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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beneath the Skin

So I'm having a strange week. A good week, but a strange one none the less. First off, my mom makes this comment. "I just finished reading this book by "insert best-selling author here" and I couldn't stop thinking that I wish you'd finish your book. You're so much better than he/she is."

Now I don't put too much stock in the comment since it came from my mother, but it gave me a little flutter in my stomach anyway.

Then Monday morning I wake up at 5am and Braden and Alex are tormenting me. For 2 hours they keep asking me questions. What if this, what if that? You know if you wrote this, this might happen.

Again I shrugged it off. See I haven't so much as doodled my name on a scratch piece of paper in months, and every time I see my notebook laying there, I kinda cringe, and truth be told get slightly nauseas. this could be due to the pregnancy, mind you, but I don't think so.

Then last night my husband gets a new TV, so he's busy putting it together. *Yawn*
So I grab a book that's been on my bookshelf for months. I have no idea who the author is (Nikki French) and I can't remember why I picked it up at the half priced bookstore in the first place, except perhaps that I liked the title (Beneath the Skin)

By page 3 I'm saying "wow", by page eleven the world around me has started to blur around the edges,I'm vaguely conscious of the fact that my husband is speaking to me, but the words are muffled as if I'm wearing earmuffs.

I'm in the story.

I'm standing on the streets of London watching a man and woman jumping off a moving bus. I can smell the smells of summer, and I can taste the cherries Zoe is eating. I hear the thud of the woman's head as she hits the pavement, can feel the thick sticky blood pouring out of her mouth, the broken tooth scraping my fingers.

For the next 419 pages I'll be walking the streets of London, being stalked by a madmen, and I'm going to love every minute.

So thank you Nikki French for getting under my skin. For making me want to study writing again, not just pass the time with a good book.

Opening Line Chapter One

"I wouldn't have been famous if it weren't for the watermelon."


"It was hot, but that may give you the wrong impression. It may make you think of the Mediterranean and deserted beaches and long drinks with colorful paper parasols dangling out of them. Nothing like that. The heat was like a big old smelly mangy greasy farty dying dog that had settled down on London at the beginning of June and hadn't moved for three horrible weeks."


"Normally the choice of books that I read to my class is dictated according to facist totalitarian principles imposed by the government, but this morning I'd rebelled just for once and read them a Brer Rabbit story I'd found in a cardboard box of battered childhood books when I'd cleared out my Dad's flat. I'd lingered over old school reports, letters written before I'd been born, tacky China ornaments that brought with them a flood of sentimental memories. I'd kept all the books because I thought one day I might have children myself and then I could read them the books that Mum had read to me before she had died and left it to Dad to tuck me into bed each night, and reading aloud just became another of those things that were lost, and so in my memory had become something precious and wonderful. Whenever I read aloud to kids there's a bit of me feels as if I've turned into a soft, blurred version of my mother;that I'm reading to the child I once was."

All in 15 pages.

That's what I'm talking about.

1 comment:

Crystal Phares said...

I'm so glad you're back!!!!