Well November is over! I don’t remember much of it, but I’m 66.5K words into a WIP, so I haven’t noticed much. Had the day off today and wanted to get a good chunk of the climax chapter in the can. Didn’t happen.
Not ready to call it block, I think it is a bit of writer’s fatigue. The old brain is just tired. And I think this part of the story needs to cook a little longer. I know what needs to happen, but I don’t know how to say it yet. That’s the way I write, like a cat stalking a mouse. I watch it, study it, look at it from a different angle and then I pounce. Right now, the little sucker is over in the corner munching on cheese.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this story. Although I’m still surprised at the supernatural elements in it. I never imagined I’d be writing stories about cute Gypsy boy witches and fairies, but there you go. You know, once you go dragon, you can end up anywhere.
I also probably need to see a professional about the apparent obsession I have with oral sex and the magical proprieties of male reproductive fluids. My editor tells me not to worry about it, but, well it’s me, so I worry. I really didn’t want to write a story with this much adult content, but what is more magical than sex and love?
I hope to have this sucker (pun so intended) done in the new year. With all of my current projects I’m working on, I find it amusing that this will probably be my first full length story published. But cranking out over 60 thousand words in four weeks will make you want to get the thing done!
Below is the first draft of the opening of the story. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
By Stephen del Mar
(rough draft excerpt)
“Okay, this is bullshit.” Paul climbed down the ladder from the barn’s loft. “We have to admit Uncle Wolfgang was a nutter and a hoarder.” He held out a little box to me. “Look at this! A box of dust. Shelves and shelves of junk and a pewter box of dust.”
I took the box from him. The silver-gray metal chilled may hand. I rubbed some of the crud from the cover. “Look,” I said. “You think these are real rubies?” Red stones inset into the box’s top formed a circle. They glowed in the dim light.
Paul wiped sweat from his forehead. “Rubies? Right. I say fuck it. We’re gonna sell this place anyway. Let the new owners deal with the mess. They’re going to bulldoze it all for development.”
My hand tightened on the cold little box. “You really want to sell this place then?”
Paul slapped dirt from his jeans and pulled at the cobwebs stuck to his shirt. “Why would we keep it? What the hell are we going to do with a run down old citrus farm? Most of the trees were froze out when Father was a boy.”
I hated that he was right. “But this was the center of our family. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”
He walked to the barn door and slid it open. The old slider groaned. They had a hell of a time getting it open this morning. “Look. You are younger. Maybe you remember it different. All I remember is coming out here for Thanksgiving and Christmas and listing to the stories about escaping the Nazis. And of course all the guilt about the ones that didn’t make it. Then there was the tension between Grandpa and Wolfgang. You almost think he wished Wolfgang hadn’t made it out. But we never heard any stories about that. The big open wound in this family we all pretended didn’t exist oozed on everything. I get that that shit fucked them up, but they let it fuck up their kids and grandkids. I won’t have it do the same to my family. I won’t.”
I didn’t want to hear this. Paul always blamed Grandpa and Uncle Wolfie for our family problems.
He went on, “Don’t you remember the fights Mom and Dad had about coming here?”
I pressed the cold box against my stomach. “No,” I lied.
Paul shook his head. “You are never going to admit why Dad killed himself and Mom left are you?”
I looked past Paul through the open door. The summer thunderstorm had past and steam rose from the gravel yard between the old farm house and the barn. “He killed himself because he was depressed.”
“Exactly.” Paul stepped out into the yard. He looked up at the sky, then back at me. “And then we had to live in his hell hole. I don’t understand why you stayed as long as you did.”
“This was my home.”
He stuck his hands in his pockets and shook his head. “You can keep whatever you want from here. I’m done with it. I’ll call the Realtor in the morning. Are you sure you want to spend the night here?”
“I… I want to say goodbye.”
Paul said, “I did that years ago.” He turned and walked toward his car.
I sat down on an old wooden crate and waited for him to leave. I didn’t have any argument left in me. I pulled a bandanna out of my back pocket and started rubbing the box. Maybe if I could rub away the decades worth of dirt, cobwebs and rat piss, I could rub away some of the family stain of crazy. The door on Paul’s car slammed, the engine revved, and then tires crunched on the gravel as he drove away.
I got up and walked to the barn door. The rising humidity softened the old farm house like something from a memory. It was two stories of white-washed clapboard and a rusting tin roof. The screened porch that ran around the house sagged. I’d stocked the fridge with food and beer. I hadn’t seen Paul in a year and a half. I hoped he’d want to stay and talk. I was wrong. I stepped out into the sun and my boots crunched on the gravel as I headed for the house. Well I could still sit on the back porch, have a beer, and remember by myself.