My writing teacher, who is also my current editor, has advised me many times not to post any part of my second novel on my blog. "It will influence you when it's not good to be influenced," she says.
I'm not sure about that. Perhaps because 500 double spaced unedited pages have already been written. And perhaps because for me my blog is a safe haven where people I respect can say whatever and I appreciate that.
Here is another excerpt from the found manuscript of the book that's taking its own sweet time. This is the first person story of Casey Mango, a middle aged, intelligent, confused, at least slightly attractive woman with an equal capacity to soar and sink, sometimes simultaneously:
Joyce was an imposing woman: six feet tall with soft chocolate skin and body language that said, ‘proceed at your own risk.’ The only person of color in the office, she was extremely bright and clearly guarded. Her laugh was rare but deep and infectious and I got a kick from the challenge of wearing down her wall of resistance.
“Come on, Joyce! Be my friend!” I’d tease her.
We met in late August at Brant Rock in Marshfield at a casual restaurant on the beach. My marriage was rocky. It was dusk when we began our shared appetizer of cheese fondue and jet black when we finished our shared chocolate cake.
“How about we walk on the beach?” Joyce asked me. I remember how the moon bounced off the incoming waves, one string of light after another, silver ribbons. We walked to the shoreline and sat beside each other in the sand, the tide stopping just inches in front of us. At that moment and not until that moment, I knew this was a date.
We saw each other two times the following week and the next time after that, at Joyce’s apartment, sitting on her bed, she tossed her fists in the air.
“I can’t control myself any longer,” she said. I knew what she meant.
That first time Joyce and I made love I experienced the first real orgasm of my life. I’d had no idea. It was a rush and ecstasy that carried me out of my body and straight into the cosmos. Shortly afterwards I understood that my passion was apparently triggered by women and knew I was in love with Joyce, who was also in love with me. I stayed with my husband for another six months, carrying on a deeply satisfying and often guilt ridden affair with Joyce, until one evening, buckling under the weight of boredom, I asked him for a separation and he reluctantly moved out the next day.
Joyce and I would continue to shake the planets for the next two years, sometimes two, sometimes three times a day, everyday, until it became clear that I had not removed my husband’s clothes from the bedroom closet and I could not bring myself to ask him for a divorce. Joyce hung in with me through my short lived affair with a young blond California surfer guy; she patiently moved in with Grace and me for several months, and then, just after Jimmy Carter lost the election, she left me for a woman she had met at work. I never saw it coming and I was in full disbelief for weeks and months and then years. I’d never doubted Joyce, not for a second.
That’s what happens, I think, when you grow up believing you can bend your will.
Your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated. But don't tell my writing teacher.