March 17th

Try as I might, I cannot escape the magic of this day. Yet, it has nothing to do with my Irish background.

March 17, 2009, I turned the last page of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, picked up a pen and began writing the current version of Fictional Boundaries.
March 22, 2010 (I tried for the 17th), I wrote the last line of my book.
March 17, 2011, I finished the taxes and began the serious rewrite necessary to ready FB for an editor.
March 17, 2012, I finished the taxes and am about to begin editing again after more than a month off due to surgery and busyness.
(I even began the short story that this grew from on September 17. What is it about this day?)

I have mixed feelings about how long this process has taken. I thought my writing was better than this; I thought I knew more than I did. At least I didn’t have to go through professional rejection to learn otherwise. My own perfectionism won’t allow less than my best for this story. It’s too big, too good and too important to do otherwise.

For tickles and grins here’s the opening I originally wrote:

He shouldn’t be here. And yet the irony was so overwhelmingly funny that he could almost envision losing the careful control that barely contained his hysterics. Everywhere he looked, brightly colored bits of scraps and plastic accoutrements passed for creatively designed replicas of charades. At least he had the decency to bring the Real Thing–even if it was currently peace-bound and slung across his back. The hilt left no doubt to the respect he should be afforded, if not the intimate knowledge he possessed of his weapon. He defied anyone here to know more than he did and, save for the peace-binding, would gladly have bested them all at once in a demonstration that would leave them gasping for air as his awesome power blinded them to just what exactly had hit them.

An amused chuckle sounded at his elbow–barely contained. “They are mere babes; not a half-witted warrior among them, Vincent.” Trey, always quick to find the humor in any situation, easily conversed aloud or in thought with his two brothers and one sister.

Though this is the main male lead, this scene no longer exists this way thanks to a friend’s suggestion about POV. The book is still written with a 1st/3rd split, but I gave away too much information too soon. To say nothing of all the telling in the above paragraphs. (As if we needed more examples of why the original draft should never see the light of day.)

Here’s the beginning of the same scene from my main protagonist’s point of view:

Music swelled over me like a wave; the bass line thumped against my chest and reverberated off the walls of the ballroom. I altered my movements to match the fast beat while threading my way through the throng of colorfully costumed convention-goers. They twisted and weaved, their glow sticks tracing arcs and patterns of fluorescence through the semidarkness. Pulsing laser lights pierced the sweet-smelling smoke swirling through the crowd.

I paused, rising on tiptoes to gauge my progress toward the deejay booth where Heather leaned over her laptop. Her long white wig reflected the blur of color and light from a nearby projector screen; the flashing scenes were almost hypnotic.

The song morphed into a different melody and I pushed on. All around, the crush of people pressed in: a mass of bodies draped in cotton, taffeta, spandex, silk and—seriously? A duct tape bikini? I averted my eyes as I passed and knocked into a guy wearing a makeshift proton pack, holding a little girl dressed like a green blob.

Off I go to finish this beautiful monstrosity. It deserves its day in the sun after getting a good spit-shine.


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