Monday, June 27, 2011


I committed to sharing a completed manuscript by the last day of June and that will not happen. Then I committed to sharing the first 50 pages of a completed manuscript and that will not happen either. But still, I can see that a book I have snippeted my way through for months will now be taking near final form. I still have days and days of editing and new writing and bridges and ordering to do, but there is form now. I love the work involved in this part. I don't know if this will remain the opening chapter, and I've been warned not to post this material yet for fear my work on novel # 2 will suffer for it, but I cannot resist. ♥

Chapter 1
“Give it a rest,” Catherine said.
“Every contact reactivates,” the therapist said.
“Step back,” Casey said.
So when she called Catherine, two days after Catherine told her she cared only 50-50%, Casey left a shaky voicemail message which at the time she desperately mistook for strength.
“I need a month, Cat. I am too hurt to think straight. I want you in my life but I need time. I hope you know I will be there for you.”
Almost instantly Casey regretted that last sentence. It sounded hollow; it did not play to her strengths. Even though she meant it—despite the circumstance she frequently worried about Catherine—she knew Catherine would snicker at that part.
Whatever strength Casey might have managed to store in reserve folded within hours. She left another message for Catherine the next day, but this time her words were muffled by breaths that were really sobs.
“I’ve moved out and I need support. Please call me, Cat.”
Catherine did not call that day or that week or that month.
“I won’t recover,” Casey told Priya, told her friends, told anyone who happened to know.
“Yes, you will.”
“No, I won’t.”
And two years later, in a perplexing twist of unfathomable one sided disdain, it turned out Casey may have been right.


  1. This is terrific writing KJ. Gut wrenching though ... and much as i am loathe to say it ... Casey is not right about this one. At least I don't think so ... and I really really hope so too.

    It may be that she's expecting recovery to look somewhat different than it does ... and to take place over a different timeframe than it does.

    I guess healing is not a process of erasing what has happened but learning to live with it ... so that these events become a subject that perhaps causes our hearts to quieten over as we let go of the grief. xx Jos

  2. thank you for sharing this, kj. i am really intrigued about what you say regarding loving this stage of writing - it actually inspires me to return to my novel.

    and i love that you are brave enough to post work in progress.

    this is wonderful, by the way. i am already pulled in to the story. must read more......

  3. This short section is nice and tight. I think you may have bladed it enough, trimmed it to the bone so the reader is able to get to the bone without wading into the wherefores at the moment.

  4. OKAY!!!
    What happen NEXT????
    (not fair, not know I'm semi-OCD and will wonder my little brain out of it's skull)
    And the word *recovery*---is it not different to everyone even though it has become a prepackaged one size fits all, everything will be fine connotation?
    I like it ending on that.
    None of us recover.
    We grow and move on. :-)


  5. i am learning so much. i didn't know the steps to writing, it's very complex. but just like anyone who's good at what they do, you make it look so easy.
    keep up the good work kj :)

    if we could comment within comments here, i'd like to say jos's words are so lovely. and so true.

  6. The most important thing is that you ARE writing...that is far better than meeting a deadline....

    Jos said it perfectly: "I guess healing is not a process of erasing what has happened but learning to live with it "....
    As we both know, this is easier to say than to do...but one must keep trying.

    Good writing, dear "KJB"!


    ♥ Cupcake ♥

  7. well, you've hooked me kj!! you really have packed so much emotion and history into such a small space, it's truly amazing! thank you so much for sharing it with us - i'm very excited for you and your creation.

    sorry i haven't been by in so long, but really glad i happened to do it for this post :)
    much love, karin

  8. I love what you say about the writing process. It is so true about any creative process really. We have ideas about how soon it will be done, but the reality of hand forming a handmade work enters in. And the fact that it takes time and layers of wordings to create the effect one wants.

    Great first chapter leaves me wanting more.

  9. YeY! i LUV sneak peeks! Sounds FAB! <3

  10. my first thought after reading the last sentence was "oh dear". How the heck can you draw someone in so fast? oh're a writer!

  11. Maybe Casey chose to believe she wouldn't recover because that's how she truly felt at the time.
    I think we all have an incredible reserve way down deep. The ability to move on through pain and suffering is unimaginable in some cases, but the human spirit and the will to live is strong.
    I'm rooting for Casey to come out the other side, not unscathed but stronger because of it.


  12. Recovery/relapse,,,maintaining.
    It can all be so very complex,can't it?

    Much like the weaving together of word, which you do with pizazz.

    Hey kj,
    I've been finding my way back around Blogsville,,,LOVE your kitchen,,,lots of that kind of thing going on here too. Your summer is sounding right up there next to perfect.
    I'm glad!

  13. jos, who knows how this story will all unfold! i'm not yet sure myself! thank you always for your support and wisdom ♥

    amanda, thank you and i hope you do return to your novel. xoxo

    mark, i think i write tight because i don't know how to write otherwise. sometimes i wish i could write more complex sentences that build images upon images. xoxo

    anne, it's an interesting thought: what recovery actually is. i appreciate your interest and thank you very much!

    thank you lori.♥

  14. robin, i wish i had one week to hole up and do nothing else but write and eat and walk the bay. i am so psyched. i wonder if i am writing a book about healing? ♥

    well karin, this is quite a compliment. thank you so much. it is a pleasure to see you here. ♥

    suki, 'hand forming a handmade work'
    i love this phrase! so true. for a long time i didn't believe how much time a piece of writing can take. now i do! xoxo

    vicki, tsup! smooch! thank you!

    dear mim, awww, thank you friend ♥

    lo, i know i'm rooting too but at this point i'm not sure of more than a wish for transformation of one or more of the characters. xoxo

    babs, hello! hello! so nice to hear from you! are you back?! yes life is complex. and i think simple too when you get the hang of it. i hope your renovations excite you. can't wait to see xoxo

  15. Okay - I'm hooked! More please :)

    I hope this comment finds you basking in the summer sun of Provincetown or enjoying the beauty of your lovely home (great post below, by the way)... Either way I hope you have a great weekend!


  16. You've left me wanting more. This is a great first chapter. I know, if I had the completed book, I could not stop here.

    I want to read the whole story, so you'll have to write it, heehee!

    I hope you are having a happy summer overall, dear kj...xx

  17. It's a powerful start. I'm looking forward to reading it when you are all done.