“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” ~ Yehuda Berg
“And it’s human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.” ~ Alan Rickman
Since I’m getting close to publishing my first novel The Space Between Time, I thought I’d share a scene from the book.
This is scene with Jenna in the present.
Sitting in the chair in front of Jenna’s desk Joan said, “Hey, are you all right? You look like your dog just died.”
Jenna took in a deep breath, needles pricking her heart. “Sam walked out this morning.”
“Oh man. That S.O.B. Did he say why?”
Jenna rolled her eyes. “The usual crap, ‘It hasn’t been working for a long time.’ Oh, and he got a promotion and he’s moving to L.A.”
Joan clasped her hands. “Well, good riddance. You were thinking of ending it anyway. Now you can move on.”
Wiping away a tear, Jenna said, “Yeah, but when it finally happens, it’s still a shock. And as usual I blame myself.”
Joan got up and walked around to sit on the edge of the desk closest to Jenna. “Oh, sweetie, just because he wasn’t the right guy doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.”
Jenna took Joan’s hand and gave it a little squeeze. “Keep telling me that until I believe it will you?”
Joan squeezed her hand back. “I’ll take you to lunch and we can talk, okay?”
“That’d be great. Thanks. We better get to work. I don’t want to lose my job too.”
Standing up, Joan said, “Okay. We’ll go to Chin Yen’s and boil him in oil.”
Jenna laughed. At the door Joan said, “Still haven’t heard anything about your promotion?”
“Not yet.” Just then Jenna’s phone rang. They both jumped.
Joan said, “Maybe this is it.”
Jenna cleared her throat. “Jenna Holden.”
A female voice on the other end of the line said, “Miss Holden, this is Officer Parker from the Roseburg PD.”
“Yes. What can I do for you?” She looked at Joan and shook her head. Joan waited to find out who was on the phone.
“I’m sorry to tell you that your mother’s been in a car accident. Can you come as quickly as possible? She’s just gone by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center.”
Trying to make sense of what the officer had said, she felt the blood drain from her face as she looked up at Joan. “What? What did you say?”
“You’re mother has been in a serious accident. You need to come right away.”
The room began to spin. “No. It can’t be. Oh, God in heaven, Mom.”
The officer said, “I’m so sorry Miss Holden.” her voice was so kind that Jenna nearly lost her composure. “Can you drive yourself here? Or is there someone who can drive for you?”
“I’m sorry, what do you mean? Do you want us to arrange for a State Policeman to drive you down?”
Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath to help herself think, Jenna said, “Um. No, I’ve got my car here. I can drive myself.” First Sam, now this! Jenna looked at Joan who had a concerned look on her face while she waited to hear what new disaster was unfolding.
The officer was saying something. “… All right?”
“Thank you. I’ll leave as soon as I can.”
“I’ll let the hospital know you’re on your way. Again, I’m sorry to be delivering such bad news.”
Jenna couldn’t say anything more. The phone beeped three times indicating the officer had rung off.
Joan’s voice floated into Jenna’s consciousness. “What is it?”
“It’s Mom. She’s been in a terrible accident.”
Joan knelt down next to Jenna “Oh, man! I’m so sorry and on top of Sam walking out. Do you want me to go with you?”
Clenching her jaw with determination, she said, “No. I’ll call you when I know something.”
I hope you enjoyed this little segment from, The Space Between Time. Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment.
Before I go on with this post, I must say something about the latest shootings in Orlando and New Mexico. Each time something like this happens, I’d deeply affected by the horrific events. This is what I can do. I have and will continue to petition my legislators to vote on gun control and I will vote for people who support such legislation. I also send out love to the entire planet when I meditate. Some people say that’s a wimpy way to try to change the world, but since science has proven that what we think creates our reality, I believe that envisioning a loving world is a powerful tool to facilitate the change we want to see. Each individual that turns away from hate and fear toward love send ripples of love out into the universe. When we heal ourselves, we help heal the world. That’s what I hope my readers get from my novel and the journeys of my two main characters.
Since the last two posts from The Space Between Time have included scenes from Morgan’s timeline in the past, this week I thought I’d include one from Jenna’s timeline in the present.
When I started this novel, I wanted to have two intertwining characters who learn from each other and heal themselves along the way. Morgan’s timeline came to me first, and I got stuck there for a while. But through a series of events which are too complicated to write about here, I finally connected with Jenna, a woman in the present who is trying to put her life back together.
In this scene, Jenna is confronted by her ex-fiancé, who broke off the engagement in the first chapter.
* * * * *
That night Jenna slept better than she had in ever so long and when she awoke, she knew what she wanted to do. Writing had always been a solace, so that’s where she would begin. Only this time, she’d take her cue from Morgan and begin by sorting out her feelings in a journal.
Grabbing her purse and keys, she opened the door and ran into Sam.
Her stomach clenched, “Sam! What in the hell are you doing here?”
Leaning on the door jamb so she couldn’t get out of the house, he said. “You hung up on me, Babe. I needed a chance to explain,” Jenna wasn’t fooled by the look of mock contrition on his face.
