Cutting Room Floor: The Edge of Wonderland

I am starting to work on the rewrite of the next Looking Glass Saga book, The Edge of Wonderland!1 One of the fun things about going back through the first drafts, particularly one that I wrote several years ago, is finding the strange lines and weird notes I’ve left for myself in the process of writing it.

Commentary about working on vacation:

Yes. Working through the holidays like AMERICA.

I like this, but it doesn’t work where it is:

“No, that’s what plotting sounds like,” Adrianna said. “I know my brothers. I know what them plotting something sounds like.”

 

In which I notice I haven’t thought things through.

Alice tried to count the doors, but she didn’t know how many. I have really made this house ridiculously huge and will be downsizing it in the future.

Unfortunately, this cannot stay.

Alice got the feeling of royalty from her, but in a different way from the Queen of Hearts. Where the Queen was unhinged and quite probably completely deranged, [she] seemed much more benevolent and willing to not cut off her head or rip out her heart. Alice appreciated that.

Actually, this might stay as well. I loved this movie.

Apparently Santa Claus, who Alice was aware of but never really knew much about, was a child who was raised by fairies and sometimes attacked by monsters. Somehow, this was not in line at all with any of the things that Alice had grown up learning about the figure and they were quickly joined by Ryan, who was quick to point out how completely inaccurate the fairies were, as well as the creatures that they were fighting against. He seemed to have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the mythology, but he used it to make the movie a little more entertaining.

Also, I know very little about Christmas.

She’d made cookies and watched more Christmas movies than she’d ever watched or made ever before in the time she was here, as well as helped do more Christmas thing that people do traditionally. Dammit, I really don’t know that much about other people’s traditions. Also, generic hanging out at home stuff. She learned to play video games and she kind of sucks at them, but she can button mash all right. Which she cheats on.

Anyway, Christmas!

  1. Still debating on the title. It may change by the end of this whole rewrite []

Genetically Impaired

So I found an old document from 2006 for a serial I started working on, but never finished. It was a comic at one point1 and then I tried to go back in time and write the whole thing. Eventually, I abandoned the project, though I have thought about picking it back up from time to time. It’s interesting going through the original files and seeing what I was trying to do back then.2


Shattered glass and flying mortar were the last things he remembered seeing, the last things he felt embedded into his flesh and drawing out his blood at a rapid rate. Now he was simply awaiting death.

What death was waiting for, he had no idea. There was a point where he thought he had died, feeling a cold hand rip his soul from his body and hurl him into a small pinpoint of light that grew until it engulfed him in the warmth of the afterlife, but that image had faded away a few moments after. There was just nothing, and he started to feel like he wasn’t quite dead anymore. Not quite alive, but certainly not quite dead.

It felt like quite a long time now. Dying, it seemed, was not as quick a process as he had hoped and he was waiting for something, anything really, that would give him a reason for still sitting in limbo waiting for the great beyond. Unless he was a ghost now, ready to meander the earth but not ready to get up quite yet. He might even buy that if he could actually feel any of his limbs, but all he felt now was detached.

Perhaps he was lacking in the self reflection and coming to terms with his own death, before moving on? Would that make the gods happy? Fine.

He had stolen a car. It was a stupid move now that he thought about it, but he had already done it. It had been a nice one too, but there was hardly any reason to regret that now. He had done it, gotten in, and very easily managed to hot wire the thing.

He remembered that the engine roared at his touch, a thing he was very proud of at the time before he had closed the door. And then he had done the stupidest thing in his entire life. He shifted it into gear and stepped on the gas.

It was about that time that he had realized that, while he had seen people drive before, he did not know how to drive himself. Even then, however, completely out of control, he had been laughing and enjoying himself, confident that he could pick it up along the way.

And then he had crashed. He had managed to get very far along the way, well out of town and crashed into the side of the building. The wall gave out under him, though he saw nothing but the shattering glass and falling mortar which should have by all means managed to kill him by now. Especially now that he had come to terms with the fact that he was fully aware that he had died in a stupid manner and he was very ready to face judgment or reincarnation or whatever it was that death had in store.

Still not dead. What else did he have left to do? He’d already done every damn thing that he could come up with and that had done a grand total of nothing.  This was going to be agonizing. That, or this right here was death. He was quickly discovering a deep hatred for death.

He was also discovering that his face was becoming warm. More startling, he was discovering that he could feel his face at all, as well as a slight feeling that there was light in his eyes. Death, it seemed, was getting sloppy because he was definitely not dead now. Not even heading towards it.

Opening his eyes, he winced and let out a soft groan against the light, shying away from it as he brought an arm up to shield himself from the glaring sun streaming in over his face. Maybe he was just regaining sensation after being in the light for so long. Perhaps when the light had engulfed him, he had just gone blind for this agonizingly long time and now his sight was returning along with the feeling of whatever body he had for his afterlife.

The sound of the small, startled scream, he was pretty certain that he was alive, though.

  1. If you want, I can try to find the files and post the old comic up []
  2. But oh my, the prose is a little painful to look at []

Day’s Work Part 2: Find Her Phone

Sorry for the delay! I’m hoping to do this weekly, so check back next Saturday to see what your votes got her next. And if you don’t know what this is, check out the previous post.

 


The phone would start ringing shortly, but Dawn was already moving to the corner of the room where she’d dropped her clothing from the night before. She sat down in front of it, moving everything out of the way until she picked up the skirt and reached into her pocket to pull out the small device.

