i’d really love to share with you what i’ve been working so hard at for the last 18 days. i’m going to go out on a limb here and share a couple of teasers from my nanowrimo book.
not that i think any of my readers would do this, but i have to add this disclaimer: the following words are the property of tiffany nichols. please do not copy or distribute them for any purpose without the writer’s express written permission.
just for reference, grant is the main character. evan, ralf, and rae are three friends he’s made during his stay in a mental health facility. on with the show:
It was Ralf’s turn next. After knowing them for only a day now, it was obvious that Ralf and Evan had a symbiotic relationship. Evan was amused by his friend’s emotional roller coaster of a life, and Ralf was comforted by Evan’s calming demeanor. After Ralf and and Rae had told all about their favorite songs, it was Grant’s turn. He knew exactly which song he loved most during childhood.
“It’s sort of embarrassing,” he said. “But my favorite song was ‘Sweet Caroline.’ It was my mother’s name, and we liked to sing it together.”
“Oh, that’s so special!” Rae said, clapping her hands together excitedly. As the rest of the group spoke of favorite songs and special memories, Grant noticed that Rae clapped her hands exactly five times after each person spoke.
The group was a mixed bag of interesting people. Besides the three friends Grant had made and the three thin women, there was a very young man named Max. He looked as though he could be a handsome, popular boy in any school. But he spoke softly and blushed furiously when it was his turn to speak.
“That was fun,” Evan commented when everyone had a turn to talk about their favorite songs and the memories they evoked. “It brought back wonderful memories for me that I’d almost completely forgotten.”
“The purpose of today’s exercise is to remind us of a time when we feel our best,” Danielle explained as things settled down. “Whenever you’re feeling down, or you’re in a not-so-great mood, thinking of these types of things can help you remember the bright side of life. I think everyone did a great job today. I’d like it if everyone could try and remember this technique if you’re having an off day this week. Great session, guys. I’ll see you on Tuesday.”
His friends welcomed him with warm smiles as he joined them at their usual table. Evan was working on a painting of Rae. She looked ethereal and graceful in a flowing white dress, her hair blowing around her and soft colors swirling in the background. She was beautiful, even though Evan had included the scars that marred her lovely face. He had taught Grant in his drawing lessons that an artist shouldn’t ignore the physical flaws and imperfections that made someone who they were. In each drawing or painting he finished, Evan included every wrinkle, each scar, any discoloration of the skin. It captured the essence of the person and let them know that they were beautiful works of art just the way God made them.
Grant was amazed daily by Evan’s acceptance and love for each person he encountered. There were days when he didn’t feel so serene, struggling to accept reality after living with the holy delusion for so long. It had been ingrained and encouraged by his holy rolling mother from childhood. These were the days Evan didn’t leave his room.
As he reflected on this, Grant looked toward Rae, who was organizing the pencils by the numbers and letters that indicated the level of softness or hardness of the graphite. He grinned at her idiosyncrasies and preoccupation with the order of things. They were endearing when they didn’t torment her. She was getting better, accepting more and more each day that she couldn’t control the state of everything around her. She informed them proudly that she now only washed her hands before meals, after using the restroom, or when they were actually dirty.
Grant had yet to admit to himself that he had a certain affinity for Rae. He found himself watching her and being captivated by her myriad expressions: concentration, glee, contemplation, even sadness or frustration. He found her attractive in any state. When she had a particularly bad day last week and had to be sedated and taken to her room, Grant’s heart felt heavy. He wished he could comfort her. But he told himself he felt this way anytime one of his friends was having an off day.
It was only the evening before that Ralf had had a fit of pique at dinner and had to be removed to his room. He’d been agitated and irritable all day; everything had built up inside of him to lead to an angry explosion over the lack of chocolate pudding on his dinner tray. Grant could only watch in sorrow as his friend was dragged out of the dining room. Ralf, Evan, and Rae were the first friends he’d had since high school. Of course he felt protective of them.
i hope you enjoyed the teasers. any feedback or advice would be lovely, if you feel so inclined. the hubster and i are starting our drive down to ft. lauderdale this afternoon when he gets home from work! our plan is to drive halfway tonight and finish the drive in the morning. i’m so excited for our cruise! there will be lots of pictures when we return, and you *know* i’m going to share. lol
til then, have a happy remainder of your week and a fun, safe weekend! ❤