Thanks so much for the comments from yesterday. You all are truly a blessing.
Well, it’s Wednesday, and I am now officially 4 work days behind in my page count. I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday. A very frightening epiphany. Methinks I shall remain in such sorry state for the rest of my life when it comes to starting a new book. It’s the weirdest thing, the way my brain works in writing. I really would like to have the entire plot figured out when I start a new book. You see, I don’t like being spontaneous. I like things planned out. To the hilt. No surprises. (I save them for my poor characters).
I really am a very boring person.
So you think my brain would work that way in building a new story. Able to plan. Able to leap tall story structures with a single bound. But no—I get the premise, the basic twists . . . and no more. I am doomed to start the book—and rely on spontaneity. It’s like pulling teeth. (No, no, please, don’t get me started on the dentist thing.) I stare at the blank page—and start to sweat. No, it’s worse than that. I’m so scared of staring at the blank page, I can’t even get myself to open the file.
Man. I’m hopeless. I think somebody Up There got me mixed up with an author.
Because my brain is fried, and it’s going on 10 p.m. (as I write this Tuesday night), I have little more to offer you today than the first page or so of Coral Moon. Draft version, of course. If it makes it into the manuscript at all, which my last prologue . . . did not. Well, actually, it did make it. It just got . . . moved.
Kill and live. Let live—and die.
The words burned. Through his retinas, into his brain, back, back, to the innermost center of neurons and synapses. There they bubbled and frothed like hot acid, eating away at his soul.
Only a crazy person would follow this command.
He slapped both hands to his ears, cradled his head. Pushed in, squeezing, until the pressure battled the pain inside. His eyes screwed shut, mind pleading for the horrific message to be gone when they reopened. He hung there, cut off from the outer world, attention snagging on the life sounds of his body. The whoosh of breath, the beat of his heart.
The words boiled.
Soon the pressure grew too great to bear. He pulled his hands away, let them fall to his sides. The kitchen spun. He edged to a chair and dropped into it. Bent forward and pulled in air until the dizziness passed. Clutching hope, he turned his gaze once again to the table. The note was still there.
How did they get in here?
His shoulders slumped. What a stupid question. As if they lacked stealth, as if mere walls and locked entrances could keep them out. He’d been down the hall in his bedroom watching TV, the door wide open, yet had heard nothing. Hadn’t even sensed their presence as he pushed off the bed and walked with blithe ignorance to the kitchen for some water.
A chill blew over his feet.
His eyes bugged, then slowly scanned the room. Over white refrigerator and oak cabinets, wiped down counters and empty sink. To the threshold of the kitchen, leading into the hallway. There his gaze lingered as the chill worked his way up to his ankles. It had to be coming from the front of the house. His skin oozed sweat, sticky fear spinning down over him like the web of a monstrous spider. Trembling, he pulled himself out of the chair. For a moment he clung to the smooth table edge, ensuring his balance. Then slowly, heart beating in his throat, he forced himself across the floor, around the corner, through the hall and toward the front door.
It hung open a few inches.
His breath caught. They were taunting him . . .
Do I like this? I don’t know. I guess. Maybe, kinda. Was fun slipping the spider thing in there. Heh-heh.
In my next life, I am seriously going for that sitting-on-the-couch,-watchin’-Oprah,-eatin’-bonbons-gig.