I’m joining Write-A-Go-Go in hopes of motivating myself to finish my 2006 NaNovel, which I still love muchly, despite not having looked at it in something like three months. Um. Oops. So anyway, I’m planning on posting my progress, possibly excerpts, and random brainstorming-ness here. Should be fun! My commitment is 3,000 words a week, for the next 3 months, starting… well, now, I guess. Monday, March 12, 2006.
My novel is an urban fantasy road trip novel. More or less. And a couple of excerpts to start?
This one’s expository, but it gives some info about the world in a (hopefully) far more interesting way than me simply explaining.
After Lisel left, I spent a long time wandering around my apartment, picking things up, putting them down again. Most of them weren’t mine, I realized. The snapshots in all sorts of crazy picture frames–I had never kept photographs out before. Not even all of them were photos from these last few months. At one point, Lisel had found the box I kept my photographs in, and had pulled out a bunch to give back to me, matted and framed, as a surprise present. They were pictures of my travels. The Grand Canyon, salmon swimming upstream in Alaska, a brown bear in the woods… No pictures at all of people. There really haven’t been many people in my life, not that I’ve stayed in touch with, not that have remained important to me as I pass through place after place, not that I care to remember.
And the ache in my wings is a constant reminder of people I’d rather forget.
Lisel was right–I’m not that much older than her, a couple years at most. But I feel older most days. I’ve seen more than I’ve wanted to, done things I try now to forget.
At the time, I didn’t know. Didn’t think. Didn’t realize.
Avians are rare. There are small groups of them around the country. I grew up in one such community, no more than a dozen families.
Werewolves, on the other hand, are everywhere. People love them. A dog is man’s best friend. After the initial fear when they first showed up on humanity’s radar, people came to embrace them. A wolf is loving, they say, and loyal. They make great friends, good workers. It helps that they are mostly women. Even in the 21st century, people still don’t take women seriously. Wolves have great PR. Even though they call them “werewolves” people mostly think of them as overgrown dogs: domestic animals.
Cats are different.
The reason werewolves are so prevalent is because they managed to hide so well. Female werewolves don’t have the same biological need to change that males do. Scientists have taken years to study what wolves themselves know: a changing pregnant wolf will miscarry–it’s simply too delicate a process to survive such dramatic physical changes. So while male wolves have been hunted down over the centuries, natural selection created a race of women who don’t need to change, and can easily pretend to be human as long as something is done about their tail.
Cats cannot pretend–in their humanoid form, they are simply too feline. In their feline form, they are too human. In Ancient Egypt, they were worshipped as gods. A huge statue of a cat still watches over the pyramids at Giza. I’m referring to the Great Sphinx, of course.
They still have not gotten over it.
So instead, they have created an underground world for themselves. And it is this world that I found myself a part of as a young woman.
Sometimes, I still wish I was a part of it.
And here’s a bit more from further along. I’m writing this novel in three separate first person voices–I think it works, although I’m not positive. Anyway, there are three main characters, Ayodele, who’s an avian, and Holly and Lisel, who are both ‘wolves. The first excerpt was from Ayodele’s POV. This one is from Holly’s.
“I was a professional thug for a while, if you really must know. Well, and bodyguard. And other things.”
She looked over at me, her eyebrow raised. Did the woman never smile? “You’re joking, surely.”
“No, I’m not.” A thought occurred to me. “You aren’t the one joking, are you.”
She shook her head.
“You know, I can’t really see you as a thug,” I said, squinting my eyes and tilting my head. “You’re sort of…”
“I know.” There was a glint of wry humor in her yellow eyes. “It’s the wings. Fools everyone.” She turned on the blinker to change lanes, and then glanced behind her to see if there were any cars coming.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “And you’re too goody-goody. You look like you wouldn’t step into an intersection if the red hand was blinking. You even check your blind spot!”
She chuckled. Finally! “It made me very good at what I did,” she said as she eased into the left lane.
She nodded, and hit the gas pedal.