Tuesday, September 11, 2012
It took a long time for me to fully understand and appreciate what happened that day. The only thing I can contribute to a discussion about 9/11 is a book recommendation.
If you're like me and spent a lot of years feeling disconnected and unaffected by something a lot of people seem to really care about, read Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan. Besides being a good coming-of-age story with a fledgling romance that makes my stomach flutter, it's a truly transcendent, emotionally telepathic novel. Because of this book, I understand why 9/11 is a big deal. Read it.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I wish The Unnaturalists was as cool, clear, and well-defined as its cover is.
I was so ready to love this book the minute I read the summary. Girl scientist in a steampunk, alternate Victorian London? Soooooo sweet. I was beyond excited when I got an ARC in the mail (thanks for the heart attack, Simon & Schuster Canada!), because usually they just send me ARCs of sequels to books I haven't read and then I have to give them away.
I was still set to love it when I read the first, breathtaking sentence: "The Sphinx stares at me from her plinth." Right on the first page, Vespa Nix is in the Museum of Unnatural History, being cornered by a freaking Sphinx. You soon find out that the Sphinx is frozen in a time-warp forcefield thing and of no real danger, which is an epic mind trip. God, the first page is so cool.
But after that -- very soon after, on like the second page -- the book becomes muddled. Vespa is pushed (by a mysterious, anonymous hand) into the forcefield and she's trapped in a forcefield-like room thing where the Sphinx is ALIVE and ABLE TO HARM HER, and you're all like OH SHIT MAN WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN HOW'S SHE GOING TO ESCAPE?!?!
But... the Sphinx just kinda looks at her. And stuff. It seems like the author is going for a super-tense, omg-is-she-about-to-spring-and-attack? kind of moment, but it drags on for, like, a couple pages of description of the moment so it ceases to be tense anymore because you're pretty sure the Sphinx is still frozen, in the author's own description freeze-frame, so she can't possibly hurt Vespa anyway.
And oh, Vespa. Vespa Nix. What an awesome name. And she's a POC (maybe mixed race?) girl in the book AND on the cover, whoot! But unfortunately, not even that -- and not even her killer dress -- can save her for me. She sounds like a Valley Girl, and in a Victorian (or pseudo-Victorian) setting, it's just so, so distracting. Also, for all that they try to make her this passionate scientist, she spends all of two minutes studying science in this book. She talks on and on about how much she wants to be the first female scientist in her world, but she never even talks or thinks about her so-called passion. She's too busy fawning over her brand-new, shiny Love Interest, Pedant Lumin/Hal/Bayne/The Architect.
I hate the love interest, by the way. He honestly had four names, and he's called each of them quite a lot of times. Who is this guy?!?! He's a scientist at the museum. No, he's a secret agent for the Architects. No, he's a lord's son. He had a major identity issue; I couldn't identify him, much less swoon over him, because I never got a clear picture of him.
I should probably mention the POV of this book. Half of it is in Vespa's first-person POV. The other half is third person POV following a young (how young, though, I wasn't really sure... maybe 12 or 13?) Tinker (think gypsy) named Syrus Reed. The two stories are barely related. The POV characters see each other a handful of times and they're loosely connected in a plot kind of way, but the discrepancy between the POVs is just too big. It felt like two novels stuck roughly together. I would have greatly preferred this book to be entirely in Syrus's third person POV. But that book, if it existed, would fit much better into the middle grade world.
I dunno. This book was just muddled.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
What happen next is more idiot romance:
Evening found the two of them in the small town of Kingston. Ea had enough gold coins to get a room at a little inn on the outskirts of town. They had a pleasant meal of bread, potato, and some cheese. There was only one small bed in the room, and Emmith said that since Ea had paid for the room, she should have the bed. But Ea said that since Emmith had rescued her, he should have the bed.
Oh, just freaking sleep together already.
They could not settle the matter, so they shared the bed. It was moderately comfortable, and they were tightly squeezed to the sides, as it felt odd to be so close to each other. Ea fell asleep first that night, and Emmith, before he fell asleep, kissed Ea every so lightly on the forehead.
Meh, I got my wish.
But I hate this. Hate with a passion. It's that stupid old trope of chaste bedsleeping between characters who are obviously attracted to each other. Ridiculously lame.
