Here we go again! Have you read this post? If not, consider glancing through it so you know what’s going on. For those who haven’t guessed, I’m going to go over a book I wrote called Leaves. This book holds a special place in my heart for reasons I can’t begin to understand, and at 93,300 words (about 175 pages, single-spaced on Word), it is the longest book I’ve ever written. By far. And that makes me want to cry, because I want to rewrite the whole damn thing. Alright, let’s get on with this.
INSPIRATION – It was the summer before I was going to start college, and I had a dream that was exactly like a movie. I was not in it; I was just watching it happen. There was a little girl with curly hair who lived with her mother. Her father, I understood without being told, was a bad man who was either dead or just out of the picture. Then the girl got separated from her mother, and somehow ended up in another world. She was standing in a forest, in the middle of a hollow, ankle deep in a pile of leaves. The trees that surrounded her were crooked and black, and leafless. Cut to a shot over a man’s shoulder. He has one hand braced on a tree and is peering at the girl from behind the trunk. The man looks like Jack Skellington if Jack had skin – huge torso, thin, spindly legs, tattered pinstriped suit. He has skin like parchment and looks like a fearsome thing, but he is actually kind. I can tell that this man wants to help the little girl, but he is afraid that she will fear him, so he puts an illusion on himself to make him look more friendly. Cut to inside the hollow – the man approaches from between the trees wearing a suit that is striped with all the colors of Fall – brown, orange, and yellow. His appearance has changed so that he looks less like a dead man walking and more like a human. He steps up to the girl, and she quickly looks down at her shoes. Then he says, “Aren’t you even going to look at me?” The girl looks up at him and says, “I’m Molly.” Then the “camera” pans around them, circling slowly. As it gets around to the back of the man in the suit, a flash of lightning briefly illuminates his true likeness, though Molly doesn’t notice. (I swear to God I am not making any of this up)
Then…something. There is some adventure that I could not remember, but Molly is in danger and the man does everything he can to help her. They become very close. Then this happens: Molly and the man are sleeping on beds of leaves. Molly’s mother appears out of nowhere and wakes her to take her away. I remember feeling like something was wrong. I should have been happy that Molly had been reunited with her mother, but even Molly looked apprehensive. Then the man wakes up and sees that Molly is gone. He searches frantically for her, then he looks up to the heavens and bellows her name. And I woke up with the heartbroken wail of “MOLLLLYYYY!” still ringing in my ears. I tried desperately to go back to sleep. I needed to know how it ended, but, of course, it didn’t work that way. I was awake for good, and I never found out. So I wrote a book.
I swear that is the shortest version I can write. I can see already that this is going to be a two-parter. Damn. I’ll tell you the plot of the book I guess and then save the rest for the next post.
PLOT – A little girl named Molly lives with her mother until one day her mother is kidnapped. As she runs through town searching for help, Molly stops to catch her breath at a fountain and ends up falling into it. Instead of hitting the bottom, though, she tumbles through some misty portal and ends up somewhere else, standing in a pile of leaves and…well you know this part. So then Molly and Zan (I named the Jack Skellington guy Zan) have some adventures looking for Molly’s mother, but all is not as it seems and there’s a whole second part to the book which centers around grown-up Molly which is just stupid because I was doing the whole living-through-the-character thing again. That’s about it.
I’ll spare you for now. Soon to follow – the thrilling conclusion!
Word of the Day: Amalgamate (v) – To mix or merge so as to make a combination; blend; unite; combine