Why, hello blog. Haven't spoken here in a month. Wow, time flies.
Part of that time was rather productive, and part of it not. Right now, it's not. I am 1 action chapter and 1 final tag chapter away from finishing that blasted story and my motivation has dropped to nothing. Although, I did have the most interesting dream the other morning that an associate editor from NY came out and wanted to examine it in person. We went to McDonald's for coffees and had a very fruitful discussion of my work. Hilarious!! I'd love to see the day editors from NY visit rural IL to discuss the literary merits of a piece of fanfic!
Before I pooped out on my writing drive, I did manage to complete two more chapters, so I'm up to 14. I have 2 paragraphs of 14 done right now, and that was like pulling teeth prying it out of my brain earlier today. 12 and 13 are pretty good, I think.
Maybe if I wasn't so reproductive I would be more productive. I once read an agent's advertisement in a writing journal, saying that her dream client would be proliferative. My snappy answer to that would be, I'm as proliferative as they come...as long as we're not limiting ourselves to a discussion of literary output.
So, since I still can't post my story in its entirety, I'll content myself with a little snippet from chapter...13.
Jamie headed toward the house, dropping his backpack off his shoulders to hang it more fashionably off just one side. He stopped at the top of the front steps and looked back out toward the street. The streetlights hadn’t come on yet, so Phillip probably wouldn’t be back for a little while.
It was then, as he was squinting westward into the sun, that he first saw the stranger. A guy on a bike, a streamlined 12-speed painted a distinctive red, gold, and black, was pedaling up the block at a fast clip. He was a young man, with close-cropped brown hair and a lean, athletic form. He looked like a metropolitan bike messenger who had inexplicably crossed over into Arlington to make a suburban run. And as he passed by Jamie, who still stood atop the front steps, he smoothly arced to the right and pulled up onto the driveway. He peeled around in a tight curve so he faced the way he had come and stopped short.
The man waved an arm and flashed an easy smile as he swung off the bike and walked toward the house. “I have a special delivery. Do you know Amanda Stetson?” As he spoke, he unzipped his lightweight jacket and removed a 10x13 envelope from inside. He stopped at the base of the steps, holding the envelope in both hands.
“That’s my mom.”
The man nodded. “Good, good. I need this to get to her right away. Is she home right now?”
Jamie shook his head. He was inches from the door, and he had a good set of lungs on him for hollering, but the stranger made him nervous anyway. It wasn’t that he seemed particularly threatening. But learning recently about his mother and step-father’s true line of work had Jamie’s imagination running on overdrive. He wondered whether the bike-riding stranger was a Soviet. Maybe he even carried a gun. “My grandma’s here. Do you need someone to sign?”
“Nah, that’s alright,” the man replied smoothly, seemingly untroubled. “This isn’t for anyone but your mom. It’s work-related, if you know what I mean.” His words were light, but his blue eyes were watching Jamie intently, as though to read whether he did indeed know what he meant. Jamie felt butterflies in his stomach. After a beat, the man continued. “It’s for the government part of her job, so that means it’s very important.”
“Oh.” Jamie swallowed.
“Do you watch football?”
“Football?” Jamie quirked an eyebrow in surprise. “Uh, sure. I watch.”
The man nodded thoughtfully and smiled to himself. “I figured. Listen, when the quarterback passes the ball, and the wide receiver catches it, what happens next?”
“I guess he runs with it until he either makes a touchdown or gets tackled.”
“Exactly.” The man stepped forward and pressed the envelope against Jamie’s chest. “Take it,” he said. Then he smiled tightly at the boy. “You’re the receiver. Get this to your mom, because if it gets intercepted by the other side, our team loses. Got it?”
Jamie thought he could actually feel the hair on the back of his neck stand upright. Where the hell was Phillip? “You take it!” he cried, pinching the envelope between two fingers and holding it away from himself like a set of used sweat socks. “I don’t want it.”
“There’s no time, kid,” the man replied, backing away. He threw a sweeping glance up and down the street before turning a keen eye on Jamie once more. “This is the end of the line for me. I don’t plan on getting sacked.” And winking conspiratorially at his reluctant ally, he swung back onto his bike. “When you see her,” he called, “tell her I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave Mr. Stetson yesterday.” He sped off in the direction from which he had come before Jamie could think to ask his name.