Sunday, November 15, 2009

Excerpt

I've been so busy with NaNoWriMo that I haven't really had time for fiber arts. In between writing sessions, which are getting more and more frequent as I get into the story, I managed to play off 90% of the frog hair, which now clocks in at more than 1500 yards of 2-ply laceweight silk, and measures at close to 7000ypp. I think I'm a touch insane?

Anyway, please enjoy the following excerpt from my novel-in-progress. I'm having a great deal of fun with this, and can't wait to get back to it each day, as the story gets more and more involved and the characters keep evolving into such full, rich personalities. I never know what's going to happen next!

enjoy!

edited: to fix formatting of excerpt - still not fantastic, but, hey, it's a first draft!
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“Matt,” I said flatly. “What do you want?”
“So it's true.”
“What is?” I asked suspiciously.
“You have a kid.”
“Yes,” I said warily. “So?”
He stepped out onto the porch. He looked good. He had been working out, and living in California had done wonders for his pale complexion. He had a nice even tan, like he spent a lot of time on the beaches and in the sun. He was dressed in dark jeans with sharp creases down the fronts and a tight, short sleeved black tee shirt that showed off his sleek muscles. He had his hair cut into a low crew cut, totally unlike the lanky long hair he'd worn in college and had it gelled in spikes across his head. I guessed that if I were to touch it, it would make me bleed it would be so hard.
He stared into my eyes with an intensity I'd never seen before. “Is she mine?”
“She's mine!” I declared hotly.
“Who's her father?” he asked pointedly.
“She doesn't have one.”
He cocked one eyebrow at me in that way he had that meant he was questioning my integrity. “Really?” it was more a statement than a question.
“What makes you think you fathered a child, you arrogant prick?” He visibly flinched. Good. “We had sex, what? Once? On our wedding night? Before you decided you'd rather go at it with the best man?”
He turned and walked over to the porch swing. The house was an old Victorian with an enormous porch on the side facing the water, and a smaller porch on the side facing the street. There had been a swing hanging from the ceiling of the porch on the street side as long as I could remember. He shoved the swing with his foot then turned to me again.
“You haven't answered my question.” he said simply.
“And I'm not going to,” I said. “You can leave now.”
“Your mom invited me to dinner.”
“Well, I'm un-inviting you,” I said hotly. “Good bye!” And I turned and walked into the house, slamming the door behind me.
“Where did Matt go?” my mother asked sweetly when I sat down on the floor to remove my boots.
“To hell, I hope.” I answered bitterly.
Before I could even make it to the kitchen, there was a knock at the front door. I stormed back and whipped the door open. “What?” I demanded.
“I need to talk to you,” Matt said. “You have to listen to me.”
“I don't have to do any such thing,” I declared.
“This doesn't have to be so difficult,” he said calmly. “I need you. Both of you.”
“Go to hell,” I said and slammed the door.
A moment later there was another knock on the door. I ripped it open with the wrath of the Furies. “I thought I told you to get the hell out of here!” I yelled as I opened the door.
Mike blinked back at me. “Slow down there, Firecracker!”
All of a sudden I felt completely deflated and exhausted. “Oh...shit.” I stammered.
“I could come back later, if you're busy,” Mike offered.
“No, it's fine,” I mumbled. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” he said, carefully stepping onto the rug at the front door. “did you know there's guy sitting in your porch swing?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Thanks.”
“No problem. Are you busy? Should I come back later?” He offered again. “Maybe next year?”
“No,” I said. “It's fine. Really. What's up?”
“Lauren?” my mother's voice called from the kitchen. “Is Matt staying for supper?”
“No,” I called back,
“Who's Matt?” Mike asked.
“The guy on the porch,” I answered.
“Why not?” my mother called back.
“Why's he out there?” Mike peeked around the doorframe.
“Mommy! Look at me!” Katie demanded from the stairway “I'm a fairy princess!”
“Is it always like this?” Mike asked.
“Because!” I yelled to my mother. I turned to Mike, “Yes.”
“I think I should go,” Mike hedged toward the door.
“I can fly!” Katie chirped.
“No!” I screamed as Katie leaped off the stair landing with an angelic look of total belief on her face.
“Ok, then,” Mike turned back. “I won't.”
I leaped toward Katie and she hit me dead center. I gasped as all the air burst out of my lungs, and I hit the floor with her on top of me. We fell to the floor in heap of crinoline and sparkly beads.
“Mommy,” Katie scolded. “You interrogated my flying!”
My mother came trotting out of the kitchen. “What on earth was that?” she demanded.
I lay on my back, closed my eyes, and the tears started to fall. I couldn't stop them. I had had such a crappy day, and now I was lying on the floor in a pile of pink tuutuu and glitter, and I couldn't stop.
“Are you OK?” Mike was kneeling next to me. “Don't move. Does anything hurt?”
I shook my head. I felt hands extracting Katie from the tangle we were in and my mother's voice in a low tone soothing Katie, who was also now crying.
“Ren?” Matt was now inside the house. “What happened? What's going on?”
At that moment the absurdity of it all hit me. I was lying on the floor in my mother's house, crying, after getting hit by a flying seven year old wanna-be fairy princess with my gay ex-husband and the co-worker I had a crush on standing over me. Could it get any more insane?
“Yo, what's going on?” The screen door slammed shut after Kevin, my little brother, and I started to laugh. At first it was just a giggle, a kind of snort as the laughter started to escape, and the next moment I was laughing hysterically, the tears turning to tears of laughter, until I thought I was going to pee in my pants from the hilarity of it all.
“Is she ok?”
“I think she has a concussion.”
“Is laughing one of the signs of head injury?”
“No, but I can't see her pupils, either.”
“Should we call an ambulance?”
“For laughing?”
“Mommy? What are pupils?”
Finally I laughed myself out, and lay there, exhausted. My face was wet with tears, and I could feel dampness in my hair by my ears. I opened my eyes to see five concerned faces looking back at me.
“Feel better?” my mother asked, with an odd tone in her voice.
I reached up a hand and a firm dry one grasped it. I pulled myself to sitting, and turned my back to the wall before realizing I was holding Matt's hand. I dropped it and scowled. I rubbed my face, trying to dry my cheeks. I must look a fright after all that.
“Well, then,” my mother said. “I guess I'd better put another leaf in the table.”

4 comments:

Dan said...

Well, I guess I'll be the first to say that I enjoyed this little excerpt. For just a small section I could already get a sense of the characters. Of course, being that it was written by you and it's in the first person of the main character, I was imagining the character as you in the scene since I had no description of the character.

Sara said...

What is frog hair?

I like the excerpt. The two M names threw me for a minute. I like the transition from the talking to the description of the guy and the porch. And it was a fun scene with the little girl. The ending fell a little, but I'm sure there is a tie-in after it that would make it work.

Thank you for sharing!

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stephanie said...

Erika if you get this, sometime on Sunday... perhaps you can help.

I left the Ann budd sweater book at home, but am in Indianapolis with a long drive. I'm at the crew neck decrease part without knowing how to do it.

Can you look at your copy of the book under children's raglan, and give me the instructions for the crew neck decreases using 32" chest with a gauge of 6?

Thanks!! Oh... I'll cell phone less. It's been a bad weekend for forgetting stuff.

-Stephanie