Regular readers of my blog will note I don't blog very much anymore. Back in the day of Myspace (soooo 2006, right?) I used to do it fairly often. Right now, I don't have the time to speak of.
I have to admire regular bloggers, like my old college friend Joanne (Tahoma Beadworks & Photography), who can do so fairly often. How Amanda Palmer has time to do voluminous blogs on her site, with her touring, music, this and that. She must not sleep.
Sylvia Plath's journals, especially those of her high school/college years are incredibly descriptive. Her ability to recall subtle details and put them in at the end of the day was remarkable.
But we're here to talk about "Parasite Girls." My first book is ready to go; we'll be putting it out to the e-Reader market this summer, and I am hopeful that this is a good enough story, touches on enough issues that need to be done, and make for a beginning.
I have a lot more in the can, believe you me. Recently my agent and I parted ways after a four-year relationship. Just didn't work out. Add to it, the six-volume "Sweet Dreams Series," a young adult/anime/time travel series is too big a step for a first-time author. It needs more work, and I need to show the world what I am capable of before bringing it out.
Anyway...here is the beginning...while this may not be word for word, here's the proof of Chapter 1 of "Parasite Girls." It's short, hopefully to the point and gives enough of an idea to make you want to keep going.
Do let me know what you think...
Chapter 1 • Mima’s World
“So you need to tell me,” Mima said, “just why you’re here.”
Aidan lit a Gitanes and leaned against the apartment deck rail. The sounds and smells of Tokyo drifted up to the second floor, but he did not take them in. Instead, he smiled and gazed through the French tobacco smoke at his host.
Mima regarded Aidan through the bangs of her short hair and rimless glasses. She wore an old sweatshirt, the cuffs frayed from years of wear and washing; the logo was not of a university from Japan, but an American one. Black tights wrapped themselves snugly about her muscular thighs and calves; Mima’s girth was wider than the norm when it came to Japanese women. That mattered not at all to Aidan and even less to Mima, who danced to the beat of her own internal drum machine.
“Well,” Aidan replied as he carefully flicked the cinders into a smokeless ashtray, “I have a layout in mind for the book as we discussed earlier. I also felt a change of pace was in order.” He hoped that would be enough.
“Whatever you have in mind,” Mima replied as she took a step closer to Aidan, a smile on her face, “you’re welcome here for as long you need. I am so grateful to see you again.”
“I appreciate that.” Mima, he knew was appraising him behind her sun-darkened lenses. They’d not seen one another in years, and his long-lost friend was taking stock: Aidan’s brown hair remained, but there were now streaks of grey, far too soon. His blue eyes were the same, but Mima detected the changes around them. Aidan was not himself, and while Mima picked up on that, she didn’t ask.
Mima had changed too, but in her these things were subtle. Only months younger than himself, Mima appeared ageless. She was a little heavier, chunkier perhaps than Aidan recalled, but from what he saw pass through the apartment earlier that morning Mima was in shape in more ways than one.
“Anyway,” she said, “I must get back to work. Got a project to deliver this week.”
“No worries.” Mima ambled barefoot into the main room of her apartment while Aidan took his time with his guilty pleasure from the first Paris assignment. Skyward, Aidan’s eyes passed over the high rises that surrounded Mima’s apartment building.
Aidan had experienced many worlds, but Japan was still unfamiliar territory. As in any other foreign land, he would immerse himself in it, become part of it and yet remain Aidan Connor.
His cigarette finished, Aidan carefully stubbed it out and slid the butt inside the blue pack. He stuffed this in the breast pocket of his shirt, switched off the curious device Mima provided him and brought it through the sliding door.
“You can leave that out there,” Mima commented from his right. “The rain never comes in; it’s cool.”
“Okay.” Aidan set the ashtray on the black wire table between the matching chairs, and slid the door closed. He turned and again found himself inside Mima’s world—or was this her universe?
The apartment was small, even by Tokyo standards. It was one room with a cramped kitchen to the far left, plus a door that led to a tinier bathroom. Against the far wall, just to the right of the door was Mima’s futon, unmade with a nightstand next to it to hold her lamp and clock radio. Before this, a TV rested beside an Xbox with about twenty game discs scattered around the console.
