Friday, October 1, 2010

The Journey of a Thousand Miles, blah, blah, blah.

My new goal beginning today, the first day of October, is to simply write a page a day on the new novel. I figure I'll just get up an hour earlier each day, after all how much different is three hours of sleep a night from four?  A single, solitary page. Even if I just did that and no more, I'd be finished by next October. So here it is, page 1.

Chapter One

     The pond was frozen, a stretch of ice that took on the black-grey color of faded asphalt in the faltering light of an overcast mid-January afternoon. In a few months, when the curtain of the season lifted, the pond would thaw in increments, and by April the park would be overrun with ruddy-faced children, mothers and nannies reading paperbacks on benches while their charges set sail little wax-sealed paper boats on a miniature sea. Allie could hear the ghosts of their laughter in puffs of wind that rattled skeletal trees.

     She didn’t glance at her watch as she rounded the park and took the turn up Church Street toward St. Michael’s; she’d finally let go of the need to time her run. Instead, she focused on the metronome thud of her heart. She kept her eyes on the sidewalk ahead, wary of a patch of ice or a loose scatter of gravel. It was new, this impulse to call up pictures of disaster: a sprained knee as she stumbled and lost her footing, a broken wrist as her hand clutched at the low stone retaining wall. Allison Brennan had never been cautious.

    The first flakes of the promised snow began to fall as St. Michael’s came into view, the leaden sky pressing down as if it were a canopy the spires might tear apart. A quarter of the way now -- two miles to St. Michael’s, two miles to the crest of Hangman’s Hill, and then back home again along the far side of the park, a circuit that she’d run almost daily for 10 years now, begun the first day after she’d turned in her shield and started life over.

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