Oops. Very late this year, this being the last week and all of the Clarion Write-a-Thon.
Still not too late to sponsor me or indeed any of the other amazing writers participating. All money raised goes to the Clarion workshop in the form of scholarships for students. Anything helps, srsly.
I did have a big long blog post written for the occasion, but I’m sosososo close to finishing the novel that it has simply sucked up my entire life. I will get it up here soon. Thought it’s as good a testament to Clarion as any that I’m too busy writing the novel to post on my blog, instead of the other way around…
But until then, another excerpt from Nothing and Forever below the cut.
Vanya held up a hand. Eric stepped back, leaving her to face him alone. In the low light, her dark curls looked like a shadow descended down upon her. A negative of a ghost, or a ghost made of darkness. Because of him.
“You’re not Zen. Not our Zen.”
Nope, the words made no more sense the second time. “The one who’s dead?”
A flicker of confusion broke in at the edges of Eric’s fierce expression. For that brief moment, his face nearly transformed back into the person Zen knew so well, no less heartbreakingly familiar than Vanya’s.
A positive sign. They were still themselves, underneath all this. Maybe that’s what they needed more of. No magical resets, Hollywood or not. No stunts. Just them. If they needed more than that, maybe things had become irreparable between them.
Vanya swooped in close enough he could see the vein in her neck shuddering with the beat of her pulse. “You killed him. Stop treating it like a joke. Like because you did it to yourself, it’s somehow okay.” She seemed about to say more but stopped and rushed from the room, a hand pressed to her mouth.
Eric and Cassidy stared after her. Even Donovan stopped strumming to glance at Zen with alarm as Vee stomped back in, something hidden behind her back.
A fist of panic tried to punch its way out of Zen’s gut. Had she went and grabbed a gun? Maybe he’d made a slight tactical miscalculation.
Well done. You convinced her you weren’t dead—and made her want to fix that error. And it only took, what, an hour?
Yes, but that’s with one hand tied behind his back.
She stormed over to him, hand still hidden.
At least his mother would get the comeback press coverage of her dreams. And you know what, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. No more waking up every day to remember all over again that his father wasn’t here. That the accident was all his fault. That he’d lost Vanya. That it was just him and the Great Gilly Carmichael putting on the performance of their lives— the lie of their lives—for an audience of zero.
No more guilt. That actually sounded best of all.
He looked right at her and didn’t even flinch.“Do it.”
She whipped her arm from behind her back so fast a burst of moving air swept across his face. He managed not to flinch but barely. Because in her hand…
Not a gun.
Never, ever underestimate Vanya.
She waved a picture in front of his face.
A picture of him.
A picture of him dead.