Speaking of ridiculously lame... after buying Ea "commoner dresses" in the town...
"Emmith, last night you kissed me, didn't you?"
Emmith was suddenly quite embarrassed.
"What? Oh, uh, yes I did," he stuttered. "Why do you ask?"
Ea smiled. "You could have just told me you liked me, you know. Not that I didn't like it." She looked at him.
Emmith was taken aback. "You -- you enjoyed it?"
Ea cocked her head and grinned. Emmith reached out for her hand and they walked back to the inn hand-in-hand.
Hahahahaha. He takes her hand and they walk hand-in-hand. L-O-fricking-L.
Then some soldiers arrive at the inn, looking for Queen Ea Mara. Ohhhhhh shit! Ea and Emmith escape to the roof while the soldiers search the inn, but not before they overhear the innkeeper telling the soldiers the names of the people staying at the inn and Ea hears him say "Emmith Greene and his wife, Eve."
So when the soldiers are gone, they continue journeying. Emmith is the strong, silent type.
They had been traveling for about an hour along a dusty road. Ea was practically crying. Emmith hadn't said a word since before the soldiers arrived at the inn, which was totally out of character for him.
"Emmith, what's wrong? You have been ignoring me! Please, just talk to me!" she cried.
Emmith turned to face her, his brown eyes full of hurt and confusion.
"Didn't you hear the soldiers talking to the innkeeper? They said Queen Ea Mara! Either something terrible happened to your father or he abdicated as king! You are now queen!" He was breathing heavily. "Now it's crucial that we get you to Peterberg Palace." He sat down on a log beside the road. "It was -- well -- I was hoping we could settle down together and forget your heritage."
He was close to tears. Ea sat down beside him and hugged him.
"Me too. I'm not so sure I want to be queen, now. I don't want so many people after me, hating me. I just want to be normal. And with you." She buried her face in his shoulder as he hugged her.
"I know, me too, Ea," he whispered. "Let's keep walking."
I just want to slap the two of them into next week.
The next night, they sleep in a barn. Ea goes into Emmith's backpack while he's out searching for food, because she's really good at personal boundaries, and finds his journal. Of course he keeps a journal. Of course. She reads the latest entry, which tells us absolutely nothing new. Emmith talks about the soldiers arriving at the inn, and finding out that Ea is queen. Then he sounds like a super conceited bastard as he waxes on and on about how Ea should be with him because he doesn't care about her money, unlike foreign princes or whoever else wants to marry her.
And then we get proof that Ea's head is a hollow gourd full of stale air and bits of lint.
Ea closed the journal in wonder. Did he really feel that way about her? But, then again, why did he write it if he didn't?
HE LOVES YOU. YOU'RE AN IDIOT. AND HE'S AN IDIOT.
AND I WAS AN IDIOT FOR THINKING YOU UP >.<
Monday, August 6, 2012
When we last left Ea and Emmith, the idiotic heroine and hero of my unfortunate tale, they were running away from Ea's evil Uncle Unriché, who had planned to kill Ea... at some point. He just had dinner with her, alone. Why didn't he kill her then?
The next chapter picks up with this gem of a line:
Next morning, Ea woke to the smell of fish.
...all I want to do is *facepalm*. Serious cringe. Ahhhh, don't look at me, I'm not the same writer as the one who wrote this line!
It only gets better.
"Where am I?" she said sleepily as she looked around her. She was in a small clearing in a forest, and on the other side of the clearing Emmith sat with his back to her, crouched over a campfire.
"Oh, Princess, you're awake. I made some breakfast, if you want it," he said, blushing.
"Thank you, Emmith. And you don't need to call me princess, just Ea is good." She sat up on her bed of leaves and rubbed her eyes. "So, Emmith, where exactly are we?"
Oh god. Braided ropes. Beds of leaves. The silliness continues.
Emmith shrugged. "I dunno, exactly, but we're about nine, possibly ten kilometers from your uncle's palace, approximately."
Sigh. Then we get the obligatory "heroine looks intently at hero and realizes he is the smexiest guy evah" paragraph.
Ea looked at him intently. He was a very good-looking boy with nearly shoulder-length curly dark brown hair framing his adorably innocent face and big brown eyes. All Ea's ladies in waiting fancied him, and he was the talk of their sewing sessions. Emmith was a young blacksmith's apprentice and he made swords for the king and his knights.
