Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've told y'all I can get compulsive, and stalkerish over submissions. The best way for me to avoid those tendencies is distraction. Well, I've been questing through the archives of WIPs looking for one that sings. WIP after WIP, nothing. No arias, no choirs of angels. But, one constant whisper, a soft 'pick me! pick me!' A concept I've been dragging around and chewing on since 2008.

It is NOT paranormal. *gasp* No vampires, no werewolves or other mythical creatures. This one is almost sci-fi, with medical disorders, different dimensions and physics. For example, these definitions are in the front of the book:


[sin-uhs-thee-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh]

A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces th

e visualization of a color.



The state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same, as the natural vibration frequency of the system.

Right about now, you're probably thinking, 'but AE, that doesn't sound interesting.' Trust me, if I could pour everything in my brain out for you right now, y'all would love it. Magic, dimensional shifts, intrigue, romance, secrets and family heritage...

Still doubting? How about a sample to whet your appetites?


I sat deep in the shadows of the auditorium, wishing I could throttle Shaina Weston.

Razor straight blond hair, ice blue eyes and, worst of all, Shaina had a pitch perfect voice. Despite my monster case of jealousy that she was singing with my boyfriend, I had to admit she deserved lead soprano in High Street honors choir. Something in the tone of Shaina and Chad’s voices and their sappy sweet love song rang true enough for me to see it hanging between them. Add the way his gaze poured over her face, the closeness in their choreography and Chad’s boyfriend status was in serious question.

“Look at them,” I whispered to my co-rehearsal crasher and best friend. “They’ve got to be hooking up off stage.”

“No way.” Autumn shook her head, then thumped my shoulder. “He’s totally into you.”

“I used to think so.”

“What do you mean, ‘used to’?” She waved a hand at Chad, then at me. “You two are the cutest couple ever, Hailey. They’re just singing together for the choir competition.”

Singing like angels together, I thought miserably. Music and I aren’t on speaking terms.

Unlike most guys at Concord Senior High, music was my boyfriend Chad’s entire world. He played percussion in concert, marching and jazz band, and sang lead tenor in every choir. I was rhythmically challenged, surviving best if both feet were on the floor and my mouth was shut. For me, there were two certainties beyond death and taxes: I cannot sing and I cannot dance.

“Two left feet and can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” my mom used to say.

Pushing back into the padded seat, I waved Autumn closer. She inclined her auburn curls until we were inches apart and I was choking on her heavily applied peaches-and-cream body spray. I tried to point out the shimmery evidence I saw floating between Shaina and Chad. “Can’t you see it?”

Autumn turned, eyebrows tipped and rising over her nose when she looked me in the eyes and said, “I see you need two Tylenol and a good night’s sleep.” Her tone said, ‘I see you need to put on a straight jacket and check into the rubber room at the psych ward.’

She sank back into her seat, watching the choir rehearse for Regionals, the three-state wide competition on Saturday. Occasionally, Autumn’s gaze shifted to me, eyes shadowed, brows pinched like she questioned my sanity. Honestly, I wondered, too. The longer Chad and Shaina sang, the stronger the shimmer became, until it was no longer a visual whisper but an undeniable glow pulsing with the song’s rhythm. Music? Emotion? Frigging dirt bag-scoundrel cheating? Whatever it was, it wrapped them, draped them, pulled them together.

Chad drew Shaina to him and kissed her lips at the end of the final refrain. The kind of kiss I’d always wanted… eyes slipping closed, heads turning to deepen the kiss before the world crashes back in. I sucked in a breath. Autumn let out a sigh. The music shifted into pianissimo, or the softest tones, the glowing halo faded to a mist and then when the choir (and Autumnn) applauded, the light disappeared completely.

So did Chad’s boyfriend status.


Jessie said...

LOVE this! Such an awesome way to wrap up your first chapter. And how cool to write about synesthesia. I knew a guy who had this once. Every letter had a color association for him, so some words looked very pretty & others... not so much.

Margo Berendsen said...

Just discovered the Oasis blog and popped over here and whoa, this excerpt is good! I love this idea, never heard of synesthesia before but I'm hooked.