There were also other odd gadgets of the kind that could only be dreamed up in this land, including a robotic toy dog. The floor was bare, hardwood and without rugs.
On the other side of the door was Mima’s workspace. Beneath an overhead light was a large table that doubled as a desk and drafting board. Mima’s Gateway and Toshiba Satellite laptop were linked by a USB hub; also attached was a laser printer, scanner, router and two external hard drives. The power cords for all of these snaked off behind the table into not one, but two surge protection strips, the plugs attached to the only power outlets on this side of the room. Two file cabinets and a wall-mounted rack for discs made up the rest of Mima’s “office.” Mima was hunched over on the high stool, focused on the ad design she’d talked of nonstop since meeting Aidan at the airport the night before.
To Aidan’s left was the low couch that became his “guest room,” beside which lay his open suitcase. His Sony Walkman, jean jacket and the case that held his ancient Minolta camera rested atop the jumbled pile of clothes.
Aidan sat here now, looking at the wall above the bed. Mima adorned the pale blue walls with her original artworks, sketches, doujinshi and anime creations. There also was a pair of wildly colored abstract canvases, not of Mima’s hand.
“Those are Sora’s,” Mima commented. She did not look up as she guided the cursor across the screen. “We’ll be seeing her tonight,” Mima added. “Sora is very excited to meet you; I’ve told her so much about you.”
“Oh, God,” Aidan joked as he unclipped the battered leather case that held his camera, “just what have you told her?”
“Only the good things.” Mima turned and giggled; this and the screwed-up facial expression that accompanied the sound never failed to make Aidan laugh. “There is nothing bad about you, Aidan,” she went on as she turned back to the screen, “but considering some of the scrapes you’ve been in, I would imagine you’ve acquired a few habits.”
“Yeah.” Aidan tried not to let his voice change, but he failed.
Mima turned again. “You okay?”
“There’s a lot of stuff to talk about,” Aidan admitted as he drew out the Minolta, “but I still need to piece it together before I can really explain.”
“No,” Mima said, “I am sorry. I get the idea what happened in Kabul was pretty rough. You don’t have to talk about it unless you want to.”
“It’s all right,” Aidan replied, “I will soon enough. The main reason I’m here I think is to get away from that. Not run from it, mind, but to think about from it from a distance. Then maybe I can go back, you know?”
“I do.” Mima slid off the stool and came over to sit beside Aidan. She watched as he broke down the camera for cleaning, and noted the care with which he handled the instrument. “Like I told you,” she said, “you’re welcome here, Aidan. You were dear to me back then; you still are.”
Aidan set the pieces down in his clothes. “You were,” he replied, “and are too, Mima. Stuff has to change, and some of it is me; I’m working on it.”
Mima slid her arms around Aidan’s shoulders. “Take all the time you need, Aidan.”
He reached up and felt his friend’s thick arm, and the hidden strength within as Mima gave him a squeeze. “Thank you,” Aidan said. “I’ll try not to be too depressed during my stay; you’re good for changing that.”
Mima grinned, made an odd but cute, “Nyah” sound before rising and heading back to her table. “I am flattered,” she replied as she resumed her work. “Unfortunately, that does not get this finished. I’d like to see the outline down before we hit the streets. We’ll go see Sora this evening and find if we can get her out. That cool?”
“It is.” Aidan drew out the camera’s cleaning kit. “I’m not exactly sure what you mean by getting Sora ‘out,’ though.”
“That will depend,” Mima explained, “on which one of Sora is available when we get there.” She continued to sketch across the extra-large mouse pad with a slow, deliberate hand, and said no more.
The statement made Aidan pause. Mima’s comment about Sora was a fleeting one and sounded like she said it fairly often.
As he carefully wiped the Minolta’s lens, Aidan wondered what was up with Sora. She was a talented artist, easy to see by the depth and originality of those paintings.
Aidan then reminded himself that when it came to people, everyone had a story, and there was always much more than what they thought they saw.
Well, there you have it...hope you liked it...the rest is coming this summer...