I have been slaving away on two pieces. (Well, three if you count the blog.) Piece one is the umpteenth revision of my first novel and reading, no joke, this book:
and getting ready to write a query and look for an agent. Woosh! A lot to do, for sure.
I’m also working on a piece to be submitted next month. A nonfiction piece. I have talked about the different scarries I go through writing fiction and nonfiction. As far as nonfiction goes: I am blessed to have the people in my life I care about getting their go ahead with personal information say to me: Write what you want. I love you guys. As far as fiction goes: I am blessed with the few who have beta tested my novel. Oh thank you, thank you.
Here are a few excerpts from the book:
From the prologue:
She leans against the tiled wall of the subway station just outside of the turnstiles observing a mother and a young girl just ahead of her. The little one is wearing pink rain boots. Her mother holds her hand but never once looks at her. Cell phone to her ear she prattles, even when her daughter tugs on her arm and begins to cry. The girl’s tugging gets more insistent until she resorts to throwing herself on the floor.
The only half empty Slurpee cup on top of the ticket machine slips another half inch as a businessman aggressively pushes his credit card in the slot. The neon purple concoction unfortunately placed with the lid askew falls onto his shoulder and splatters onto his shoes.
His yells erupt and the little girl’s attention seeking cries turn to shrieks. This is her chance. She sees a gap in the line, takes advantage and is over the turnstile, with the prattling woman’s brown leather wallet, and gone before anyone recognizes the blur as a subway interloper.
The subway’s noise, like a symphony of hell, gets louder the closer she gets to the platform. Voices amplified, insidious humming, and screeching of breaks that sound like banshee yells. It is all still silenced. The train swooshes into place and she darts onto it. She chooses a seat, not her usual corner seat which tonight is taken, but this would have to do. Inside the pocket of her fraying hoodie she removes money blindly, unsure of how much she has scored, and slides the wallet beneath her seat and kicks it back with her foot. The sway of the subway car lulls her asleep and she is almost gone the moment she pulls her hood over her head.
He always takes the subway steps double time. He slides his pass through the reader and is on the train in perfect time. The train lurches forward and only then does he allow his mind to register his fatigue, and a little bit of sorrow. Two seats are open, one next to a sleeping person, a woman, with an indiscernible stain on her torn up grey hoodie and one next to an old man with sharp eyes and a kind smile. In his experience, sleeping people often wake up, and she looks like trouble. Therefore, he chooses the seat across the way. Sliding his iPad from his leather over the shoulder bag, he barely has time to sit before another lurch knocks him forward and immediately there is an
The volume is now at eleven.
explosion that picks the train off the tracks and shakes it like a game of Perfection. He grabs the post as his iPad sails through the air, smashing against the mustard yellow plastic of the chairs, shattering the corner. A coffee hits the window, the old man next to him grabs his arm and is wrenched away, landing on the floor. Everything seems to even out for a moment, almost gravityless, things were going to be oh-
Another crash, a devastating slam. A shoulder connects with his chin, his knee with the floor. Several people begin to cry out but the sound is wrenched from them, devoured by the sounds of metal on metal on concrete.
She lurches awake to sounds that weren’t even possible, too many at once doing impossible things and – her shoulder hits something angular, her head snaps away then into the window. Tepid coffee rains on her for a moment until she hits the floor, reaches out-
He hits the floor, reaches out-
Finds a hand.
She has sea green eyes, he has earth brown. Yellow sparks in his irises and blue in hers.
This is from the beginning of the book:
Detective Green paused outside of his hospital room and looked down the hall, only three rooms down, to the other patient’s room. Maybe they would never know that they were so close, two people with the same fate, survivors. The leftovers? The left behind? Sure, they would feel that way sometimes. They would be suspected, pitied, and avoided.
Green’s visions came in slow passes, like the tide. She had plenty of time to relive each moment. There were rummaging sounds in the kitchen and she awoke from sleep instantly. She was not even out of the academy yet, but sometimes you just know.
“Marcel, stay here.” She told her husband, both of them were sitting bolt upright in bed.
“What?!” He reached for her arm but she was already out of bed.
“Ma? What’s that noise?” A small silhouette stood outside her bedroom door.
“Michael! Get in your room. Hide in your closet.” Her son darted away, back towards his room.
Into the small kitchenette in a tight apartment, stepping on shards of broken ceramic. Her heart was drowning out sounds that were clues she needed to hear.
Then the intruder had the balls to shout out: “Whose there?!” before firing wildly. A police officer in training knew enough to move off course at the first sound of a voice, to dive behind the kitchen bar. This was a life saving measure that a five year old, one who rarely listened to his mother’s instructions, and a construction worker didn’t know.
Five of his shots lit up the dark apartment, none of which hit her. Her three shots center mass took him out, gone forever. There would never be any answers.
She moved toward the light switch calling out their names, stumbling on something along the way. By the time she reached the light switch a part of her already knew.
Marcel was gone. He had fallen on his side and his head lay against his outstretched arm like he was sleeping. She still alternately called out his name and Michael’s. She held Michael’s head in her lap and stroked his forehead. He gasped liquid last breaths trying to form the sounds of “Momma.”
In that moment, if she could have moved, could have functioned, she would have reached for the gun she left lying on the floor. Her eyes clouded over with black swirls of thick smoke that she would see out of the corners of her eyes for the rest of her life. When the police arrived one of the first things they did was to gently collect her gun.