My Current Project
It’s said that those who experience a life-threatening event see their whole life flash before their eyes.
What if a fetus, at the moment they feel their limbs about to be torn asunder in abortion, see their whole unlived life flash before their eyes?
Young Marla is haunted by nightmares of being in the womb, terrified by the prospect of having her whole life—everything she’ll ever have and everything she ever will be—taken from her.
The Girl Who Loved Cigars, a working title, is my new work in progress. It’s been nearly two years since I finished my last novel and I’ve been itching to start a new one. After kicking around two ideas for several months I finally settled on this one and set pen to paper.
I love new projects, but it’s a love-hate relationship. I love them because… well, they’re new, fresh. The ideas for characters, story, plot twists flow freely. The downside is they’re new, fresh. Ideas abound, which results in a lot of starts and stops, and false starts. It takes me a while to settle in, to become intimately involved with the characters, and settle on a theme.
The Girl Who Loved Cigars promises to be my most challenging write to date. I’ve written several short stories from a woman’s perspective, but never a novel. It’s intimidating, and I fear I won’t be able to pull it off, to write convincingly from a woman’s point of view. I don’t know whether I’m good enough to succeed. But I do know I’m ready to try.
Below is a short excerpt.
The Girl Who Loved Cigars
Floating, warm and safe and consoled by the rhythm of life, in a black hole of perpetual darkness. Not blinded by obscurity, uncaring of lack of sense of sight, taste, touch, and smell. Nothing exists in this comforting crèche to delight or disenchant. Nothing, save the bean.
Muffled sounds—voices; words mean nothing. Cadences of varying tempos, some canorous, soothing; others cacophonous, unsettling…
Accosted by upset, fear, anger: emotions not understood but eschewed; embracing, always seeking to commune with the constant rhythm of life. The voices intensify—short, clipped words. Meaningless, they communicate dismay and rage and pain…
Passage of time has no meaning. Not hours, days or weeks to mark the growth of the bean—constant change. Evolution, becoming… unquenchable thirst.
Stirred by sorrow followed by immense misery. Sobbing, the darkness wracked by great waves of anguish, then dizziness and a feeling of sickness followed by euphoria. But the euphoria, too, nauseates, alters. Turns perfection into something… less perfect.
More time passes, and as it does, changes come. The rhythm of life distorts. Still floating, still warm, the previous tranquility gone, replaced at first by indifference, then a growing loathing, directed at the bean that has done nothing save only desire to grow, to become more, to seek meaning, find acceptance. To love and be loved…
In time immeasurable, more words, filled with vitriol, spoken by a single voice, hurled at the bean. After the words comes acceptance, the umbrage gone, replaced by a singular purpose that frightens…
The seat of creation is preemptively invaded. The fluid that sustains drains; air rushes past unformed ears, lungs sear, pressure exerts on limbs.
In that split second, as the pain grows to excruciating proportions but just before being torn asunder, unlived lives flash before unseeing eyes…