Thursday, February 5, 2009


Today I organized the novel I'm working on. Up until this point, it was a massive blob of words and sections and dates scattered throughout four different word documents, and two different journals. For someone who prides herself in being organized, I was really quite disgusted with myself. 

So after several hours of typing, copying and pasting, and reading Coraline to reward myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have 9,262 words of my novel written, equaling 37 pages and roughly six chapters so far. 

Here is an excerpt of a very-new section I recently wrote:

[Clara, one of the main characters, is reflecting. Rebecca is her step-mother.]


My earliest memory is of waiting. Sitting in the car, my feet dangling from the seat. It was cold outside, and my stockings did not keep the cold from tingling the fine hairs on my legs. My mittens were worn, but my hands still warm. Mother had made the mittens, so they were made well.

I could see my breath in the car. I imagined that I was a man--one of my father's friends, maybe--smoking a cigar out by the cow barn. I blew a puff of air: white, like a cloud. Like the mist that sits on the back pond on winter mornings.

I was waiting for Rebecca. She had errands, she had said, as she pinned curls around her ears and neck. But we didn't go to the post office or the bank or even McMillen's feed store to buy oats. Instead, the car was parked outside a small brick house just outside of town, and Rebecca has said, "Be quiet, like a little mouse, and I'll be back in a piece."

And now, my memory fails me as to how long I sat waiting, and to whether or not I began to lose the feeling in my toes or the tip of my nose. But I do remember Rebecca returning, a single pin from a curl above her ear sliding from her dark hair. She turned, her own breath in the air like the fire from a dragon, not a cloud like my own had been. She said, "Now you just go ahead and forget about this little stop here, Clara." Her breath smelled stale and thick. "And if I hear one word of it out of you, we'll have to get the wooden spoon out."

I remember my breath was frosty almost the whole way home until the car finally warmed just before we turned onto our lane.

L. Stacks


AJ said...

Hello! I like your blog and writings. It certainly has potential!!

Take care :)

Adam Morgan said...

Congrats on 10K words; that's a fifth of the average novel (though I like them shorter).

I like this excerpt. You imply a mountain with a handful of words. And the sense-perceptions are engaging. Of course, I feel a little sadder after reading it, but I'm used to that now :)

Jamie Winger said...

yes, good going on the word count!

NiC said...

Lauren! I love your blog! Its so fun finding more bloggers out there! I'm going to add you to my reader! :)