HA. Will Turner, is that you?!
And then, basically, Ea sees that he brought a sword with him and she asks "What if my uncle sends soldiers after us?" and Emmith basically says "Meh, ain't no thang" and then they eat fish for breakfast. Bleh.
Then we flash back to the palace for the best villain moment I've ever written.
Lord Unriché stood in the great hall sniggering to himself and waiting for his niece to make her appearance.
"Captain," he shouted at a soldier.
"Yes, my lord?"
"Has the princess come down yet?"
"No, not yet, sir."
"Lazy oversleeper. Send her maid to wake her. I'm getting impatient."
Lord Unriché chuckled. He was feeling quite happy that day. His brother and that wife of his captured by soldiers in Stevron, and their only child was to be arrested where she thought she was safe.
"My lord, she's gone!" a young soldier approached Unriché.
"What? What do you mean, she's gone?" he spat.
"Her window was open and the bed is empty! No sign of her!"
"Are you sure? She couldn't have just disappeared! Send men into the grounds to find her! Search everywhere within a mile of here!" he shouted. His good mood was temporarily ruined.
Can't... stop... laughing.
Unriché, it's your fault. You should've just arrested her at one of the million opportunities you had earlier. Quit chuckling and sniggering to yourself and get some kidnapping done.
Okay, then the POV snaps back to Ea and Emmith, who are crouched in some bushes listening to some soldiers who randomly appeared near them. This scene is boring. They overhear a page-long argument about whether to go east or west. It's unremarkable, except for the part where "a voice shouted at a stubborn voice."
And then this happens:
Emmith smiled worriedly at Ea, who was white with fear. Then Emmith did something he had wanted to do ever since he met Ea eight years before. He pulled her close to him in a tight embrace, and to his surprise she didn't resist. She just sank into his arms, and there she stayed for minutes that seemed to be hours.
To my eleven-year-old mind, this was blush-inducing, perfect romance. A hug. Really. I kind of feel like reaching back in time and slapping myself, because to no one else is hugging a distraught person who just heard a bunch of people say that her uncle was going to murder her romantic. It's just a decent thing to do. Also, Emmith is still an idiot. And a Will Turner ripoff. And a Josh Groban wannabe.
I forget if there's a part coming up where he sings, but knowing my eleven-year-old self, I'm sure there must be.
Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for Part Three!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
I freaking love names. They fascinate me. I keep a mental list of all the awesome real names I've heard in my lifetime (topping the list are Peter Brilliant, Manley Gage, and Carla Holy).
I don't know if you could get away with a Peter Brilliant, Manley Gage, or a Carla Holy in a novel. Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction. With character names, I find you have to strike a balance between distinctive and ordinary most of the time. The name has to suit the character to some extent. Not always literally -- don't name a wise character Sophia just because Sophia means wise -- but you have to take the character's parentage and circumstance in life into account when you name them.
For example, the bride of a Medieval king is unlikely to be named Destiny. But a girl born in the mid-nineties? That works. A girl with Buddhist parents being named Mary Catherine? Yeah, probably not. But if she was born into a Catholic family, it makes a lot more sense.
In the early stages of writing, a character feels nebulous to me until I find the perfect name. Once I do, everything comes together. Their personalities often come from their names, in some strange way. Here's a quick sample of this at work in my writing:
Tristan Tennant (protagonist of A BRAVER THING): Tristan is a soft, lilting kind of name, which is definitely how I'd describe Tristan's personality. His nickname is the androgynous Tris, which fits his appearance. His surname, Tennant, is a nod to his Anglophilia -- David Tennant, anyone?
Prince Malcolm (A BRAVER THING): He's the Prince of Wales, so his lack of a surname fits his station in life. He has a bazillion middle names, though, which comes from his royal heritage, too. But his first name, Malcolm, is very unorthodox -- it's Scottish, which is a little bit scandalous for a British prince. But Malcolm himself is a little bit scandalous.
