Reissue of THE ARCHIVES

I’ve been doing more thinking about writing than actually writing, and I’ve been looking back at several things I’ve written. There isn’t much incentive to start something completely new, mostly because I have zero new ideas, but also because my mind keeps cycling the old stories and characters through my head. They still fascinate me.

So I figure that if I can revisit one (or more?) of them, it might give me more incentive to continue to write (or at least make my existing writing better), and it will make my characters shut up because they will finally get much-needed attention.

THE ARCHIVES seems to be the best candidate for revisiting. It’s a tiny story (only about 36,000 words) that I posted on FictionPress circa 2010–2011 (though it takes place in 2002–2004). In the vein of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones, I wrote in verse, but I limited myself to one 100-word chapter per day for a year. I never wrote anything like THE ARCHIVES before; it was super short, almost entirely based on real life (many of the events are true or close to it, but the characters are composites or entirely invented), and in first-person point of view. To be honest, it didn’t even have much of a plot until midway through because it wasn’t planned, and I had no clue where I was going with it. THE ARCHIVES was more of an experiment than anything else. If I had to summarize it, it’d be something like “High school girl, dubbed ‘The Archivist’ by her peers, comes out from behind the scenes to solve a mystery.”

Somehow THE ARCHIVES became fairly popular. The readers related to the crazy high school shenanigans, and it got a lot of comments. People followed it, and someone actually remembered it several years after I’d taken it off FictionPress. To this day, I really don’t know why it was the most “successful” out of all the stuff I posted on FictionPress, especially when I put so little effort into it compared to the other things I was working on. Probably a “right place at the right time” kind of thing.

Because it’s so low maintenance and supposedly one of the “better” things I’ve written, I’ve decided to reissue it here, at the agonizingly slow pace of one chapter per day,* starting tomorrow (and I doubt I post every day, but I’ll try to). I’m not planning to change anything major, just fix typos and anything else that makes me go “WTF” when I read it. As always, comments are welcome.

*So this means that sometimes there will be two posts a day. I apologize in advance if this will annoy you.

I Wrote

A miracle has happened!

I actually managed to write about a page in one of my stories that’s been neglected since mid-2016 or so. That was the first page of fiction I’ve written in… over a year, I think.

Picking up where I left off was easier than expected, and I remembered how the characters behaved, more or less, so the mere act of writing made me ridiculously happy.

Lest I jinx anything, I haven’t set any kind of word count goal, although I do plan to keep writing on my lunch breaks or whenever I can get a minute. Even one word a day is better than nothing!

Excerpt from XIII: Strophe

Sometimes it’s fun to open the proverbial drawer and take a look at old writing, even when you don’t think you’ll ever revisit it again. About two years ago, I got the crazy idea that I might revise XIII, my old series and one of my favorite things I’ve written. I’m still bothered by the fact that XIII remains completely finished but mostly unedited; I suppose I have a hard time letting go, which is why I return to it at times. My mind wants to “complete the circuit.” Upon looking through the most recent revisions, I found that my writing is passable but still needs work. There’s something about it that’s “missing,” but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

This excerpt is from the September 2015 revision of Chapter 11 of the first book in the series, STROPHE,* which introduces the main characters who remain in play for most of the series and hints at the upcoming supernatural conflict (related to demigods and Greek mythology).

Low, murmuring voices broke into her thoughts. Gavin was speaking to his mother, but Naomi couldn’t hear a word they were saying, and from where she stood on the stairs, she could see only the gray streaks in Gavin’s mother’s hair as the light from the television flickered over them.

“Naomi,” Gavin said, and she followed his voice until she joined him on the couch opposite the plush recliner in which his mother rested.

Ms. Dufford was a squat mushroom of a woman; she had a smooth, youngish face that betrayed little emotion, and as Naomi moved closer and stretched out her hand for her to shake, she caught the scent of mold on the air, as though the woman were releasing spores. “Hi,” Naomi said. She put on her best school spirit smile and waited for Ms. Dufford to take her hand.

She did not. “I heard my stepdaughter admiring your outfit,” she said.

Naomi dropped her hand and slipped it into her other, which she hid behind her back. “She said she liked it,” she said.

As Sylvia had done, Ms. Dufford glanced at Naomi, who shivered involuntarily, like the woman’s gaze itself emitted dust that tickled her skin.

“Naomi and I are going back up to my room,” Gavin said. He took Naomi’s hand and threaded his fingers in hers. His hand felt clammy, like he was feverish. The entire house seemed to have taken on a dismal cast that not even the bright, smiley commercials on the television could lift.

“You do that. I hope you will remember what I told you,” Ms. Dufford said.

Feedback is welcome.

*strophe [n]: (1) the movement of the classical Greek chorus while turning from one side to the other of the orchestra; (2) the part of a Greek choral ode sung during the strophe of the dance.