I figure it's going to wind up at around 60K, which is a good amount for YA, I think (especially considering I'm going to have to expand a few things before I get to the chop-chop editing stage). That means I'm in the home stretch. May be able to tie that all up by the end of the week.
It's been kind of frustrating, because I had that realization that I'd misjudged the main character, but it's hard realigning things when you've already written so far in a certain direction. So I keep wavering back and forth. Will have to straighten that all out in the second draft. Am already looking forward to writing the second draft, and haven't finish the first yet. That's a good sign, right? :D
Anyway, in celebration of 50K and my new floppy drive (and to make up for the long stretch without any), here are three snippets from the past two weeks, picked more for enjoyment than quality:
Peter and Lauren chatted--punctuated, Angie noticed, by frequent arm-grazing on Lauren's part--all the way back to McLellan Ave. She decided her part was simply to listen and speculate. When had Peter met Lauren? How had Peter met Lauren? And most importantly, was he noticing that she was throwing herself at him with all the subtlety of a lovesick yak? Did, in fact, yaks get lovesick, or was it just that it amused her to think of Lauren as one?
Students spilled out of the school as they approached. The lunch bell was ringing inside. Hope broke from their midst and ambled up to meet the trio. She snapped her gum.
"Hey Pete. Angie. All tip-top?"
"Pretty much," Peter said. "Not perfectly usual."
Lauren was eying him curiously. He offered her his hand. "Come on, let's get to the lunch line before all the good stuff's gone."
Angie felt her lips twist. Before she could say that she'd be joining them, too, thank you very much, Hope gave a little cough.
"Why don't you come over to my place for lunch, Ang? My nan's cooking's ten times better than that greasy junk. Oh, and Pete?"
"Yeah?" Peter said, glancing back.
"M at F4 says H."
"All right." He raised his eyebrows at Lauren. "Secret calculus code." They headed up the steps. He'd let go of her hand. Angie uncurled her fingers. Her palm felt sore.
"Gah," Hope said with a gush of cinnamon breath. "Someone please develcro that girl."
"If this isn't your choice, then why don't you tell us why it is that you're here? Or is that too important to share with us?"
"There's nothing to share. Nothing is certain right now. If I start giving out speculations, that might influence things. You know that."
"I know what this looks like," Mr. Cole said. "Maybe I was still in diapers when you were their age, Nora, but rumours get passed around. I've heard, some, of what happens."
Ms. Holloway sighed. "Rumours are rarely accurate. Things like this have come and gone before. There's no easy way to tell anything."
"But there are hints."
"There are. What would you do about them?"
Mr. Cole's voice broke. "I don't know. That's the point. How can we prepare if--"
Oddly, it was Mr. Kerrigan's voice that halted him.
"There is no preparing," he said, with his rounded consonants, faintly rhythmic. "These things, they just happen."
The elevator pinged to a stop. "So how do you get around that?" Angie said as they slipped out into a darkened room.
"It's all in what they believe," he said. "I had to convince her to look at it as a symbol of her new ‘self' or whatever she wanted to call it. Was kind of hard ‘cause she was rather attached to her hair. And it was nice hair. Maybe I should have gone for the fashion makeover route. Not quite as powerful, but, well, here we are."
He switched on the light.
The questions that had been rising in Angie's mind fizzled away in awe. She felt her jaw drop and didn't bother to try to collect it.
The room was about the size of the high school gym, with black walls, a high black ceiling set with three small globes of light, and a huge, shimmering sphere set right in the middle of it. The sphere--the Orb, Angie thought, distantly--dipped and crinkled across its polished surface. Even from the farest end of the room, by the elevator, Angie could hardly make out the point where it nearly brushed the ceiling. It looked like a bloated black hole, captured in glass.
It looked like a giant's version of Ms. Holloway's paperweight.
"Nice, yeah?" Hope said. She sidled up to it.
"Hope," Peter said in a warning tone. His face had gone serious.
"I know, I know, I'm not going to touch it. Don't be silly."
"What is it?" Angie said, catching her voice. "I mean, what's it for?" She could see, already, images swimming in the reflections and shadows that played across its warped surface. A shape like a mask loomed over the face nearest her, then slid away.
"The Orb's for practice, mostly," Jerms said. "They don't really use it so much any more because people can get kind of wiggy about it. You think about a problem and you start Seeing the signi from your head in there."
And last, if that wasn't entertaining enough, I had to steal this from ashtray_girl because it's just too much fun. Heh.
*wanders merrily off*