Tag Archives: Eyes on the Mountain

Progrep 65: Word-sick

Part three has begun. Maggie is back home, but her troubles haven’t ended; she is sick of words and of having trouble communicating. She wants to paint!

Progrep 64: Happy

Right now, I’m stoked.  The first reader of parts 1 and 2 says that the novel is working. I can stop worrying about part 2!

Thank you, Stephanie.

(Wanna read some mind-blowing fiction?  Visit Stephanie’s blog,http://accidentalantenna.wordpress.com/ .)


Progrep 63: Deleted Scene

IRL, I’m still wrassling with bCourses (may almost have the critter tied down).  In the meantime, no new words written in the novel, so here’s an early scene I plan to cut from the first draft of part 1.

Deleted Scene, First Draft, Part One, Eyes on the Mountain

After the ceremony celebrating the installation of her painting at Sony Corporation’s Tokyo headquarters, Maggie went shopping near Mt. Fuji in a small district that specialized in local artists’ wares. It was there that she saw the kokoro box.

The proprietor of the shop, a bent-backed elderly woman in a dove-gray scarf, pulled the brightly colored box out of the display case and laid it across a silk pad on the case’s glass top. “Hand made,” the proprietor said, rotating the wooden box slowly so that Maggie could view each of the four sides and the top and bottom all covered with paintings of cranes flying across natural and artificial landscapes rendered in vivid jewel tones.

Maggie smiled. “It’s beautiful.”

The proprietor nodded and opened the first box to reveal another nestled inside. She lifted the second box out, set the first box aside gently, and opened the second as if handling a great treasure. Inside sat a third, still smaller box.

“It’s like a Russian doll,” Maggie said.

The proprietor fell silent, her hands still, then coughed softly. “I see. But.” Her hands moved again: a fourth box, a fifth. “I think, not Russian. Not doll.”

Maggie watched, enchanted, as each box was opened to reveal another, each new box smaller and differently decorated than the preceding. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten ….

The proprietor set the tiny eleventh box in the center of her wrinkled palm, cocked her head at an angle, and looked at Maggie out of the corner of her eye. She held the box up, as if inviting Maggie’s close attention.

“Is that the last?” Maggie asked, bending down to study the box. It was made of whitish wood carved so that the surface was bumpy like chicken skin. One of the bumps was dyed a soft blue.

The proprietor raised a finger and pressed the blue bump. Instead of opening like the others had, this box unfolded to lie flat; the four sides separated at the seams and fell away from the center, one side carrying along the hinged lid, which lay equally flat on the woman’s palm.

In the center of the flattened box sat a diminutive carving in dark wood. Maggie leaned closer.

“Kokoro,” the proprietor said, lifting the carving out and placing it into Maggie’s hand. “Means ‘heart’.”

Maggie ran her forefinger over the wooden carving. It was a shoe. An empty baby shoe.

Like a pallet knife to the heart, the memory came: Samuel, her precious baby Sammy, face gray in death.

Maggie closed her fist gently around the carving. Her other hand shook as she reached for her wallet.


Progrep 61: Part Two Problems

photoPart two moves too slowly AND too quickly, intercutting among several POV characters (all in third person), sometimes spending too much time with a character, and sometimes spending too little time, and at this point, I don’t know if any of that time is interesting.

To fix the problem with part two, I should either change the structure, or prune, prune, prune the text.  I’ll probably start by pruning, because the structural changes would be massive; I’d have to import sections from part three, which would add even more characters and POVs to the already crowded cast of part two.  If I could, I’d let Maggie carry the entire POV for part two, but I’d like the readers to care about the other part-two characters, an effect that would be undermined if I omit their POVs.

The world in part two has to be appealing.  If it isn’t, a sequel to Eyes on the Mountain will be less enticing.

Of course, no one has read part two except for me.  Maybe it’s better than I think.  But probably not.  🙂

(That sticky note on the page says, “Pestle interference @ ends seems irrelevant . . . “, which isn’t the sort of note I want to be leaving myself.)

Progrep 60: Doubt

I’ve gone over the first draft of part two, and I don’t like it nearly as much as part one, mainly because it’s quite different . . . which is a problem, because it is supposed to be quite different.  Gotta find a way to make it not quite so “quite” in its difference.  Drat.

Progrep 59: Reading

Reading the first two parts and wondering if I should post a scene that I’ll probably delete from the manuscript.

What say you?

Progrep 58: Heading Home

I finished the first draft of part two a few moments ago. Maggie has thrown the white paint and sung the colors.

Progrep 57: And . . .

The storm is here.

Progrep 56: Pre-nostalgia

Almost at the end of part two. It was a short one today, only a page and a half, but it made me cry.

A storm is coming.

Progrep 55: Frog Fork

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the characters in Eyes on the Mountain is an author named Spencer Farthing who writes a series of novels about Frog Fork. Frog Fork is a strange little town that makes perplexing items like garlic-scented soap, dust for window blinds, and Mel’s Melted Ice.

Because a subplot in Eyes involves a play based on the first of Spencer’s Frog Fork tales, I had to write that tale. Now I’m looking the story over and scratching my head.  It breaks several of the rules of good writing, but it works anyway, maybe because it doesn’t try to be anything but what it is:  quirky and short.

I’m thinking of posting the tale on the Frog Fork blog sometime this week.  If I do, I’ll cross-post here.