Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the beginning...

NaNoWriMo begins today...and I still don't know whose voice I'm using for the book. I like Adam's, but that means alternating with Casey in the telling of the story and I don't like the idea of bouncing back and forth, in this one. That worked in Bobby Carapisi because of how I set it up -- first a long section on just Eric, then a long section on just Bobby, then back and forth in a way to keep the story moving forward...and that doesn't work for this.

I do like a section I wrote in third person, albeit not quite omniscient. Dealing with Adam reading The Blood of Others and talking about it with his mother (since his father had not read it). The moment takes place around the dinner table, and his brothers and sister needle him over it.


He took three days to complete the book, which was unlike him. Normally once he began reading something, all else fell by the wayside. But this book was problematic. He found Jean to be tiresome in his questioning and Marie to be clingy, someone who feels incomplete without a man at her side, even as the world raced to war. It kept changing from first to third person, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, and the ending was a cheat. No honest reason for why she changed her mind about helping Jean, and no explanation as to how she'd been mortally wounded. As if it didn't matter. He told his mother all of this over Sunday dinner.

She smiled. "I thought as much. Do you remember when you read Anna Karenina, last year? How you'd come to me about passages you found exceptional?"

Connor laughed. "Levin reaping wheat with the peasants. It's poetry, POETRY, I say!"

Beryl laughed and swatted him then cast a look at Adam, as if to say, See? I'm telling him to be nice.

Mum gave them a warning smile. "You two will behave or you will see no dessert."

They'd both put on very serious faces.

Adam tossed them his best condescending gaze and said, "Actually, the best part of that book was when Levin and Kitty acknowledged how they felt about each other by using only initials traced into a felt table covering." Then he turned to his mother. "You didn't like The Blood of Others, did you?"

"I felt it a story about an indecisive man who was completely involved in his own thoughts, to the exclusion of others, and a weak, clinging woman who forced him to love her. All for nothing."

"But Anna and Vronsky give up everything for each other -- family, position, wealth -- only to have it fall apart."

"They did it for love ... or lust, if you prefer. Which at least was understandable."

"Is that you're going to do, Adam?" Beryl said in a voice dripping with honey. "Ruin yourself for a great passion?"

David did not stop eating as he said, "Only if it's a lad he plays footy with. He's the poof of the family."

"Don't be ridiculous," Adam shot back.

"Would that matter, David?" Mum asked, her face letting him know what his answer had better be.

He didn't even look up from his plate to see it. He just said, "Naw, he's our Adam. Don't matter one way or the other."

"Adam will love someone from afar," Beryl sighed, "and hope someday she'll notice and love him back."

"And wank him off in the lavatory," laughed Connor.

At that, Adam had taken his water and poured it onto Connor's plate. "No dessert till you finish dins."

"What the devil is wrong with you?" Connor snapped. "It's just water."

"Then lap at it," Adam growled, "like a dog."

Connor tightened his hand into a fist but Mum's smile shut that off. "Adam's right. Finish it."

Connor huffed and eyed his plate. "What is the dessert?"

"Angel Delight," said Mum. "Butterscotch. And I wonder whose favorite that is?"

He wrinkled his nose then took the plate and brought it to his lips ... and dumped it on Adam. "No, thank you."

"Then I'll take his," said Adam, not letting himself react. "And maybe I'll offer it to Patricia Conklin. You do fancy her, don't you?"

Connor rose. Adam did not move. Their mother stood and so very sweetly said, "I think you two boys need to be in separate rooms. Adam, your father's office. Connor, the telly. Lose yourselves in them."

Connor smirked. "Fine by me. Manchester's playing in half an hour." And he wandered away.

Beryl shook her head at Adam. "He almost hit you."

"Oh? You think?" Then Adam rose, wiped himself off and sauntered into his father's office, a tight room filled with stacks of books recently purchased and being researched. And did not allow himself the luxury of collapsing into anger until he was safely away from everyone in a room where he felt safe. There, he figured he could quietly rant and rave for an hour, until Mum came to tell him it was all right for him to rejoin the family.

But fifteen minutes later, they received the call from the Newcastle constabulary. His father had fallen down a flight of stairs at the train depot and was seriously injured. Mum packed them all into her Peugeot and they raced up to be with him. Drove all night.

He died minutes before they arrived.

No comments: