“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last week, when my family and I were on vacation along Italy’s Amalfi Coast (no internet access to speak of), my dearest friend and writing partner, Erika Robuck, passed along a writing challenge: to post 7 lines from the 77th page of my novel. It’s one of those tag-your-friend challenges and so oodles of novelist friends have been posting teasers from their latest work.
The online world of writers and writer friends has turned out to be one of my most treasured networks of friends, especially since writer friends know what the inside of my head is like (filled with thoughts, stories, and connections of obscure things), and embrace the writing journey alongside me as I work toward publication and life as a career novelist.
Here, a couple of links to friends’ blogs with their teasers:
Erika Robuck, whose upcoming HEMINGWAY’S GIRL will be published by NAL/Penguin in September
Kimberly Brock, whose debut novel THE RIVER WITCH has just been published last week
Hallie Sawyer, whose WIP is on the historical Kansas orphan train
Sarah McCoy, whose THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER was released earlier this year
Jenna Blum, whose stunning novel, THOSE WHO SAVE US, continues to be a bestseller, and her second novel, THE STORMCHASERS, ties into her love for stormchasing
Okay– now for my 7 lines from page 77 of my novel-on-submission, WATER LILY. Actually, I stretched it to include 12 lines, so it makes more sense …
In this scene, Rachel (the protagonist) is talking with a former friend outside the library at Columbia University. She’s just spent hours trying to find answers to questions raised by a letter she received about her deceased parents and her past:
“Hmm. I’m guessing then that it said the opposite of what you’ve always been told?” David said.
I breathed deep and steadied my words before they came out. It was impossible to act as though I was fine. But I had to be. I didn’t know what the truth was. “Yes.”
David’s head turned sharply toward me, and the affable exterior he wore so well was gone. “It’s serious, then.”
I nodded, pulling at a blade of grass between my fingers. “I can’t have anyone finding out about it. It’s of the magnitude that it would affect my wedding. My job. Flurry and Dick. Everything.”
“If you want, I can try to help you find out more.”
I glanced at his face, sincere. “I don’t know. I hoped I could figure it out on my own and be done with it, soon, so I could get back to normal.”
“Normal.” He smiled, and stared off into the far distance. “My background is architecture, but I have friends who are in law.” His eyes turned to mine. “If you want, I could ask if they would help you. And of course, they would keep whatever they help you find under wraps.”
My mouth crackled with dryness. “Can I think about it?”
People passed along the sidewalk in front of us, and I watched in silence. Parents walked alongside their kids, as if taking them for freshman orientation.
“Sure. Of course.” David pulled a worn bi-fold wallet from his pocket, and withdrew a business card from one of the leather slots. “Call me or email me if you decide you want the help. I’ll do all I can to connect you to what you need, anytime.”
David’s eyes stayed on me as I stared into the distance. I could feel the weight of his stare, hot, as if he could burn his way through my exterior and see my thoughts for himself. He knew me, and I had forgotten how that felt. I turned to face him.
“Thank you,” I said, taking the card. “This means a lot.”
Next week, I’ll be posting photographs from my travels in Southern Italy and the stunningly turquoise waters of the Mediterranean along Positano and the Amalfi Coast. A teaser photograph:
As always, thanks for joining in the journey–and if you’d like to leave a comment, I love hearing from you! -JK