Things to Adore

…a pinhole look into the life of one not-so-ordinary girl.

Here it is, my yet-to-be named book.

This is an excerpt from a book I’ve been writing (on and off) for 3 years this month. I am seriously lacking an interesting plot and ending. (the meat of any story!) I have ideas about who the girl is and what I want her to “do” and “be”, but I have nothing substantial as far as plot goes and how the story will play out. I have other characters, as well, that I will not introduce today. If I am not horrified by responses, I may post more of what I have sometime soon and possibly even start working on it again. It’s been months since I last sat down to write more of it.

Prologue

The tale that follows these pages few
I hope will stick in your mind and stew.
Partly its purpose is indeed to please;
But not the pleasure acquired with ease.

The girl demands some thought on your part.
She will tug, push, and squeeze at your heart.
You have to know who you’re meant to be
To know where she’s from and going, you see?

This lane is not where you ought to go,
It is simply a mindset I’d like to bestow.
And in the midst of it all, keep in mind:
In life, your own way is hardest to find.

The Story:

Once above a time, there was a girl wandering down a lane. The lane could’ve stretched along a countryside; in a wood; or even through a park. Few knew where the lane was. Even the girl didn’t know where the lane was because the trees didn’t look anything like she had ever seen before. Usually that fact wouldn’t necessarily be remarkable to a person, but to this girl, it was remarkable.

This girl was not yet an adult, but she wasn’t a child, either. Although, if you asked her, she’d say she was an old soul; like a grandmother who could sit with any passerby for hours and never want for wisdom to share. This girl of wise adolescence, on this particular day, along this specific lane, wore a white blouse with a collar and short sleeves made of lace. The blouse was delicately tucked into the beloved, floral skirt her mother made for her. She never, on any kind of notable day, wore any other kind of skirt than those her mother made for her. While she looked around, the girl realized this had already turned out to be a notable day.

The trees were the only thing she could see around her besides the slight, green vegetation and a few scattered animals. Some trees were tall; some short; some had pokey thorns instead of bark; some had fruit; others had leaves; some had no blossom of any kind; and others had not even a sprout of a branch on them.

The girl looked around her and found this place, whatever it was, quite a curious place. Everything seemed different along the lane. Everything was strangely calm there, like the eye of a storm; but without the expectation of the returning darkness that the eye usually holds. The girl had seen a storm just like that once. She remembered sitting in her room waiting for her windows to break. She shook her head and forced those thoughts out of her mind. She focused on the task at hand and continued to walk upon the lane, which was rising up a small hill.

She didn’t know time there. The sun didn’t move in the sky. After what seemed like an hour she started counting her steps. After fifty steps, she noticed the trees were beginning to get scarce. After five hundred and twenty-eight steps, to the right of her and five feet off the lane, she saw a lone tree. It was an older looking tree. There was some bark missing from it in some places. In other places, it looked like the bark had been put back on because it was green, like a new tree.

As she moved closer to the tree, she noticed that a little girl, a child, was sitting at the edge of where the tree’s trunk met the ground. The child looked so familiar to the girl. She noticed they both had the same shade of auburn hair, but there was still something else familiar that she couldn’t figure out. The child was skinny, boney; she had sharp edges for all of her joints. There was a kind of sweetness about her as she moved her body – such deliberate tenderness in one so young.

She moved closer, hoping the child would look up so she could get a better look at her face. Regarding the child’s every move, the girl saw her take something square and green in her hand and whisper something to it. Then, she kissed it. The child put the green thing on the bare place of the old tree. After she’d done that, it looked like a welder’s torch was shining out from the inside of the tree, cauterizing every edge until it was perfectly sealed closed.

“Amazing” the girl blurted out loud.

That startled the child. She looked up to face the girl, who was standing still, just off the lane.

What a strange thing to do, the girl thought. Who kisses green swatches? That’s it! Swatches. Like what Mom would get from the paint store when she was figuring out what color she wanted for my room.

“Hello!” said the child, in a soft, but very sure voice.

“What were you whispering to the green swatch on the tree?”

“I tell all the green places my story” said the child.

“Why do you do that?”

“So they’ll heal and age along with the rest of the tree. So they won’t be stuck green forever.”

