Alas, now I’m a little behind on NaNo. Hoping to catch up this weekend, but we’ll see. I have so much on my plate that realistically it’ll be a miracle if I “win” but even if I wrote 30,000, that’ll probably still be the most I’ve written in a month.
Out of curiosity, I read a bit of the novel I wrote when I was 15. Well, the third of a novel–it fizzled out at 31,000 words, but I wrote that 30k in about a month or two. I was torn between being amused, embarrassed, and a little impressed. It’s got weather reports as first lines all over the place, and giant, rambling info dumps, twee concepts, and in some places I was obviously really influenced by the likes of Elizabeth Haydon and Mercedes Lackey. But every now and again I’d stop and go “Holy crap, that bit’s actually not bad.”
This tiny scene below really stood out to me. It’s not perfect and it’s a little pedantic, but it’s not bad. I’ve been ruminating a lot on how writing reflects our beliefs due to my current project, and so going back and reading my first stab at writing has been fascinating. And since that rambling bit of a novel I wrote will definitely never be published, I thought it’d be nice for a few readers to read what I so desperately wanted published back then.
Egan crept into the room at an unholy hour. The door creaked slightly, and he paused and listened to see if she would stir. It was a loud silence.
It was pitch black. The moon was hidden behind the dark clouds, eclipsing the lunar light. Egan padded towards the darkened bed. He perched on the corner of the bed, feeling the soft mattress sink beneath his weight.
“Hello Egan,” she greeted him softly.
“Evening. Actually, I think it’s morning,” he told her, a smile molding his lips.
“You’re probably correct.” She sat up, and the supple blanket fell in folds about her body. “No one saw you?”
“Of course not.” He moved closer to her.
She sighed. “I don’t know what we’re doing, or why we’re deceiving ourselves so. This will never last, unless we want stolen moments and secret passions forever.”
“I know. But Lesley, it can’t be any other way.”
“It can’t,” she agreed. Lesley held out her arms, and Egan moved into the embrace. They sat motionless for a great while, watching the clouds throw patterns against the stained glass window, making the dark beast look as if he were flying.
“What will you do when you leave?” Lesley asked after the long silence. She asked the question at least once a week, always hoping for another answer.
“You know I will never leave. I’m as much a prisoner here as you are, perhaps in some ways even more so.”
“If you could leave, then, what would you do?” Her voice swished against his ear pleasantly.
“I don’t even know what the world is. What are trees? We’ve read about them, in those windows we call books. But have we ever climbed one and ridden out a storm in a pine? Have we had the wind whip our faces red and the rain wash away our troubles? We’ve never walked down a path and not known where it will end. We’ve never even seen a small child. How am I supposed to know what I would do in such a world? Most likely, I fear, I would hide under a bush—which I would have never done before, either—and shiver at the vastness of it all.”
Egan felt Lesley shift slightly against his back, her breasts moving against his shoulder blades. “You’ve never spoken so before,” she whispered.
“I know. I’ve been thinking about it much recently. He gave me a book a few mornings ago where the main character truly enjoys life, and revels in every detail. He runs towards the dawn one morning. When I first read it I thought it was strange, and pointless, because the character truly believed he would reach the sun. Yet now I wish I was him, and could believe in something so completely.”
“He gave me one on religion,” Lesley said thoughtfully. “I wonder if he wonders what conclusions I will draw from it. What I’ve read so far just illustrates the lengths people go and the spectrum of acts people do in the name of a higher power. I know he’ll pick me apart and set the pieces out in front of him, and see how he can best arrange them to his liking. I hate being another one of his experiments. I thought I’d accept it by this time, as it’s been so long. But when there’s nothing else to dwell on, I suppose it’s none too surprising.”
Egan tilted his head back and nuzzled her neck. “We’re all his experiments, just his cerebral ones rather than his physical ones.”
Her torso rose up and down softly against him. “We are.”
Egan kissed her, and they tried to forget about it all, about the books and their petty existence.