Tag Archives: excerpt

A Little Zombie Excerpt

Here’s a little something from a story I’m working on right now…


Ezra walks like a drunk sailor, or how I think a drunk sailor would walk, because like I have never seen one but I’ve heard that sailors drink a lot and drinking makes people stagger around the way my little brother does, but whatever, Ezra stumbles around the house all the time. Mostly he clings on to furniture if it’s near enough to cling to, but some of the stuff that Mom Two buys on her antiques shopping sprees is really tippy, so then I have to rush up to Ez and make sure that he doesn’t bonk his head or break some fancy Shaker end table in the process. It gets tiring, but the extra allowance is worth it. Plus he’s cute, and so when we’re out somewhere like the arcade on Folsom or the hipster park where everyone beautiful plays lawn Frisbee or whatever the hell it is, people come up to us all agog and shit because Ezra is teetering around, saying “arararar gagagaga Amuhwee” which is some apparently adorable pronunciation of my name, Emily.

Yes, our parents gave their two children E names. It is so awesome being us, let me tell you. Actually my original name was not Emily, I had to convince my parents that despite what the doctor yelled out as I was born, I was really a girl. It wasn’t easy to get them to believe me, but they’re more or less okay with it now, and I have learned all kinds of ways to be a more patient person. Maybe. The universe gave me my parents so I would learn how to get what I need, and then it gave me Ezra so I would continue to work out my core muscles. Thanks, universe, for looking out for me.

The phone rings, and it’s my friend Iggy who is also trans and who also left out extremely crappy high school because of it. Iggy has been funny as hell lately because he finally started hormones after years on the blockers and now he texts me every time a new chin hair appears. Seriously. I have like 126 texts from him, all about freaking chin hair. Guys are so weird.

“What’s up, Ig?”

“I was going to hang at Gus’s house, you wanna come?”

Gus is one of those kind of asshole, kind of cool dude you can’t ever pin down. But his parents have a pool and it is close to 100 degrees outside. Read More…

Short Excerpt from The Unintentional Time Traveler

The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon coverShort excerpt from the final revision of the young adult novel I have coming out this fall, The Unintentional Time Traveler. This section is from Chapter 18.

Closing my eyes made the experience feel more familiar, even if I knew I was sitting back on Jeannine’s rich friend’s couch and not in a lab. Dr. Dorfman’s voice was strangely comforting even with all of the guilt because of everything I’d put him through. Without seizures anymore, he wasn’t sure if this would work. Sitting still made me almost miss all the years of pills and needles and brain scans, but not really. Maybe I should have been more nervous about the hand-built EEG machine than my own capacity for out of control neuron activity, but I didn’t think the doctor would have subjected me to anything that could hurt me. Even as revenge.

We’d had a long discussion about trying to send me somewhere. Dorfpoodle wanted to have witnesses present who agreed that time travel was at least a possibility. I wanted to see if I could time jump without my own seizures, and I was desperate to see Lucas again. Alive. I prayed to nobody in particular. Please give me time to fix what was so screwed up back there.

“Relax, Jack,” he said. It occurred to me that I didn’t know why he cared to do all of this for us. Was he interested in inventing a time machine? Wanting to prove himself correct? Was he actually delusional? Why were these questions only now just popping into my head?

I considered ripping off the wires, held to my scalp with some kind of hair product instead of the medical putty I was used to. This was crazy. What was I thinking? I should get out of here, explain to my parents that I’ve been stupid and desperate. They’ll have to get over it at some point. Maybe I’ll super enjoy juvenile detention. Read More…

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Excerpt: Synergy

Here is another excerpt from my novel-in-progress about four gender nonconforming people who try to start an LGBT charter school in DC.

Present Day, Washington, DC

Kalinda fumbles through her still-growing ring of keys, looking for the one that unlocks the personnel file. Final hiring decisions are set for later that day, and Terry had asked her to create summary sheets for the review committee. This has been one of Terry’s “cold” weeks in which he is short with everyone around him. There’s no rhyme or reason to his mood swings, but Kalinda is prescient at seeing them before they hit. She fantasizes about having a signal she can give the rest of the administration so they can brace themselves for a tirade or lecture from him.

Finally, the key slides in past the tumblers in a series of small bounces of metal against metal. Kalinda pulls out two manila folders—one marked MAYBE and one YES. She doesn’t need the NO file anymore, except for posterity and to cover the school’s ass if any of the candidates complain.

Peeking in through her doorway is Terry.

“Ready for this afternoon,” he asks, reading over her shoulder.

“Just about,” she says. She tucks a small handful of red curls behind her ear so she doesn’t have to look through her hair to see him. Read More…

Excerpt: Synergy

This summer I am thrilled to get some feedback on my novel-in-progress at Lambda Literary Foundation’s Emerging Writers Workshop. I sent them the first twenty-five pages of the manuscript about four gender non-conforming people from different moments in time. It’s non-genre, it’s not a humor book, and it’s not a memoir. It’s a stretch for me, and an exciting project, but then again, I came up with it in my own head, so hopefully I’d have some interest in my own damn work. I should also add that it needs a ton of work — in this first draft I was messing around with point-of-view and tense, trying to figure out where the tone of the book intersected with the narration. But here’s the first chapter, in case anyone is interested:

Alex, Baltimore, 2004

Enough moisture collects at my temples that it streaks down the sides of my face, but I can’t stop running or break form to wipe my head. I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll remember my bandana. Now I’m four miles from home and have one more to go before it’s time to turn around. The sun has hit that angry angle after daybreak and I squint to block it out even a little. I’ve probably got about 90 minutes left before my shift at the pier. For the sake of predictability I take the same route six days a week: out the back door of my crappy apartment at the edge of a mostly empty commercial district, past sloping colonial-era pavers and a junkyard, down toward the revitalized harbor, then back again. As far and as fast as I can run, and even though it’s always quiet behind me when I turn around, I always have the sense I’m being chased.

