In my previous post, I asked how you all feel about sharing your work in its early stages. I have to admit, at first thought the idea chills me to the bone.
See, for many, many years I was a closeted writer. I filled journals and notebooks with bits and pieces of stories or the random mutterings of characters that spoke to me at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes the urge to write would overwhelm me and I’d go on a blistering creative tear for weeks and then promptly shelve it away, often never to be seen again. If someone asked me about my hobbies or interests I would never mention writing. I kept it hidden like a shameful addiction.
When I met The Roommate, I was so twitterpated I told him about my writing. For an entire year he asked to read something, anything, even if it was just a scrap of a story. Finally, I relented, giving him several pages that I had squirreled away. Imagine my surprise when he read it and declared, “I want to know what happens next.” He is brutally honest, particularly about creative endeavors, so I was all Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Letting someone else see my work didn’t kill me. And it’s made every subsequent showing since then that much easier. So in the spirit of taking risks and continually laying my writerly soul bare, here’s an excerpt from what I’m writing this month:
After the Jump
I sit on a stone bench. Travis sidles up next to me, and I’m reminded of the last time we were in a park, when our knees touched and I practically melted into a puddle on the ground. He’s even closer now, our thighs pressed together, the texture of his cargo shorts rough against my skin. I look at our feet, my beat-up black Chucks next to his fancy sneakers that I can’t even identify and our legs, strong-looking and well-formed, completely athletic, mine freshly shaved and crossed at the ankle, his covered in a light dusting of blond hair and splayed apart in the way guys do that totally makes them look like spacehogs but really allows them to air out their junk. I look at us and my mind thinks, yeah, we could get together. I wonder how we look to everyone else.
“How’d you get so wise?” he asks, bumping my shoulder with his.
“Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience pretending to be something I’m not.” He gives me a look like he’s seeing me for the very first time. Immediately, I regret saying it. I don’t know what it is about him, but I end up saying stuff that I would never say to anyone else. “Uh, like, everybody does that sometimes, right? I mean, even though it’s ridiculous to think so, nobody’s perfect even though we always try like hell to be, which is, you know, totally crazy—” He stops my rambling with a feathery kiss.
“I’m sorry,” he says quickly, backing away. I shake my head, slightly stunned, pleasantly surprised, tingling all over. “I’m sorry,” he repeats, looking extremely concerned when he shouldn’t be. I lean in so that our lips touch again. We sigh at the sensation and it’s so sweet and innocent and unbelievably perfect. His mouth is soft, his breath warm and minty and I’m loving the feel of his stubbly cheek against mine. When we part he looks ridiculously, blissfully, pleased and it’s contagious. I’m not thinking about his drama with Cara or mine with my mother or what’s going to happen when Daddy finds out what she did. I just want to keep kissing him until all of that crap fades away.
So I do.