I've been diligently working on my latest novel I have creatively named PROJECT THREE. No, that is not the final title, it's just what I'm currently calling this unnamed novel until I figure it out.
So far, the writing is going well. I've hit my word counts everyday and I am on track to having this baby done by the end of the summer. Well, at least the 1st draft.) Since I'm all immersed in it, and feeling very zen and happy, I thought maybe you'd be interested in reading a snippet of it.
Of course, I can't really tell you what it's about, but when I wrote this scene, it really resonated with me. My main character is going through a pretty rough patch, and her feelings are all over the place. **Fair warning--this is unedited, there are mistakes, and most of this will probably change during revisions. Also, I have a love affair with adverbs that I refuse to tame while writing the 1st draft.
Told from my 18 year old heroine's point of view.
Once my feet took off, it was like my body was waking up—living for the first time since Duncan’s death. My muscles flexed, and my lungs expanded. My short, stunted steps elongated, and I lifted myself onto my toes. Leaning slightly forward, I lifted my knees higher, I pushed harder, and I fell into a rhythm, deep breath in, slow exhale. With every breath I imagined the oxygen filling my blood and feeding my tissues. And with every second that passed, exhilaration spread from the top of my head down to the soles of my feet.
The concrete ground beneath my shoes, and with my mind so focused on the task in front of me, there wasn’t room for anything else. No Tilley. No Brooks. No Duncan. No Me. Nothing.
I spurred my feet faster.
I crossed the two blocks to where I’d left my car, but I was in no mood to stop. No mood to slow down. For the first time in six months I could feel my body. I wasn’t numb. I wasn’t a shell of the human I used to be.
Leaping over curbs and bits of uneven pavement, I wound myself through our town until I turned onto my street. Flashes of my old life came back to me, and out of habit or muscle memory, I dug deep and sprinted as hard as I could. Four houses until I was home.
Three. I could almost see Duncan standing on the driveway, waiting for me with that stupid towel.
Two. Everything was burning. Hurting. Dying. Living.
One. Push. Push. Push. PUSH!
My knee gave out, and my ankle rolled. In a spectacular display of gymnastics, I fell—hitting the ground with palms, elbows, and a hip before flipping over my right shoulder and landing on my back. My feet were splayed in the grass, and my head and back were in the street.
Gasping for air, I stared up at the blue sky. Cloudless and pristine. Tears rolled from the corners of my eyes, but they had nothing—NOTHING—to do with the pain that had yet to register on my body, and everything to do with NOW. My life. What I’d become. Duncan.
My chest pinched and made my labored breathing that much more difficult. Stretching my arms out to my sides, I gulped a big breath of air, and when I released it, I did so with a guttural scream that rose from somewhere deep within my soul. It hurt my throat. It scarred my lungs, and when my breath ran out, I did it again. And again.
Until I rolled myself onto my side and curled into a ball to let the rest of my grief puddle at my seams. Bits of sand and rock dug into my skin where I lay, and I imagined myself back in the river--water hurdling over me, shoving me down until my body brushed the rocky bottom, ripping pieces of my skin away.
I sucked in a breath and lifted my head, but it was like I was still caught underwater. Still struggling to breath. Still struggling to hold on.
Duncan’s arm in mine. Slip. Duncan’s hand—limp fingers refusing to grip. Slip. Duncan’s shirt. Hold on. Hold ON!
I curled my hand into my chest, the button from his shirt still buried in my flesh, and pushed to my knees. Breathe, Ash. Just breathe.