Friday, May 05, 2006

ECZEMA - my story for Electric Velocipede

This week I have been writing a short story for the Electric Velocipede anthology. Each story is based on a winning word in the National Spelling Bee. The word I chose was ECZEMA because I thought the idea of a skin disease had lots of potential for a SF/fantasy story - and I am a bit sick (so my sons keep telling me).

So far it is just over 5000 words long and I am enjoying myself very much - though I wrote nothing today. Here is an excerpt - as you can see it is geological in tone.

'‘You were found near an egg - Mother told me.’ Melissa announced one day in the middle of an argument when Mother had long gone and therefore was no longer available to confirm or deny. ‘It was an old one, but very large, and you were lying beside it - whining as usual - with a shrivelled yellow thing attached to a cord going into your stomach.’

I had touched my navel through my shirt– I had always been self-conscious of it – it was much larger and deeper than any other navel I had seen and looked as if a signifigant part of my stomach had been sucked inside.

‘You were instead of me,’ she’d added cruelly. ‘I was what they really wanted – a child of their own. But they picked you up because they couldn’t leave you there. You were squawking helplessly in the middle of a quarry and they were blasting out more rock all the time, so Father picked you up and hid you in his haversack, and said you’d been born in their tent in the middle of their field trip – an unexpected side-product of a highly successful investigation.’

‘What had they been studying?’ I asked numbly. Mother and Father were both geologists.

‘Pre-Cambrian schists. They were hoping to find early evidence for life and got rather more than they bargained for.’

‘Did they think I was Pre-Cambrian then?’

Melissa had shrugged, obviously bored. ‘Maybe. I dunno.’'


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Clare,
I have never visited a blog before so I don't know my way around and where to post a comment. I just wanted to say that I just took your novel--one day the ice will reveal all its dead-- out of the library (here in the U.S., Ithaca College, where I teach Science, Writing, Technical Writing, Personal Essay, etc.). The semester is just ending so I will start reading immediately.

Fri May 05, 08:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. My name is Elizabeth Lawson. Didn't mean to be anonymous.

Fri May 05, 08:21:00 pm  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

An interesting extract, Clare. I look forward to reading the rest.

Fri May 05, 09:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Lawson: so pleased you've picked up my book. Thanks for letting me know. I hope you enjoy it.

Jason: Thank you! I value you opinion.

Fri May 05, 11:30:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

That is very tantalising ... good luck with it!

Sat May 06, 09:19:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Chiefbiscuit - it is a little different from the stuff I've written recently - more like my writing for children. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to allow strange things to happen, to lose yourself in the weird.

Sat May 06, 12:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe, I dunno." A classic!

Sat May 06, 11:38:00 pm  
Blogger Marly Youmans said...

Hi Clare--

Yes, I'm still rambling about, inspecting the snails. What have you written for children? I seem to have missed that entirely... This one looks like fun.

* * *

p. s. I picked 'smaragdine.'

Thu Aug 31, 03:03:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marlyat: 'smaragdine' - just looked that up - emerald-green. Good choice. Looking forward to reading that one - it could go anywhere.

So glad you found my blog so that I could find yours...

Thu Aug 31, 09:18:00 pm  
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Thu Nov 13, 05:59:00 am  

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