“About what? That you were cheating on me? And don’t call me Babe.” She pushed him out of the way. Then shut and locked the door. She brushed past him starting for her car wishing this encounter would soon end. But Sam’s car was parked behind hers. She’d have to deal with him.
Knowing he’d trapped her, he smirked. “I always call you Babe.”
Jenna turned walked up to him and put her face close to his. “I’ve told you time and again I don’t like it when you call me that.”
Surprisingly he took a step back. “I don’t remember that.”
“Of course not, because you never listen.”
“Now, Babe,” The look on Jenna’s face made him amend his approach. “I mean Jenna, aren’t you gonna let me talk to you?”
Oh, if only he’d go away! Keeping her eyes on his face and putting her hands on her hips, she said, “What for? You said it yourself. Neither one of us was happy, so it’s over.”
Pulling himself taller to pretend confidence, he said, “I know I said that, but, I’ve been thinking. I might’ve been wrong.” He had that I’m-innocent-of-whatever-you-think-I’ve-done look on his face she’d learned to hate long before the break-up.
She looked at him, trying to formulate the response that would make him leave. The moments slowed. For the first time she noticed muddy waves emanating from and around his body. Her instinct was to back away from the unwanted onslaught of his murky energy, but before she could do so, it touched her own energy field. She nearly fell over as dark self-doubt swept over her. The image of a wounded wolf flashed through her mind. Somehow she knew exactly what had happened that brought him to her doorstep. “Ah, what happened, Sam? Did she leave you? I know you hate to be alone.”
The dark energy was sucked into Sam’s body and he stuttered “I – I don’t k-know what you’re talking about. There’s never been anybody but you.”
“Oh? But, you know, I heard her in the background when we talked on the phone!” She faced him square on, “Now, please get in your car and go back to L.A.”
Suddenly Sam took Jenna by the arm, and clamped down hard, “It was a one night stand thing. I was hurt that we broke up.” Dark gray and muddy brown energy shot out at her again. This time she thought to shield herself and her own aura in red, orange, and yellow shot out to block what was coming from him.
Gasping from the pain, she tried to get her arm free. “You were hurt? Oh, yeah, I see that now. You’ve been wounded from the very beginning, but I was too dazzled by the bling to notice. Now let me go!” They struggled. Sam grabbed for Jenna’s other arm. She tried to back away, and slid on a mossy patch on the sidewalk forcing her to sit on a porch step.
Just then an unmarked police car drove up. Sam’s back was to it as Detective Spade got out of the car, assessing the situation and putting his hand on his gun.
Walking toward the struggling pair, Detective Spade said, “Let go of her, Sir!”
Sam turned around, still holding onto Jenna’s arm. “Who are you to interfere in a private matter? She’s my fiancée,” Sam said as Jenna continued to struggle to get her arm free.
Advancing on Sam with his hand still on his gun, Detective Spade said, “That’s not what I heard, Sir. Now back away from her.”
Sam puffed up like a rooster in the ring, but he let go of her arm. Jenna moved away. He turned toward Detective Spade saying, “What you gonna do, shoot me?” Jenna heard the fear underneath the bluster for the first time. With a snarl, Sam said, “We’re having a private conversation. Do you mind?”
Detective Spade had stopped a few feet from Sam. “It didn’t look that way to me, Sir. Is that true Miss Holden?”
“Miss Holden? So, you’ve met before. Who is this? Your new boyfriend? You didn’t waste any time,” Sam said with a sneer.
Detective Spade was surrounded by a clear yellow and green aura. He was relaxed, though cautious. Jenna knew she could trust him, but Sam was getting angry. She saw the wounded wolf image surrounded by dark fog emanating from him again, and knew if she didn’t do something he’d become dangerous. She saw that Detective Spade knew it too.
She took a few steps closer to him. “Sam, are you drunk or something? He’s a police officer, and he’s got a gun. Do you want to get arrested? What’ll that do to your precious career?” Sam’s countenance changed, and the swirls of muddy energy retreated close to his body.
Now that she looked more closely at him, Sam looked a little unsteady on his feet. She hadn’t smelled alcohol on him, though, so it must be drugs.
Taking a deep breath, Sam said. “I’ve been on the road for twenty hours with not much sleep before that. I guess I’m crashing from the wake-up pills,” he said as he sat abruptly onto a porch step.
Taking his hand away from his gun, Detective Spade gently took a hold of Jenna’s arm and moved her behind him. “I’ll need to see those pills, Sir. Are they in your car?”
“Yeah, go ahead. You won’t find any drugs. They’re the over the counter kind,” Sam said as he ran his hands through his hair, then deflated like a balloon and rested his head on his arms.
“Is the car unlocked?”
“Yeah,” came the muffled reply.
Detective Spade looked over at Jenna and indicated with the jerk of his head to follow him as he went to Sam’s car. He kept his eyes on Sam. She opened the driver’s door and moved back so Detective Spade could investigate. He’d put on latex gloves, pulled the trunk release, examined the open briefcase that sat on the passenger seat. The pills were in the briefcase. After searching the car and trunk, he approached Sam. “You’re telling the truth, at least. Did you read the instructions, you’ve got to be careful not to take too many of these things. How many did you take?”
