Have you ever walked out of your shoes? Gone Away to the Other Place?
Do people give you odd looks as you sleepwalk through supermarkets or try to remember why you came in the first place? Perhaps, someone sends you gentle e-mails asking how you're doing. Or leaves a little food offering on your doorstep.
I confess I've been immersed in the watery world of Sea Daughters, my new novel-in-progress begun for NaNoWriMo.
I'm sticking my head up to shout out that last night I passed 20K. How this is happening I don't know, because sometimes I'm sure I can not keep up this pace. But here I am and I chose to think it has to do with that magical Other Place.
In celebration I will share a page from what I've been channeling through my mind and fingers. For your reading pleasure, hopefully:
The sun was newly risen, shedding golden light on the sand and water. Hallie had left home as soon as her dad drove off to work. She was wearing a bikini under old sweats. She would have to tuck the clothing in a safe place where she could find it later.
She tried to spot Ondine in the water. A line of pelicans swooped in sync along the lip of a cresting wave, their wing tips almost brushing the surface.
Where was Ondine? There were a few surfers out, mostly down at the pier and T Street. She and Ondine had picked this area south of there where they could use Seal Rock as a landmark. She could hear the sea lions barking and the echo of waves projecting off the cliffs behind her.
She also saw her secret door. Ever since she was small and discovered the metal-mesh door that closed off a narrow passageway into the cliff, she had imagined it was a pirate's escape route or a sealed-off entrance to the land of Faerie. That's where she would stash her clothes, she decided. Whenever Ondine showed up.
A couple of surfers crossed the railroad tracks towards the water. If Ondine didn't hurry, there would soon be a crowd and somebody would notice a girl in a bikini swimming out to sea and not returning. Wouldn't that be just great if the lifeguards and Coast Guard got called?
A hand waved half way between shore and Seal Rock. It had to be Ondine. She must be a good quarter mile out.
Hallie shrugged out of her sweats, rolled them in a ball and hid them, with her flip-flops, under a bush near the secret door. She scurried across the tracks, hip-hopped over the cold morning sand and ran straight into the chilly Pacific Ocean. As she dove under the first wave, she felt like she'd been tossed in an ice bath. She emerged, gasping.
This was either the stupidest or bravest thing she had ever agreed to do.