Werrolyn – intro

It has been awhile since I seemed to have time to write anything here. Work and living keeps getting in the way and then the chore of editing the book.

Still, progress is being made and I think the beginning is complete enough to preview a couple of chapters for some feedback. If possible.

Anyway, here is the opening.

INTRODUCTION

The cell was small.

Just inside the bars, she paced doggedly. Three steps to the wall… turn… three steps to the opposite wall… turn…

While her legs continued the futile exercise, eyes darted over the all-too-familiar terrain – within the cell and without – for some way out. As usual, no way presented itself.

Pacing.

The world beyond the bars remained unchanged. Brick walls, painted white, seamlessly mocking thoughts of freedom. Two windows set high in one wall were shuttered, sealing her confinement with visual finality.

A small wooden platform stood against the windowless expanse of painted brick, its form bare, square wooden legs supporting a collection of metal implements too far away from her bars to offer even a hint of help.

Midway between the two walls – the one windowed and the one not so blessed – stood a singular wooden construct leaning at an angle against the ceiling above, patterned with small planks of wood, one higher than the next as if beckoning upward: here, here, here to freedom.

It was the same scene as always. Unchanged.

Pacing.


A sound came from overhead.

Her head cocked sideways, eyes tilted upward. Her pacing slowed.

Another sound. Then another. Her eyes followed it as it moved toward the top of the leaning construct across the room. Then came another, different, sound.

Pacing arrested for the moment, she turned and waited.

And watched.

A foot appeared from the ceiling. Another followed a moment later, standing side-by-side on one of the higher descending planks of wood. Then they moved forward, and down, one after another… down… down…

The creature belonging to the feet stopped about halfway down to the featureless gray ground and bent, the upper portion of its body coming into view.

For just a moment, their eyes met, hers and this stranger’s. Then it righted itself again, turning around to speak toward the ceiling.

“Not yet.” The feet rose then, one after the other retracing their earlier course down the planks. In a moment, the creature’s visit was nothing more than a memory.

She waited, wondering what the strange call was, what was the creature trying to say? After a time, she realized that the words – meaningless to her – did not bring any change.

The creature was gone and the sounds receded across the ceiling.

After a few moments, sensing no further movement, she leaned forward and sniffed at the bars as though some scent of their manufacture would guide her to find the method of release.

Cold. Metallic. The array of scents presented nothing to her.

Cocking her head once again toward the ceiling, she shifted her ears front to back, slowly, trying to catch any further sounds.

None came.

Yellow eyes turned to survey the room beyond once more while her feet started moving again, slowly returning to their former cadence. She slowly turned her attention away from the short interruption of her captivity and her feet resumed their mechanical path within the cell.

Her pads moved silently three paces one direction, turned and went three paces back.

Pacing.


Thanks for the Votes

Recently, I had an opportunity to showcase the start of my (as yet unpublished) novel on Story Addict’s blog. And there was some stiff competition!!

I believe my entry came in dead last but that’s not the point, is it? There were some people who actually thought my entry was good enough to vote for it.

It was a pleasant boost to have someone like it over the other entries. I had no idea it would be such a confidence booster!

And we can all use a little of that every now and again.

So, thanks to Story Addict for giving me the opportunity and thanks to all those who voted.


Now, I suppose, I will have to post it over here as well.

Well, as long as my editor doesn’t object.

Holding the Season at Bay – a Losing Proposition

Here it is, closing in on the Christmas season, and I am feeling more like the Grinch. Not that I want to steal anyone’s involvement in the holidays… except my own.

Forty hours a week at my job doesn’t leave a heck of a lot of time for editing my novel. The work on the book is going nicely but I am constantly being pulled away to do seasonal activities. You know, Christmas parties, baking, shopping…

And I really love the shopping! Sigh!

Still, “Grinch-ness” isn’t in me. So, I suppose I shall have to pull myself away from the editing – and I so wanted to have it done before the end of the year! – and get into the spirit of the season.

After all, Christmas comes but once a year.

Everything else is a workday. Even if working on something that’s really all for me.

First Attempts

I’ve started a couple of different novels and I always seem to get about so far on them and then lose steam.

I have characters I like, in situations I think are workable but then the plot just doesn’t seem to be developing into anything.

So the novels sit on the shelf, one quarter finished, gathering dust.

My first novel was about a couple who were on the skids.

They had been trying to have children but nothing was happening on that area and the guy seemed to lose interest in the dwindling prospects.

Then he has an affair. But he confesses his dalliance and promises to do better, even going so far as to suggest changing jobs and finding something less high-strung, and in an entirely different state.

They work through the trust issues and she finds him a suitable job up north, in Vermont.