Well rested or not, it still felt like a very long night and she was not properly awake until after she had her tea. With a yawn and a groan, she stretched her arms wide until she heard her back crack loudly. It was going to be a long day and she was perfectly willing to put it off just a little longer.

The phone rang in her hands. The call display showed no information, but she already knew who was on the other end. Her roommates, Di and Ezra, were already out and looking to cause trouble. They would be asking her what they should do to have the most fun today.

The day was going to be chaos even without those two, but she might be able to mitigate some of it if she talked to them first.

Find Her Phone - What Happens Next?

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Spire O’Ashes

I wrote a thing last month and decided to expand a little on it. When last we saw our protagonist, she was stuck in a cabin in the woods and couldn’t quite remember who she was.


The wifi kicked in. Apparently my reception in the middle of nowhere is fantastic. I took a quick walk around and I can’t figure out how I even have electricity, but I do. And I’m deciding not to question it.

Luckily, I have a lot of accounts logged into my laptop and, according to Facebook, my name is Spire O’Ashes. It’s the name on my Twitter and everywhere else I tried as well. I get a weird feeling about it, like that’s only technically right and I’m missing something.

Then again, what’s in a name, right?

The nice thing is that if I want to know anything about myself, I can just look through my Facebook. Every time I see a post, I start vividly hallucinating about what happened. I saw a photo of a party I was at and ended up on the roof of the house by the time I was finished remembering what happened at it. That was a great night, but I think this trip down memory lane is starting to distract me.

But I can’t post anything. It’s strange, but I can’t seem to make a single post. It says I don’t have permission and to print out a form and bring it to the central office. I’m not sure what it means by that. I’m in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know what office it’s talking about or how I’d get there.

I mean, my car is back. Or it was. It showed up again in the night last night, but it vanished again this morning. This place is so weird and I don’t know what I should be more worried about. My car going missing? The amazing internet that won’t let me post or upload anything without a form? Those weird lights I see in the woods? The feeling that something is watching me whenever I leave this cabin? The fact that my cupboards are as full as they were when I first got here despite the fact that I know I’ve eaten that entire bag of Oreos three times already?

Maybe that last one isn’t so bad.

I really should start writing. That’s why I came out here, right? I wanted to get away from it all and get that book done. And started. Where did I leave those notes? I hope I brought them. I must have brought them…

Day’s Work – Part 1: Waking Up

While I’m writing the next book, I’m also trying to do some work on the Choose Your Own Adventure tie in. For a little fun, I thought I’d let you guys play along a little. Here’s the first part. Tell me what you want to happen next!


 

Routine was the only thing that got her out of bed. She’d already waited until noon to finally open her eyes, but it was going to be a long day. She wanted nothing more than to crawl back under the covers and sleep until the next morning. She could already see the fire, the gnashing teeth, the inside of her cell, and the less than pleasant coworkers waiting for her once she stepped out the door.

Dawn learned quickly that the biggest problem with seeing the future was the fact that you never stopped seeing it. Every possible iteration of the day played out before her and all of them were unpleasant.

Swinging her legs off the bed, she rolled out from under the sheets and let her toes sink into the rug. She pushed the glimpses of the future away and wiped the sleep from her eyes as she made the bed. She knew precisely how awful of a day it was going to be, but the day would continue to progress whether she wanted to face it or not.

Besides, if she slept now, she would only be woken up by the phone.

Waking Up - What Happens Next?

  • Find her phone (100%, 2 Votes)
  • Put on the kettle (0%, 0 Votes)

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Writer’s Retreat Gone Strange

This is just a little idea I had that I wrote down. Let me know what you think!


I’m not entirely certain this is the cabin I rented.

Look, my sense of direction might be bad, but I followed the map exactly! And I found a cabin in the woods that looked just like the picture. The key even worked when I tried it in the lock. So this is probably it, but it’s weird.

The woman said all I’d need was food and the rest of the cabin would be ready for me. And it was! I got my suitcase out of the car and then I dragged all the food inside. It was cozy and it all seemed perfect. I spent some time getting myself settled in and getting hyped up for my solo week in the middle of nowhere with no distractions. I was going to get work done! At last, I was going to get things done.

But, I mean, it was such a nice day. I had to take a walk. How often do you get to take a walk in the forest without other people on the paths, right? But when I went outside, that’s when things started to go wrong.

See, my car was missing when I got outside. Which is weird, because I’m pretty sure I saw it through the window just before I opened the door. I didn’t hear anything, but it was definitely gone when I went outside.

It was back when I got inside and closed the door, though. I can see it out the window. I just can’t get to it somehow.

I’m trying not to think about it too much. After all, I’m not planning to use the car, right? The plan was to rent a cabin in the middle of the woods for the week and get the book done. Or started.

I’m still worried about the car, though. I mean, I have to get back out of here at some point. But I’ve gone in and out of here a dozen times and every time, the car is missing. Not only that, but there’s something different about the woods every time I go out. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something off about it. Like the woods are moving just a little bit every time I close my eyes, then stopping when I open them and hoping I don’t notice that they’ve moved. I do know they’ve moved, but I can’t say how.

It’s midnight and the sun hasn’t set yet. It hasn’t even moved. The moon is out, though. Three of them.

I’m sure I’ll figure out how to get back home eventually. After all, I’m only supposed to be here a week. In case I don’t, though, and this ends up being some freaky woman goes missing in the woods after finishing her masterpiece of a novel situation…

(I really should start on that novel. That’s why I’m out here.)

If anyone finds this I’m…. I can’t remember my name. That’s strange. I had it a moment ago. Maybe that’s what I should try to figure out first. I can’t start this book is without knowing what my name is, right?