This year I’ll be working on the second part of book five of a young adult series. I’ve been working on this project for two and a half years now, some months productive, others not so much. My girl, Violet, has come a long way from the catalyst of a car accident that happened just weeks before her fifteenth birthday. Two and a half years have gone by in her life too, and her new family continues to grow. The first part of book five introduced us to an “uncle” with a fondness for going topless, his son who makes three times as much noise as he should for one so small, and his grandaughter with her fuse-lit eyes and querulous pout.
I’m thinking of being extra brave and posting a few scenes from the first half of the book here over the course of the month.
In the meantime, here is a little excerpt from the first draft of Book 5.
I pushed my sunglasses onto my face as we stepped back into the sunshine. Amethyst’s building was the second to last one. We glanced between each building, then Albert set off round the back while I took the front. I hit something fast and solid as I rounded the corner. Pain seared through my forehead as I fell backwards. I was so winded, I didn’t even have time to cushion my butt as it hit the ground. An agonising jolt tore its way up my spine.
“I’m so sorry, are you okay?”
I moved my head slowly from side to side, but couldn’t shake it properly. I couldn’t look up either. My neck was too stiff. I couldn’t see much of the man who was talking to me, just his baby-poo-coloured skinny cords and highly polished, battered brown boots. A drop of blood hit the ground between them, then another.
“Shit! Shit!” He made a frantic search of his trouser pockets, then the dripping stopped. “Let’s get you up,” he said.
The first thing I registered as he reached down for me was the slate-blue, cable-knit cardigan. I decided this man must be an imbecile. It was thirty degrees out. He did look a little red-faced, but that could just be the nosebleed that my head had given him. He had thick, messy dark blonde hair and a beard, and he reminded me of a younger Boxer. Except for that cardigan. I stared at him, as he led me to a bench. My back was stiff and my butt protested a bit as it made contact with the wood.
“I waited for forty minutes,” he said.
“Forty minutes. You know, it doesn’t have to be so hard.”
“Shit! Do you think you have a concussion?”
He reached for my sunglasses and I batted his hand away. He sighed, then stared into his blood-stained tissue.
“Has it stopped?” he said, tipping his head back so I could see up his nose.
I stretched my neck, turning my head in slow circles. It wasn’t stiff anymore, but my head felt a little fuzzy.
“I think your head’s made of concrete,” said the man, prodding gently at his nose. “How bad is it? It doesn’t feel broken. Does it look any different?”
I shrugged. How the hell should I know? It was a nose. What was it supposed to look like other than a nose? The heat was making me sleepy. Or maybe I did have a concussion. I tried to concentrate. The man was saying something. Words. Words were falling out of his mouth. I stared at it. It was very close. I could feel his breath, and his lips. I pulled away and touched my mouth. I think he kissed me. I swayed on the bench.
“I see you’ve met my sister,” said Amethyst.
The sandy building swam past my eyes as I slowly turned my head. I smiled at Amethyst. She was standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at the man sitting next to me. She was gloriously furious. So was Albert. Still, silent and furious.
“This is Violet?” the man said. “This is… this is Violet?”
“You’re repeating yourself, Noah. Yes, this is Violet. The question is why were you kissing her when you haven’t even kissed me yet? And why did you let him?”
She was looking at me. I smiled. I tried to get up but my head wasn’t having it. I fell back onto the bench.
“What did you do to her?” said Albert, as he dropped onto the bench. I slid sideways into his body.
“Nothing,” said the man called Noah. “We bumped into each other on the corner there. She gave me a nosebleed and I… gave her a concussion.”
“And a kiss,” said Amethyst.
“I thought she was you,” he said. “She looked like she wanted me to kiss her, but I think it must’ve just been the concussion.”
“I didn’t want a kiss. I want to go to bed.”
I was shouting. God, why was I shouting?
“I wasn’t going to take her to bed, I swear.”
“Take me to bed,” I wailed.
Good luck NaNoing everyone!