December 31, 2014

"You don't need magic..."

I've been working on a novella (for the past six years or so) which finally seems to be coming together. Some stories take me longer than others. This one is about a writer on deadline (wow, doesn't that sound familiar?) who rents a "magical" writing cottage in order to finish her book. The cottage proves quaint and cozy, but not particularly magical. However, the neighbor has a few powerful tricks up his sleeve.

The writer's one wish—at least at first—is to kick start her story into place. Her wishes change as the tale progresses.

Hopefully, the piece will be wrapped up in the next few weeks. My writer character is not the only one with a deadline breathing down her neck!

Fabulous Make My Wishes Come True board is by Decoy Lab.

Here is a snip of my wip:

When I moved into the tiny little poet’s cottage in the dandelion-rich yard on Greer Road, I had no idea that my world would take a turn for the bizarre. What I’d left behind was a normal enough life. I’d been a reference librarian at a small liberal arts college on the east coast. I was writing my book. My book. The book that never seemed to get past chapter four.
            This was my do-or-die year. Twenty-nine. I’d given myself until thirty to have to novel finished. Six years out of grad school. Twelve years after high school. There were no more excuses.
            By shopping second hand, never eating out, forgoing all but the most basic necessities, I had saved up enough money for six months’ rent. I was going to finish this fucker, and then I could decide what to do next.
            That the plan, anyway.
            And then I met Tripp.
            The last of the boxes remained stocked on my tiny porch. The front gate still hung ajar. I had my battered jeans on and a shirt that was well past saving. He strolled up the front path with two mugs of coffee in his hand, and he said, “Welcome.”
            “Thank you,” I said, surprised. Welcome to my house? You’re welcome for the coffee? I was taken aback for a moment because I’d had no interaction with anyone for several days. Aside from slipping my card into gas station pumps and curt nods to vendors at cheap sandwich joints, I hadn’t talked to a soul.
            “French roast,” he said, offering one of the cups. “My guess is that you haven’t plugged your pot in.”
            I didn’t even know where my pot was at this point. I gratefully accepted the coffee and sat on the porch step. He put out his free hand and introduced himself. “Tripp Johnson,” he said. “Your neighbor. Your only neighbor, actually.”
            I looked to where he was nodding and saw the white house across the street. We were on a sort of cul-de-sac, off of a rarely used road. I’d chosen the spot because I needed no distractions. I’d believed, for six years, that the library would do me good. Quiet, hushed tones all day would set me up for hours of productivity in the evening. No such luck. Somehow being surrounded by books had stifled me. Left me tongue-tied. I’d spent too many nights watching old movies on video. Then I’d gotten rid of the video and spent too many nights watching nothing at all. Sheafths of paper bought in a hopeful mood grew dusty. My printer disconnected itself out of despondency. The words refused to come.
            “So you live in that big place by yourself?”
            He shrugged and nodded at the same time. The house was two-story, painted white, with dark red shutters. The lawn was well kept until it ran to wilderness at the edges. There was a mint-condition vintage silver Mercedes in the drive. I wondered what he thought of my tiny hatchback that had been, until minutes before, stuffed with all of my remaining possessions.
            “Mostly by myself,” he said between sips of coffee. “Occasionally, I have visitors.”
            The way he said visitors made me think of aliens. There was something slightly, only ever so slightly odd about Tripp. Visitors, I repeated, nodding, as if I understood.
            But I didn’t understand anything. Not then. Not yet.
            “And you’re from Massachusetts?” he asked, surprising me.
            My eyes must have gone wide, because he said, “License plate. I saw it when I walked over.”
            That made sense.
            He seemed to be waiting for me to agree that I was from Massachusetts, because he simply sat and sipped his coffee until I said, “I quit my job and came here to finish my novel.”
            “A novel,” he beamed. “The last tenant was working on a screenplay. The one before that was compiling a book of poetry.”
            “The cottage is advertised as a magical writer’s retreat,” I said. “Hopefully, the magic will work.”
            “You don’t need magic,” Tripp said, standing. “You just need discipline.”

That's what I'm working on this New Year's Eve. I hope the end of your 2014 is spectacular and that the New Year brings much joy.


1 comment:

Miz Angell said...

ooooh! *shivers* Sounds delightful.