Lauren Alfredsson (protagonist of a new WIP, WONDERFUL): The name Lauren has always conjured up a tall, solidly-built blonde girl to me, so her physical appearance is tied to her first name. One of her parents is from Sweden, which accounts for her surname. Plus I just love the way the name rolls off the tongue... which is handy, since this WIP is written in third person instead of first, so I have to use it a lot more!
So, yeah, I'm curious: if you're a writer, where do your character names come from? How do you pick them? Do they matter a lot to you, or is it more like, if it fits, it fits? If you're a reader, how do you feel about the names of characters you read? Do they matter to you?
Hope you're all having a lovely summer out there! Anyone watching the Olympics? (I am. Rather obsessively.)
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Well, I can pretty much tell you exactly what I was thinking. I was eleven years old. I bored as hell. And judging by the content of this fifty-page story (27 smudged, torn notebook pages, front and back), I was boy-crazy and full of gooey romantic ambitions.
Betrayal by Family follows the life of a young princess named Ea Mara. Yeah. Her name is Ea. Pronounced Eee. I deserve to be shot for that name alone.
Anyway, the story opens with this line, written in bubbly cursive:
Monday, July 30, 2012
I'm no exception. I have utterly, completely ridiculous pieces in my dark writing past. Fanfiction, poetry, original stories... I've got it all.
And, in an effort to not feel quite so stupid about it, I've decided to share it with the world.
Well, not all of it. Most of my bad writing has gone to the great paper shredder in the sky (i.e., my computer crashed or I stupidly deleted it, thinking I'd never want to read this crap). But I do have a great deal of it, and I thought it might be a fun blog project to share some of it and write snark-tastic reviews of my own stuff. Feel free to laugh at my ridiculousness -- I'll be joining you.
Stay tuned for the first instalment, coming soon!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Also I'm querying right now.
This being the second manuscript I've dug deep into the query trenches with, I came into it with some preconceived notions of what the experience might be like. Last time, summer-fall of 2010 and a little of 2011, I got fewer than five form rejections in total. I got many, many full requests and quite a handful of partials. I had an R&R that was a very close call. I eventually stopped querying because I lost faith in the manuscript and it felt like a full connection was never going to happen.
Fast forward to summer 2012 and a brand new manuscript that I'm absolutely in love with. Enter the gorgeous, snappy, much-fawned-over-in-QLH query letter. I've got a high-concept, super-original premise (if I do say so myself). I was expecting the same kind of reception as my last MS.
But... so the opposite.
Two requests out of twenty queries sent. It feels kind of like a punch in the gut.
I don't want to complain, because I realize there are people who send hundreds of queries and never get a single request ever. I'm so, so grateful for any amount of success I ever get. But it just goes to show that you can't expect instant success, and sometimes that realization is tough.
There are a couple things going on in my brain right now.
Thing 1: "*whine* Why don't they like this one? It's sooooooo commerical and hook-y and omg, if I saw a book in a bookstore with this premise I would just, like, DIE!"
Thing 2: "I should just give up and crawl into a hole right now."
Thing 3: *cranks the Alanis Morrissette and sings bitter unrequited love songs to the publishing industry at large*
And as embarrassing as those things are, I know they're irrational. I know everyone feels like that every once in a while, and even if I were to snag an amazing agent and book deal, I would still feel those things sometimes. In this industry, those feelings are inevitable.
And after I've felt all the things and finished slapping myself for being so silly, I start to think about it rationally. Sure, maybe my first month-and-a-half of querying hasn't been mind-blowingly awesome, some awesome things have come of it.
1) Four agents remembered me from my past manuscript (and one of them read only a partial almost two years ago) and were happy to hear from me and enthusiastic enough to invite me to query them again in the future.
2) I've gotten replies from every query. In just a little over a month. That's amazing.
3) The two agents who have requested so far are AWESOME and I'm beyond honoured that they want to read my stuff. I would be ecstatic if either of them offered rep.
So, author wankfest over. I'm going to put my nose to the grindstone and keep on querying. And keep writing.
Always, always keep writing.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This boggles my mind. I have no problem DNFing a book I'm not enjoying. If it's not wowing me at the halfway point, the last half probably won't wow me, either. I move on until I find something I love.
How about you guys? Do you force yourself to read till "The End," even if it kills you? Or do you give up when you're feeling your eyes start to glaze over?
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Well. Guess what I booked?
A ten-day trip to London with my Mommy for September!