Nobody can find out I wasn’t born male.

To keep my secret, I stay as thin as I can. Hence the hellacious running routine. Jogging hates me, and the feeling is mutual. Read More…

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Unintentional Time Traveler

Coming your way this summer/fall, here’s the new start to my debut, young adult novel, folks.

1926 BugottiI first jumped back in time on September 21, 1980, just a few weeks into high school, but nothing about how that day started was odd in any way. It’s not like the sun popped out of the sky and said, “Hey Jack, how about if you take a trip to a completely different era where nothing makes any sense to you?”

No, it was a regular day where I woke up from my incredibly annoying alarm clock, which of course alerted King, our Golden Retriever, that he should burst through my bedroom door and lick me all over the face until I was awake enough to push him off of me. He followed me down the hall like usual, standing behind me even when I whizzed into the toilet, lest I don’t know, he miss out on any of my fun. He and I didn’t even notice anymore that the sink was wrapped in rolled up towels, held in place by constantly unraveling, goopy duct tape. It had been that way since my parents had started letting me use the bathroom by myself.

I have epilepsy, see, which means that on an irregular basis I lose consciousness as the neurons in my brain decide to go on a bender and start firing like a bunch of kindergarteners who missed their Ritalin dose that day. As one can imagine, this gets in the way of conversations, walking, brushing one’s teeth, or anything else worth doing. But like the padding over the hard surfaces around the house, I’ve gotten used to having seizures, even if I’m not happy about them.

Sometimes—maybe half the time—the “episodes” gave me a tiny bit of warning, mostly by screwing with my sense of balance. The ground around me would abruptly shift diagonally, like a ship listing hard to one side. Or my own private earthquake. I mastered the art of quickly sitting down, before I would fall over into humiliating twitchiness. Before the darkness could collapse over me. Read More…

Deleted Scene from Bumbling into Body Hair

I cut 23,000 words from BiBH for the final version that went to publication, but sometimes I refer folks to scenes in the book that now aren’t there. This is the scene that gets brought up the most, so for everyone who would love a little more memoir, enjoy some road rage.

road rage; raised fist through car windowEveryone I met through Susanne knew me as Everett. I didn’t ask whether she told them I was transgender or not, because I presumed I didn’t look very male, even though I’d been on T for 8 months. I had a bit of chin hair I had to shave every few days still, but other than that, I looked the same, at least to me. I still got the occasional second glance, but it had been a while since anyone had verbally or physically accosted me. So perhaps I was due for another flare up.

I was driving down to the cheap hair styling place in Virginia again, which was bustling with more traffic than ever now that a new grocery store and condominium complex had come into the neighborhood. It was a condominium “of rare occurrence,” as the billboard next to the highway touted, which made me laugh. So the condo building was only rarely in existence and other times not there at all?

I slowed down and stopped for a yellow light, and the car behind me honked. Looking at the driver in my rear-view mirror, I put my hands up to suggest I had no other options, and promptly forgot about him.

Four or five lights later—which in metropolitan DC means something like 8–10 minutes of elapsed time—I made my turn into the strip mall. The parking spot at the very end of the row, next to the salon was open, but I needed to back up to get the car in. I couldn’t back up though, and I saw that it was the same driver who’d honked at me back on the road. Slowly, it dawned on me that he was irate. He saw me looking at him quizzically and started honking his horn and screaming at me. Read More…

Excerpt from Superqueers

Eve’s feet stung in response to the cold tile floor. It was the downside of taking such boiling hot showers, but nothing else eased the tension between her shoulders. She tiptoed into her tidy bedroom, marred only by the messy sheets and her cat Oliver, who seemed asleep save for one sliver on an open eye.

She rubbed Oliver behind his ears, who gave a pinched half-meow in response. He lifted his head and sniffed at the room. In the next second he looked at Eve, then hissed, and jumped off the bed, running into the darkness of the closet.

“Oliver! What’s wrong?” Eve went over to the front of the closet and craned her head in, looking for him in the back, in the dark. Oliver continued to hiss.

“Oliver, it’s me! What’s the matter with you?” He’d never acted like this in his life. The hissing continued. The cat was scared out of his mind. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: Chapter 23

We drove until we reached the other side of three towns, and then pulled up to a general store. I cut the engine and Jackson and I inspected each other.

“Well, you’ve looked better,” he said, lifting my chin.

“You’ve looked worse,” I said. That made him smile for a moment. “So who was that back there?”

“I don’t know,” he said, taking the opportunity to look back behind us, where the dust we’d kicked up was settling back on the wide lane. “You were kind of in a hurry when you talked to me the last time.”

“Last time? How many times have I come by?” Where did I get the time for all this, I wondered, and then paused. If I could jump at will then I kind of had all the time in the world. On this side, anyway. Read More…

Excerpt from Parallax: from Chapter 22

I hoped my memory of how to find his house wasn’t fuzzy, but if I was right, we had quite a ways to go before we’d show up at the white row home. As the sun prepared to set, I sniffed around an abandoned strip of train cargo cars. Judging from the height of the weeds and the rusty state of the tracks here, no trains had passed through here for a long while.

I slept in fits, as Pie was tied to a crumbling handle on the open cargo door. The wood was rotted in places and my nose stuffed up from the smell of mold and old urine, but I’d become so exhausted I couldn’t keep myself awake, and I hoped the horse would alert me if I were in any danger. Read More…

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