Sunday, March 21, 2010

More More Novel in a Paragraph

A word of explanation: I am writing a novel where short snippets will hopefully tell a story all by themselves but will also combine with other short snippets to reveal a deeper story. Here in my blog, perhaps once a week, I will share a few snippets, but in no sequence or logical order. That part comes much later.
Undercover until her deficits were pushed to the brink, at some unknown point Casey had been abandoned to the point that she had learned how to reconfigure reality, to sculpt, to cling, to redesign things more to her liking. She was very good at not taking no for an answer, very skilled at good naturedly making things happen. But she could not decipher the rules that governed Catherine’s social and moral code. With Catherine she was uncharacteristically patient, tolerant, even subservient. That was Casey’s failing and fault and she did not understand this was a weakness until it was far too late to resuscitate herself or the complicated bond that was Casey and Catherine. As the months passed without Catherine, Casey regretted that she did not protect Catherine’s closet values and homophobic fears. And no matter how often she tried to bathe in the well of acceptance for either of them, she was unable to wash herself clean.
Charm School
Catherine hated weakness. And she was not one to temper either her emotions or opinions. So it was not surprising that Casey felt her withdrawal so fiercely it was as though ice had been poured on warm sheets. Her voice was abruptly different: cold, flat, unaffected. She continued to call Casey; for three weeks or so, she called every day, making no reference to the fact that Casey was no longer calling her, but their conversations were short, perfunctory. This continued through September and by October, and into November, when the calls had stopped altogether, until one day Catherine called and the softness was back. “I need my best friend,” she said. “Are you still my best friend?”


  1. Catherine's passive-aggressiveness really turns my stomach. What a coniving manipulator. She has no regards for anyone's feelings other than her own.
    My God, poor Casey was blindsided, not once but twice.
    Once,in the first stages of the relationship when tons of adoring attention was showered upon her (shallow as it was), and second when Catherine ended it as abruptly as an employee getting a pink slip, and with about as much feeling.

    Your Catherine character is really starting to piss me off. And since I don't like to say bad things about anyone, I mean that in the nicest way ;)

    By the way, I love you and I think this book is going to be something else!

    xoxo ♥

  2. Gah! There is something about the last line that just chills my soul.

  3. This seems so true emotionally. Caring so much about someone who turns coldly away. Still hoping they are ones best friend. Warding off the looming sadness and disappointment with hope that things will be other than they are.

  4. heartrending stuff, there is such a deep well of sadness pervading this writing, probably fromn deep inside you dear heart, can't wait to read the whole book.
    wordveri:foryo (for you?)

  5. Wow, there is pain and suffering oozing out of my screen as I comment here. The closing phrase made me gasp... I see a lot of myself in your Casey, because I've been there. I had a virago Catherine hurting me like that once. Fortunately I was able to slip away from her firm, manipulative grip.


    Ciao friend
    Eleonora xx

  6. kj, absolutely amazing writing. i've been in co-dependent relationships such as that. how do i email you? email me (it's in my profile) and I will respond. I want to hear more about memoir group and ask you a couple questions...

    love the butterfly picture. I've seen it around and always love it.

    much love

  7. Ah, KJ....this all rings sadly true...another well-written paragraph....(well, two, actually). I am proud of you for re-living the reality and moving it into the realm of "fiction" has to be carthatic. You know I know this situation - and these people - all too well.

    This will be an amazing book!

    Love you,

    ♥ Robin ♥

  8. What lolo said. I totally agree, she turns my stomach. I am a lot like Casey, so it makes me scared in a way.
    Great writing.

  9. very dear lo, if most readers reacted to this bookwith a tenth of your emotion, i would be very happy indeed. plus you've made me chuckle xoxox

    cs, i totally love this comment. thanks friend. xoxo

    suki, in my book there's not much worse than callous betrayal xoxo

    joss, it's a passionate engaging book to write. thanks as always for your thoughtful comments and support xoxox

    eleonora, i'm glad you escaped, your appetite intact. ♥

    stacey, your comments mean alot. thank you so much. xoxox

    robin, i think there is much to be learned from casey, and also from catherine. xoxox

    annie, i know you know. you know i know. xoxo

  10. you are a writer kj, i know how hard it is to be a good one (i am not, but i know how to spot one). the easier the reading is, the harder the writing i think. and to make us feel mad or sad when reading your words, like you are with casey and catherine, that's brilliant. you know i cried when i read the light stays on.

    word veri is tatie. wouldn't that be a good name for one of your characters?

    ♥ lori

  11. I'm with them all. especially lo.

    I think we've all seen manipulative people like Catherine. Why does Casey react to the "good, sweet" Catherine and believe that to be the truth of her...and not the "mean, manipulative" Catherine. Can she not believe badly of others? Is she a dope? Is she just so honest herself she can't imagine someone with ice-water in her veins instead of blood?
    Miss Em would be confused also

  12. These two are the Yin and Yang to each other. The relationship between them is what is giving the opposite life.

    Odd how that works but work is does. We simply say it as opposites attract but then that is trite and overly simplistic considering the complexity of what is developing here.

  13. Phew! These snippets were very powerful. And I many times will Casey be blindsided by the very manipulative Catherine?

    I'm so with lolo on this one. Catherine is really starting to piss me off, as well. I'm not sure I mean it in a nice way, either, lol!

    Take care during the writing of this book, dear kj. There is much hurt and even frustration in your words...don't let them boomerang.

    It's going to be a great novel, and I will be very proud to say I knew you when...

  14. Such wonderful powerful writing kj. There's not much I can add that's already been said, but I enjoy your writing and am looking forward to your next installment. I'm going to buy 'The Light Stays On' soon!

  15. lori, you are so great to compliment and support me. thank you. now we could spend days talking about your photography.
    tatie! how does aunt tatie sound? i've been looking for the right name and i think you've nailed it for me. xoxox

    mim, the question you have aptly asked about why casey stops and the good and ignores the bad for so long is THE question of the book. i wonder what the answer will be!! ps (love you mim)

    mark, comeplex as in pathologically pathetic, i think. maybe karmic forces are at play, who knows? catherine would certainly have a different tale to tell, that's for sure. ♥

    marion, this is a difficult book to write. emotions surround me and i love how you know that already. but it is also fascinating and honest and revealing--all things good. xoxoxo

    susan, thank you. thank you. :)
    i'll be by soon. xoxo

  16. I don't do cheese. Since cheese and I broke up, my butt has gotten smaller. teehee. **kisses** Deb

  17. I am delighted to be able to read parts of your new novel, thanks for sharing the work in progress with us.
    Keep writing my friend, I see that is for sure one of the things you where born to do, and I am sure there are other great ones.

  18. deborah, alittle cheese for your friends can't hurt, can it? :)

    mariana! hello! i LOVE that you said i was born to write. finally, it feels that way. i love writing.
    how are you, dear friend? ♥

  19. Just stopping by to prove I'm still alive. I'll talk longer, later. It does have the makings of a great book.
    "at some unknown point Casey had been abandoned to the point .." one too many 'points'. Best friends don't treat each other so manipulatively.

  20. baino, don't you just love a friend who helps you be better? thanks for pointing out the point. :) i miss you but take your time, girlfriend. tsup!