I promise, I'm writing

A few years ago, I was churning out books so fast it made my head spin. When I started working full time, that changed. It took me a while to get used to the difference of pace and realize that just because I ceased sprinting, did not mean I chose to stand still. I am still writing, though less consistently and much slower. This is necessary both because of the time and energy I am devoting to my new job, and also because of the sacredness of my current piece.

"Sacredness," I realize, sounds dramatic. But it's the most accurate word I can use to explain it. This book, these characters, are the most me I've ever written down on paper (or screen). It's scary to see it become a thing and with so much left unwritten, I'm worried about not getting it out right. Classic first draft fear. But I am writing. I promise. I'm carving time to bring it all to life.

I wanted to share an excerpt from a chapter. There are many more significant segments of writing that have to do with the exciting bits of plot, but I like this one quite a lot. For one of the main characters, it's a flash of falling, something so big that usually happens in the smallest of times, in the plainest of moments. It's a scene of sudden, surprising surety and stillness. I've already teased a line of it, but here's more.

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“Switch places with me,” Theo said.

“What?” Scottie looked behind him, next to him. “Why?”

“Do me a favor, will you? Quick.”

Eyebrows pinched, Scottie stood so Theo could take his seat. He sat back down where Theo had been sitting next to James and leaned his elbows on the tabletop, tuning back into the conversation at hand--which Lewis now controlled.

Theo waited, but it wasn’t long.

She arrived next to him, gentle, still, and silent. It was a moment that was subtle in its significance, but inevitable in its occurrence. Anticipation and relief ran through Theo’s veins. Serendipity swept through the air, bringing a chill more unshakable than the November noise raging outside. With her by his side, he experienced an anxiety like never before, but when she spoke, his nerves realigned themselves. For the first time, he settled.

“Gin, please.”

Without having heard her speak before, he was immediately familiar with the song of her voice. It was as intimate as a dream, as startling as dejavu. Already, he knew her--in the way he knew fear and pleasure, of goosebumps rising before mouths met and parted.

It was only a stuttering second, but everything changed. How impossible that something as casual as a girl ordering a drink would seem so momentous.

When he turned, she was looking at him.

Up close, she was even more unbelievable. She had hollowed cheeks and small ears that she tucked her hair behind with practiced poise. Pink and porcelain-skinned, Theo wondered what his dark hand would look like against her flushed chest, what his fingers would become if they were to run over the wings of her collarbone and slip farther down.

The solidity of the ground slipped beneath his feet. The Earth spun on without him while she was within such close proximity. Vertigo, he remembered James saying earlier. She was the cliff he stood at the edge of, inches from disaster. He’d relish the fall; it would feel like flying.

“Nice camera.”

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