Monday, August 3, 2015

Just Like Granola Bars

I've come to the conclusion that writing is much like a granola bar. Sometimes it's crunchy and dry and leaves you desperate for a drink. Sometimes it's sweet and chewy and just enough to satisfy your cravings. And sometimes, you're not paying attention and you eat the whole box and wonder what the hell happened.

What happened? Writing happened.

So, I've been spending a lot of time over at Alexandria, and, as a result, not much time here, but my sudden surge of manuscript-fueled creative energy left me a post short of my quota this month and I've been demoted. All in all, my time as a Resident Author was an enjoyable experience, but I guess when you're running an enterprise, you can't make too many allowances. Rules are rules.

The reason for my failure to comply is a good one. I've added upwards of thirty thousand words to my manuscript Changes in the last few weeks. I've also taken up guitar. Though, as things tend to happen in my life, as soon as I shelled out the money on an instrument of my own, the voices in my head got the better of me, and I haven't been practicing all that much. Still, I can't complain. This is the fourth novel in a series, and it's been sitting here for so long, I think it's turned into wine.

To celebrate my new-found determination, I wanted to share will you a scene I wrote today that made me smile. For those of you who have been in this situation, or know someone who has, it might make you smile too.

Jaden watched as Anika tore dresses from their hangers and added them to the growing pile at her feet. It looked like a cyclone had hit her bedroom. Both dressers had been gutted and their contents were strewn across the hardwood floor like bodies from a boutique massacre. She stood naked, blonde hair stuck to her face with sweat and bare feet trampling nightgowns and evening wear alike. Normally, the sight of his girlfriend naked would excite him. But he had a feeling if he got anywhere near her, he’d be missing a very important appendage.
“No, no, no!” she yelled, throwing a gauzy pink ball gown across the room. It fluttered to the floor in a pile of ruffles. “I can’t find anything!”
“Is there something I can help you look for, dear?” he asked, keeping a five-foot radius around her.
“Nothing fits. I can’t walk around in Orrick’s hillbilly shirt at the Senate.”
“Do you have to go to the Senate?”
She turned on him with fire in her brown eyes. “It’s the principle, Jaden. At some point I will have to leave this house and right now it’s either the plaid rag or nothing.”
His eyes trailed her beautifully pregnant body. “I don’t see a problem.”
“Do you want other people to see me naked?” She yanked another dress from the closet. “Because if I go out there looking like this they’re going to think it’s open season and shoot me.”
“Anika, you look fine.”
“I’m a planet! I don’t know how I fit through the doorway!”
“I know you’re not used to the belly, but I’m sure we can find something for you to wear.”
“What? One of those maternity sacks they’re always forcing on pregnant women? I will not be seen in one of those.”
“Then we’ll get your seamstress to make something.”
“She can’t make me a new wardrobe in one day, Jaden. I’m going to have to wear a bathrobe just to talk to the contractor.”
“You mean to tell me that not one of your thousands of outfits fit?”
She dropped a sweater to the floor. “I might as well find our best bed sheet and make a toga.”
He tried to suppress his laughter, but she was making it very difficult.
“What are you smiling about?” she barked. “Do you think being fat is funny?”
“Honey, you’re not fat.”
“Look at these!” She grabbed both of her breasts. “I could feed a small nation!”
“That doesn’t make you fat. That makes you delicious.”
She turned away with a look of disgust. “Men.”
“Do you want me to get Malia?”
“Like I’d fit into anything of hers. She’s a twig.”
“And so are you. You just happen to be a twig carrying a baby.”
“Well, he should have considered what growing so fast would do to his mother. I’m going to be the laughing stock of Terebinth Hall.”
“I think the Chancellor will understand.”
Anika waded through the sea of fabric toward the bed. “That I grew a baby on vacation? I doubt it.”
“I mean, look at all this.” He motioned to the mess. “Isn’t there something in here we can have altered?”
“I’m enormous. And normally I look skeletal on a good day. You can’t rip a few seams and transform a wardrobe, Jaden.” She took a seat on the bed, looking exhausted. “That’s it. I just can’t leave the house until this baby makes an appearance.”
“Anika, don’t be ridiculous.”
This is ridiculous.” She pointed to her belly.
“He can hear you, you know.”
“Good. Then he can learn that being a selfish child upsets his mother,” she shouted at her belly.
He moved toward her. “Come on, Anika. It’s not the end of the world.”
“No. The end of the world is happening out there and I can’t do anything about it because society frowns on politicians speaking to the public naked.”
“Why don’t you just put on some underwear?”
“Because none of it fits!” She stood. “My boobs are the size of melons! I can’t squeeze them into any of my bras.”
“How about a t-shirt then? I can lend you some of mine.”
Anika’s expression darkened. “Jaden, I love you, but if you don’t get out of my sight, I’m going to murder you and hide your body in this sea of useless clothing.”
He backed toward the door, hands help high in surrender. “I’ll go get Malia.”
“Get Zan while you’re at it. Maybe she can do us all a favor and get the damn kid out now.”
Jaden bit his tongue and left the room. He knew when he was out of his depth. And pregnancy was proving to be rocky waters indeed.


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