispered hesitantly, sitting at his grandmother’s feet on a stool, pregnant belly straining her plain dress. “I think perhaps I have the Sight, because every time I see something in my mind and then it comes true, I have the strangest feeling.”

“Those things are mere coincidences,” his grandmother had said firmly. She didn’t believe in coddling, beating around the bush, or any other form of tenderness really. “If you had the Sight, you’d know it. It’d be weighing down your heart, you wouldn’t be able to escape it and you certainly wouldn’t doubt it.”

“But how come I can predict the futures?” the girl asked. “Have I got a bit of prophetess in me then?”

Padgett’s grandmother had laughed in the poor girl’s face. “You haven’t got anything but an imagination and a bit of wishful thinking, girl.” She leaned in close. “No mere man or woman can see the future. There is no future. There’s a thousand futures, and their all changing every moment. Suppose a great lord decides to have eggs for breakfast and not cakes. There’s a thousand futures changed in that one moment. Suppose you take the left fork not the right, suppose your child laughs instead of cries, suppose your husband works a half hour more in the fields instead of coming straight home. There’s a hundred thousand, maybe a million futures, all in it and all mixed around. Every decision made changes all the futures around it, you see. So no one can know what the future is, because there isn’t one.”

“What about your gift then? What is the Sight if it isn’t knowing the future?”

“The Sight is more of an inclination really. It’s an understanding about the present that might tell you something about a certain future, a future that grows more likely each time you See it. With every decision made that leads in that direction, that future gets more determined to be Seen. It’s something like the world’s way of trying to prevent that future from ever coming to be.” His grandmother had leaned down right in the girl’s face, touching the girl’s smooth, flushed cheek with her twisted hand. “The Sight is a terrible burden, girl. Don’t be sorry you haven’t gotten. Be grateful you’ve escaped.”

For sure and for certain, the heavy cloud hanging over him was the Sight and no mistaking it. The sheer horror of it, the agony of the flames as they licked up his legs, the sweat-soaked terror of being utterly alone and defenseless against a nameless evil – such a thing wasn’t common to man. So what in heaven’s name was Padgett supposed to be Seeing? For such a thing named so boldly, there was so very much of it that left him blind.

As you can see, it is quite clearly in need of dire editing, but it’s the novel I am most proud of and therefore would really like to edit and perhaps seek representation for.

I’m also writing a new novel, when editing gets too nitpicky. The  last excerpt was quite long, so I’ll just give you the pitch and a tiny bit of it:

Hannah Emery likes the middle of things – no terrifying heights and no devastating lows. The third of five kids, her weeknights are crammed with friends and studying stupid geometry proofs, and her weekends filled with show choir performances and cross country meets. When she runs, the world fades away and it’s all about the rush. What she doesn’t realize is the rush is about to end.
The day Hannah’s school is attacked is bad enough – but then the main attacker turns out to be a woman who claims to have a secret about Hannah’s past. And along with that secret, this dark woman brings a strange request. What may destroy Hannah, and those she loves most, is that no is not an option.

Wild hair – truly wild, enough hair for three people, blonde curls that bushed out around her like an obscene spiraling halo. Piercing eyes, fire and brilliant blue. The eyes did not blink, the gaze did not waver.

The corners of the woman’s rosebud mouth slid upwards.

“Hannah.”

Hannah shuddered. Her name slid from the woman’s lips like a blessing turned to curse, reeking of familiarity that didn’t belong.

“Ladies and gentleman, sit tight for a few minutes. The guest of honor has arrived. You can resume normal operations soon enough.” The man’s voice, at once light in the room and thundering through the speakers, stirred Hannah beyond the threshold. She moved like a puppet, knees weak and heart thundering in her ears, drawn towards the horror before her even as her mind screamed to run, run, run.

Then, to her surprise, the man left. When he brushed past her the leather of his jacket swished butter-like against her arm and Hannah felt faint.

The woman had still not blinked, nor turned her gaze from Hannah.

“Oh, Hannah. You’re almost exactly as I imagined you would be.”

It’s embarrassing to post unedited things, but I think it’s good, too – after all, we’re each only human, aren’t we?

Anyways, in between these two things I’m still writing some short stories and a few flash fiction pieces, just for fun. What are you working on these days?

 

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