Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!
– Clark Griswold
Christmas Vacation (1989)
Because J.M. Blackman said so.
Today’s snippet comes from Chapter three of my WIP. This is our first glimpse at one of Grace’s past lives, a wistful English girl named Elizabeth Bailey living in 1962 London. Her chapter takes place over the course of several days in December, when Londoners suffered through a sulphurous cloud of pollution over the city.
I stand in the kitchen securing my mask. It is crude and plain, but its beauty is in its usefulness. I wonder how it will fare against the smog, how I will fare against the smog, but decide that an asthma attack is the least of my worries tonight.
The wind is like a thousand knives when I open the garden door, my nightgown providing little in the way of warmth. The ground, as I had predicted, is a block of ice beneath my feet, and the crunch of the snow seems so loud. The cold slices across my face. I can just barely see the outline of the shed beyond the tree, on the far end of the garden. I will make it this time.
I know, I know, I just did this Next Big Thing…thing, wherein I beat you over the head with details about something I’ve spewn (I don’t really care if it’s not a word) from the dark and often puzzling confines of my brain. Well, if you’re in the market for a reason to wear a stylish “I survived Ashley Heckman’s NEXT Next Big Thing” t shirt, it’s your lucky day!
You can all blame the spewer (again, I don’t care if the word doesn’t exist) of awesome, Ms. J. M. Blackman this time, who tagged me with a blurb that made me want to internet sex her like a one night cyber-stand. Our paths just recently crossed, but I can already tell she’s going to end up needing a restraining order against me.
Anyway, the rules, because we live in a society:
- FOLLOW THIS FORMAT.
- ANSWER THE 10 QUESTIONS BELOW.
- SPREAD THE FUN AND TAG
5MORE AWESOME PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE.
Note: I’m a rebel, yo.
- IT’S ALSO NICE TO LINK BACK TO THE PERSON. SHARING IS CARING, Y’ALL.
1. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK / WIP?
It doesn’t have one *whines*
I fail at titles, so the working one for this story is any reasonable variation of “that Grace thing.”
2. WHERE DID THE IDEA OF THIS BOOK COME FROM?
I literally tweeted one day about wanting to write something about ghosts and reincarnation. I also drew inspiration (more so than usual) from Anne Rice’s book The Witching Hour, which includes a seductive spirit attaching himself to the female descendents of an ancient family of witches. The book kicked off a trilogy, but things just got weird for me after book one, so I thought of how I’d have wanted the ghostly character of Lasher to end up, and my character of Noel–along with how he has basically stalked Grace–was born from there.
So when I began this most recent foray into blogging, I was a writer lost, wandering in the vast emptiness of the Valley of…well, nothing. I had no ideas, nothing to work on. It was sad, really. A writer without a WIP is not a pleasant person to hang out with. While I’m thinking back on that bleak period, thanks to all who listened to me whine about not having anything to write.
As you may have guessed (or not, bitch I don’t know your life!), the fog lifted a couple of months ago and the powers that be decided I’d been tortured enough with that whole lack of ideas thing, and my current WIP began to spew forth with wild abandon. Ok that sounds gross, but I promise, the story is actually pretty decent. And because of this, I’m excited to announce that “Write Something Wednesday” will hence forth be known as “WIP Wednesday,” when I will regale you all with little teasing tastes of the Young Adult novel I’m slaving over. Hope you enjoy!
Notes: I will likely keep these Wednesday postings to a max of twice per month, since my goal isn’t to have the novel become a serial blog type thingamajig. The excerpts will not even be in any real order (this first one is coming from Chapter 10, in fact), and don’t expect context, lol. It’s also important to note that the excerpts in these posts will be largely unedited, first draft quality snippets. If you’re expecting a fully polished and finished product, you’re barking up the wrong writer’s leg ;)
A sob bounds out of me, and I realize that I’m back in my own bed as I open my eyes. They are wet. The familiar stinging feeling is back, though now accompanied by a fear and dread that Kyle could never have produced in me. I find my mind reaching for him, flailing as if for a light switch in a dark room, despite the lingering horror his last words left me with. I refuse to believe that was the Noel that has had me so fascinated these past weeks. Despite all that just happened I still want his comfort. I would welcome his presence with open arms, but he’s nowhere to be found.
Let’s begin with the fact that I feel as if I have nothing to write about, but that I needed to post something to acknowledge the changes to the blog. First, you might notice the new look. It’s a new theme and I had limited design options, which leads me to the second change, the move to wordpress.com hosting. The truth is that I am a horribly lazy blogger, and thought that maybe the social aspect of being part of the wp.com network might motivate me to put a little more effort into this endeavor. So, motivate me, guys! And last but not least, there’s also the blog title change, which comes courtesy of an episode of Start Trek: The Next Generation (don’t hate) called “Q Who”. The original line was Picard accusing Q of being “next of kin to chaos,” but I found out there is a song by Napalm Death bearing the title, so I shortened it for my purposes.
Things are moving along on the writing front. I feel very close to receiving some news on my novella that is out with an editor right now after several rounds of back and forth discussions about requested revisions. Of course I will post about that as soon as I hear anything concrete. I also believe that I am approaching the “great swampy middle” of my PNR-ish novel WIP, though it’s feeling pretty exciting to me, because the shit has now been pitched in the direction of the fan. I actually just had the thought that I need to add some sort of word count thingie here. If all goes well, my weekly goal is 5,000 words. As it stands right now I’m at 27,237 words with 9 of 21 projected chapters written. The goal is 50k, which is kinda sorta in the neighborhood of the length the gatekeepers of the publishing world want to see, and it looks at the moment like I will be exceeding that, so yay!
Other than that, Christmas is literally in the air. Seriously y’all, my house smells like a pine forest. We bought and installed the tree last night, and it’s a nice one this year, if I do say so myself. I’ve already tweeted a photo of it naked (tree nudity, *gasp*), so be sure to check that out…if you like that sort of thing, you sick bastards. Signing off for now, be back when I have something interesting to post :)