Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing 'Till It Hurts

Ever have those mornings when you wake up fine but the happy highlight of your day is your first cup of coffee and it goes downhill from there? Yesterday was one of those days. I already have a knot on the tendon at the base of my left thumb and I managed to really aggravate the poor, abused hand. It started with lunch.

I somehow managed to get pickle relish on my fingers and not having a paper towel handy, I chose to fling my hand toward the faucet and sink. I just remember turning slightly and thinking I'll run my hand under the water and get the pickle relish off. Simple enough. Except I was half day dreaming and didn't realize my late m-i-l's heavy duty glass pitcher from the 1940's sat on the counter top in the direct path of my hand. Smack! Thankfully I didn't hurt the pitcher, but my hand didn't fare as well.

So instead of working on my love scenes, (I understand writing 'til it hurts, and pushing through the pain to pour out your soul, but come on, I didn't know they meant literally!) I sat in the living room with an ice pack on my hand, watching what passes for daytime TV these days. I knew things were bad, but when the best show on is a rerun of a 2010 episode of Kitchen Nightmares, you know daytime TV has gone to hell.

So I did what many people with a modicum of intellect do. I turned off the telly and grabbed a book. I chose to start Robert McCammon's Speaks The Nightbird, Volume 2: Evil Unveiled. Somewhere in a steam trunk, tucked away in a closet, is volume 1 I think. But I was in no condition yesterday to dig through trunks of books to find it.*

Here's the blurb:
Robert McCammon, author of the best-sellers Boy's Life and Gone South, returns to the forefront of American fiction with Speaks the Nightbird.
Is there a witch in Carolina in 1699? The people of the town of Fount Royal think so. Her name is Rachel; she's foreign, beautiful, and brave--no wonder so many people hate her.
Comes a traveling magistrate to hold a witch trial, and his clerk, Matthew. The evidence spells doom for Rachel: witch's tools are found in her home, she will not speak the Lord's Prayer, and witnesses swear they've seen her commit unspeakable acts with the Devil himself.
But Matthew hears the call of the nightbird. He wonders--is there any such thing as witchcraft? If Rachel can fly through the night on wings of evil, why hasn't she escaped from the town gaol?
And the town itself--who murdered Rachel's husband? How did the ratcatcher learn to hypnotize his prey? Who stands to gain if the witch is burned?
God and Satan are indeed at war in Fount Royal, and even the innocent are not safe. In the end, Matthew follows his head and his heart, and Rachel keeps an unlikely appointment with destiny.

I've made it to page 41 so far and can't wait to get back to it. But until then, I need to return to writing my own story. Wish me luck. I'm typing one handed with deadlines looming.

Until next time...

*(Nope. Found the book I was thinking of this a.m. and it's not a volume anything. But it is an excellent McCammon book, They Thirst). So which book is considered Volume 1? If you know, please leave a comment. Thanks!)

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