“Oh…” said the girl, not really comprehending exactly what that meant.

The child turned around and began her work again.

The girl was grateful for such a polite dismissal. Without questioning, she turned and kept walking. She felt relieved that she wasn’t the one who had to end the conversation. She’d never been very good at ending conversations. She still wondered what was so familiar about the child, but she thought it best to let her get back to her strange, yet very effective, activity.

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10 comments on “Here it is, my yet-to-be named book.

  1. Amanda
    March 31, 2012

    Maeve,

    I think this is a great start and it’s very well written; one of the things I learned in college as a Screenwriting major is to have some sort of conflict in nearly every scene. It doesn’t have to be big, but it keeps the audience invested in your main character. You may already have this written, but an opportunity for conflict could be why the girl has chosen to walk down the lane in the first place. Also, another thing that helped me was to do a character outline, which you may have already done. What are her strengths and weaknesses ? What are her fears? What’s her family life like ? You don’t have to write about any of this in your story, but knowing your character well could help you develop a meatier plot.

    Again, great writing! I’m excited to see what else you’ll let us read.

    • Maeve
      April 1, 2012

      Thanks, Amanda. I do have more written which includes a conflict, but not with the girl. It has to do with two male figures that the girl encounters on the lane.
      The main thing I want to keep only hinting at almost until halfway through the book, is the fact that the girl knows how she got there (but the reader won’t find out until later) but slowly finds out her purpose for being there.

      I have done somewhat of a character outline on her and others, but I know I need to develop each one more. Especially, if I’m going to like my story at all – let alone share it with others!

      Thank you… Hope you’re well.
      Maeve

  2. hannahstoney
    April 2, 2012

    Ooh, I like it — it’s a little bit Brothers Grimm meets Labyrinth! It’s got an ancient, folkloric feel. I like the way that the language is simple but there are all of these quirks and mysteries. What age group is it aimed at?

    • Maeve
      April 2, 2012

      Han, I appreciate the comment! I get a little intimidated if I consider it aimed at “adults”. I usually write more frequently and get less stumped if I think of it being aimed at young adults (whatever works, right?). That’s not to say it won’t change, especially depending on how long it takes me to finish it!

  3. hannahstoney
    April 5, 2012

    yes, I thought it seemed like a young adult level. It seems like there is some great stuff going on in literature for that age range right now. Have you read The Hunger Games? I haven’t, I’m late to the party when it comes to young adult fiction.

    • Maeve
      April 6, 2012

      I read the Hunger Games books a couple summers ago and highly recommend them. My sister-in-law suggested them to me, otherwise, I am late to any party concerning new music and literature, usually!
      It’s a lot harder for me to stay in the know about books than music. I’m not exactly sure why, but perhaps it’s because I like a wider range of literature genres than I do music genres.
      Anyhow, have you ever read “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith? That’s my go-to book. It’s an instantly interesting, eccentric, and so well-written read about a 17 year old English girl named Cassandra who lives in an abandoned castle with her quirky family. You may recognize the author’s name. She was a famous playwright in the 30s and 40s. “I Capture the Castle” was her first novel. There’s also a cute movie based on it on Netflix or at the library.
      Ok, I’m done. I’m sorry! haha

  4. dianabletter
    April 9, 2012

    Maeve, this is a wonderful start. I really like your calm and collected writing but there’s the sense that something is happening – or about to happen – in the background. You’ve also piqued my interest with the green-swatch memory of her mother. Keep writing! Diana
    http://www.thebestchapter.com

    • Maeve
      April 9, 2012

      Diana, thank you so much for reading and commenting on this! I appreciate your encouragement to keep writing. It always helps my motivation!

  5. jemtree
    May 16, 2012

    I just love your style of writing! It’s fun, whimsical, old fashioned, educated, descriptive, and unique all in one! I told David he has to read your excerpt, then I read a couple of your fabulously worded sentences, and he’s intrigued, too. Excellent!

  6. Maeve
    May 16, 2012

    Jemtree, thank you so much! Wow, I am extremely encouraged by your opinion of the excerpt. If you have the time, what sentences specifically caught your eye?
    Thank you thank you!!!

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2012 by in My Writing, Novel and tagged , , , , .
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