Today I finished the second draft of my new novel, Harris Tweed. Quite happy with it.
Here’s a one sentence summary:
When HARRIS TWEED escapes his injured aunt’s attackers, he flees across country with the ghost of a young girl, to find his estranged uncle and unravel a past of lies and occult murder while learning the secrets of his family history.
Here’s the first page and a half:
Harris stared at nothing at all, and he especially did not stare at the straight blond hair of the talkative girl at the next desk. He was determined to pay no attention to the deep green sweater fuzz that waved like a forest of sea kelp, back and forth at the nape of her skinny and freckled neck. Stupid, stupid Olivia was blabbing away again, waggling her prehensile jaw like some skinny pterosaur in tight pants while putting on a fresh coat of shiny, pink lipstick and assuming that everyone within earshot was hanging on every word. “I just adore summer. Don’t you just love it? We’re spending the whole vacation at our hacienda, and it’ll be warm and sunny every day. You just have to come and visit, won’t you?”
Hacienda. Who the hell uses words like that? Harris didn’t respond. But then, she wasn’t speaking to him. She never did. He squirmed in his seat to keep from scratching at a paper cut, afraid of looking like he had some freaking skin disease. But the other kids weren’t looking—they were too busy hollering and tossing balled-up paper at the ceiling as the final bell rang.
Harris just eased lower in his chair and hunched his shoulders, picking at a scraggly line someone else had long ago carved into the wooden desk. When most of the shouting had passed out of the classroom, he grabbed his backpack and merged into the noisy hallway.
All around him, school kids bounced and jabbered like excited monkeys. He shuffled back and forth, trying not to get slam danced into the metal lockers, and muttered sourly, “I’m glad that’s over.” It was mostly true.
No one should have heard him over all the stamp and bang, but Lacey was dogging his footsteps as usual, and her high pitched voice hissed back over his shoulder, “Me too. Let’s get out of here.” On his last birthday he had become a teenager and Lacey had not, a fact he did not let her forget. He ignored her and followed the crowd jostling its way out to the yellow and black school buses, kids streaming from the building like rats from a fire.
The parking lot was full of small paper tornadoes, pink and white sheets of useless summer announcements that whirled across the windy steps and were crumpled, stomped and ignored. Harris’ classmates thought of little else but the long summer vacation to come, the start of high school like some distant finish line. Some reward. For the kids knocking into him as they eagerly ran from the school, summer was games in the streets, bicycles and adventure, blue drinks with little paper and toothpick umbrellas in them, sipped on sandy Mexican beaches. But for Harrison Cheviot Tweed, summer sucked.
Apple introduced simple–and really, really good–Screen Sharing starting back in OS 10.5 (Leopard), but most people don’t seem to know about it. We’ve got multiple computers (Mac laptops, a desktop, one PC, an iPad, iPods, iPhones), and I’ve found Screen Sharing to be a great way to help me manage and use all of these [...]
Ok, long post here. Consider yourself warned. Maybe I should make this into a 50 page iBook.
As of Mac OSX Lion, Apple’s iCloud service is still a bit on the raw side, and it can be pretty painful to get it working with any sophistication across multiple iOS devices and Macs. Since it took [...]
I recently bought myself an XBox 360, and intended to hook it up to my HDTV for high-def video, and to my stereo for audio.
But my stereo is old, and doesn’t accept HDMI inputs. And my high-def TV doesn’t have audio output. So I needed two separate cables out of the XBox: one for [...]
Name Withheld asks,
Hey – I’m considering a Mac Mini to do a home entertainment solution as per your config. A few questions:
• What do you use to connect to your TV screen? Are you happy with the quality? I like the idea of the flexibility provided by a Mac Mini vs Apple TV, [...]
I had been walking all day, starting south of QianMen in one of the old Beijing Houtongs, remnants of a much older Beijing. I worked my way through the crumbling old neighborhood to the LiQun duck restaurant mentioned in a guidebook, a small, out of the way place where the only English I heard spoken was the word [...]
The man crab-walks up to me and asks, “Lady bar?” and I imagine some sort of chocolate covered ice cream on a stick, but that’s not what he’s asking, so I politely decline. Not hungry, anyway. I wasn’t expecting to find Gentleman’s Mammary Clubs or porn shops in China, but you can hardly exit a [...]
At 7 AM on Saturday, Justin and I are met by Wang Ping, our guide to a remote and wild section of the Great Wall known as Jiankou, about 200 kilometers and 3 hours from our hotel. Ping has brought a friend, an attractive young woman of an uncertain name. After asking her to pronounce [...]
Using only a printed piece of paper showing the address in English and Chinese, a pocketful of cold, hard cash, and a caveman’s flair for wordless pointing and grunting, Justin, Steven and I share a taxi to the Adobe office. The driver isn’t familiar with the address, but in a city large enough for 17 million [...]
It’s a short line of sleepy, shuffling rather-be slumberers at 11:15 pm Sunday night in the Air China waiting line. LAX is a wishy-washy pile of an airport, closer to Lacks or Ex-LAX than to re-LAX. It’s taking five minutes a person to move the line ahead. China here I come, albeit slowly.
11:50. At [...]
Slept late Saturday after last night’s 3 AM Xbox party, my head feeling like a pumpkin tossed off the porch by rejected trick or treaters. Greg, Kim and I head into the desert valley flatlands to Twitter-chase a couple of lunch trucks that we’re expecting will shortly pull up in front of a Vietnam memorial. The [...]
Friday morning. Inauspicious start to a week of travel. I’m heading to Beijing a few days from now, but first I’m taking an extended weekend in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to me and ignored in the email that United sent to my iPhone, the flight out of SFO is early for a change, so I arrive [...]
At some point in the silent post-midnight hours after I went to bed, but before dawn’s chirruping chorus awoke my second son, Quentin Wilberforce, T.F. visited himself upon us yet again. I have never seen Quentin, nor have I heard the passage of his footfalls outside our door. He must be very light to avoid [...]
<This is a guest post written by my wife, Marci>
We are counting down the days until our oldest son, Ben, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. There are so many last-minute items to take care of, so Doug and I have divided the list and set out to conquer!
My task was going to Lucky’s, a [...]
On the first occasion of my nineteenth, I was a college freshman, as full of self-doubt and angst as I was of acne. Bespotted where now I’m beamish, confused where now content, frustrated where now fruitful.
M and I had already dated throughout that school year, and at the time, nineteen was legal drinking age. Not that [...]