It is in a quaint town where he will be working and they locate a modest home in a small unincorporated village nearby called “Stone Harvest”.

So, while he is off at work – and he does not have any overtime at this thing – she explores the small community in which she finds herself.

And she very quickly finds a mystery. But it takes a back seat to her reborn romance. Her husband spends more time with her than with his job and soon she finds herself pregnant.

At last!

She thinks she has finally found the happy place she had been looking for but keeps finding herself drawn to a local cemetery.

Though the town looks like it could never have been very large, the number of gravestones speaks volumes, and the reason it is called Stone Harvest.

It was going to be a Tryon-esque tale of mystery with an air of the paranormal.

But that’s about as far as I got on the tale.

My second novel was about a woman who has left her husband – married to his job – and moves to a secluded place on the North Carolina coast called the Barrens.

Which is about the best description of her heart at the moment. After being cheated on and reconciling only to have the process repeat itself, she is pretty decimated emotionally.

She just needs a place to find some peace and rediscover herself. And make a stable environment for her eight-year-old daughter.

And since the old place needs some repairwork, she contacts a local handyman.

The neighbors advise her against hiring him but none of the other “reputable” ones had time for her place.

Little things come out in chats with him while he was working and from gossip in the town that there was something a little unpleasant in the fellow’s past.

Something involving the death of a family in the Barrens…

It was expected to have a touch of the paranormal as well.

And that’s about as far as I got on that one.

Both were exciting to me when I started them but the more I worked, the less interesting they became.


Not Much of a Writer, I Suppose

I have always enjoyed reading and I cannot recall when I got the idea in my head to actual try writing. My first stories were… being honest, they were rotten.

But I think I have gotten better over time.

My first romantic novel was Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass Darkly. I found it in a bookstore ages ago and was drawn to the cover, even though I am not much interested in history. It was a magnificent story and captured me from the first page. It took her something like four years to write the book and most of that was involved in historical research. As much as I liked the book, I don’t think I could do anything like that.

I loved the “Twilight Series” – like, who didn’t? – but I really don’t think I can add anything to the vampire genre. Ann Rice had a different take on them than the older interpretations and Meyers has brought in her own take on their “species”.

The Harry Potter stories were interesting but the story was basically just the struggle between Harry and Voldemort, two characters with very similar lives but led by different needs. I found most of the other characters in the books lacked much depth, with a few exceptions, and were there only to “push the story along”. But that’s just my own opinion. Though I loved the stories and the character of Harry, I thought the movies were better because the stories just seemed to drag. With the exception of the opening scene in Goblet of Fire with the old caretaker sneaking into the ruin of a house where Voldemort was holding his meeting with Pettigrew; that scene was extremely well written.

But I am not paid to be a book critic and my likes and tastes differ from anybody else. The things I notice about these things, others will have the opposite opinions. Enough said.


Anyway, I took the plunge and started writing a novel. My significant other (now ex-S.O.) wouldn’t read it – he read only things that had the word “sports” in it – and suggested I find a writers’ group.

I did just before he moved on to a new S.O., deciding I was insignificant, or something.

The changes actually helped my writing though it was a tough time to live through – funny, pain is always that way – and I found a group of people to help improve my craft.

These other writers, though, had been writing for years, mostly. I was struggling on my first book and some of them had already written ten or more!

Though none of their novels had been published, they certainly knew how to write and my meager attempts were critiqued. Suggestions made and I was learning how to put the words on the page so that the reader would see exactly what I was seeing.

The planning and thinking process was hard. I’m not that organized. Some of the mistakes were repeated in amended drafts and had to be pointed out again and again. I suppose you could say I am a little slow in that regard but writing properly takes a lot of work and commitment. Koen may have taken four years with her first novel but I was beginning to see that it might take longer for mine, even without historical research.

There are so many details to keep track of in the characters, the setting, and the things you need to keep the story “moving along” without sounding like you are simply dragging the characters toward their appointed destinations.

It has to sound real… like, whatever that is, huh?


That is a bit about me.

I am a writer and I hope I can bring something memorable, or at least something meaningful.

Welcome to My Worlds

I am a novelist-in-the-making, but who isn’t, huh?

Everyone has a story to tell, some perhaps more than others. It seems that many people can just come right out and say what their story is – what it is that is important to them – and others have to approach the subject obliquely.

I am a member of that latter category. It might be because I have not found how to say what I need to say but it is probably because I really don’t know yet what it is I am trying to say.

If anything.

Maybe I’ll figure it out, and maybe cows will jump over the moon, but I figure it is really all about the journey.

But I’ll be able to tell you more as the journey unfolds.