Not lifting his head, Sam said, “I don’t know, one or two whenever I got tired.”
“Just as a precaution, I’m going to take you to emergency to get you checked out.” Detective Spade took Sam by the arm and led him to the police car. Miraculously, Sam didn’t object. Putting Sam in the front seat, he turned to Jenna. “Is it okay if we leave his car here?”
“Sure, I’ll move it. I was on my way out. Does he have his wallet?”
“I got it out of his briefcase. The keys are in the ignition. Do you want me to make sure he doesn’t bother you when he comes back for his car?”
The adrenaline was beginning to wear off and Jenna was feeling shaky. She tried to lighten the atmosphere by saying, “Feeling protective, Detective?”
“It’s my job, Ma’am,” His handsome face lit up in a big smile.
Smiling back, Jenna said, “I’m much obliged to you, Sir, but I think I’ll be fine.”
* * * * *
Thanks for reading and your comments. Feel free to share with your friends and family.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ~ Rumi
The above quote opens my novel, The Space Between Time. You might say it’s a theme of the book. Below is a very short segment from Chapter 3.
The Set-up: Jenna has had a life shattering week. She’s gone back to her childhood home to recover and regroup. This is a portion of the scene where she finds her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan’s, journals begins to read and starts an extraordinary journey of discovery.
“Just then Jenna felt a rush of energy swirl around her. As she looked at the attic walls trying to determine what was happening, fog obscured her vision. She felt as if she were shedding her body like she would a cloak. Within the span between breaths the scene changed in front of her and she found herself sitting in a rocking chair looking out at an early spring afternoon just like the one Morgan had described. Something about the atmosphere was different than her home – more than that, it smelled different. Wood smoke instead of gas fumes permeated the air.
She looked down at the hands that were resting on a sketch pad. They were not her hands, nor were the clothes hers. She was wearing a dress that she thought was from the Civil War era. After a few gut wrenching moments, Jenna realized she was not only in Morgan’s world, she was sharing Morgan’s consciousness.
Panic overtook her, and she hyperventilated, or she would have had she been in her own body. This was far different than seeing the spirits of her parents, or reading a bunch of old journals. I’m going to get stuck here! How do I get back? The moment she thought that, Jenna felt the grief that was washing over Morgan. Grief – that was something she could related to. As Morgan took a deep breath, calm settled on Jenna. As crazy as it seemed, somehow she felt she was going to be all right. Okay, I’ll just go with it. I can panic later. What else could she do but trust? Hard as it was to admit, that was something Jenna didn’t know how to do well. Her mind merged again with Morgan’s.
She, they, were sitting facing the window of Morgan’s father’s room, a forgotten sketch pad on Morgan’s lap with a half finished sketch of Morgan’s father, and the greening mountains beyond. The apple tree just outside the window dripped with leaf buds. The daffodils she, they had planted near the front gate serenaded the sun. It was warm. Children laughed and played on their way home from school. The ice wagon rolled by hurrying to finish the day’s deliveries. Across the lane Mrs. Gardener gossiped with Mrs. Webb about the new dry goods shop owner. Their voices were audible inside the sickroom.
Mrs. Gardner said, “I have it on good authority that Mr Krause’s wife left him. He moved to Rutland to start a new life and forget. It’s too bad that the truth came out. He seems like such a nice man.”
“Why should it make a difference?” asked Mrs. Webb. “She’s the one who left.”
“Well who can tell, maybe he beat her,” said Mrs. Gardner.
“We don’t know the whole truth of the matter, Gladys. So don’t spread that rumor,” said Mrs. Webb.
Bird song followed the women’s voices. The afternoon light streamed in the window illuminating the white curtains and bouncing off the mirror on the dressing table. The room glowed with warmth and light. Jenna saw it all while at the same time experiencing everything as if she were part of Morgan. It was a disquieting sensation. The charms of the spring day could not entice Morgan away from her grief. Jenna recognized those feelings. She’d felt the same way when her mother lay motionless on her hospital bed.
Looking at Morgan’s father, Jenna saw the same signs of life leaving his body that she’d seen in her mother that night only a couple of weeks ago. Fully in the past with Morgan now, Jenna shared her pain and tried to give comfort.
Thomas lay sleeping fitfully. The pain was worse each day and sleep eluded him most of the time. That morning the doctor, seeing Morgan’s strained and weary face, had given Thomas a large dose of laudanum to help him sleep and instructed her to increase the dose when he stirred. There was nothing else that could be done for him. This was the end and Morgan knew it.”
This little segment gives you an idea of the basic premise of the book. Jenna shifts between dealing with the challenges of her own life, while periodically visiting Morgan’s. Both women face difficult challenges and help each other along the way.
I’ll share another segment next week.
Remember this is a work in progress. Thanks for reading. Make a comment if you like and feel free to share with a friend.