Drafting Soal: Evolving with “The End”

Sparks coalesced along the Svetskyn’s fingertips, and the light spilled in a frenzied path from his hands.

Soal struggled against the grasp of his mind, gasping as the living Memory echoed from both his mind and hers. She had to dig past it, she had to find the light in her veins before the Svetskyn’s light struck her body and burned her whole. But the Memory was strong. Leaping nyun. Flaring nyun. A deadly arc—

In a last, desperate jerk of muscles, Soal flung her hands up over her face—and opened her mind to the electricity that streaked from the Svetskyn’s hands. I am Soal! she cried to it.

It was only 9:00 p.m., but I was the only one awake. I sat in my oh-so-comfortable burgundy recliner, huddling into the last scene of my manuscript as one would huddle into a fire.

About an hour ago, my husband, feeling unwell, had stumbled downstairs for an early bedtime on the couch. And just thirty minutes later, my big-cheeked, bright-eyed baby had crawled up two steps, looked confused, and then dribbled half-digested dinner all over the third step. She was patient about the ordeal, sitting obligingly in one spot so that at least the vomit had tea with only one step, instead of offering cream and sugar to all ten. My three-year-old watched from the upper steps, jumping with the adventure of it all.

Husbandless, I had cleaned and corralled the children, and then soaped, wiped, vacuumed–and then soaped, wiped, and vacuumed again.

And so, with children finally in bed, the promise of more vomit to clean up in the night, and the unshakable smell of throw-up lingering in my nose, I had turned to the comfort of writing.

For someone who has long written books in her head, but seldom (until recently), written books on a screen, it was a turn in identity. I had come to the point where the one thing I wanted to do between vomits was simply write. Writing had become a guarded haven. It had become a place where I could sink deep into emotion, into character, into the messy, dynamic, enchanting evolution of . . . everyone.

The last words of my manuscript were full of beauty, flaws, and questions. It was progression, but also rejoicing in the ability to claim our state as human, mortal, and growing.

And so when, five minutes after typing “The End,” the sounds of my husband’s throw-up sounded from below, I simply closed my laptop, grabbed more cloths, and went downstairs to help.

Life is evolving. My manuscript is evolving. And so is Soal.

P.S. It was a long night, but both husband and baby are quite well now. 🙂

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