I finished the first draft of my upcoming novel, The Wendy House – a not-quite-prequel/not-quite-sequel to Waiting For Spring – early this afternoon.
The writing of it caused many tears, sleepless nights, joy, headdesk moments, and spawned a coffee mug.
The plot itself didn’t change very much during the last two-and-a-half years, but pretty much everything else – point of view, characterization, narrative style, supporting characters – did. Goodness only knows how the rewriting process will go. But I’m very pleased with how the thing has fleshed out so far. There are lots of interesting and surprising twists for readers who think they know the story of Rick and Wendy LaChance, and I hope you all will be happy with it when it’s finally released.
Several weeks ago, I posted the first chapter here for y’all to read. What I didn’t tell you is that the novel will actually open with the first of many entries from Wendy’s diary. Here it is:
July 17, 1992
I met Rick on a hot August afternoon. That seems important now, since I may never see another August. It was thirteen years ago, almost. We were both seventeen. It was on a dry dirt road and his car—it was a brown Chevy something-or-other—stirred up too much dust and made me cough. He pulled over when he saw that I was struggling to bury a porcupine in the hard ground beside the road. He didn’t ask me why, just grabbed the shovel from my hands and started digging. I told him anyway and he grinned.
It was the grin that did it. It was crooked, cocky. It crackled with sex, with life, and I wanted to soak it all up. To soak him up. I wanted him to be my first, my first everything, right at that moment.
When he was finished, once the corpse was safely hidden, he gave me back my shovel, lit a cigarette and asked me my name. I had to take a deep breath before I said, Wendy. He smiled again and told me his.
I knew at that moment a door had opened up for me. I just didn’t know that when I walked through it a thousand others slammed shut.