I just realized, the other night, that it has been ten years since I started writing my (unpublished, full-length) novel -- and eight years since I finished it.
Technically the bookiversiary, then, should be in 2009; but who knows where we, and the internet, and blogging, and all of that will be in two years.
So I'm going to celebrate my fifteen-year-old "starting the novel" self (as opposed to my seventeen-year-old "finishing it" self) today.
And, out of either pride or malice, I am going to post a sample of this book, titled The Red Book of Cordia. Started ten years ago this summer.
What was inside my fifteen-year-old mind?
Tiva Shirala stepped out of the door and closed it silently behind her, wrapping a torn brown shawl around her slender arms. She looked up at the sky -- blue -- and sniffed, wiping her nose with the corner of the brown shawl. She did not own a handkerchief. Tiva was one of the first ones up this morning in Wrylan Dos, and she walked briskly and sharply to the railer tracks, climbing into the waiting cart. Staring at the sky wouldn't make the work get done any faster.
Not that it mattered, thought Tiva, how fast or how slow you worked; there were always more jobs to do until the day was done, so you might as well take the time you could, if you were that kind of a person. Tiva was not that kind of a person. She pumped the little railer treadle with a firm, steady pace, and flipped the lever as she came to the crossing tracks just as she had flipped the lever every morning for almost a year.
But she was lucky; railer-riding was one of the easier jobs, considering all the work that needed to be done to keep Wrylan Dos up and running. She had been surprised that Jen had let her take the duty, when it was offered; but for some reason Jen Lindell liked her. And, Tiva reflected, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
All right. I cheated and found a passage I still liked. To make up for it, here's a passage that makes me cringe, a bit:
Coco backed away, crawling backwards on her hands. Lex Ravian??!!! All the stories that Coco had been told about the man came rushing back to her memory. Lex Ravian killed men, destroyed buildings, and did unspeakable things to women... If this was really Lex Ravian, then she would do very well if she pretended to be tough and fearless. Coco didn't realize that she looked very un-fearless crawling backwards away from a campfire.
"I've heard of you," Coco gasped out, trying to keep her voice as steady and tough as possible.
Lex laughed. "You've heard of me? I've heard of me, too. In fact, if I think of all the things that I've heard about me, I get scared."
Coco's eyes were wide with terror, but she did not move. Her long strange day had numbed her mind slightly, and she was exhausted. So she sat still, watching Lex cook the meat over the fire. Lex switched back and forth from watching the meat to watching Coco. Their eyes met often, causing Lex to grin and Coco to shiver. Coco hated the expression in Lex's dark black eyes. She hated the way he was looking at her; staring at her, practically. She glanced up at the jewel-starred sky and wondered if Lex was going to do unspeakable things to her.
If only my parents had shelled out $10,000 for a college admissions coach who would have tried to increase my chances of acceptance at Harvard by marketing my book to Alloy Entertainment (on the stipulation that I rewrite it to include more girl power). I wouldn't have screwed it up.