We write. We revise.
A solo flute began a delicate and languid theme, floating like the warmed scent of rose and carnation on the summer air beneath a cerulean cloudless sky. Up and down the melody glided, a dragonfly hovering, appraising which stem on which to light. A harp glissando fluttered like leaves tickled by a passing wind; followed by soft dialogue between harmonizing horns. A faun roused heavy-headed from a nap, still caught in the illusion of his dream and added his own pan-pipe melody to the hum and quiver of the woods. As nymphs and naiads passed by him, the Faun mused on what sensual pleasures they might enjoy. Slowly, layer upon layer, muted horns, strings, and harp join in a complex mélange: the hot breath of sighs and undulating lily skin in the sacred dance of the earth; bursting pomegranates and blood ripe grapes; a sultry pair of blue eyes, cool as a hillside spring, murmuring in exotic orchestral timbres. Yes, all of Mallarmé’s imagery came alive. ~Excerpt from 38 Umbrellas, The Story of Erik Satie, a novel-in-progress by Michelle Fogle.
As they washed the masa off their fingers Doli twisted the tan line where her wedding band had been, counter then clockwise, as if, like a missing limb it was still there. Bird did the same thing with her wrist, not because of a missing man, but because of a bad loan she hadn’t repaid, converting her silver and turquoise bracelet to dead pawn. ~Excerpt from Bad Men Among Whites, a novel-in-progress by Mark Radoff.
Sometimes when I bathe her, I think about how easy it would be. All I’d have to do is give her Relleflex and Valium with her supper instead of just before bed, then get her into the bathtub with the water nice and warm, just how she likes it. Then I’d slap the side of my head, “Rats!” I’d tell her “I forgot a washrag.” And I’d leave her alone in the tub for 15, maybe 20 minutes. Plenty of time for what needs to happen. (I didn’t get this idea on my own – that’s how Whitney Houston died. I read it in People magazine while I was waiting to get a back molar filled.) I even know what I’d do after I came back into the bathroom – I’d drain the water and cover her body with a towel (she’s so modest) then call the ambulance.
~Excerpt from the short-story-in-progress by Nancy Nygard.
Each day at noon, like clockwork for a week now, I insert the needle into my hip, into my flesh squeezed together by the determined fingers of my free hand. Slowly, surely, excess estrogen permeates my existence. This is day six and I sense my hormones, on overload, swimming, up-river, through my veins. One moment, I want to roar like a tigress protecting her cubs. In another, I want to shrivel up in a fetal position. I see myself in a rocking chair, cradling a baby. I hear my voice whisper a melody, Hush little baby, don’t say a word, mamma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. ~Excerpt from The Egg Diary, a novel-in-progress by Jill Dyan Martin.