Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Saturday, December 26, 2009

I had a strange Christmas, but it turned out okay. I've declared this write-my-ass-off week, seeing has how hubby is on vacation and able to take care of the children. I'm usually sort of a pushover about it, but this week I'm holding my own, and am prepared to eat all my meals in my bedroom if necessary in order to reinforce the fact that Daddy is in charge. It worked today.

I'm posting a little excerpt, something I wrote today. It's rough and nobody will understand a bit of it, but I'm posting it to make myself feel better. I had to cut 3,000 words last night, and I have some nebulous feeling that showing the world that I actually am writing will heal that wound. *shrugs*

A little set-up: both Caellum and Drina are Ushers who live in the Black Veil, a parallel dimension to ours where souls go when they leave here. In this scene they're sitting on top of a building in our world, pondering things. Caellum's Scottish, and I'm still working on the best way to convey that through dialogue.


At Caellum's favorite bar, Drina sat at the edge of the roof with her legs dangling over, so close to Caellum that their thighs touched. She swung her right foot, hooked behind his left. Caellum didn't seem to mind.

He put his arm around her shoulders and jostled her playfully. "Are ye all right, lass?"

"I'll be fine." The Veil was as thin as they could make it, even though there was no music echoing between the buildings that night and the street was dark. Maybe in Lifeworld a lot of time had passed since they were last here, and this place, obviously in decline before, had finally succumbed. She could find a the date in a newspaper, but it had ceased to matter to her what had gone on in Lifeworld in her absence. Dipping in every few years was just a shock to her still-human thought processes, her expectation of time. Let the Black Veil carry her perception of time. Soon she would be surprised to Usher Abuela Delores to the Light, and soon after that, her mother. "I think I made a difference. Do you think so?"

The sliver of moon reflected off his scales in a halo around his elegant profile, lost when he turned to look at her. "Aye. Ye've set your mother's mind at ease as best ye can. My parents should have had such a dedicated child." He looked out over the street again, and the halo illuminated his peaceful expression once more, the peace of a man who knew he'd done good work.

"I don't think I ever want to do it again. Go into someone's dream, I mean. That was the last time I'll worry about my old life. What matters is here and now." She laid her hand on his thigh. Her heart was bursting with love for him, completely elemental and overwhelming, but she was glad. It pulled a deep sigh from her chest, and she closed her eyes and tilted her face to the sky, perhaps the first time in a long time she was completely unguarded with Caellum. His thigh muscle flexed under her palm, the scales so smooth against her skin, and she knew he felt as strongly as she did when she felt his fingertip on her lips. A soft, breathy hum escaped her throat. She opened her eyes, willing herself to stay in control.

He took her hand from his thigh and lifted it slowly to his mouth. She watched, anticipating the spark his lips would create on her skin. She remembered him saying, once upon a time, When it's your only bit of skin, it becomes extra important. She thought of it every time they'd made love in their strange, celibate way, skin on skin, teasing human hormones until they each collapsed with sweet frustration. The last few times, however, the frustration had simply been frustrating. If his lips touched her palm now, it would only push them apart once again.

She moved her hand at the last moment and lay it along his jaw. He held her hand there and looked into her eyes. She said, "I love you so much, Caellum. You torture me."

"No, lass, you torture me. But your wish is my command." He squeezed her hand before placing it in her lap, disengaging his foot from hers and scooting over. Those two inches felt like an icy mountain river. How could he switch off so quickly? Infuriating.

She'd get over it. He was with her, he loved her, he was still her best friend. They were comfortable together after a time of misunderstandings and hot tempers, so she would deal with the physical distance if it meant his heart would be hers. "When Mom thought you were Orlando I almost pissed my pants."

Caellum erupted into laughter, and with no one below to hear it, Drina didn't shush him.

"Hm," he said once his laughter subsided. "I imagine she picked up some of your intentions. It fit too well, didn't it?" He turned back to her deliberately. Just before his face slipped back into the shadow, he cocked an eyebrow.

Uh oh. Busted.

{ 12 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Very nice. Hope you get a bunch done this week.

  2. Hurray for you for writing and standing up for your writing time.

    I remember bits of things for what you let me read before, so some of it makes sense.

    Keep going!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to wade through my paragraphless rough-draft blather. I never, and I mean never, post excerpts of my work, but I do feel better, so I guess it was worth it. :)

  4. Thanks for reading, Marta. I'm in the chair right now, about to open the document. Hoping to finish the final scenes by the end of the week. Eek!

  5. Sherri, you're kidding, right? This is wonderful!! It's got incredible feeling and mood and it's so interesting! THIS is the throwaway stuff you do? I love it.

  6. Since I know the story a tiny bit, this kinda makes sense; it's very, very different than the original scene of the two of them on the roof unless it's a new one.
    Still, nice work! And best of luck. This is write-my-butt-off week for me too. :)

  7. Well thanks for taking the time. I know you have a lot to do.

    This is a new scene, about mid-way through the book. But that doesn't mean I'm only halfway finished. I'm in the stage of putting in scenes which should have been there in the first place but were overlooked. Maybe I'm the only one who goes through that stage. :)

  8. and I love your enthusiasm! :) Thank you. Oh, but I won't be throwing this away. This is new stuff.

  9. I think it looks good. :)

    Good for you for sticking to your write-my-butt-off week. You can do it!

    And I'm glad your strange Christmas turned out okay. That's a whew! What was strange about it?

  10. Oh, just in that we were snowed in and ended up having plans change and then fall through, and I wasn't feeling real great...just normal weird stuff. :) *hugs*

  11. Sherri- I'm impressed by your writing and inspired by your willingness to put it out in the world. I didn't do any writing this holiday week myself, and your example is part of my motivation to get going again (that, and getting my writing space back now that my son is on his way back to Chicago).

  12. I'm glad I could supply some motivation for you, and I hope you had a lovely holiday with your children. As always, your comment is appreciated. :)


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