I meant to post last week; I really did!
But I was having the time of my life … I spent the week in Hudson, Wisconsin, in a tiny apartment above a garage. It was quaint– just what I needed!
Every day, I would wake up, get ready for the day, and then get down to business: WRITING. I spent probably 12+ hours a day working on the young adult novel I’m writing. To some people, that sounds like a description of HELL.
But I loved it! Writing is so energizing to me– and challenging and rewarding and spiritual.
I am very nearly finished with a new draft of my story. Would you like to meet one of the characters? His name is Silas.
Here’s a brief excerpt (West and Silas are partners for the summer doing car detailing):
Silas and I spent the rest of that week together, and I quickly determined that he was absolutely crazy—but the very best kind. One morning he showed up at my house wearing an honest-to-goodness windbreaker suit straight out of the 90’s, purple, mint green, and what is best described as neon salmon. I could feel the goofy grin on my face while Silas gathered our supplies from my garage. “What?” he deadpanned. “What are you staring at?”
I rolled my eyes but played along. “Your windbreaker is just so …”
“Fetching?” he interjected. “Voguish? Swanky?”
“Hot,” I said. “Just all out sexy. Screw trends. The 90’s neon just exudes sex appeal.”
“Well, I thought so myself.”
And after the sun was high in the sky and the pavement was heating up, he took off the windsuit, revealing shorts and a New Moon t-shirt beneath, Edward Cullen’s pale face dramatically screenprinted on the front. “Vader’s competition,” he said, shrugged, and started vacuuming the floors of the Corolla left in our care.
He talked about the strangest things. “Can you ever really prove anything? How?” or “I read about this composer who said his abstract music went ‘to the brink’—that beyond it lay complete chaos. What would that look like? Complete chaos?” or “A group of moles is called a labor; a group of toads is called a knot. Who comes up with this stuff? It’s a bouquet of pheasants, a murder of crows, a storytelling of ravens, a lamentation of swans. A lamentation of swans, West!”
We sat in the backseat of a dusty Saturn one afternoon, trading off the handheld vacuum as we talked—or rather, shouted—over its noise. I ran the hand-vac over the back of the driver’s seat, while Silas said, “I used to think I was the only one with a crush on Emily Dickinson until a couple years ago.”
“You have a crush on Emily Dickinson?”
“Did you just ‘durr’ me? Is that like a ‘duh’?”
He nodded as I handed him the Dirt Devil. “But then I read this Don Miller book that says it’s a rite of passage for any thinking American man. I still wasn’t a hundred percent sure, but then I read this Billy Collins poem called ‘Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes.’”
Just the title made me blush.
Silas, unruffled, continued, “The end of it talks about how he could hear her inhale and sigh when he undid the top fastener of her corset, ‘the way some readers sigh when they realize/that Hope has feathers,/that reason is a plank,/that life is a loaded gun/that looks right at you with a yellow eye.’”
Silas sighed unhappily.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I finally made it into the backseat with a girl,” Silas cracked, looking hard at the Dirt Devil. “This is not all I was hoping it would be.”
I slugged him in the arm while his wry smile gave way to laughter.