:D :D :D
A big part of the reason I'm going is to research some of my work (A BRAVER THING, which I'm currently querying, and my new untitled WIP, which includes some England settings as well), and also just to satisfy my travel itch and hey, London is a cool place. Mom (a very nervous traveller) feels better about going there than going to France, where we originally wanted to go, because at least then she can speak the language.
ANYWAY! I'm just so excited. You can count on a big post all about it (with many pictures!) in approximately three months ;)
Now I'm off to go listen to "London Calling" on repeat...
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
That's it. No more.
I sink wayyyy too much money into my every-growing TBR stack. Seriously, it's like a disease. And since the pace of my reading has slowed to a trickle during my revision stages, I'm putting a stop to this.
I need to save up for England. I don't want books eating up that money. All the shiny new books I want (Second Chance Summer, In Honor, oh how I want you...) will still be around when I'm back from my trip and rolling in the cash again.
Help me stay strong, dear blog readers! I'll need all the encouragement I can get!
Monday, May 21, 2012
I read and really enjoyed Kirsten Hubbard's debut novel, Like Mandarin, so I knew she could craft a great story and a beyond-amazing setting going into Wanderlove. I anticipated that I'd like Wanderlove a lot for those reasons.
And hot damn, I was right. But I didn't quite anticipate what this book would do to me.
So our protagonist is Bria Sandoval. She just graduated from high school and just broke up with a controlling boyfriend who didn't deserve her at all and why the heck couldn't she see that, come on Bria, you're way too good for him and gahhhh.
I effing loved Bria. I don't say this often about YA protagonists. I've been known to get hives at any inkling of angst from a Too Stupid To Live heroine, which are all too common in this little book community. Bria is the oppose of TSTL. Even when she annoyed me, like in her memories of her idiot boyfriend, she wasn't being stupid. She was being real.
That's what I didn't anticipate about this book. How it would remind me of myself in so, so many different ways.
This book is about traveling. Backpacking in Central America, to be precise, which is not a place I've ever dreamed of going. Hot, sticky, tropical climates and hot, sticky, dirty backroad methods of travel are definitely not my thing. But it doesn't matter, because Wanderlove really did awaken wanderlove in me.
When I was fourteen, I got the chance to go to France with my French Immersion school. I leapt at the chance, got a job, and worked for a year to pay for the ten-day trip myself, no help from Mommy and Daddy. Five years ago this month, I went, had a fabulous time, and returned with my appetite whetted, ready to jet off again the next chance I got.
My family isn't big on traveling. We do road trips -- I've been all over most of my province squashed in a car with my brother and sister -- but I had never even been on a plane before my France trip. The chance for me to go somewhere else hasn't come yet, even five years later. Soon. I've scraping my pennies together to go to England, but then my car broke down and I had to buy a new one and some health-related stuff happened in my family and it's been one delay after another for the past year and it's looking like maybe I can go in September. It's feeling really far away, like it might never happen.
And that's what Wanderlove reminded me: that I want it so, so bad. I want to get out of here, go somewhere different, learn new things and see beauty. I was starting to forget that, in the wake of financial trouble and delays and things getting in my way. I had almost forgotten that the enormous desire to just go is all I really need. As long as I have that, I'll find a way.
So, yeah. My review of Wanderlove is actually a ramble about my own sad little life. Ah, well. That's the mark of a good book. I was too wrapped up in what it was making me feel and what it was giving to me that nothing else mattered. It's a great story. Great writing. Kirsten's illustrations are gorgeous (although I wish there were a lot more of them), and even though Central America never really appealed to me before, I keep finding myself Googling pictures of the locales in the book and sighing, thinking "maybe, someday."
In short, it's really good. You should read it. Escape inside it's pages and then work towards Bria's journey of discovery yourself, one day.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
But I didn't.
Thank GOD I didn't. I don't have any of the novel anymore, and I wish I did because it was so awful it would be great for comedic value, but it was bad. Seriously, seriously bad. And luckily, not too long after I wrote it, I realized that. I put it away and started something else.
Rinse and repeat. I wrote a novel. I'd look at it again, decide it wasn't going anywhere, start something new.
Until I was eighteen, I never queried. And I'm so glad I didn't. I saved myself a lot of angst.
