The weekend is over. The count is in. And I’ve written over 8,000 words in the last 60 hours. With my schedule, I have to say, I am extremely proud of that. It’s been a fantastic weekend despite the emotional wear and tear of this book on my soul, and I am excited to see where this story takes me next!
For your personal enjoyment – and since I’m done early tonight and in a wonderful mood – I am also posting a meme I made up special this weekend. I’m often told that I’m a “heartless, dragon-kissed fiend” for the things I put my readers and characters through, but in all honesty I need a bigger hug than either of them most of the time. You writers will appreciate this, and those of you who don’t write should take heed of my warning. This is what writers are like. Do not attempt to get attached to one unless you are willing to endure them, their insanity, and the ever-looming possibility that they will turn you into a victim in their next book.
Now, without further ado, the snippet promised in my video. I’m trying to keep consistent with these, but it’s difficult to find snippets that don’t give away too much of the story.
What kind of story do you want tonight, Eliz?” I ask. Her eyes light up again at the question, and I know already what she’s going to say.
“Adventurous, of course!” I laugh, and begin mentally thumbing through my many stories. After a moment, I settle on the time I decided to travel to the nearest city outside of Raven Falls.
“It was a fifty mile walk, all by myself. I was midway there when the snow started, and by the time I was a mile away, it was coming down so hard that I couldn’t see my own feet. I tried to struggle on through it, knew I was almost there. But it got so bad that I could feel myself losing my sense of direction so I stopped where I was. I had no tent, no blankets, nothing but some food and a jacket. So I found a nice big drift of snow and started digging. I carefully packed in the walls as I worked my way in, building myself a small shelter to spend the night in. I curled up in there and slept away, not a worry in the world, like an idiot. About midway through the night, I woke up in a heavy sweat, gasping for breath.
I’d packed the snow too tightly, and it had snowed so much that my exit was completely stopped up. I frantically dug away at the end of my tunnel, holding each breath as long as I could to keep from wasting the little oxygen that was left. I managed to get out, and then laid there in the snow, gasping for breath as the light flakes that still drifted slowly from the sky, peppering my clothes and hair. About that time, a cart rolled by, and a good Samaritan helped me up, drove me into town.” I tell it slowly, careful not to speak so loudly that it hurts my ribs or throat. She leans in close, and laughs quietly behind her hand. The way her eyes and nose scrunch up, like a wild rabbit, make me smile.
“What was the town like?” She asks, watching me intently, resting her head on her hand.
“Well, it was bigger than ours. There were more people, and the part of town where the wealthy lived was truly beautiful. Cobbled streets, smooth as the icecap on a frozen lake, rimmed by houses a good 4 times the size of our biggest ones here. The poorer side of town was more familiar, with dirt roads and rotting walls, poor beggars on the streets. There weren’t as many policemen, but they were certainly still there, and still feared. It’s amazing what the country’s largest prison can do to a town like ours. People there always asked where I was from, and the older one’s would tell me stories about how quaint and lovely Raven Falls used to be. You wouldn’t have believed your ears the way they went on about it.” I pause, waiting for the question I know she’ll ask.
“What did they say about us?” She springs on it, her eyes wide with enthusiasm.
“Well, have you ever read that old, musty book called Our Town?” I ask, a twinkle in my eye. She was reading it in the library just the other day.
“Yes! I love that one!” She squeaks, her feet tapping in excitement.
“Well, the way people described it, you would have thought Raven Falls was Four Corners itself, with the laid back atmosphere, the white picket fences, the families… it really was a beautiful picture they painted. I wish I could have seen our town back then. It must have been a thing of wonder.” I whisper the last part, more to myself than to her. She takes on this dreamy look, as though looking far into the past, and taking herself on a tour of Raven Falls through an elder’s eyes. I smile at her, waiting for her to come back to reality. I may not be a kind man, but I could never stand to crush her dreams in a state like this.