Post #501 – Excerpt from Alastair

So nearly 3 years ago, I announced that I was going to start writing a book. Well, I did start, but I didn’t start where I thought I would. I have been working on writing scenes and chapters of various books for the last 3 years, and while some of them are half decent, they collectively still have not amounted to one entire book. Then, last year, I took my first real step in the write direction (haha… writing humor…) I participated in NaNoWriMo 2020 and was able to accomplish 40,000 words in the month of November. Technically that doesn’t count as “winning” but I knew 50,000 words wasn’t going to be enough to complete my book anyway. I just wanted to prove to myself that I had the discipline to work on writing one of my book ideas at a time, consistently, even if only for a short period.

So I started writing Alastair, and I really do think I am nearly halfway done. I am over-writing and I know it, but I’d rather write waaaaaay too much detail in the first draft and mostly cut away at the scenes as I edit than have too little and require a butt load more of writing. I am participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and hoping to finish the book, if not at least get into another very regular routine of writing again. I probably could have finished by now, but the last year has been quite insane. Not just because COVID, but also because I got married, moved to a new state, travel for work every other week, and I am pursuing my band’s endeavors at the same time. Some of that is definitely an excuse for not writing, but I’ve also been practicing boundaries, which are relatively new to me. If writing wasn’t going to be an exercise that would fill me up, then I needed to postpone it until I was filled. Still working on that bit.

ANYWAY! This is my 501st post, and I wanted to do something special. I tried contacting some of my old writing acquaintances that were around when I started really digging into this blog back in 2017 to do some sort of collaborative project, but I haven’t been able to get a hold of them (granted I didn’t even know yesterday was my 500th post, so I’ve given them all less than a day to get back to me.) Instead, I figured I’d share an excerpt from my upcoming fantasy novel Alastair, and direct you all to my NaNoWriMo page to become one of my “buddies,” which are like the NaNoWriMo equivalent of Facebook friends. Here is a link to my NaNoWriMo profile page.

And now, without further ado, the following scene is a dream that Lila has after a long day of adventure with her friends:

Everything was made of stars. The floor, the ceiling, the walls (the term “walls” used loosely here since there was a smattering surrounding her that formed a more or less amorphous “wall”) and even the rose garden behind her house. Lila walked between the millions of billions of rows of rose bushes and was enamored by the heads of roses, which were composed of a single star about the size of her hand. They twinkled and rapidly changed color from red to blue to green and violet and yellow and every other color and every shade of every color, and never the same color twice. She looked closer at the branches and leaves of the bush, which were all clusters of thousands of tiny stars. She wondered if it still had thorns – they weren’t as clearly defined as regular rose branches, looking more like a connect-the-dots puzzle with each pinpoint star separated by the deepest, darkest, pitchest black she’d ever seen.

She reached out to touch where she thought there might be a thorn, and immediately felt a shooting, burning pain in the tip of her finger. She looked at the mark it left. It was a deep, dark, pitch black point surrounded by charred flesh that was melting away. It wasn’t melting in a gruesome way, nor did it hurt anymore. Rather, the flesh around the pinpoint simply disappeared slowly as if it was falling into the black hole of the wound. Lila panicked. She didn’t know what else to do or whether anyone was around to help keep her finger from disappearing. Without thinking, she picked a direction and ran. She didn’t know where to or why, but she knew she had to get to the center of the garden, and fast. In the distance, she saw the fountain. Maybe she could wash away the black hole the way she washed away the blood when she pricked her finger on regular roses?

Half of her hand was now gone. She needed to move faster. As she kept running, she looked down at her hand and saw a connect-the-dots pattern of stars replacing her flesh, the lines outlining where her veins and knuckles and other bones had been. Even the wrinkles in her skin were re-created with miniscule stars aligning in the complex lines. “I don’t believe it,” she said, “This is impossible.” When she looked up, the fountain seemed like it had gotten farther away. She was discouraged and running out of breath, but she kept going.

“I wonder if this means I’m going to lose feeling in that hand…” She took her phantom star-hand and touched it to the other still in-tact hand. What she felt confused and excited her so much that she immediately stopped running. The hand that now twinkled and glistened felt every tiny hair and wrinkle and scab in the other hand with more sensitivity and definition than she had ever experienced before. Meanwhile, her flesh hand felt the phantom fingers brush across her skin with a million tingling sparks the way it did when it fell asleep after laying on her arm all night. Her entire hand and wrist were gone, and she wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad thing.

Please let me know what you think, and be honest. I know there is very little context around this scene without having read the rest of the book, so if nothing else, I’d at least like to know if you were intrigued/drawn in by the scene, or if something about the wording made it feel awkward or dull.

Happy 501 day to me, and thank you for joining me in the journey. I am sincerely honored that you’d stick around to the bitter end of this very long post haha. If you have any interest in being a beta reader, head over to my contact page and let me know 🙂

❤ December Rose

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