I also didn't self-publish.
And I'm infinitely glad I didn't self-publish.
If I, or my parents, had decided to self-publish my first awful novel, I doubt I would be the writer I am today. Sure, maybe I would have been proud and excited and felt like a rockstar for a couple weeks, but right now I would be pretty damn mortified.
When you take an unfinished product -- it feels awful, calling a kid's first novel a 'product' -- and you put it into "real book" form, you're validating it. You're putting it on a pedestal and calling it an achievement. Of course, finishing a novel is an achievement at any age. But it's not just about finishing a novel. It's about the journey, and this phenomenon of parents paying to self-publish their kids' books cuts that journey off. It moves the end point up and deprives the young writer of all the growth they could gain.
Publication is the end point for a lot of writers' journeys. Outside validation of our work -- it's what we're all in pursuit of. But if you take Little Timmy's book and say "yes, Timmy, good job, you are truly an accomplished novelist," Timmy is just going to feel good about himself for a few seconds and move on.
He's not going to have anything else to work for. He's going to feel like he's been there, accomplished that. He's not going to grow as a writer.
I understand why parents would want to reward their children. I understand why parents do this. But I can't help but think it's too much. It's coddling, and it's not going to be good for the kids in the long run.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Anyway. I have a few reviews in the pipeline, and a few post ideas, so I guess stay tuned for those. Mostly I'm just working a lot (got this promotion at work back in January and still kind of adjusting to it) and writing a bit. Working on a first draft again. That's weird.
I mentioned it in a post a little while ago, but this new book is a big departure for me. Well, not really, since it's still YA, but this one has a magical realism twist similar to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. If I had to pick two things to compare it to, I'd say it's like Francesca Lia Block wrote a mash-up of Before I Fall and It's A Wonderful Life. I love it so far, but it's a challenge. It's kind of coming out slow, which I have to remind myself is okay.
Aside from writing, Kate Miller-Heidke is ruling my life these days. I discovered her last album about a year and a half ago, and her new album, Nightflight, just came out and it is frickin' amazing, guys. It's the first album in a while I've been able to immerse myself in completely. It just... works. As an album, as a story, as an experience, it all just comes together. I love that, when an album is an album, a cohesive whole.
Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling and leave you with the title track from Kate Miller-Heidke's new album :) see you soon.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
After the tragic death of Girl’s parents, Girl hears voices and has visions. On the night of her seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Boy McNextdoor is all-American and fun, but she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Dark McHandsome, who reveals that she's a reincarnated goddess and that he has been her protector for centuries, because for some reason powerful goddesses need protectors. He’s also mean and borderline abusive but Girl is intrigued by his brooding ways.
Now Girl must choose which male figure to devote her life to. Should she choose safe, average Boy McNextdoor, who is nice and stuff but not enough of a jerk? Or should she choose the destiny that has already been pre-chosen for her, a life with Dark McHandsome? Should she choose wrong, the entire universe could explode. For some reason.
I'm not trying to pick on any one book or author. Just expressing my frustrations with YA as a whole.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
His voice is close. Not in his room, not in this room, but in between.
I twist the doorknob. The bathroom light falls across Malcolm’s face. He leans against the doorjamb, looking at me with doleful eyes. I open my mouth to ask what’s up, but nothing comes out.
His eyes flicker towards the floor, then back to my face, then his eyelashes flutter shut.
“I -- I...”
All of a sudden I know what he wants. I think I know. Recklessly, I lean forward and press my lips against his.
There’s a single, suspended second of nothingness. Just our mouths colliding, just Malcolm’s impossible stillness. He’s not kissing me back, oh my God, I’ve done the wrong thing.
He staggers forward, wrapping his arms around my waist, pulling me closer. He moans deep in his throat. I open my mouth, more out of shock than anything else, and he falls forward into the space it opens up.
I pull back. Malcolm opens his eyes wide.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispers. He drops his arms from around me.
“W-why are you sorry?”
He scrutinizes my face, breathing hard.
“Is this a dream?” he asks.
“Are you sure?”
He reaches out, hand shaking, and runs his fingers down my chest. I don’t know what to do so I wrap my arms around his waist like he did to me. Our bodies line up from hip to chest.
“Then don’t stop.”