Thursday, 30 July 2009

Since pre-production work on Chatterton has relaxed a lot in the last week, I've had more time to work on my novel, Bulfinch. Finally, after over a year of chasing the whimsical wistful little story, I've finished a draft that I think is acceptable. At 225 pages (64,000 words) it's still a little short, but a third pass through it should flesh out a few more scenes and then, with some editorial input from my mom, I'll be ready to go huntin' fer agents.

Bulfinch is the story of a university student so obsessed with medieval history that a knight pops out of her imagination and into the real world. Our narrator embarks on a quest to find the device that will return him home, all while keeping him (and his medieval chronicler) out of trouble with the police, angry neighbors, and her crazy Uncle Alvin. In the meantime, the reopened investigation of her parents' disappearance challenges her memories of her idyllic childhood, making her long to hold on to the companionship she's found with her new time-misplaced guests.

Below you can read a sneak peek of Bulfinch. Wish me luck as I begin the search for publication! Also, happy birthday today to Alter-Hannah/HSII/Clone. Have a great one.


Lord Henry shrugged his shoulders. “My dear fellow, medieval art is charming, but medieval emotions are out of date. One can use them in fiction, of course. But then the only things that one can use in fiction are the things that one has ceased to use in fact…”

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The summer I was twelve, my parents disappeared and I moved in with my crazy Uncle Alvin in Baltimore.

How did my mom and dad vanish? That's an interesting story. I wish I knew what it was. They were on a Mediterranean cruise celebrating their twentieth anniversary. Dad had surprised Mom with the trip a week before they left, one of his extravagant gestures that made Mom blush on birthdays and holidays. He presented the tickets to her with a pair of diamond earrings to wear to the captain's table. I ogled the two of them, beaming their megawatt smiles at each other across the table, the two happiest parents a girl could ever dream of. The night before their ship left the Port of Baltimore, they deposited me at Mom's brother's house with a mighty rain of kisses. That was the last time I ever saw them. My story is full of lasts.

I wish there was an event that I could describe that would make their disappearance a reality to you. I've imagined enough possibilities: an identity mix-up that forced them on the lam for crimes they didn't commit; a freak lightning storm that separated the cliff they stood upon, in a terrified embrace, from the chalky bluff; a ride with a psychotic local fisherman zealous to add more tourists to his “collection.”

According to the official record, they were last seen boarding a small boat alone on the evening of August 15, near the Zakynthos sea caves in Greece. And I never moved out of the spare bedroom in Uncle Alvin’s tiny old rowhouse in Hampden, where the pink flamingos nod in front of peeling porches.

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