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.