getting flashed online

Too lazy to blog today; I’d rather go off and watch the newest episode of KEPT on my TiVO (damn you, reality TV! I hate myself for caring). Although I would like to note that today is Canada Day –so happy birthday, homeland. (Once upon a time there was an Upper Canada and a Lower Canada. Then they met cute, fell in love…)

I’d also like to note that today the latest issue of Vestal Review went up. If I read a great deal of flash fiction, which I don’t, I’m sure I would consider some of the best stuff to be the stuff that I’ve read in VR. (I have a flash of my own in an earlier issue of VR — the ‘edgy’ issue, because I’m edgy, dammit! — when I was still writing as Justine Wilson — but I swear that has nothing to do with my aforementioned opinion).

I’m finishing up the first readable draft of my YA novel, tentatively called STRANGER. I’ll take a hard copy off to Mendocino this weekend (we leave tomorrow and come back on Monday) and see if I can get a feel for whatever it is that I have, and how I can go about making it better.

I was going to post part of my opening here in lieu of doing a real blog entry, but I see I’ve managed an entry despite myself. I’ll post it regardless:

The first time Jasper saw the man he would one day know as Archie, he was young enough to listen to his gut without questioning what it was telling him.
The man was dangerous.
The man was not human.

That first time, Jasper’s dad was driving him home from soccer practice. The boy was crumpled in the backseat, grass-stained and exhausted, dirty cleats kicked off so he could curl up on the leather upholstery. The heat of the car made him drowsy. He was about to close his eyes when for some reason – but it wasn’t a reason so much as a feeling – he turned his head to look out the side window…
Someone was calling him.
It was as if he was hearing one thing with his mind and another with his ears. His dad was singing along with the radio, “Love in an elevator,” tapping one large hand on the dashboard, sleeves rolled up so that when Jasper looked through the space between the front seats he could see the tattoo on his father’s forearm.
They stopped at the intersection of Farris and King, the red light staring over the crossroads like an evil eye.
…A tall thin man was walking out of the trees and down the road’s gravelly shoulder. A shaggy animal that looked like a dog without exactly seeming to be one trotted beside him. There was no leash on the animal. Jasper pressed his face against the window, wondering – was that a coyote? How cool was that? The man wore some kind of cowboy hat and a light-colored coat that blew around his legs. He stopped and lifted his head as if catching a scent in the air.
He seemed to be looking straight at Jasper.
And now, Jasper had the feeling that the man was saying more than his name.
Hey, kid.
Nice little soul you got there.

It was as if the man’s face opened up and Jasper could see through it to a dark and whistling abyss.


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