So, yesterday I managed to finish the rough (very rough) first draft of “A Whisper from the Graveyard.” It was a bit of a relief, really; I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish it but somehow I managed it, and yes, let’s hear it for the boy, shall we?
It definitely needs work–the voice isn’t quite right yet–and there are story tweaks that also need doing, but I fucking finished the first draft.
Today is my long day at the office, but I slept deeply and well last night–I actually went to the gym after I got off work! Yes, that’s twice in three days I’ve lifted weights. Unfortunately, I am going back to my “ease-back-into-it” phase of one set of 15 reps with a light weight/full body workout (because it’s been so long since I’ve lifted weights) but it feels great to be getting back into a good routine again. I also wore a tank top to the gym last night instead of a baggy, sleeved T-shirt and was amazed to see that my upper body still has some definition, particularly around the shoulders and upper arms. Yes, apparently all of the fat weight I’ve put on is strictly around the middle and in the love handles. Hurray! But the good news is once I started burning fat weight off again, the midsection will start to look better and less enormous.
Here’s hoping, at any rate.
I’m also hoping to make it to the gym tomorrow morning before work.
I also worked on my story “Please Die Soon” a bit last night; not much, not even a hundred words, but I like this story and am hoping to turn it into something relatively decent.
Today, for the Short Story Project, we have Galadrielle Allman’s story “Only Women Bleed” from the anthology Crime + Music, edited by Jim Fusilli:
Once the curving maze of manicured streets that surrounded the Ponte Vedra Country Club was behind us and the wealthiest kids dropped at their doorsteps, our bus driver, Sherry Walker, began to relax. Each day as she settled the yellow Blue Bird school bus at the long red light between Kmart and the massive used-car lot with the fluttering pennants strung up high, Miss Walker would pull a pair of pink rubber flip-flops out of an Army duffel she kept tucked under the driver’s seat, kick off her gray sneakers and groan with relief. Her heels were permanently stained with beach tar and the pink polish on her toes was chipped and dirty. The last half-hour of my two hour ride home from school was shared with only three other kids, all of them boys who also lived at the funky end of the Jacksonville Beaches, near the cheap motels, crumbling condos, drive-thru liquor stores, and tourist gift shops stuffed with dyed sea shells and cheap beach towels. Miss Walker told the four of us beach kids we could call her Sherry, as long as all the rich kids were gone, but that never felt right. She told us she lived down at the Beaches too, off Atlantic Boulevard behind the old Pick ‘n Save building that had stood empty for years. I thought of her whenever my mom drove by the wrecked store, its broken windows showing the topped shelves and tangled wires inside.
This is a terrific story; self-contained, about a young girl coming into the blossom of young womanhood–getting her period–and how that extrapolates out into changes in her relationships with boys, how her life is going to change going forward, and whether a horrible story told to her by the bus driver, Sherry–a great character; one I would have liked to have known more about–is true or not; and the growing awareness of how society, and its attitudes towards women as well as towards violence against women, are going to affect her going forward.
And now back to the spice mines.