It is currently 12:50am, Eastern Standard Time. I'm sitting, as usual, on the big red Victorian sofa in our living room while my boyfriend snoozes behind a closed door several feet away. I am tired, but I'm on a roll!
I've been working diligently today on the novel I promised myself (and the world - see last blog) that I would finally finish this year. I have fine-tooth-combed it up to Chapter Ten, now. And I am taking a break because my brain needs to breathe.
Some background: I started this novel back in 2004. I have the exact date somewhere on an early draft, but I'm thinking it was in March or April, or something like that. I was driving home from dropping off someone at work at around 6 in the morning, and the sun was just starting to come up. I drove past this pond that had a foggy mist hovering just above it, and I thought, "Wow...that looks so beautiful. I want to write about it."
So, I went home and plopped down at the desk in my room, opened a word document on my 1980's Tandy computer, and started typing.
Lots of writers say that the inspirations for their stories have come from simple things such as this - that the story is never born fully-formed. I still am not quite sure where the ideas came from for the world I created and the story that hinges on it. All I know is that it all began because I saw a foggy pond one morning in 2004.
I continued to write the story for a couple of years, eventually abandoning it due to stressful changes in my life such as poverty, divorce, and my father passing away. The story was placed on the back burner until I got my life back together a couple of years after that, and I resumed writing - ultimately finishing the story. This was a huge accomplishment for me, considering I've started writing probably close to forty stories in my life but not even continued past Chapter One, in most cases.
I didn't like the ending I'd written - it was weak - but it was still an ending. I resolved to spend the next year writing a second draft. I made it less than halfway through the book when my life changed, yet again. I moved to a different state and left everything and everyone I knew behind. I wasn't able to focus on writing during this time so the story, once again, fell by the wayside.
I picked it up again, for a third edit, once my life stabilized again. But so much time had passed (over a year) that I'd forgotten where I'd left off and my writing style had changed, so I just figured I'd start over.
Cutting to the chase - I've read and re-written the first three chapters about eight or nine times. And I'm patting myself on the back for finally making it all the way to Chapter Ten this time. And I intend to keep going, full-speed ahead, until I'm finished and have made it something I can be truly proud of.
Then we'll see about publication.
I've not revealed anything about my book in these twelve, going on thirteen, years - not even a synopsis. I have a grand total of three friends, my mother, and my boyfriend who have read any of it or know anything about it.
I'm so confident that I'm close enough to getting this thing completed for good, that I'm comfortable revealing the first chapter of the book I've kept a secret for over twelve years. It's a very short chapter, so I know it's not much to go on. But I'm not ready to reveal any more of it just yet. Perhaps soon, though.
*deep breath* I hope you like it...
His eyes snapped open the instant he heard the voice whisper his name. In the darkness of the bedroom, he struggled to make his eyes focus. His gaze drifted around the room, looking for the source of the voice which had awoken him, but he could see no one.
Then he heard it again.
This time he could tell it was coming from the bathroom down the hall. Carefully crawling out of the bed, he glanced over his shoulder at his wife who was still sound asleep. Silently, he made his way down the hallway to the bathroom. He flipped on the light switch and was surprised to see his old friend, Belle, perched on the edge of the bathtub and looking very grim.
Quickly and quietly closing the door, he approached the small girl whom he had not seen in so long. “What are you doing here?” he spoke softly as he knelt down next to her.
Belle looked up at him with the saddest eyes he had ever seen. “Noctros, you have to come back.”
The man she referred to as “Noctros” sighed heavily. “Belle, I haven't been Noctros for many years now. You know that. And I can't go back.”
“But you have to! We need you! Everyone is in great danger...”
“I can't, Belle,” Noctros interrupted sadly. “I live here with my new family and I can't abandon them. I'm trying to make a fresh start with my life.”
“But he's planning to take over and you're the only one who can stop him! Don't you see? We need you!” Belle pleaded, her large childish eyes brimming with tears.
“He killed my whole family years ago, Belle. He ruined my first attempt at life. I can't go back. I actually want to live out my life this time.”
“That's exactly why we need you! He thinks you're dead! He's going to try to take over because he thinks you won't be around to stop him! We all need you, Noctros. If you don't come, then we'll all die!” Belle's soft tears turned into anguished sobs.
Taking her tiny thin hands in his, he said quietly, “I just can't, Belle. I'm sorry.”
Belle looked up at him, her sad expression hardening to one of concern. “Noctros...I need to tell you something.”
Noctros raised his eyebrows inquisitively, but didn't speak.
She hesitated a moment, then looked deeply into his eyes. “Your son is alive.”
Noctros felt his heart leap into his throat and when he tried to speak he choked on his words. Regaining himself, he managed to whisper, “How you do know that?”
“Because I've seen him,” Belle replied. “He's there. And he'll die if you don't come and help us. He'll die along with the rest of us.”
Noctros let out a deep breath as he stood up and ran his hands over his face and through his hair. Even with all he had been through, this choice that was in front of him now was the most difficult one of his life. “Stay with the family I've got now and let my son die...or leave my family forever in order to save my son,” he murmured aloud.
Belle looked up at him with her sad pleading eyes. “Come back Noctros. I know you love your family but you can't ignore who you are and who you've always been. We all need you – your son needs you.”
“Belle, my family needs me, too.”
The small girl nodded silently.
Sighing deeply, Noctros dropped his hands to his sides and closed his eyes. He could only hope that he wouldn't regret the decision he was about to make.
Please leave a comment letting me know what you think (please don't be overly critical, though...I'm not ready for that, just yet). If for some reason the comment thingy below doesn't work, please send me a message with your thoughts. You can message me on Facebook at Facebook.com/IAmLeahMouse or send a message via this website here.